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Thread: Planeswalkers

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    Default Planeswalkers

    Planeswalkers
    A Magic the Gathering RPG
    Rated PG 13


    Jareth Wildsoul
    Alara, the jungles of Naya

    He rushed through the forest, leaping between the trees, a blur of white amongst the foliage. He had his prey in his sights...even though the beast wasn't exactly hard to track. The creature was huge, one of the largest he had ever laid eyes upon; massively muscled, with tawny red fur and darker spiraling stripes. A ridged mane of deep red fur ran down its back and neck, and two huge tusk-like fangs protruded from its lower jaw.

    It was a powerful creature, one of the giants of Naya that had newly adapted to the conflicts that erupted after the Conflux. It was completely unaffected by Esper's countermagic and blue magic. Some thought its immunity to countermagic evolved because of the constant mage attacks on Naya. Jareth just figured it ate a bunch of wizards. But its ability to prevent countermagic was something Jareth knew he needed in the turmoil that was engulfing the newly unbroken plane of Alara.

    He had traversed the multiverse; he'd seen things no one else in Alara (nevermind his small pride in the corner of Naya) had ever seen before. He'd been to Kamigawa and the Razor Fields of Mirrodin. He'd been to the sprawling and crowded city of Ravnica and to the unconquered wilds of Zendikar. But in the end he'd returned to Alara, to his home. It was where he was needed most; in the chaos that followed the Conflux. He was powerful enough now--after becoming a Planeswalker, after everything he'd experienced--to make a difference, and bring some semblance of order to the newly-reunited shards.

    The Spellbreaker behemoth crashed through the underbrush, but Jareth kept on its heels. It knew it was being hunted; Jareth's pure white coat wasn't exactly built for stealth and subtlety. Fortunately for Jareth, neither was the behemoth. It wheeled around and let out a bellow, shaking the leaves from the trees with just the force of its roar. It charged him, tearing up the forest in its path. Jareth redoubled his efforts, calling upon the might of the forest.

    The Spellbreaker was enormous, but it wasn't the largest Jareth had come across. There were even larger beasts in the jungles of Naya.

    He called upon that strength, filling his mind with the image of the titanic beast, the Godsire; filling his soul with the beast's power. He leaped through the air, glowing with the power of the beast. He drew back his massive hammer, the Behemoth Sledge, and swung it against the Spellbreaker with all his might. There was a tremendous crack as the hammer made contact with the behemoth's forehead. The power of Jareth's strike rippled down the length of the creature's spine and shook it off its feet.

    Dead before it even hit the ground.

    Jareth dropped down into the beast-made clearing. He placed a hand against the dead beast's forehead and whispered his magic through it. He closed his eyes and felt its soul shimmering through his fingers.

    "Be at peace, great beast," he said. He drew in the power of the creature's soul and held it within himself. And with a breath, he bid the Spellbreaker's spirit rest.

    "A Spellbreaker?" He heard the voice behind him.

    Jareth turned, he wasn't surprised to find Rafiq in the wilds of Naya. The Bant knight-champion had made a point of patrolling the regions bordering Bant and had found the time to cultivate alliances between the more agreeable factions. Most in Naya were fairly amicable with those from Bant, and the barbarian Kresh led a tribe in Jund that wasn't advocating total and open war like the followers of Rakka Mar and the dragon-tyrant Karrthus. The former shard of Esper had its own squabbling power-factions. The sphinx Sharuum and the Sen Triplets didn't quite see eye-to-eye in how to handle their interactions with the other shards.

    And then there was Grixis. Few had been successful in navigating the wastes and approaching the rulers...if they had any. The rumor was that power belonged to several different monsters: the zombie-assassin Thraximundar, the undead necromancer Sedris, and the demon-dragon Malefegor. None of them were very eager to negotiate for peace.

    "I find the hunt exhilarating," Jareth said. He slung the sledge back over his shoulder. "Though perhaps I give myself too great an advantage. Though with the Spellbreaker's power..."

    "Found it more necessary?" Rafiq asked. "Its power would be useful against the magic of Grixis and Esper if we should come to blows."

    "Against any who would disturb the peace," Jareth said, correcting the knight with a stern glare. "Even those from Naya and Bant. I will not stand to see Alara collapse into turmoil and war again."

    "I feel the same, my friend," Rafiq assured, throwing up his hands defensively. "You don't have to worry about difficulties from my end, not so long as I have some say over Bant's affairs." The knight crossed his arms and looked up at the towering lion-man. "You may be surprised, but most of Alara is interested in seeing the conflict end. We miss our old lives."

    Jareth did, too. He missed the simplicity of Naya-alone. Before everything came together it was a peaceful place. It was wild, but pure. There were no monsters lurking in the night, no undead wandering the darkness, no dragons scouring the skies. It was--

    A pull. He felt it then, a split second touch at the edges of his awareness, and then one that lingered. A presence, a beacon; reaching to him through the Blind Eternities. Could it be?

    "I must go, Rafiq," Jareth said. He clasped hands with the knight, then turned and raced into the forest. He leaped through the air into the trees, and vanished into the Eternities.

    =====

    Lance of Avacyn
    Ravnica, Orzhov Catacombs

    He woke from a dreamless sleep; his eyes sharp, instantly aware of his surroundings, of exits and entrances, of obstacles and obstructions. It was not a panicked concern, but an extreme situational awareness that sharpened him and brought him clarity when all others would still be reeling from the mind-numbing haze of sleep. His mind was a razor's edge, honed from years of struggle, of enemies lurking around every corner, of screams and dying. His lullabies sang him to sleep with the sounds of war. It made the eerie morning calm that much more disconcerting. There was danger in silence, anticipation of swift, violent movement lurked in the still darkness.

    His trepidation last only for an instant, only for the space of time between when his eyes snapped open and took their first blink. He was a predator acknowledging and evaluating his surroundings, and it took only a moment for him to reaffirm that he was indeed still the most dangerous thing in the immediate vicinity; the top of the food chain, the apex predator, hyper-lethal.

    There was movement beside him, a shifting of bed sheets and soft skin. He disentangled himself from the sheets, throwing back layers of black silk. He pushed away the pale arm that had draped itself over his chest during the knight and dislodged himself from the tangle of limbs. He rose from the bed in a single purposeful motion, not because of any sense of urgency or purpose, but simply because that was the way he always moved. The bed's other occupants were left behind; forgotten. He had no further use for them.

    Naked, he made his way over to the washroom sink, padding softly over the cold, stone floor. It was dark in the windowless, underground room, but his eyes cut through the black veil and things came to him in perfect clarity. He was as much a creature of the still darkness as anything else in the shadows. He turned the faucet, half-marveling at the inventiveness of the Izzet League and the wonder of their innovations. If only all planes had such convenience. He washed away the dried blood from his lips and chest. He smirked to himself; he'd gotten a little carried away last night.

    He glanced to the three creatures that still occupied his bed. Orzhov Syndicate angels, called "Angels of Despair" by some of the public. They were a strange breed of angel; naturally bald, rough and black-winged; pale-skinned--but flawless; bodies perfect--soft and strong and lean. They were graceful and terrifying and empty. So much like him. Except for their will; except for that wild sense of passionate self that he found burning within him. They lacked any sort of inner fire.

    They were nothing at all like the glorious angels of the Boros Legion. Not like Razia, fiery and spirited; warm bronzed skin, hair like golden flame, feathered wings as white as anything he'd ever seen and softer than gossamer. When he touched her, she responded passionately, heatedly; not with the cold and empty physicality of these Orzhov angels.

    But he needed them. He needed their cold, will-less, emptiness. Because above all else he was beholden to the Need and the Hunger. He could feed, they would give him the blood he craved because they were ordered to, because their duty and commitment was to the Syndicate. And he had found a way to make the Syndicate indebted to him.

    Sangromancy was a wonderful tool.

    The room lit with a faint glow, another of the Izzet League's little wonders, though he much preferred the natural fire-light. He heard the click of hobbled footsteps heading towards his room, and smirked. It was about time she showed up.

    "Teysa Karlov," he acknowledged as the footsteps neared his door. He reached out with his power and opened it, allowing the young woman and her attendant, a brooding hulk of a man, to enter freely.

    Teysa limped in, supporting her nearly-useless left leg with an ornate cane. That was the price for being born into the upper echelons of the Orzhov Syndicate. They used such potent and ornate magics to prolong and extend their lives that they risked passing deformities down to their children. Teysa was such a child. Though she was a child no longer.

    "I thank you again for providing me a wonderful evening," he said with a fangy smirk. He slid close to the young woman, breathed in her scent, let his hot breath tickle her neck. "Though I wished you would have joined us."

    Teysa swallowed. He could see the lump move down her throat, felt her fight the madness of his voice and whisper; persuasion: a dark vampiric power he'd long since mastered. She was tempted, even without the whisper, but she was adept in dark magics of her own. Her mind was not so easy to mold and break.

    "I derive much more pleasure from the denial of yours," she whispered back. She tossed her long black hair and stepped away from him, as clumsy as that was.

    "Don't be so sure," he said, running a finger along the side of her cheek.

    She pushed his hand away and nodded to her attendant. The tall man collected the clothes strewn throughout the room and made his way to the bed where the three angels were sleeping.

    "Get up. Dress yourselves," he said, tossing their clothes at them. The three angels did as they were told, obeying the higher Orzhov. They dressed wordlessly, blank-eyed and without expression. They were cold and hollow, loyal only to the void of Orzhov duty.

    Not like him; loyal only to himself. He took the moment to dress as well; it wouldn't due to be the only one standing around naked. Though he opted to remain barefoot and shirtless for the moment.

    The three angels were ushered out of the room, and he neither waved nor bid them goodbye, and they did neither to him as well. They'd performed their duty. He'd satisfied his Need. That was all. He smirked, though, at the sluggish way they moved; not at all like the graceful angels they were supposed to be. Perhaps he'd been more enthusiastic in his feeding than he should have been. No matter. They'd recover quickly enough.

    "I take it we're done here, Lance?" Teysa asked curtly. He felt her pulse through the air, heard her heart beating as if his ear was pressed right against it. She was always nervous around him, as if she didn't quite trust herself. Good.

    "Unless you want to join me." He glanced to the bed. But Teysa had already turned, and was hobbling away, her attendant placed protectively between him and her back. Oh well. He'd overstayed his welcome.

    Lance made his way through the dark catacombs of the Orzhov labyrinth, which was empty of all but him. Teysa had made sure of that; she wouldn't allow anyone else to succumb to Lance's charms and manipulations. He'd already managed to achieve a significant hold on the Orzhov's operations. It wouldn't do to give him any more freedom than that. But the Orzhov Syndicate, however indebted to him it was, was not his primary residence on Ravnica.

    That "honor" belonged to the Boros Legion, the paragons of justice and order throughout Ravnica. The highest of the Legion were the angels: warriors of White and Red mana. They were fire and passion and virtue. And Razia was their Parun and Guild Leader, the epitome of all the Boros Legion represented. She embodied the concept of fiery, passionate justice most fully. She was as much a military leader and icon as she was an inspiration and demi-god.

    Lance had found a way to ingratiate himself to Razia, appearing at a critical moment of battle, swathing himself in all the light and glory he could muster, and striking out against the enemies of the Boros. He had earned their gratitude, and Razia's curiosity. She was no fool; she knew there was something different about this angel. Of course she had her suspicions as to his darker nature, but he'd managed to cultivate a physical attraction between them. He'd charmed his way into the heart and bed of even the inscrutable Razia.

    He shed his vampiric form, willing it away with a thought and a long breath. His fangs shortened, his sharp nails withdrew into his fingers; his hair turned from silver-white to dark brown again; and his eyes changed from black-and-gold to simple brown as well. He stepped into the sunlight and threw open his wings. He caught the first breeze that passed and launched himself into the air. He sailed over the city-plane and Sunhome, the guild hall of the Boros; then he turned skyward and shot up towards the Parhelion.

    The Parhelion was an enormous flying fortress, a ship that had once been constructed to serve as an interplanar exploration vessel to research the nature of the multiverse. But the project had been abandoned--Lance didn't quite know why, though suspected that the Izzet League had simply found a more economical method of exploration. But while the Parhelion was no longer used as it was intended, it still served as the home and headquarters of the Boros angels.

    There, high above the clouds, watching over the entire plane, was where Lance chose to reside. Not down in the dark, not hiding in the murk and the dust and shadow.

    He ascended to the Parhelion and landed in the open courtyard at its perimeter. That was the "dock" of sorts; it had been designed to accommodate all manner of flying creatures and contraptions, but now served only to greet arriving angels or messengers from the Sunhome below. He folded his wings behind him; only in the Parhelion did he not hide them completely.

    The Boros angels bowed as he passed; the angels looked nearly identical, indeed, they were all "clones" of Razia, creatures created in her image. Only over their long lifetimes did they change and deviate enough to grow distinct from her. And they did: shorter hair, longer hair, tattoos, different builds...but none were as perfect as Razia herself. When one laid eyes on her, there was no doubt that she was Razia.

    Lance found her where he always did, in the Parhelion's main hall, overlooking the Parhelion's courtyard and (beyond that) the city-plane below.

    "You were missing all night," Razia said, not taking her eyes from her vigil. Her dedication and sense of duty were truly something to behold. Even someone as twisted and manipulative as Lance could appreciate that.

    "I had some things to take care of," Lance said with a smirk. He never told Razia what he did or where he went. She'd annihilate him in an instant if she knew...or she'd try, at least. And Lance was just too content with their arrangement to risk disrupting it.

    They stood face to face, almost touching, just teasing out that moment. Both were too proud to cave to the physical desires of their own bodies; too proud to admit that they needed the touch of the other. That was the game they played. For Lance, it was second nature. For Razia, however, it was something new. Lance had arrived with a spark of newness to her ages-long life; a change of pace and sense of spontaneity. For Razia, there was something forbidden and darkly tempting about Lance, even though all she'd seen of him was burning and fiery glory.

    "You were missed," Razia said, turning from Lance back to her vigil.

    "Was I, now?" Lance asked. He stepped up beside her and brushed the back of his fingers against hers. She pushed her hand against his.

    Lance was so enraptured with their little game that he almost missed it, a little shift and pull at the back of his mind, the sharpening of his senses.

    A chuckle, low and deep and condescending from the passenger behind his eyes.

    "Dominaria," he whispered. He knew the feel of that plane. He'd been drawn there once before, by the pull of the Black Blade. It was calling him again, not the sword this time, but the plane itself.

    "And who might that be?" Razia asked. She played it coy and cold, but Lance could see the hurt and the spark of betrayal.

    "'What'," Lance corrected, and laughed silently as he saw that hurt and betrayal dissipate and turn to confusion. "It's a place. I've been there, once before...it's calling me again." He placed a passionate kiss on Razia's lips, drawing a surprised gasp from the angel. "I have to go."

    And he was gone.

    =====

    Claire Mizzet
    Shadowmoor, the village of Mistmeadow

    She dashed through the forest and burst out into the clearing. The trail wasn't difficult to follow; a straight line of billowing flames and ceaseless destruction. How things had gotten so bad on Lorwyn were beyond her knowledge. She'd been gone only a few months, hadn't she? What could have possibly happened? Why was everyone calling this world "Shadowmoor"? Why did no one remember her or the Lorwyn she'd visited before?

    And what had happened to Ashling?

    The young elemental was transformed, bristling with sharp edges and purple-black flame. She'd slaughtered everything in her path, consumed with boundless rage and unbridled power. It was terrible. Ashling was such a bright, happy girl. What could have happened?

    Claire kept running. She'd agreed to meet with the elves Rhys and Maralen in Mistmeadow to discuss what had happened. Apparently, Maralen was one of the only beings on the plane who remembered the world before and wanted to speak with her. Claire might be able to help reverse whatever had happened.

    Mistmeadow was burning. Claire didn't know whether or not Rhys and Maralen were even alive anymore. Ashling the Extinguisher was a monster of an elemental, as powerful--or more so--than any Claire had come across before. Ashling had smashed through the village's defenses and slaughtered anything in her path. The charred bodies of elves and kithkin littered the ground. Claire had seen some horrible things in her travels, but nothing as terrible as this pure carnage.

    "You," hissed a voice. It rose up out of the black-burning flames and strode out into the fire-flayed clearing. It was Ashling, billowing indigo flames and pitch-black rock skin; razor-sharp claws and the same horrible grin carved onto her face. "Thief. Savage. Abominable."

    "Ashling, what's happened to you?" Claire asked. She clenched her fists. "You have to--you've gotta stop this. This is--this is too much."

    "Abominable," Ashling said again. She raised a clawed hand, glowing with that burning-black flame, and sent it in a fiery cone towards Claire.

    Claire reacted instinctively; she raised her battlegear armor. The mizzium-darksteel alloy was incredibly durable and fireproof, but she still felt the heat of Ashling's power, and the force of the blast sent her flying. She rolled back, reforming the battlegear into its bladed iteration. She drew her power out, feeling it into ground and calling up the strength of the wild itself. She called out to the elemental forces and crafted them to her need. A crash of stone erupted around her, crackling with lightning and glowing with fiery light.

    The elemental charged Ashling, but she rushed into it and shattered it with a single blow. The backlash of energies crashed into Claire and knocked her off her feet. Ashling flew towards her, claws bared, but Claire had enough presence of mind to swing the bladed wrist of the battlegear and intercept her slash. Claire threw a wild punch and caught Ashling under the chin, and a spinning back-kick doubled her over and tossed her back.

    Ashling lifted her head and grinned that terrible, wild grin. She gathered her power in the palms of her hands and sent the indigo flames billowing towards Claire. But she fought back, drawing on her pyromancer's skill and countering with fires of her own. They collided, and Mistmeadow was consumed in the conflagration. The explosion sent Claire flying.

    She rolled to her hands and knees, coughing, trying to regain her breath. Ashling stalked towards her, parting the flames as she did. Her fists crackled with that terrible, dark, extinguishing power. Claire knew that power, she'd tasted it herself. It was too much; she didn't have the power to face her--not Ashling--in open combat. Not like that. She could fight anyone else, but it was too much to fight Ashling, her truest friend.

    Ashling raised her claws as she stood over Claire, poised for the killing blow. The malice and sheer glee etched into her features made Claire sick to her stomach. This wasn't the Ashling she knew. This Ashling would kill her without a second thought.

    She had to get out of there. Or she'd--There was a pull. She felt it, drawing her into and through the Blind Eternities. It was an urgent feeling, more powerful than any she'd felt before.

    Ashling struck, but Claire was gone; catapulted through the Eternities by the pull, her survival instinct, and her Planeswalking powers. A name came to her lips, one she'd never uttered before, but one she knew was the name of the place drawing her.

    "Dominaria."

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

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    Rimuel Dawnwatcher
    Kessig Province, Innistrad


    Rimuel stalked between the trees. His breath came out in gouts of mist, the Mirran gazing around the forest cautiously. This wasn't his sort of environment. He was more at home in an open battlefield, not a space like this. And he could hear the howling of his quarry. The wolf's howls echoed throughout the forest, under the light of the Hunter's Moon.

    The Mirran's grip tightened around the hilt of his sword. His keen eyes scanned the darkness around. There was nothing but foliage and trees... no. Wait. A glint of moonlight, reflected from something. He stalked closer. Eyes wide and wary, he approached the place he had seen the glint. There was something on the ground, unidentifiable until he called forth the white power from within him. Light shone from his hand and revealed a corpse, mangled, bloody, torn to shreds. Some predator had done this, but not the usual kind. This wasn't the work of a pack, this was one animal.

    His eyes fell to the origin of the reflected moonlight. A knife, still clutched in the corpse's hand despite the savaging the body had recieved. As though a mere knife could protect from a...

    He whirled, and ducked. The werewolf's claws scythed inches past his neck, the beast howling ferociously. It made another swipe with its claws, and the edges screamed against Rimuel's armor. Even so, the monster's incredible strength threw the Mirran down, smashing him to the ground behind the corpse. He rolled back, and rose to his feet as the werewolf surged forward. Its black fur glistened in the moonlight, except where it was tangled and matted. Its amber eyes gleamed viciously as its claws scythed at him again. Rimuel ducked around the blow. The werewolf was monstrously fast and strong, but this was no different to many of the Phyrexians he had fought back on Mirrodin. He threw up a hand and called the power to it, loosing a burst of brilliant energies from it. The werewolf recoiled, roaring in pain as radiant light seared into its face.

    Rimuel pressed his edge, swinging his blade in a fierce arc. The edge ripped into the werewolf's face, tearing open a jagged cut across its nose. Howling, the beast struck. Claws swiped at the Mirran, and once again his armor protected him, though only narrowly. Shoved back by the impact, Rimuel stalked away, preparing for another attack. He reached into the mana, drawing out the white mana. Purification and cleansing, exalted light. He would burn this thing from the world.

    And then it came. A calling from the beyond, from a world he didn't know and had never seen. It was a calling unlike nothing he'd ever felt, but he knew he could not deny it. He glared fiercely at the werewolf, regretting that this time, he could not remove it from existence. But the calling struck again, far too strong to reject.

    And he was gone. But as he vanished into the Blind Eternities, the name echoed in his thoughts. "Dominaria."

    -

    Morgana de Astolat
    Murasa, Zendikar


    The soldiers howled and screamed. The Eldrazi swarm butchered them under the sundered sky, in the shadow of a great valley. The horde of abominations consisted of dozens upon dozens of lesser spawn, 'commanded' by three mightier Eldrazi, a monstrous eight-limbed thing which dripped with slime and blood, its head bull-like and a strange crest somehow attached to its back, a thing of magma and rock which scuttled on pillar-like legs and writhing tendrils, its skeletal arms tipped by scything claws, and finally an emiciated, nightmarish humanoid with arms ending in bony talons, head covered in bone with naught but a single eye visible beneath, its skull haloed by writhing tentacles.

    And then spears of light ripped forth. The Eldrazi spawn shrieked and howled as the spears seared into them.

    "Charge!" Morgana bellowed. She charged over the ridge behind which she had concealed the greater part of her forces, the troops following her. But still their eyes were wide with horror at how the strange woman had left several dozen men and women to die merely to set up this ambush.

    Regardless, it was effective. Mad with hunger and blinded by greed, the Eldrazi were now caught between the cliff of the great cavern and the charging soldiers. Swords and spears butchered the drones, while some soldiers moved to challenge the three 'leaders'. Morgana drew her sword, and it drank in the deaths of the butchered sacrifices and the massacred spawn. She swung the Blade in a wild arc, cleaving a spawn in twain as it leapt for her throat. Raising a hand, she loosed more burning White mana from her hand, focused into a flash of holy power which seared the Eldrazi, sending them screaming into the blades of her allies. A spear of white flashed through the air and was driven through another spawn, which died, choking out blood.

    The eight-limbed nightmare roared and plowed through the troops opposing it. Talons scythed and ripped into them, as legs smashed down and crushed men underfoot. The Broodwarden surged towards Morgana, perhaps driven by primal instinct to the mana she wielded. In retaliation, Morgana drew forth more White energy and let loose with a hail of spears. Though the magical assault perforated its flesh, the Eldrazi seemed to ignore the pain of the searing spears, focusing on devouring its opponent. With a cold glare, Morgana took her blade in both hands and charged. She dodged around a scything talon with ease and swung the sword. Her immense strength sent the blade cleaving through the arm with ease, and the Eldrazi's hand fell to the ground, its arm stump now leaking blood. Roaring, it drew back, but Morgana was relentless.

    She ducked around its blows, ripping her blade through flesh and muscle with strikes of incredibly graceful savagery. Blood poured from the Eldrazi's wounds as the sword cut it again and again. Morgana's weapon drank in death from all around and lent her strength from that death. The knight drew back the sword and charged. She made a mighty slash with the blade, and the Eldrazi screamed. The Blade of the Bloodchief laid open a great gash across its stomach, and Morgana followed up effortlessly by driving the weapon through the creature's chest. Ripping it free, she raised a hand and unleashed a spear of White mana, driving it into the Eldrazi's chest. Finally, it screamed, and fell. Blood pouring from its wounds, it thrashed and howled in agony, but it was crippled by pain.

    An Eldrazi spawn leapt for Morgana's face, and was brutally decapitated by the knight's blade. One of the other larger Eldrazi, the bone-masked hatcher, had been toppled, and several soldiers were stabbing it again and again as it thrashed and screamed. Meanwhile, the rocky, magma-veined Eldrazi remained, lashing skeletal claws at soldiers who tried to approach. At least the spawn had largely been put down.

    Cold anger seething through her veins, Morgana raised a hand. A spear of light formed and she hurled it at the rocky Eldrazi. The magical attack struck, but glanced from the creature's armored flesh. Of course. She raced forwards, drawing her sword back to strike at the dread drone's weaker points. A claw lashed towards her, but she dodged aside, ignoring the appendage. She couldn't sever this thing's claws. As she charged closer, she realized the creature's face was eyeless. Instead, eyes dotted its body, staring wildly at the battle. She conjured a spear of whiteness and drove it into one of the eyes. The Eldrazi roared, and Morgana turned, stabbing another eye with her sword. The beast's claws lashed at her, and she jumped, landing nimbly on the arm and running up it. As the arm began to rise back, she jumped to a broad, armored shoulder, and turned. On the back of the creature's neck was a chink in its armor. A weakness?

    Morgana drew back the Blade of the Bloodchief, and twisted it around, before driving the longer blade into the Eldrazi's neck. It screamed in agony, before its screaming maw began to leak blood. It thrashed and writhed, trying to reach and crush the thing which had so harmed it, but Morgana grimly pulled her sword free and stood firm. She jumped over the creature's head, and as she fell she summoned forth one last spear of light. She cast it forward, hurling it into one of the molten veins which criss-crossed the Eldrazi's chest. The spear buried itself in the nightmare, and the Eldrazi screamed once again.

    The knight landed, and swiftly drew back as the monster thrashed and writhed. Its claws ripped at the ground, and its legs stabbed at the rocks. Finally, the Eldrazi toppled, and lay still. It was dead.

    The soldiers had clustered together to watch her now that the battle was over. Stained in blood and offal from the Eldrazi she had brutally massacred, Morgana was a fearsome sight with her naked sword in hand. She turned, eyes blazing, and regarded them.

    "You..." one of the soldiers said, seeking words.

    She turned away, saying nothing, and began to walk away.

    "You bitch!" another soldier bellowed. She stopped, and they all stiffened. They had all seen her. Like a goddess she had fought, tearing through the abominations with cold ease. she was like a hurricane, a wildfire, a tsunami. A natural disaster coalesced into a body which was merely human, or was it? "Because of you, they all died! Three-dozen good men and women butchered so you could ambush these things!"

    "How many would have died had we fought the Eldrazi on an open field?" Morgana replied. Her voice was cold and bitter. "If this is from some misguided notion of honor, be quiet. I have no time for foolish sentiments."

    "More would have died..." one of the soldiers admitted.

    "But they wouldn't have been butchered like cattle!" the second speaker growled. "You knew what the Eldrazi were like! Didn't you?!"

    "Of course," she replied. "That is why I chose to fight this battle as we did. The swarm is hard to defeat in open battle, but if you gain the edge of surprise, the confusion gives enough advantage to reduce their numbers drastically and negate that advantage. The larger creatures then fall to weight of numbers, combined with my prowess and might."

    "Leave us," the man snarled. "You ruthless bitch! To so callously select soldiers like picking the best animals for a slaughter... to know they would die...!"

    Morgana took a cloth from her armor, and wiped the Eldrazi blood from her blade. The cloth smoked as it made contact with the blood. She had come to notice from her few battles with the Eldrazi that their blood was slightly corrosive. Once she had removed the blood to her satisfaction she tossed the cloth aside, and sheathed the sword.

    "Listen to me!" the soldier roared.

    "I have listened, and I am not sorry for what I did," she replied. "It is better that the few die to save the many. I would rather deliberately take one life to save ten than walk into battle and lose five instead." She fell silent. "If I must accept the hatred of many to enact that creed, I will. But if you wish me to go, then I shall." She was already considering a destination. Perhaps Ravnica. Although she was reluctant to return to the abode of the Simic Combine, the other guilds could perhaps use her combat skills and tactical expertise. Or maybe Alara. Not Bant, of course. But Jund, or Grixis, maybe. She was sure to find foolish knights in need of assistance on one of those shards.

    Then it struck her, breaking her chain of thought. A calling. She had been to this world once. Its name came to her instinctively: Dominaria. It wanted her to come. It needed her to come.

    "Leave, you bitch! If you say you will leave, then..." the soldier trailed off, staring at Morgana. Or, more accurately, where she had been standing.

    She was gone.
    Last edited by storymasterb; 13th March 2012 at 11:25 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Rishada Port, Mercadia

    Thamien’s patience was waning. He had been promised by his contact that the client he was to meet in the town square would be there by noon. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a delicate golden pocket watch. After opening it and turning a dial until the word Mercadia appeared on the top, the arms of the watch began to spin, finally stopping at 3:30. As he was on the verge of walking away and calling the deal a bust, he noticed a man in a nearby storefront signaling him to come inside. Assuming he was the client, Thamien left the bench he was perched on to meet him. Even if he wasn’t, at least Thamien could escape the searing heat outside.

    “Had me waiting long enough,” Thamien blurted, sarcasm dripping from his voice. The client, an older looking Merfolk simply laughed.

    “I apologize,” The Merfolk took a deep breath and coughed a little. “Word got out on what I had your organization hunt down for me. Decided to wait until the heat died down before I called for you. You do have them, don’t you?” Thamien placed a silver briefcase on a table. He placed his hand against a clear crystal as energy in green, blue and black appeared from his hand into it. After a moment, the briefcase clicked open, revealing five beautiful looking gemstones. “My word, the Moxen. They’re beautiful.”

    “They say there’s only one set per plane. These ones come straight from Kamigawa.”

    “Oh, I can tell. The cut, the craftsmanship. It had to have been Kamigawa that these came from.”

    “You know of Kamigawa?”

    “Boy, I was walking planes before you were walking period. Lost my spark fixing the rifts above this very plane. Now then, shall we negotiate the pri-“ Thamien perked up, reaching into his back pocket for a knife. “My word, was I followed?” Thamien placed a finger to his mouth to shush the elder Merfolk. His ears focused on a soft shuffling noise behind a set of maps. He threw his knife, and the meaty thud and groan of pain told him he hit his mark. After Thamie brushed aside some maps, he found the interloper, a Human in the garb of the Royal Guard. He reached for the knife in his shoulder, but Thamien stopped him.

    “Not a very good idea. Pull that out wrong and you’ll inject poison into the wound. Have you ever seen what Moonglove extract can do to someone? It isn’t pretty. Tell me who sent you and I’ll tell you how to safely remove the blade.”

    “The regent of Mercadia City,” The man groaned. “Word travels fast when Moxen move. We were gonna use them to eliminate the Rebels once and for all.”

    “Is that all?” The man nodded. “Very well. Push the blade into the hilt until you hear a click and then pull it out. The bone in your shoulder should make that easier.” The man did as he was told, removing the blade with ease. “Now get lost.” As the man ran out of the store, Thamien noticed an entire group of men in similar garb. He didn’t come alone.

    “Don’t worry about me. There’s a secret passage to the sea underneath the floorboards. Your payment is behind the counter. And Thamien, let’s do business again.” As the elder Merfolk dived into his secret escape hatch, Thamien made a bolt for the counter and grabbed a sack of coins underneath. He took a look inside the bag before the soldiers entered the shop. He was not pleased with the contents.

    “Damn, Dominarian coin.” He found his entrance blocked. “Why can’t you people have anything a Planeswalker like me can trade in? It would be so much easier if you had Ravnican currency, easier to convert. I’m out, good day sirs.” With a mocking wave goodbye, he vanished into the aether.

    Kingdom of Madara, Dominaria

    The moment he arrived in Dominaria, Thamien had the strange feeling that he was supposed to be there for something else. Perhaps there were clues to Nissa’s whereabouts, or answers to the rumors he’s been hearing about suspicious activity throughout the planes. Before he set out to swap out his pay for a more useful currency, he decided to do a little sightseeing.
    Last edited by Gentleman Skeleton; 14th March 2012 at 3:20 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Tsukiko Yuu
    Somewhere on Innistrad

    It was a perfectly normal night on the small village of… whatever it was called. The moon was up, the stars were bright, and every single building was on flames. A red, blood like mist – both in appearance and smell – permeated every inch of the village, and, every so often, a silhouette of a creature would emerge: a flamegeist; the spirit of the dead brought back and made fire.

    The screams of woman and children echoed everywhere. No one even tried to hide anymore; they all just ran away. Smart decision, too, since if the red mist didn’t incinerate their bodies, one of the creatures it spawned surely would. The single living being walking through the massacre, the one responsible for it all, acted like nothing even remotely bothersome was taking place. She was just out on an evening stroll, she told the eerie blue spirit of an old man with a growing bald-spot and a long, curvy nose, and she felt it was too cold out. One thing led to another and, well, she wasn’t cold anymore.

    “What a splendid fireplace you have built, milady,” complimented her company. “The crimson from the flames goes really well with the dark blue horizon that is the night sky. Impeccable art, truly.” After every other word there was a small pause, and the careful accent made the ghost butler sound eloquent and refined.

    “It does look rather impressive, doesn’t it, Gustaff?” she commented, bringing a hand to her chin and admiring her work carefully. She caressed her white fur for but a moment before she turned halfway around - her white, flowing hair dancing as she did so – and began walking away in a hurry.

    “Milady, where are you going?” Even as nothing but spectral energy, Gustaff still barely kept with his master’s quick pacing.

    “To build my castle.”
    She did not even offer him a glance as she said so.

    “Wha- I beg your pardon?”

    “I need a castle.”

    “Why?”
    The old spirit would soon regret asking. The answer to his question turned out to be given simultaneously with his own spontaneous combustion.

    “The reason is rather obvious, Gustaff,” she answered, her voice perfectly distinguishable from the crackling flames and her ghost-butler’s own screams of agony. “Where else could I stand and gaze at such a marvelous work of beauty? My work of art! I claim nothing less but a castle through which to gaze.”

    Only when she finished giving her explanation did the flames die down. Gustaff’s blue spectral shape emerged from the fire almost unshaken (though his previous screams did nothing to hide his pain) and pretended to dust off non-existent ash from his tuxedo.

    “How do you plan on building it, Yuu-sama?”

    “Same way I do everything. I don’t. My Gheists will.”
    By this point, they’d walked a considerable distance from the village. They were standing on ravaged farming grounds, no longer used since the previous attack on this village (a common occurrence on Innistrad, apparently) with the only light sources being the moon and the giant, village-sized campfire off to the distance.

    “Milady, I hate to be the one who has to say this, but Gheists are most incapable of such labor. You see… they lack the proper tools for building castles. Such as hands. Or a physical body. And we wouldn’t have much use for a number of scattered, torched rocks, would we, madam?”

    Yuu turned to her aide, her menacing bunny eyes burning into his soul. Her little rabbit nostrils twitched in the most evil way, and for much longer than was healthy for someone his age Gustaff feared another incineration was upon him. He was in luck, apparently, as the furry lady began walking in circles around the plantation. She was clearly deep in thought, imagining what manner of spell she had in her grasp that could ease the building of her palace. Preferably before dawn.

    “We could use humans,” the old spirit suggested.

    “Humans? Gustaff, I think it’s pretty clear I’ve nearly killed them all.”

    “All the ones nearby, you mean. But it is our only choice. Werewolves are common, but then milady would end up with a castle smelling like wet dog, and, believe me, that smell never gets out. If we hired vampires we would have to deal with nightly orgies and blood feasts on a near-nightly basis, which indeed get old. Zombies are another choice, but they aren’t the hardest of workers, and a crawling, shambling corpse doesn’t exactly make for a fast worker. They’d take 30 years just to collect the necessary amounts of rocks.”

    “So you suggest humans?”
    She seemed acceptant of such a suggestion.

    “Indeed I do.”

    So she needed humans. Lots and lots of humans if she wanted to witness the spectacle that was the fire dancing in red as the horizon laid in blue before that wretched sun came and ruined everything. She sat down on an old tree stump and meditated on places she could access easily; places that held a high population of humans. At first, nothing really rang a bell. Humans were dull, weak, boring creatures. Prone to dying. A lot. Planes where those creatures ran rampant were places she liked to stay away from. She had nothing… Until she felt something. A pull, or a call, if you would. Some place was calling her; a place with lots and lots of humans, too! She could feel it!

    Fate wanted her castle be raised, after all!

    In a rush of excitement she jumped to a standing position and walked – or rather, exploded- into another plane: Dominaria. Behind her, she left nothing but charred ground and an inquisitive follower.

    “Safe travels, milady. I’ll be tending to the fire in your absence.”

    Gibrael Vons
    Innistrad, Thraben

    He could feel it. A powerful call imbued with overwhelming nostalgia. His home called for him, but did it really need him? Countless wounded and dying surrounded him, and more stood waiting outside his tent. He had a job to do here: an important job, nonetheless. These people, previously sheltered under the wings of Avacyn, were now hopelessly lost. They could do nothing but rely on him to heal their wounds and punish their wicked.

    And on Innistrad, there was no shortage of wicked.

    But this was his home calling for him. An actual plane, filled to the brim with all manner of creatures, had reached up to one of its children and pleaded for his return home. It was something he could not refuse! After all, what kind of necessity brought about the necessity for a plane of existence to call for aid?

    He’d promised himself he’d first deal with this batch of wounded before answering the call, but they were simply never-ending. For four hours he had been at it, healing wounds and the occasional lost limb, but some brave-hearted idiot had taken it upon himself to gather a group of self-called heroes and go werewolf hunting. It worked out roughly how Gibrael had predicted it. Of the 40 man deployed, 18 made it back alive, and only after Gibrael intervened. After bringing 18 fools back to full health, he then had to deal with 17 victims of some sort of plague, all manners of cuts and bruises, and two maniacs who believed to be afflicted with vampirism. That added to the soldier’s he’d been tending to in his tent for a week… and he had his hands full.

    But this had gotten to a point where his home just could not wait.
    He exited his tent and counted 20 people yet waiting for treatment. If he tried to heal even 4, thrice that would queue up. Free healthcare seems popular in Thraben. His only choice left was to simply deal with them all in one go. It was dangerous, requiring incredible precision on the quantity of white mana he used, and his “patients” would be feeling dizzy and suffering from a bit of Mana sickness for a few days, but better this than leaving them as they were.

    And so, he dispatched a constant blast of white energy. It passed through each of the patients, coursing through their body before moving on to the next, cleansing away any impurities and expelling all ailments before rejoining the constant stream, re-purifying itself, and repeating the process. When he was done, they all collapsed on the floor, both renewed and healthy and exhausted from the mana they’d been injected with. If any wished to thank their healer, they did not get such a chance; Gibrael disappeared as soon as he’d dealt with them, allowing his home’s call to stay unanswered no longer.

  5. #5
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    OOC: Sorry for taking so long. And I'm dangerously sure there are quite a few typos and/or occasions of word confusion here, despite my multiple checks... I blame the fact it's 5:00 AM, myself.

    Anyway, long post ahoy!

    ---

    Thayshia Waverwing
    Ravnica


    Thayshia frowned, small arms crossed across her chest as she eyed the artifact standing but a few inches from her, its surface giving off a mysterious glow in the sunlight. It was a blade, fine steel with carefully carved runes decorating both the hilt and the sides. It stood on a pedestal that didn’t even start to give it justice; a dirty rug placed atop a few rocks, the rare piece of history just a piece of junk like everything else to the clueless man selling it. Treating something immeasurably valuable in a manner like that… Thayshia had to draw in deep breaths at fixed intervals to keep her tongue in check.

    My Goddess, what a fool.

    “Well?” The salesman, a rugged youngster in his mid-twenties inquired, tilting his head impatiently, apparently not fond of window shoppers.

    Thayshia chose to ignore the man’s annoyance completely however, instead taking her time to look the item over a few more times before she was certain there could be no mistaking it; it was the real deal. A rare dagger crafted within the deepest craters of Mirrodin, sold at a price that was not even a tenth of its true value. She wanted it. So. Badly. And yet the greed that burned within her demanded she’d still try to bargain; while the price was nothing for the genuine thing, this man quite obviously thought the dagger a fake. Bargaining some hundreds away from the price should not be a difficult deal for someone like her. She prided herself in her negotiation skills, even if many would say such pride wasn’t warranted. But what did they know anyway.

    Unfolding her arms and throwing back her hair, Thayshia flew up to meet the man eye to eye. It was always easier to trick people if you could see their eyes; you could judge their reactions far better than by just listening to their words. Anybody could have their mouth spew lies, but few could conceal what their eyes gave off. Thayshia let a small smirk take over her face in order to hide the blade’s true value from the money-hungry idiot. It wouldn’t do to get too excited now. So, the Faerie shook her head, accompanying the motion with a slow shrug.

    “I don’t know,” she began slowly, condescendingly, a hint of disappointment spicing her voice, “I mean 600 for a poorly crafted replica? Please. The guilds will fall and the sky will have no sun before you get an overly priced phony like that sold with a 600. The folk around here know their stuff.”

    She allowed the beat of her wings to ease up and descended, landing on one foot to stand on top of the dagger’s hilt. Looking up at the man, she tapped the artifact with her foot and crossed her arms again. It pained her to stand atop such a rare piece with filthy, bare feet, but she had to stay in the role for now. She’d clean – no, she’d have her little servant clean the thing later. First she needed to obtain it. She tapped her foot down once more and opened her mouth to continue.

    “Luckily for you, I know a fella who melts things like this down and makes something better outta the mess,” she began, doing her best not to let the glint of excitement in her eyes show. “So I could take it off your hands with a 300, how ‘bout it?”

    The man blinked a few times, the dumbfound expression not boding well for the young Faerie. But she kept her expression calm and waited, only for the man to burst into thunderous fit of laughter mere seconds later.

    Thayshia dug her nails into her arms and forced her polite smile to stay. Nothing good would come out of frying the fool here and now, it would just create a scene in the middle of a shopping district. And while she usually enjoyed chaos, now was not the time. She needed that blade; to a Mirran knowing his stuff, that piece of history was invaluable. She’d be rich before she knew it! How, exactly, the blade had gotten all the way from Mirrodin to Ravnica was beyond her, but she guessed it had been carried there by a Planeswalker of old. Didn’t really matter. She was never all that interested in history anyway.

    The man finally calmed down and looked down at the Faerie, flashing a grin that lacked quite a few teeth.

    “You think I’m stupid, don’tchye?”

    Quite.

    “We ain’t got a deal. I ain’t droppin’ half the price jus’ like that, ya know. I’ve gotta get money to pay ‘em healers. My bro’s hurt and those whiterobes ‘round here be expensive,” the man explained simply, his expression making it clear he was to be adamant about this. But that was alright. Thayshia already had an alternative way to deal with this. A delicious alternative way.

    “Healers, huh?” Thayshia began in a whisper, tapping her cheek with one slim finger. “Well, you’re in luck, buddy! Tell me, how much do you pay for those goody-two-shoes for doing a job they, for all intents and purposes, should be doing for free?”

    The man seemed taken aback by the suddenness of the question, but he answered nonetheless, albeit with a raised brow and a hint of doubt in his voice: “’Round 800, why?”

    Thayshia let show her immense satisfaction in the form of an impish grin.

    “800, you say? You really are in luck,” she repeated, reveling in the man’s constantly intensifying confusion as she flew up again, balancing herself in the air in front of the man’s face. She twirled the staff she carried with her in front of his nose, as if to beckon him to take a good look and try to guess what she used it for. As it seemed the man just didn’t get it though, Thayshia rolled her eyes and figured she’d better spell it out for him before his eyes widened enough to plop right out of his greasy face.

    “Y’see, it just so happens this here lady’s a remarkable shaman,” she boasted, tapping the staff to her chest and keeping her intent gaze at the man at all times. She wanted to savor each and every emotion that passed on the man’s face when she continued: “And she could offer your brother treatment far cheaper and better in quality than those preachers ever could. And all she asks in return…”

    She twirled her staff again, pointing it downwards towards the blade in one, big, attention-grabbing motion.

    “… Is a piece of scrap metal.” She delivered the last line with confidence, silently applauding herself for a sales speech well done. The man’s reaction, however, was not quite what she had anticipated; the look of doubt had never left, and he was scratching his chin now, eying her with an estimating gaze.

    “Shaman? Ye?” He asked, though it was more an accusation of a lie than a real question, and Thayshia found herself slowly starting to boil from the embarrassment she was feeling right now. Her anger wasn’t at all helped when the man let out a snort and continued: “Why, that’s just ridiculous. Ye’re so small I could crush ye with my feet, shoes or no, and ye think ya can heal better than ‘em priests?” He laughed now, not as loudly as before, but certainly more condescendingly. And for a while, Thayshia was taken aback. She had predicted this to go down quite differently.

    After the initial shock wore off however, she wanted nothing but stick the pointy end of her staff in the man’s eye and smother him in crimson flames. Oh, his screams would be just music to her ears. Nobody called her small. She was… she was just… vertically challenged. Her body started emitting a red glow now, her anger taking the form of fire magic, but before she could even mold the feeling into a proper attack the light of her fire happened to catch the Mirran blade’s surface and reflect it back in her eyes, effectively reminding her of her goal. Instantly the fire started to die down.

    No, killing him now isn’t worth it. Hold your hand, hold your tongue and make sure he accepts your healing offer. THEN walk away with BOTH revenge AND the blade.

    Thayshia closed her eyes and willed the flames to vanish completely. Drawing in a deep breath she opened her eyes for another try.

    “How ‘bout I heal him first, then? And if it doesn’t help, you get to keep that replica, too.”

    The man looked at her with renewed curiosity, though the doubt still remained.

    “If ye’re just waisting me time, imma make ye into me lunch t’night.”

    “Deal.”

    Idiot.

    ~

    It had taken some convincing to have the man bring the Mirran blade with him to where his brother lay sick in bed, but there was no way in hell Thayshia would’ve let him leave the blade in the middle of a busy marketplace. What if someone else had bought it and used it for cutting vegetables or something as ridiculous? A legendary weapon, reduced to slicing onion... The mere thought gave her shivers.

    Well, didn’t matter now.

    Thayshia folded her arms and made sure her posture was impeccable as she chuckled, the previously hurt brother now hopping around the room like a gazelle. Thayshia wasn’t sure what had hit him, but she didn’t really care. She wasn’t interested in learning about different kinds of wounds or the general workings of the human body beyond what she needed to know in order to do her job. Healing was a tool to reach power and riches, nothing more. She didn’t get any satisfaction in seeing her patient happy; what she preferred to see was the gold they offered in exchange for that happiness.

    “Well?” She asked, though she knew the answer far before the man handed the blade to her, grumbling in defeat for having misjudged her.

    Misjudged indeed.

    As Thayshia bowed and made her leave (as difficult as it was, the dagger weighing far more than she did), she grinned inwardly. Usually the outskirts of Jund were her gold mine; lots of stupid people attempting to conquer the wilderness there, lots of brave knights to fight dragons and other stupid crap. Finding a hurt individual there was easy as finding an angel in Bant. But today, well, today, Ravnica had proven to be even better. Not only did she get the blade she wanted, she got recognition and, most important of all, she got to give the guy a lesson for acting so impudent towards her; his brother was cured of his physical injuries alright, but while she had been at it, she had given him a slight poisoning. It wouldn’t really kill him, but it was bound to make him sick for weeks.

    “That ******* shouldn’t have called me small,” Thayshia spat, advancing but a few inches a minute due to the weight of the weapon. She was just considering Planeswalking and having her little servant carry it for her once she reached Jund, but before she could even finish that thought, she felt something weird.

    A calling, as if she had to be elsewhere right now. She blinked. Huh. Well, she was in a hurry to get to sell the artifact in the markets or Mirrodin, but to feel such a strong pull to do it- except no. No, the feeling didn’t beckon her to go to Mirrodin; this place was elsewhere, far away. Dominaria. That was the name of the place.

    But she couldn’t go there yet, not with the blade. Growling and forcing herself to restrict the pull a little while longer, she planewalked to Jund instead. Wasting not another second she made herself appear directly over the bed of her little servant, her slave, if you willed. She fell on top of him and the shy Elven boy let out a scared squeak, scrambling to sit and stare at his attacker. Icharus, the childhood friend she had taken for dead when she returned from her little trip all those years ago. Turned out he had just switched hiding places when he got sacred all alone. Typical. Well, it was good he was alive, few were ready to serve her quite like he was.

    Thay?” The boy whispered softly, indescribably happy she wasn't a beast trying to devour him in his sleep. “It’s been weeks! How’re-“

    “Gonna be another few weeks, buddy. Hold onto this for me.” Thayshia commented courtly, handing the precious blade to her friend. She gave a final pat of farewell to the blade and shot a final glare at her friend. “You get a single scratch on this thing and I swear you’ll find my staff in inappropriate places!” She threatened, not giving the boy the chance to do anything but pale when she had already disappeared again.


    ~~


    Rckaird Ironclad
    Zendikar


    Rckaird was on a hunt.

    With each heavy step he took after his prey, the layers and layers of heavy golden armor protecting him produced a heavy clanking sound, echoing off the walls and reverberating through the silent buildings and alleys he passed in his chase. His form was straight and serious, and not once did he avert his eyes from the road ahead. Only one goal occupied his mind and he would reach it with cold determination like he always did, anything getting in his way be damned.

    Beside him, walking crouched with its wings folded neatly against the messy fur of its back was a winged lion, a mighty beast worthy of awe. As a complete contrast to its master, its paws left no sound as they pressed against the rocky ground. Its walk was not completely silent either however, as low, barely audible growl emitted from its throat as it walked, the sound only barely reaching the ears of the fleeing prey.

    Yes, this was a hunt, yet Rckaird didn’t run. Gshir’s acute sense of smell and its far-sighted eyes would not let their target escape, come their way what may. Whether they ran or they walked, they would catch the prey eventually, and Rckaird found it best to take his time. He wanted to instill fear into the minds of those fleeing fools. He wanted each inch of their body know the terror of death, clad in gold armor and glory chasing them down. He wanted the last minutes of their lives to be spent cursing the day they took the wrong turn and brought this upon themselves. He wanted them to regret and repent even before he raised his sword and slayed them where they stood. Yes, what he was hunting for was no beast but a duo of men; both criminals guilty of mugging and thievery.

    The lion let out a roar, its tail whipping at the walls in impatience, and Rckaird agreed. This had gone on for long enough. It was time.

    Gshir did not need words to know what it had to do; it was but a fragment of Rckaird’s mind, after all. So the moment the Archon’s steps came to a halt, so did the lion’s. It crouched down, spreading its wings out of the way and allowing the man on its back. Despite the hundreds and hundreds of pounds now weighing it down, it stood up straight with no effort. Beating its wings it took flight, eyes fixed on the direction to go.

    ~

    When the screams filling the early afternoon skies had finally died down, Rckaird sheathed his sword. Gshir sat down, its role now accomplished; it had blocked the way and prevented the vile men’s escape with ease. They had been nothing but thieves, trained to fight the occasional guard that caught them and the poor, weaponless civilians they robbed. Neither of them knew how to combat a massive feline with paws big enough to crush their heads with a single blow. They had known as much themselves, cowering the moment the two had reached them. Rckaird had truly succeeded in instilling fear; it was clear from their horrified gaze to the way one of the two’s speech stammered when he attempted to beg for his life and reason that he had not been the one to commit the crime; it had been the other, he was merely an accomplice.

    Needless to say, such excuses had not flown well with the Archon. It mattered not which of them had executed the crime; the other had still been there as well. Been there, possessing the power and opportunity to stop the vile act and yet chosen to aid the sinner instead. And wasn’t staying your hand when you see your brother do evil just as twisted as doing the deed yourself?

    He had not answered the young man, giving neither a yes nor nay as an answer. This had prompted the boy to stare fearfully into the darkness of Rckaird’s hood, eyes desperately searching for something to use as an aide in determining the Archon’s reaction. But, like many before him, he had turned his gaze away before he could find anything to hold on to. Indeed, he had not been the first to do so; many were intimidated by the darkness under his hood, yet few actually dared to look deeper and search for his face in the end. Because what if they did find what they were looking for; what if he did have a face, and what if the look in his eyes was even colder than the darkness concealing it? It was better not to know. That must’ve been the last thought ever for the young criminal.

    Rckaird readied himself to leave, casting one final glance at the place the two boys barely older than twenty had trembled in only minutes ago. There was nothing left of them now, save for their so called clothes; rags, dirty and torn, unmistakable evidence they lived in the slums of the city. Perhaps it was the harshness of life that had driven them to the wrong path? It did not matter, though. There was no excuse for crime. And yet, the Archon found himself thinking it a pity; he had helped many poor people in the past, and if the boys had had the patience to wait a day or two more, he would have arrived and brought with him food and clothing the way he had done few months prior.

    Had they just waited and kept themselves pure, they would not have had to meet an end like this.

    End that left not even ash behind to prove they had existed. It had been his light that had scorched them; forced its way inside their very beings and started to burn away anything that was bad. It had started from the major things and regressed backwards, from major crimes to lies, to smaller jests and tricks. The burning would stop only when everything was pure again. But what Rckaird didn’t see was that there was no creature who had never told a lie nor thought a bad thought ever in their lifetime. There was nobody who qualified for the purity that he sought; possibly not even he, himself.

    But far be it from him to ever even begin to realize this.

    Rckaird didn’t need to signal his will to leave the place to his lion mount, as the feline already padded softly to his side and offered its back. The Archon climbed on and the two took flight again, leaving the gruesome scene and not wasting another thought to the two young lost lives ever again.

    ~

    Some minutes later Rckaird found himself walking the streets of one of Zendikar’s busiest towns. He had already returned the stolen goods to the poor girl that had been beaten up for them, and was now patrolling another city in case he was needed. Looking around, he had to say he was pleased; Zendikar had already started to see change due to his actions. Yet the plane was vast and nature’s chaotic wrath was not something he could tame with laws, so there was still much to do.

    As he walked he contemplated on returning to Bant again, or perhaps paying a visit to the Boros clan of Ravinca; he hadn’t seen the clan leader in decades. He was held in high respect there, and surely she would rejoice to see him. Well, rejoice in her own, reserved way. He appreciated that, finding displays of affection – even between colleagues such as them – meaningless and embarrassing to both parties involved. Surely the guild members, too, would find joy in seeing the Judge that spreads word of law and order in their name again. Yes, perhaps it was time to visit Razia.

    Yet when Rckaird climbed on his lion and prepared to planewalk to his determined destination, he felt a sudden pull, an urge to go somewhere else instead. There was a silent echo of a word somewhere in the back of his mind, but he held himself from pronouncing it out loud. His plans called for immediate reconsideration, but before he could decide whether to follow the pull or visit Ravinca, he already found himself disappearing from the busy streets and heading towards that inviting place, its name not leaving his mind until he uttered the word out loud.

    “Dominaria.”
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  6. #6
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    I've made a Discussion Thread for us to use. I'll probably link to some images of surrakar in case I didn't do a good enough job of describing them for you all.

    ==========

    Dominaria
    Madra, the Talon Gates


    Jareth arrived at the site, where his Planeswalker powers had lured him. He was immediately drawn to the sight of two colossal spires jutting out from the ocean. They were enormous, symmetrically curved and sharp; as if someone had carved and placed them there intentionally and with perfect craftsmanship. But to create something so massive...Jareth couldn't imagine the being capable of such a feat.

    "It looks almost like bone," he said to himself. He'd seen enormous bones from the Nayan behemoths, but never anything so massive.

    He stood out on the beach, waiting, feeling the pull crawl up through him. It was fainter now that he'd arrived, but it was still there, still calling to him, still keeping him fixed in that place, gazing upon the huge spires, feeling as if there was something there that was important, but he wasn't seeing.

    It was then that a gout of flame erupted in the shallows just off the shore. It sent a wash of seawater and wet sand flying up into the air. At the center of the blast was a young woman, who took a few stumbling steps towards the shore before dropping to her hands and knees.

    "Made it," Claire muttered, spitting seawater. She wiped her face and climbed to her feet. "But where? Where the hell am I?"

    "Dominaria, if I assume correctly," said Jareth. He offered the young woman his hand, but she refused and stepped past him. "I take it you're a Planeswalker as well, then. I am Jareth Wildsoul, native to Alara."

    "Claire Mizzet," she offered, glancing about with little interest in the giant lion-man. "Of..." she trailed off, struggling for a moment with the words. "It doesn't matter where I'm from. Many places."

    "A Planeswalker without a home," Jareth rumbled. He shook his head and his mane whipped in the ocean winds. "Nowhere to return to. That is-"

    "I have many homes," Claire snapped, wheeling around with fire in her eyes. "Don't think you know me, jungle-cat. I have homes on many planes. But I belong nowhere; I belong to nothing but my own will. I'm free."

    "I wouldn't presume otherwise," Jareth said. This was a strange woman indeed. Even without the fiery display of power upon her arrival, he'd know her as a red mage just by her attitude. He hefted the Behemoth Sledge and readjusted it over his shoulder. "But it is always nice to know where you come from."

    But before Claire could even respond to him, they both became aware of a distinct pressure, of others Planeswalking into the area. The first to appear was a human with short-cut white hair wearing steel armor. Jareth recognized the look, and the metal plates that seemed to (and actually were) grow naturally from his flesh. He was an Auriok, a human from the Razor Fields of Mirrodin. Jareth knew the place well Next to appear was a woman with ice-blue eyes and pale blonde hair. Those eyes were cold and harsh, her face set in grim lines. She was rather petite, and if it were not for her scent and the harsh edges of her eyes, Jareth might have mistaken her for a young human male.

    Then came a tall, lanky fellow, and Jareth couldn't quite place him. With the striking silver-blue eyes and pointed ears, Jareth would have thought him an elf, but his features seemed too rough and imperfect to be an elf.

    "A half-breed?" Jareth wondered. He'd never actually met a half-elf before. On all his travels, mixed-breeds were still something very rare.

    He didn't have much more time to dwell on the discovery, as several more 'walkers appeared. First to appear was a rabbit woman. A Soratami moonfolk, Jareth recognized, from Kamigawa. This one was different from most he'd met on the plane; more of the animal features of the moonfolk were apparent, and her fur was red-streaked, an unusual occurrence, though Jareth didn't presume himself an expert on Kamigawa's people. Following her was a young man in white robes, with striking white hair. He seemed boyish and soft, were it not for his piercing eyes. Jareth sensed something strange in the young man's spirit. Something not quite...natural, but still full of profound weight.

    Next came a tiny faerie, so small that Jareth almost missed her. He'd seen few faeries, probably due to their small size, and even fewer from Alara. But her scent was unmistakable. She smelled of fire and brimstone. She was from Jund, there was no doubt about it. For such a small creature to survive that fiery waste...she was definitely more than a pair of dainty red wings.

    Then came the giant in golden armor, face hidden by the metal hood. In fact, nothing of the man's features were discernible. He was covered head-to-toe in the armor. Jareth couldn't even be sure it was a man; his scent was...strange. Whatever this thing was, it was not human; not fully, at least. All Jareth knew was that he was very large--though he was still a good foot shorter than Jareth himself--and he had with him a winged lion companion. Jareth immediately thought back to the leotau mounts used in Bant, but this beast was different, it held more sentience in its eyes, and seemed to share a soul with the golden-armored 'walker.

    "What a fun little collection of 'walkers we have here," said a voice from above.

    Jareth glanced upwards as a tall man with large white wings descended from the sky. He hadn't even felt his arrival. Or maybe he had, but had lost track of him in all the different planeswalking disturbances. Either way, the dark-haired angel had managed to seamlessly enter Jareth's awareness and evade even his highly-acute senses.

    There was something in his eyes that Jareth didn't quite trust, something powerful and menacing; it was a impression he was not accustomed to feeling around angels. He felt deeper and sensed at the angel's spirit, and what he felt was pure...

    Grey.

    Very strange. Very strange indeed. Jareth hadn't ever met a grey before. There was always some sort of color, or darkness, or light in a soul. But this angel was only deep mist and fog and smoke. Like his soul was...hidden. Jareth caught the angel staring at him, dark eyes piercing into him. Was the angel reading him as well?

    Something dark flashed in the angel's eyes, and the faintest hint of a smirk tweaked the corners of his mouth. Yes. This was definitely one to keep an eye on.

    "I take it we've all been drawn here by the same thing, then?" the angel wondered, all toothy grins and haughty confidence. "But did any of you take a moment to wonder what it was that called us here? Or did you just walk blindly?"

    "Like you?" Claire challenged. The angel fixed her with a powerful stare, but she returned it. Defiant.

    The angel smirked. "Lance of Avacyn's Goldnight," he said, giving a slight bow of his head, mockingly. He glanced around. "And what an eclectic group you are. 'Walkers of all shapes," he looked down at the faerie, and then back at Jareth, "and sizes. This should be very interesting."

    Claire rolled her eyes and began walking away from the group muttering, "Waste of my time." Apparently, she wasn't too keen on the idea of teaming up with anyone.

    "I wouldn't do that," Jareth said, reaching out to her. He placed a hand on her shoulder, but she shrugged it away.

    "And why not?" she demanded.

    "Because we're surrounded," Lance said casually, though his body language betrayed him. He was standing at attention, ready for a fight.

    They rose up from the ocean and swamp around the beach-head. Large, grey-scaled, with incredibly long arms and shoulders twice as wide as Jareth's own. They were hugely muscled, with webbed fingers ending in sharp claws. Their large, wide jaws were filled with jagged, triangular teeth and several sets of large, downward-pointed tusks. Jareth knew these creatures; he'd seen them before.

    "Surrakar," Claire muttered, her hands igniting with flame. "I thought they were only native to Zendikar's swamps."

    "As did I," said Jareth, hefting the Behemoth Sledge in his right hand.

    "Why don't you tell them that," Lance said with a smirk. He drew a dagger from its sheath on his leg. Jareth noted the etched silver lines along the blade. He twirled the blade between his fingers.

    Jareth couldn't quite comprehend how he hoped to put down a surrakar with such a small blade. The things were massive. He trusted his own strength and his hammer, but a knife? Even if the blade were poisoned, it would barely pierce the reptiles' skin; no way was there enough to enter the bloodstream and kill. He had a perfectly-usable longsword.

    "Fool," Jareth muttered. He'd let nature take its course. If the man was too cocky or foolish to use his greater weapon, then he would either die, or prove capable.

    Beside him, Claire engaged her battlegear and two long blades emerged from the wrists, leaving her hands free to engulf themselves in flame. She seemed much more capable, or at least less cocky. Strange, he'd expected it to be reversed. Usually the angel's were patient and fire mages were-

    "Die!" Claire called out, flinging a hand of flames towards one of the surrakar. It managed to dive underwater and avoid the strike, though its exposed back still smoked.

    Claire's attack sent the large creatures into a frenzy and they charged en mass, swarming onto the beach head and tearing towards the gathered Planeswalkers.

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  7. #7
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    The darkness whipped away, and Rimuel emerged onto a beach vista. As he appeared, he took in his surroundings, the beach, the ocean, and the two great fang-like protrusions of rock jutting up from the waves. He noted two figures standing nearby, a leonin and a young woman, and considered moving to approach them. Were they too Planeswalkers, drawn here by the same call he had felt? But before he could move, he felt it in the air, the disturbance of Planeswalking. He had only encountered one or two fellow Planeswalkers on his travels, but he knew the feeling of disruption when they appeared.

    The shadows to his left twisted, and something appeared in them. The darkness was shattered into shadows once more, and a young... person emerged, petite, with shoulder-length pale blonde hair and icy blue eyes. The armor they wore brought to mind the knights of Bant, it was of a similar if not identical make. But while the knights of Bant dressed in bright blues, whites and browns under their armor, this figure was clad in a deep, midnight black. A sword and a shorter weapon, a knife or dagger perhaps, were sheathed at their belt, a shield slung across their back.

    The knight regarded him. "A Planeswalker?" Her voice instantly dispatched his confusion, the voice was cold and grim, but notably female.

    "Yes," he replied. "Rimuel Dawnwatcher."

    "Morgana," she replied offhandedly, glancing about the beach. Her eyes fell on the other two present, and her hand fell to the hilt of her sword. "Who are they?"

    "No idea," Rimuel replied, about to elaborate, before the two of them stiffened. The air was once again disturbed by the appearance of Planeswalkers. A lanky figure appeared first, giving the pair some pause. His features were too rough for an elf but too fine for a human. Some sort of hybrid?

    More figures appeared from the Blind Eternities, manifesting onto the beach. A strange rabbit-woman, who Rimuel recognised as a Soratami from Kamigawa. A boyish young man with a strangely profound look in his eyes. A faerie of some kind. A juggernaut in golden armor which Morgana scowled at briefly, recognising the archon. And finally the strange angel.

    "More drawn here by the call?" Rimuel wondered aloud.

    "Perhaps," Morgana replied. She was scanning the crowd, determining their potential abilities. The other young woman present seemed to be some sort of flame mage, judging by her apparent temperament. The leonin seemed straightforward too. The others were a puzzling mess of different appearances and temperaments, from what little she could determine. She began to move closer, deciding to make conversation. They were all Planeswalkers, and if they had been drawn here, then perhaps one of them knew why. The young woman in the small group nearby said something and began to move, only for the leonin and angel to respond. The knight stiffened. The angel's body language had changed.

    "Draw your sword," she snapped at Rimuel. "Be ready for a fight." She drew her own weapon, light gleaming from the blade's viciously curved edges. She would draw shield or her second blade depending on the threat the angel had detected.

    The surrakar rose out of the water, and Rimuel cursed, drawing his swords. He had encountered these brutes once or twice on Zendikar.

    "They're not native here," Morgana growled. "These things are only meant to be in Zendikar." Regardless, the surrakar moved, provoked by the young woman's attack. The knight raised a hand, determining the place's mana. She couldn't feel much of the light of order, or the emerald shade of nature and growth here. But the shadows coiled, and the chill blue of knowledge flowed into her. As a surrakar roared forward, drawing back a mighty arm to strike, Morgana called forth the shadows. She vanished into whirling darkness and the surrakar struck empty air. Then it howled as the Blade of the Bloodchief ripped across its back, Morgana banishing the cloak of shadows she had wrapped around herself.

    Rimuel reached into the flow of mana, and called up burning red. Flames exploded forth, consuming one of the charging surrakar, which snarled in agony as the fire blazed across its form. The Mirran rushed forwards, slashing with one sword. The blade ripped across the brute's arm, and its other hand swung round, slamming into his chest and knocking him flying back. He landed nimbly on his feet, skidding slightly in the sand.

    Morgana leapt around a blow of the surrakar's arm, and made a slash with her blade. It ripped a gash across the surrakar's chest, but the wound seemed fairly superficial. She had fought surrakar once in the past, and on that occasion, she had had greater access to her more offensive magic. This time she would have to depend more on brute strength to penetrate the creature's thick flesh. But still, this brutish thing would not find victory here.

    Rimuel leapt back from a sweeping blow of the surrakar's arm, and cast a bolt of flames from his hands. It broke on the surrakar's shoulder and the beast snarled. The Mirran raced forward and struck with a thrust of one sword towards the brute's chest. An arm intersected, and his thrust impaled the forearm, the surrakar snarling as Rimuel forced the blade through its thick flesh. Muttering a curse, the Auriok kicked at the creature, trying to pull out his sword with the reverse momentum. An arm swung from nowhere and hurled him flying. He landed on his back with a groan of pain, one sword still in his hand, the other buried in the surrakar's arm. He stood as the creature stalked forward. "This is going to be tough," he muttered, readying the remaining sword.
    [CENTER]

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    Thamien took notice of the Talon Gates as he approached the trading post. Standing along it were several individuals he knew obviously weren't locals. They were clearly Planeswalkers, the Naya Leonin, Elemental and Angel standing by the gates were the telltale sign. There was also a woman, her armor and sigils told him she was from Bant. Ah, Bant. Thamien had fond memories of delivering sigils between kingdoms, some legitimately earned, some not. He had not gone back since the Conflux, and he mulled to himself whether or not there would be a Bant when he returned.

    There was even a woman belonging to the Moonfolk race from Kamigawa. Thamien liked to deal with the Soratami people, they were always straight to the point in both the job and the pay. Not like the Kitsune, who would ask if he had injured anyone along the way or the Nezumi who were prone to double-crossing him the moment his back was turned. Standing nearby was a massive goliath and a tiny faerie. At first Thamien confused the fae for one from Lorwyn, but her savage appearance lead him to assume Jund on Alara was her home.

    Thamien sensed several foul auras coming from the water as several Surrakar charged onto shore at the other Planeswalkers. The voice in the back of Thamien's head told him to keep his nose out of it, but he knew he'd just be dragged into it anyway. Reaching for Deathrender at his waist, he charged into combat. He cast a glowing aura around himself, which drew in three of the creatures. As they drew in to attack, Thamien raised his left hand at one of them. Out of the sleeve of his coat emerged a thick, pale green sludge that reeked of death. The surrakar recoiled, the sludge traveling up its body and into its mouth and nostrils. It thrashed and writhed, eventually falling to the ground dead. As the other two checked on their fallen comrade, Thamien jumped up onto its back. The ooze escaped from its mouth and nose and its still open eyes rolled back into its head. It rose to its feet and began to attack the other two surrakar as Thamien fired two more shots of the foul smelling ooze at their faces. His necromancy had done its job, he now had three undead amphibious creatures at his disposal.

    "Fate smiles on you," Thamien called out to the crowd of strange Planeswalkers. "Your path has crossed my own."
    Last edited by Gentleman Skeleton; 27th March 2012 at 7:58 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Talon Gates
    Madra
    Dominaria


    That pleasant sensation of catapulting oneself through space ended all too quickly. Flames roared for but a second, only to reveal an elegant rabbit-woman standing where the flames exploded, in the middle of a burnt circle of ash and darkened sand. She took but a few steps forward, looking at each one of the characters already present, and quickly dismissed them as something inferior. Particularly so in the case of that lionin, who just reaked of the smell of the jungle. So uncivil.

    “Gustaff? Gustaff?” she called out in vain. It took her a moment to register that her handy ghost was no longer with her. It was at this moment that she finally took in the environment, at one point fixating the Talon Gates almost like she was trying to see right through them.

    A wave hit her feet, and she felt the strong presence of blue mana. There was something else, too: her beloved red mana of power and impulse was in abundance, too, which was just lovely. The presence of black mana didn’t bother her the least.

    While she was off contemplating the odd geography, Gibrael arose from light. Unlike Yuu, however, he was considerate enough to signal greetings to anyone who had the decency of looking him back. He examined the rather diverse group already present not with disdain or as a judgment, but merely out of the flavor of the occasion. He was smart enough to glue the pieces together, and the powerful “auras” of respect and experience practically oozing out of these people’s pores just screamed at them having the same capacity he had.

    “Greetings.”
    He was noble enough to wait for the remaining presences causing the shifts and odd pressures caused by planeswalking to appear on this plane before he tried to address the group as a whole. He was somewhat surprised when it seemed a lot of the group was already engaged in debate.

    But then, he felt it. Darkness manifesting. From the swamps and the ocean emerged gross, oversized creatures he’d never seen before. Their sheer size rivaled the most deformed of Krosa’s beasts, and their stench- goodness gracious, if that slime dirtied his robes he’d never get the smell off.

    “So this is the part where we finally have our fun?”
    Those were the quiet Soratami’s first words. She had her back turned to the group, and faced the creatures presently emerging from the ocean, he palm casually resting on the hilt of the beautiful silver sword kept crossed over the back of her hip.

    “Those words reek of powerlust.”

    The Soratami slowly twisted her body until she could look directly at the cleric’s eyes.

    “Be grateful you are to see my powerlust not consume you.”

    Gibrael was taken back. A threat? Over that simple comment?
    This woman was not someone to take lightly.

    “I feel like cutting you,” Yuu said, pointing at one of the Surrakar coming at her from the water.
    “And you…” Her hand moved gracefully in the air, her fingers not pointing, but loose on the wind. Her whole posture was relaxed, calm and almost uncaring. She looked at the creature with pity, contemplating its last moments in an existence not defined entirely by the word “pain.”
    “Die.”
    The uttering of that word was decisive and cruel. Instantaneously, one of the Surrakar was set on fire. The creature bellowed in pain with such intensity people in the mountains would take notice. But its torture was yet to end. From amidst the flames, seemingly trying to escape the body, was an orange-red energetic matter, like lines of red mana. It was nothing but the spirit of the creature being forcefully ripped out of its body and turned into unliving fire taken form.

    The other Surrakar had in the mean time drawn dangerously close.
    Yuu could but smirk; the creature had foolishly thought it was seconds away from having Yuu as its next meal. It thought of her as prey. How delightfully wrong it was. Just as the creature raised one of its enormous arms to attempt to crush her, Yuu flew upward, unsheathing her gleaming sword in one lightning strike motion and cleaving her attacker’s midriff into two.

    She stood above it, taking in the creature’s pain as a testament to her power. Her arms were wrapped around herself in a make-shift self-hug, and she smiled from ear to ear.

    Gibrael just stared, wondering what in the world was wrong with that woman’s mind. A Surrakar from the swamp had sneaked up on him and prepared for a back-attack, already tasting victory. Once close enough, the creature dropped those attempts and charged forward, crashing into a giant, glowing shield that materialized from thin air.

    “Creatures such as you know no better, and they can learn no better.”
    Chains made from the same astral material as the floating shield burst from the ground and wrapped around the creatures limbs, waist and throat. They tightened and secured the creature to the ground as their caster took slow, arrogant steps closer to the surrakar.

    “Death is the only thing I can do. I am so sorry. Forgive me…”

    And the surrakar was overwhelmed with Light. It’s very being engulfed in a shower of pure domination. When the light no longer shone, the Surrakar had disappeared; ashes were the only thing it its place, still hot and smoking.

    “May you find redemption in the next life…”

  10. #10
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    As Thayshia’s little trip came to an end and she emerged onto the beaches of Madra, she let out a small gasp. As used to planewalking as she was, the kick from tearing through space and time itself never failed to throw her off balance when she landed, always sending her face first into whatever world she was intruding at the time. This time, it was sand that greeted her petite features when the fire around her body died down and her form became apparent.

    Se coughed and struggled to stand even faster than usual when she realized she was far from the only one present; quite a few creatures of different sorts stood nearby, all most likely drawn there by the same strange call she had heard. Well, didn’t matter. Just as long as they didn’t get any funny ideas of getting in her way.

    Thayshia was standing now, dusting herself off and heaving a sigh of relief when she realized nobody had most likely bore witness to her little display of clumsiness. Some of the people seemed to be looking the group over and she was not spared from a bunch of evaluating glances either. She snarled and made sure she shot a prideful, condescending look at each pair of eyes that laid their gaze upon her. At the same time, she took the chance to look the group over herself, though only promptly; she didn't really care enough to remember faces or anything useless like that. She just wanted to see if any of them could prove interesting.

    There were some very tall – huge if you will – people present, but Thayshia was used to that, unfortunately. Wasn't exactly fun being used to being the smallest member of any group she found herself in. On the bright side however, no creature could impress her with size alone after the dragons of Jund. Not even the huge Leonin that seemed like it could crush her under its foot on accident – if it weren’t for her fire powers, of course. She’d grill the cat if it ever tried anything funny like that. Really, the only ones Thayshia really bothered to stop and take a slightly better look at were the other three females of the group, if only to compare herself with them and ascertain she was the prettiest and most powerful of the bunch.

    The first female was strikingly tall, much to Thayshia’s dismay. And it wasn’t just her height that was striking either; she was a sharp featured beauty with flowing hair that made the small fairy instantly start to self-consciously comb at her own. Ugh. Just ugh, she was already hating the woman with her overly womanly figure and… developed chestial area.

    She instinctively clasped her hands over her chest and snarled, deciding to move on lest she hurt someone.

    The second one… was basically a rabbit on two legs. A Soratami, no doubt, but unlike any other she had seen before; no other Soratami she had encountered had been more a rodent than a woman. And while she seemed to be a proud creature and carried herself well, and while her fur was a beautiful color worthy of praise she… was still a rabbit. Thayshia did not find her self-esteem over her looks threatened by a rabbit, so she moved on quite happily.

    The last one was someone Thayshia had mistaken for a guy at first glance; she was a petite woman clad in dark armor. While she was unmistakably pretty, there was a rather grotesque scar running across her cheek, giving her a battle-hardened appearance. Thayshia found herself grinning. Good, this one she could tolerate, as far as looks went. She did seem powerful, though, and that was something she didn't like. Well, whatever. She bet she could kick her as if it ever came down to it.

    Nodding confidently to herself and turning to look at the assorted group as a whole again, she groaned. Everyone was just… standing around, chatting with whoever happened to be the closest, and Thayshia found that absurd and boring. There was a reason they were called there, and it certainly wasn’t to idle around and talk.

    She flapped her wings and rose from the ground, about to open her mouth when several things happened in succession.

    Firstly, one last Planeswalker emerged onto the sands, almost crushing the small Fairy under its heavy weight. Thayshia gasped and was sent flying backwards by the sheer force the man came through the rift in dimensions with, and as she attempted to look at him, light almost blinded her. She could barely make out anything but a looming figure wrapped in armor.

    “Holy hell, would you look where you're going, Goliath?! People in the way here!" She fumed as she got up shakily from the sand she was thrown down on. The fairy dusted herself off again and snapped a glare up at the man, squinting her eyes to keep herself from going blind from the man's glow. She stuck her hands to her hips defiantly and opened her mouth again, but before a single sound could come out another Planeswalker succeeded in riling her up even further.

    “Walkers of all shapes," the strange angel of the group piped up, and looked down at her briefly before he turned to address the huge Leonin again. "and sizes. This should be very interesting." He continued, and Thayshia stood still, mouth agape in disbelief. How... dared he so offhandedly insult her and think he could get away with it? He was a freaking angel, too, what the hell. She would not let a goody-two-shoes-pigeon like him spew insulting remarks like that as he wanted. No. Way.

    “What the-,” she began, fuming so much she wasn’t even sure which words to use to sufficiently express her anger. “What the hell's your-"

    Once again she didn’t get to finish letting her anger out when something happened yet again. This time however, it wasn't the fault of any one Planweslaker; the atmosphere itself changed. Many of the gathered 'walkers stiffened, and it didn’t take long for her to take note of the huge blue creatures that emerged from the nearby sea. Thayshia cocked an eyebrow at their slow advance, flying upwards to see them better past the feet of the others. And the moment she realized exactly what they were she gasped in surprise; Surrakar! But weren’t they native to only Zendikar? How curious to see them here. Curious and… simply wonderful! Thayshia had never met one in her life, but had heard tales that following them lead one to treasure – that is, if death didn’t take the brave pursuer first.

    But death was never a threat Thayshia let stand in the way of riches.

    Instantly she took a better hold of her weapon, deciding to go and stalk a couple of the creatures while everyone else was dilly dallying, only to have the woman she already felt disdain towards attack the bunch all of a sudden, effectively sending them int a fit of rage.

    “Idiot, why would you do that?!” Thayshia breathed as the swamp-men went on a rampage – understandably enough, they were just attacked. Who went around infuriating monsters like that?! Well, guess it couldn’t be helped now; she’d kill a few and see if they carried any treasure with them, after which she’d follow any possible survivors in hopes of even more valuables. But first and foremost…

    One of the blue creatures was charging straight towards her, and Thayshia allowed a smirk to occupy her face. She was small compared to the muscled Surrakar, sure, but size should never be used to determine one’s battle prowess. All the events up until now had contributed to fueling her anger, and fury, she had learned, was the best weapon she could wield.

    The Surrakar raised its massive hand and swung down, prompting Thayshia to sweep out of the way as fast as she humanly could. She knew she couldn’t take a hit like that and live to tell the tale. She didn't have physical strength, she was painfully aware of that. But she had something else... She just needed to make sure she wasn’t hit even a single time. Luckily those things weren’t the fastest creatures in the world, it seemed.

    She let out a small, confident laugh, whirling her staff and smirking as flames started to form around her. She closed her eyes and drew her power not only from the rich red mana she could feel flowing within the lands, but also from the raw emotions within her. All those people pissing her off earlier... she’d scorch this creature and show them who they were messing with! She needed only concentrate on those moments she was riled up – and that was anything but a difficult task, considering the young woman's personality.

    The flames spiraling 'round her staff intensified and spread, forming a formidable wheel of fire that crashed down on the Surrakar’s back, wrapping around its body and burning away at its flesh. Thayshia grinned at the sight. She loved witnessing the power of her flames, even if it wasn't something she had much control over. Her emotions controlled her attacks more than her mind did, but most of the time, that was enough. She preferred sheer power over boring tactics anyway.

    “Hah,” she exclaimed soon enough, already feeling victorious. “Too easy!”

    Too easy indeed, as no sooner had Thayshia finished her little display of joy when the Surrakar swung its arm towards her, the fairy’s voice guiding its hand at surprising speeds for a creature that looked so sluggish. Thayshia instantly snapped from her glee and struggled to dodge, managing to avoid the clawed fingers by an inch. But, as was often the case, the force of the strike was enough to send Thayshia plummeting on the ground. And unlike the previous two times that day, this time she hit her back painfully against a small rock. She coughed, air having escaped from her tiny lungs. She didn’t have much time to waste recovering however, as the Surrakar had already turned to her, its huge form casting a shadow over her. Thayshia looked up at it with disgust and frustration – mostly towards herself. She had underestimated the enemy, one of the worst mistakes one could make. One of the... most embarrassing ones.

    “D-damn it, you ugly, overgrown frog, I’ll…” She whimpered angrily and sunk one of her hands in the hot sand underneath her back. The element of fire was fueled by her anger, and earth – sand – by her pain. And as much as she hated to admit it right now, she was in some serious pain. Coughing, she let her feelings flow into the earth below through her hand and so, as the Surrakar took a step closer the ground under it instantaneously caved in. The monster fell into a sandy pit, attempting to grasp at the walls to get up, but in vain; its hands met only sand, not solid enough to support its weight, not rigid enough to allow for a good grip. Thayshia took this opportunity to get up and recover, allowing anger to take over again, even more powerful than before. How dared it swat her away like a fly… that had hurt, damn it! And it’d pay for it, dearly.

    Thayshia stood at the edge of the pit now, gathering up flames and casting them down at the Surrakar again, eyes blazing as she witnessed the monster's struggles. Slowly, she turned the pit into a literal hellhole as flames filled it to the brim, engulfing the poor water creature incapable of getting out. She took a few steps away from the edge so as to make sure she didn’t fall in by accident and scoffed. That's what one got for messing with her! Wasn't even difficult.

    Well, that's what she told herself, but she was still breathing heavily and holding her side. Her attacks had taken a toll on her too; she wasn't really able to control how much of her magic power she dished out. It was all or nothing. But meh, her powers would return. And as for her back... 'tis but a flesh wound, easily cured with her black magic. She just needed a victim for her spell first. Sure she could use the suffering monster down in the pit before it burned to ashes, but she didn’t want to expose that ability to the others just like that. No, she'd need to do it more surreptitiously, offer to heal someone and then stealthily steal the patient's energy for herself.

    Now, was anyone hurt but her? Surely someone needed to be… She looked around the beach, trying to stand as tall and strong as she could from the pain still emanating from her back.

    Meanwhile, standing at the back of the group, Rckaird just observed the various fights taking place in front of him, having already looked through the others ages ago when he arrived.

    If the Archon had had a face, disdain would’ve been all it displayed right now. He was not pleased with what he beheld. How foolish these people were, charging to fight these monsters with glee, striking them down and standing at their corpses with pride. It was absolutely repulsive. What pride was there in a kill without a cause? Were they not just savages, eager to prove their worth and spill blood just because an opportunity was presented to them? There was self-defense and then there was slaughter in the name of foolish, selfish pride. And frankly, he was disappointed in how many blatantly fell into the latter category. It was disgusting that these people held the same power to travel across worlds as he, and yet they seemed to concern themselves with meaningless fights rather than trying to make a change.

    The Soratami woman and the crossbreed of an Elf and a human he found the most repulsive of them all. The former didn’t hide the joy she felt after an unnecessarily torturous kill, while the latter took slaves and succumbed to using the accursed black mana that tainted this world. Black mana which, much to Rckaird’s dismay, seemed to be flowing strong in the lands. There was no sign of the white mana he held in such high regards, and that alone left him in a sour mood. It seemed that this world, too, was in need of his help gravely.

    And then there was a young priest, a man who was supposed to be humble in his deeds, and yet he spoke as if he had the right to judge the creatures. No. That was not a job for a mere human, incapable of ever understanding true peace. A human’s life span was too short, the capacities of their mind and ability too limited to rise to the job. That is way such matters needed to be left in the hands of creatures more capable; creatures such as him.

    Rckaird had been observing the “angel” as well, possibly even more intently than he had all the others. He could swear he had seen him before, conversing with none other than the woman he had been meaning to visit before the call had snatched him away; Razia, the leader of the Boros clan. But something didn’t sit right with the angel, and he could recall feeling the same when he had first seen him from a distance. He felt… impure, and it was a wonder Razia, as sharp eyed as she was, hadn’t taken notice of it or – even worse, had chosen to ignore it. What in the world had the man done with her? He would observe his fight and he would learn, from every single muscle he moved, from every word he uttered. He would make sure nothing ill befell his clan and if he deemed the so-called angel a threat, he would dispose of him personally.

    Just then a bellow caught Rckaird’s ears as one of the Surrakar charged at him. Gshir tensed, ready to strike should its master will so, but the Archon didn’t move a muscle, not even to turn his sight towards the advancing attacker. The Surrakar roared and threw its entire body towards Rckaird, but the second before it connected the Judge drew his shield and brought it in front of him in a motion so blindingly fast it seemed impossible for someone as heavily armored as him. He was still staring in front of him however, the darkness of his hood cast away from the attacker. The creature wasn’t worth his attention.

    Light burst forward from the shield the very moment of impact and the massive, blue body of the beast was sent flying backwards, its back smashing against the ground. It slid away on the sand, small rocks sinking into its back. It was bruised and weakened, its own physical power turned against it. It roared in pain and tired to pick itself up from the ground, trembling as it finally managed to stand. Rckaird turned to face it finally, picking up his trident and pressing the three tips of its blade into the sand underneath his feet. It appeared the Surrakar was enraged from the earlier attack towards its kind. He would not rush to kill it blindly when there was another way to ward it off.

    The trident in his hands gathered up blue mana, gathered up the essence of the nearby sea itself and bent it under the Archon’s will. Pulsating light joined the streams of water that emerged from the sea and washed over the Aurrakar over and over again. Rckaird was well aware what he was combating was a water creature itself – he had fought and killed plenty of them in his life after all – but his intention was not to hurt but to calm.

    Gradually the Surrakar’s expression – if what it displayed on its face could be called that – started to change, and its standing pose relaxed. Its hands hit the sand as they fell limp on its sides, and not long after its legs gave out as well, leaving the monster sitting and somewhat out of it. Rckaird deemed it enough and allowed the water to splash down on the ground, disappearing quickly as the hot sand absorbed it. The monster was calm now.

    Truth be told, Rckaird doubted the Surrakar would survive in the environment for long, seeing as this was not its natural home, but he was not one for mercy kills. If it were to die, it would do so eventually through nature’s own means.

    Rckaird put his trident away and turned to observe the fights still going on, only to take note of another Surrakar stalking past the fighters and towards a little fairy standing further away. The small woman seemed unaware of the danger looming behind her, and appeared moderately hurt already. The Surrakar didn’t care about that, of course, all it saw was an easy prey.

    Now that, Rckaird wouldn’t tolerate.

    He reached for his sword and much like earlier, brought it down on the ground and rested his hands on its hilt. He still didn’t move, merely stood and focused. There wasn’t white mana present, true, but even though that weakened some of his attacks, it didn’t render them unusable at all. It just meant the victim would need to suffer a little longer before his light finally burned them to oblivion.

    Rckaird didn’t call out to the fairy nor give any other indication of what was about to happen; he merely stood and allowed light to engulf the Surrakar, startling the fairy and making her stumble away in confusion. the Archon could barely make out her angered screams, but they were very quickly covered by the bloodhurling screams the light tore from the Surrakar’s throat. It trashed and wailed, trying desperately to get the light burning its insides to die down. But nothing it did helped, for nothing saved those already being judged by the golden clad Archon. He was well aware what he did to the Surrakar was at least as painful as what the Soratami woman had done to her victim, yet the two weren't comparable. While she had done her deed out of sheer malice and search for twisted sense of accomplishment, he did his to save a life and punish a creature that would have wrongly taken one. He would never attack an innocent creature, he only raised his blade when there was a reason for it.

    Meanwhile the Surrakar Rckaird had calmed earlier seemed to slowly gain back its rage as it heard the sheer suffering of its companion, and so it did the unthinkable; it charged at the Archon who had already let it go once. A mistake if there ever was one. One did not raise their hand at someone whose mercy was the very reason they still lived.

    The light torturing the other Surrakar spread in an instant and forced its way inside the charging monster as well, its screams joining with its friend’s and forming a duet of pain and sorrow that was heard throughout the beast. And through the whole deal Rckaird just stood completely still. In fact, if it weren’t for the glowing sword in his hands, there would’ve been no indication he was the caster of the attacks.

    Eventually the light died down and like always, absolutely nothing of their being remained. Had they carried items or worn clothes, those would have come out the flames unharmed, but seeing as they held no worldly possessions, there was nothing to remind the world they even existed. Not a drop of blood nor a speck of ash. Everything was purified.

    Rckaird deemed the deed done, but kept his sword in place just in case his help was needed again. Gshir sat next to him, its head held high and wings once again folded neatly.

    Thayshia was sitting on her behind some distance away, eyes widened from shock and small chest rising with every deep inhale she took. Her hair was a mess, too. Damn it, this day didn’t start out well…
    Last edited by GoldenHouou; 27th March 2012 at 3:45 AM.
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    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


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  11. #11
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    Jareth dove forward, driving his hammer into the forehead of the nearest surrakar, who crumpled under the force and dropped to the ground. Jareth slashed its claws across its throat to quickly put it out of its misery. He turned, whipped his arm upwards, and hurled his sledge into the gut of the nearest incoming reptile. It went flying back, tumbling head over tail into another. Jareth grabbed his grappling hook and sent it sailing through the air towards his hammer. It found its mark, hooking through the metal ring at the end of the hammer's shaft.

    Claire leaped over the heads of the incoming surrakar, igniting jets of fire from the soles of her feet to propel her further. She sent cones of flame shooting from her fingers into the thick skin of the reptilians. A flick of her arm sent a long, sickle-curved blade jutting out from the armor at her wrist. She set it on fire and sliced it through the heavily-muscled bodies of the beasts. It cut through them like a hot knife through butter. In more ways than one.

    The massive leonin gave the chain a strong pull and jerked the hammer through the air. He spun, whipping the hammer-and-chain in a circular arc and taking down several more of the surrakar. He tugged on the chain again and sent it over his head and into another surrakar as it charged. He leaped forward, swathing himself in crackling red energy as he yanked the sledge back towards him. He grabbed it in mid-leap and with a mighty, two-handed swing, drove its massive heft into the head of a surrakar. The surrakar hit the ground with a tremendous thud, but Jareth was already moving, blisteringly fast, burying the head of his sledge in the gut of one surrakar while his chain snaked its way around the neck of another.

    Claire swung around, static building between her hands. She threw her arms wide and let fly arcs of lightning. They lanced out, spearing into one surrakar before seeking out another, and then another, and another. Four of the reptiles sizzled and sparked and fell to the ground in seizing heaps. Behind her, another massive beast charged, but she sent her focus into her armor and sent a long metal spike spearing out from her back and through the heart of the surrakar.

    She withdrew the spike back into her armor but kept her guard raised. She was lucky she did. One of the electrocuted surrakar, still alive, lunged at her. It pressed her down against the ground and opened its gaping maw to bite clean through her. But Claire grabbed its open jaws in either hand and breathed fire straight down its throat.

    Jareth gave the chain a vicious tug and dragged the surrakar forward while propelling himself towards it; and delivered a thunderous, one-handed hammer-strike to the side of the reptile's skull. It dropped like a brick wall. He glanced over his shoulder as Lance smoothly and agilely slipped beneath and between the wild claws and gnashing teeth of the surrakar. The angel slashed at them with his dagger as he did, drawing thin streams of blood from the large reptilian beasts. He dashed between and past them, avoiding all their strike, slashing as he did.

    Then Lance turned and ran his thumb over the blood that had collected on his dagger. He rubbed it between his fingers, glanced over his shoulder at the incoming surrakar, and gave his bloodied fingers a snap. The five charging reptiles exploded, showering the beach with soupy blood and chunks of flesh.

    All the while, the same bored smirk never left Lance's face.

    The few surviving surrakar were sentient enough to realize they were beat, and they chose to limp back into the ocean swamp rather than continue a losing battle. Jareth made no moves to stop them; there was nothing noble or revered in attacking retreating prey, especially those so beaten, not when the hunt was not really a hunt. Still, Claire made sure they stayed gone, hurling bursts of flame until the last had disappeared under the murk. And Lance continued to watch with that bored smirk.

    "We were lucky so many of us were drawn to this spot," Jareth mused; as much to the others as just to himself. "A smaller group would have been overrun."

    "Speak for yourself," Claire shot back, wiping the sand and blood from her clothes. She swathed herself in flame for a moment and burned away what she couldn't clean herself. "I didn't have a problem."

    But Jareth recognized empty boasts when he heard them.

    "The question remains: why and how did surrakar, native to Zendikar, end up here on Dominaria?" Jareth wondered aloud. This time he looked to the rest of the group, searching to see if any of them had answers. Planeswalkers were notorious for finding themselves in tricky situations, if any of them had experience with bizarre occurrences like this, it might offer them an idea of what to do next. And answer the question of why they had all been drawn to that place.

    "Perhaps we can ask him," Lance said. He nodded towards the jutting spires of the Talon Gates where a single black-cloaked figure stood. "He's been standing there, watching, for quite a while. I'd like to know why."

    Then the black-clad figure rose into the air, arms spread to the sides. His hands lit with a harsh glow and he angled them towards the group of 'walkers. Power pulsed from them, and a massive form erupted from the glowing light. It was a monstrous wurm, a massive, legless, snake-like creature, descended from ancient dragons and huge beyond measure. All teeth and mouth and stomach. Green-and-gold-plated with thick, metallic scales. It dove through the air, crashing against the marsh and thundering towards the Planeswalkers. Claire raised her power, calling forth a giant elemental of molten earth and glowing coals. The huge creature rose up to meet the incoming wurm, burning red-hot, but the wurm smashed through it without breaking stride.

    The elemental shattered, and its pieces reduced to Aether and pure mana energy, then drifted up towards the cloaked man. He collected the glowing pieces in his hands, infused them into himself, and sent a hail of fiery power shooting down towards them. The flames overtook the wurm and set the marsh and beach head on fire. It crashed around the 'walkers and sent them tumbling back, just as the massive wurm reared back and bore down on them.

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  12. #12
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    Yuu was barely more than a red blur on the battlefield as she flew from one surrakar to the next, often beheading them in one strike: such was the power of her legendary blade. Every other couple of kills, she stood floating in place, admiring her masterpiece and occasionally critique the others’ skills.

    Meanwhile, Gibrael wanted no more death on his hands, and simply accepted the blood being drawn around him. He did what he was most comfortable doing: healing and protecting. Every so often he erected a shield between a racing surrakar and its unsuspecting prey, or he bound the reptiles in astral chains and imprisoned them for a small, but necessary, amount of time.

    But soon he noticed the small fae amidst the other, much more imposing warriors. Poor deluded soul; she tried to fight beings she was admittedly no match against, and as a result ended up obviously hurt. Still, she showed commendable value and courage, and those were traits worthy of praise and respect. If any endeavors warranted healing, hers did. With that in mind, Gibrael walked rather casually to where Thaysha stood panting and introduced himself.

    “Impressive prowess, especially for one such as you. It’s a pleasure to meet you, little courageous one. I am Gibrael Vons, and I’m a healer.” He got on his knees as he spoke, trying to appear kinder by lowering his height to hers. “Here, let me help with that,” he said extending a hand cloaked in a warm, pleasant glow.

    Far away and completely removed from them, Yuu was still far too busy having fun at the cost of the ugly creatures’ lives. Or rather, their reaping. When the group seemed to admit defeat and start to retreat, she felt like one last big show of power was in order. She flew right past the main body of the small surviving horde and stopped at the place she knew most would cross. There, she started her rituals: a curious dancing the likes of which only the gravity defying Soratami could perform. The steps extended from simple leaps and twirls on the ground to little mid-air hops and pirouettes. All the while this routine went on, a red spraying mist spread out from her crimson garbs. Like gaseous blood coated in red mana it permeated the air and the sand; soon, twitching energy streams burst in the midst of the fog, eventually gaining more complex shapes, forming mirages and silhouettes of dangerous creatures.

    Once her spell had spread enough, she stopped her dance and had a rare show of patience. She waited until the horde was deep within her trap before she truly started it.

    It began with howls and bloodcurdling bellows. With creatures of red fury forming from the mist, screaming ear splitting curses and heart breaking omens. Possessing all manners of shapes and forms they appeared, formed from the mana collected from this very land, ready to hunt. Her artificial Geist army was now manifest, free to feed and spill blood. One flaming Geist, a visage of a demon barely the size of a man but with three times the wing span approached a panicked surrakar, whose only instinct driven response was to swing a massive arm at the horror. It did nothing but burn the skin off of it and panicking the reptile even more. Lost in terror, unable to do more than helplessly flail its arms around, its only escape was provided by the embrace of the fire demon's enormous wings wrapping around the surrakar’s body, coating it in flames, ending its misery in a torrent of torment.

    Like it, so did all the others succumb to the fire princess’ creations, trapped in a hell she had herself created. But even with this level of entertainment presented to her, Yuu still noticed the sinister angel’s work. He’d simply dashed to a new opponent and slashed it with his little dagger before moving on to the next, having seemingly done no harm. At first, this had profoundly disappointed her: the angel had hinted at having a level of power much higher than the one he was displaying. He’d gone from being the most interesting of the bunch to the one she’d probably end up hating the most (creating the illusion of power to hide the lack of it was the very reason she’d slaughtered her clan.)

    But the moment he snapped his fingers to create a show of gore the likes of which she, herself, could only rarely recreate her heart skipped a beat and she found herself exhaling in passion. The angel instantly became much more attractive, and his previously pathetic slashes were now completely justified, and then some, most importantly because he had shown true power.

    If she didn’t know any better, she’d swear she was in love. Of course, if Gustaff was there, he’d merely sigh and wait for a few hours before his master ended up almost forgetting the subject of her passion even existed. Passion is a fragile, short-lived thing. Powerful and beautiful, yes, but nevertheless short. Like a spark, really, and just as destined to die out. Particularly so in Yuu's case.

    Yuu was still admiring Lance when a new stranger, a figure she’d frankly not taken any notice of, summoned one of the biggest monsters she’d ever laid her eyes on. A giant, almost draconic, legless snake, with a body very much resembling a creature she was so familiar with…

    Again, the other female ‘walker of fire’s recklessness turned on them, as the creature she summoned became fodder for a rain of fire from above. The fire crashed down on the ‘walkers just as Gibrael finished tending to the fae, and the boy rushed to erect a barrier of light to protect them. Unfortunately, he had no time to properly cast the spell, and was reduced casting a Hallow spell capable of defending only him and the fae, though with the added benefit of healing any injuries Gibrael might have missed.

    Yuu’s face shifted. For the first time since she’d got here, her face was not empty of emotion nor wallowing in pleasure, but twisted into scorn. Her upper lip was raised, almost like trying to bare fangs she simply did not possess, and she stared the monster with a pure intent to kill; not for her merriment, but simply for her life. This was a challenge not to swell her ego, but to grow her power.

    In one uncharacteristically brutal gesture, she brought up her blade and pointed it at the sky.

    “Come, Tatsumasa!”

    Obeying her master’s command, the sword soaked up mana and took on its alternate form. It burst into the sky, energy shapeshifting into a red dragon of ancient lore. It too was legless; truthfully, it lacked an actual body, being nothing more than a being of pure energy manifested on a physical realm. But its power was unbound by boundaries of bodies, and the physical/spiritual meant nothing to one who can bend mana.

    The dragon took on the sight of its opponent, yet not even something of this size posed a challenge. The red dragon opened its jaws and exploded forth a veritable eruption over the wurm, feeling the red mana of its master fueling his own.

  13. #13
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    Dominaria
    Madara, The Talon Gates


    Swathed in dancing shadows, Morgana struck. Her blade buried itself into a surrakar, and she kicked the reptile off of it with brutal strength. Another of the brutes loomed behind her, but her incredible reflexes had her ducking away from a swing of its fist. She called on the white mana she felt, not much, but still absent. She cast it as a spear of light which impaled the surrakar, sending its corpse crashing dead.

    Rimuel raised a hand. A arc of lightning tore from it, spearing a surrakar. As the creature shrieked and seized up, he rushed forward and with a slash of his sword, beheaded it. The Mirran reached for his sword, which was still impaled into the creature's arm, and strained to try and pull it free. However, as he did so, another surrakar charged for him with a bellow. He cursed, trying to turn and strike it down, but he couldn't move quickly enough.

    Morgana came out of nowhere, trailing shadow. The knight's blade tore an arc through the air and buried itself into the surrakar, cutting it down effortlessly. Rimuel regarded her with wary eyes. Something wasn't right about this woman.

    "Be more careful," she said coldly, plucking the sword free from the dead surrakar's arm and passing it to him.

    "I will be, in future," he retorted. "Since it seems that it doesn't matter any more right now." True enough, the remaining surrakar were retreating.

    "What were they doing here?" Morgana hissed. "Creatives native to Zendikar, here..."

    "It is strange," Rimuel mused, gazing out across the horizon. "Hey..." His eyes narrowed. "Who's that...?" Morgana followed his gaze, picking out the dark-clad figure on the spire of the great offshore formation.

    "Trouble," she growled, holding her blade ready as the figure began to perform hand gestures. A monstrous form erupted from the air, a great wurm coated in metallic plates.

    "Impossible... that creature's from Mirrodin!" Rimuel gasped, recognizing it from his homeworld.

    "Well, it's here now," Morgana snarled. "So get ready to fight." Nearby, another of the Planeswalkers conjured a burning elemental to fight the wurm, but the summoned being was defeated effortlessly by the monstrosity, and turned into a hail of blazing fragments by the mysterious figure. Morgana ducked aside as a blazing meteor rocketed at her, while Rimuel merely called on his own power, diverting the flames aside from himself. Then the wurm struck, and chaotic confusion engulfed the group. A mighty crimson dragon of Kamigawa rose up to challenge the wurm, apparently summoned by another of the Planeswalkers.

    Morgana swathed herself in concealing shadows and raced towards the wurm, drawing her sword back to deliver a vicious slash to it. Meanwhile, Rimuel raised one sword and called forth a crimson firestorm from overhead, a volley which while somewhat smaller than the mysterious figure's assault was still a deadly attack. The howling flames raced onto the wurm and blazed against it, wreathing it in fire.
    [CENTER]

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  14. #14
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    Messed hair, pained back, embarrassing mistakes… Thayshia was pretty certain her day couldn’t get any worse as she sat on the sand, absentmindedly watching the backs of the retreating surrakar.

    She would soon learn that it did not pay to be "certain" about anything.

    The fairy had barely stood up and started to dust off her clothes when a shadow cast over her and she turned around with a glare, ready to strike down whatever threatened to make her its lunch. She was expecting another charging surrakar, one foolish enough to change its mind and attempt one last attack, but what she found was no beast, but something much worse; it was a human, a man wrapped in white robes. Thayshia’s eyes widened at that. Oh. No. Could it be he was a hea-

    “Impressive prowess, especially for one such as you. It’s a pleasure to meet you, little courageous one. I am Gibrael Vons, and I’m a healer.” The man answered her even before she had formed the question. He got on his knees to match her height better – a gesture Thayshia found immensely insulting, and extended a glowing hand towards her. “Here, let me help with that.”

    Thayshia growled and grabbed her staff, swatting at the man’s hand. She was furious. The tone of the man’s voice was nothing short of condescending! Not only had he used a phrase like “such as you”, he had called her small and acted like it was a wonder she was still alive.

    “Don’t touch me, you impudent pig! This is just a flesh wound, not one to stop me fr-“, she began, but as the warm glow from the man’s hand advanced and spread over her body, she was forced silent for a single, soothing moment. She could feel life flowing into her. It was a pleasant feeling, one of power.

    But not her power.

    “Stop that at once, you arrogant asshole!” She demanded, embarrassed that she had succumbed to the soothing effect of his spell, even if only for a moment. She hated healers, insolent pricks always stealing her jobs and now she remembered why. She started to beat the man’s hand with her staff in an attempt to make him stop. He seemed to ignore her attempts however, and thus her frustration grew, the swatting soon turning into downright stabbing. And when that failed to do the trick, she ignited her staff with her powers, ready to burn the fool to cinders if he would not cease at once. But just when a slightly twisted grin formed on her face and she readied her spell, the glow faded and the man turned, erecting a shield to protect them from… a rain of fire? Where had that come from?

    Thayshia instantly snapped from her fit of rage and looked around, not even having realized they were already faced with a new foe. She did not need to search for said enemy for long either, as the humongous wurm was quick to catch her attention. It was flying towards them and already being attacked by the other Walkers. How could she have missed that? Grah, it was the fault of that dam priest. Well, she would not be made a fool of any longer!

    Taking a better grip of her weapon she flew in front of Gibrael and pointed the pointy end of her staff at his face, flustered.

    “I’ll have you know,” she began, fuming, trying to hide her embarrassment the best she could, “that I did NOT require help from the likes of you! I’m a great shaman, and fully capable of mending my own wounds. Not that I was even wounded. It really couldn’t be called a wound. It was more a… a… a scratch.”

    She turned away, arms folded.

    “Try to stay away from my way this time,” she spat and immediately flew off towards the wurm, determined to prove her worth to the foolish priest. But she hadn’t advanced many a feet when she already realized that even size aside, she might not be the best match for the enemy. The creature was ablaze from many different attacks already and yet it kept moving, leaving Thayshia wondering if fire truly even affected it. And her primary mean of attack… was fire. Frustrated, she had to admit she might not have thought this through in her rush to show off her powers.

    But far be it from her to admit defeat.

    If fire had not killed it yet… then all she needed was even more powerful fire! Yes. She focused on her feelings of hatred and anger once more, conjuring up huge pillars of fire that erected to stand on both sides of the wurm’s head, then crashed down and wrapped around its throat as a flaming collar, attempting to choke it. Thayshia grinned, sweat forming on her brow. Now that should hurt!

    Some distance away, standing in the same spot he had been for a while now, Rckaird just continued observing. He had not slain any more surrakar than the two he had deemed to deserve it, and had been absolutely repulsed by the way the Soratami woman handled the fleeing beasts. Had it not been for the appearance of the wurm to distract him, Rckaird would have already flown to punish her for her barbarous actions. While killing monsters was not a crime in and out of itself and did not warrant a death sentence, her actions spoke of an individual with little care for the well-being of others. She harbored malice, and should she ever direct that malice towards civilized people, he would be there to judge her actions and reduce her foul soul to nothingness. Thus it was best to give her a warning now when she had yet to do anything nonredeemable.

    There was a giant wurm attacking them now however, so his warning would need to be delayed. Many of the assorted Planeswalkers had already attacked the beast, but Rckaird stayed his hand for the time being. If they required help in taking it down he would assist them, but for now, he was more interested in the man who had summoned the thing. It was clear his intentions weren’t pure. Gshir growled, and Rckaird pressed a hand down on his lion’s mane, silently ordering it to stay calm as he fixed his gaze at the distant figure, trying to read as much about him as he could. He tightened his grip on his weapon and took a step closer. Depending on what he found out, he might have to issue yet another death sentence today.
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  15. #15
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    Dominaria
    Madra, the Talon Gates

    The slagwurm barely slowed as it crashed towards Yuu's dragon. In fact, it didn't. It bellowed through the gouts of flame and smashed the spirit-dragon into a million glowing, fiery pieces that were pulled in towards the dark-cloaked being that summoned the wurm. He waved his hands in front of him, crafting the dragon's fiery energy, whipping it into a tornado of burning power.

    The wurm crashed down on the 'walkers, tearing towards Lance. The angel drew on what sparse white mana he could. He attempted to rebuke the enormous serpent, but there wasn't enough mana for him to fully conjure his spell quickly enough, and the wurm crashed upon him. The best he could do was erect a rebuking force to repel the wurm, but the force of its charge was so great that it tossed Lance away instead.

    He recovered quickly whirling through the air and dodging the wurm's second charge. He drew the his sword, the Black Blade, from its sheath at his waist. He felt that magnificent pull, its beautiful whisper-call for souls and blood and power. The Hunger. The Need. It matched his own. And as always, he gave in.

    He rushed forward, slicing the blade along the wurm's length, leaving a glowing-red line of burning wrath down its body. He raced past it and spread his wings and launched into the air. He left the wurm behind him, all but forgotten, and streaked towards the black-cloaked figure.

    The figure saw this and sent the tornado of flame ripping to intercept the angel. But Lance dipped and turned and avoided it (though it still ripped towards the others behind him). The figure raised a shimmering, metallic bow. It let a silver, moonlight arrow fly, glowing with green power. But Lance swung his dagger and cut the arrow from its path. He swung again, this time with the Black Blade, and cast a fiery arc of power.

    But the figure holstered its bow and revealed two more hands! The four-armed figure raised its hands and held them in front of him, and when Lance's flames struck, they distorted around it and flickered past harmlessly. Then each pair of the figure's hands drew a bow, and it sent a dozen arrows flying in Lance's direction in the blink of an eye.

    But Lance was fast, slashing with both blades and moving out of the arrow's path. He closed the gap between him and the four-armed figure quickly and brought his blade down with all his might. But the figure pulled the bows back and with two free hands, drew a pair of short, curved swords and blocked the strike. Lance swung with the dagger, but found it parried by one of the bows.

    On the beach, the rest of the 'walkers still had the wurm to deal with. Lance's slash down its side had hurt it, true, but it had also made it angry. It crashed among them, unhindered by its master's billowing inferno. It tore after them, chasing them through the marsh and the forest at the edge of the beach.

    Jareth drew on the strength of Naya's beasts. He felt his muscles thicken and ripple. He stopped short as the wurm chased after him and wheeled around, swinging the Behemoth Sledge with one hand. It cracked against the side of the wurm's skull and sent it tumbling to the side.

    "It is not invulnerable," he said, shouting over the roar of the wurm and the crackling flames. "But I would suggest we avoid summoning any creatures of our own. That does not seem to work in our favor."

    The wurm let out a screech, and Jareth answered with a roar of his own. He swathed his hammer in crackling electricity, and with his muscles still bulged, met the wurm's charge head on. There was a tremendous crack and the wurm was actually lifted from the ground and hurled back by the force of Jareth's blow.

    Claire leaped at it, red-hot arcs of lightning and flame trailing behind her. She landed on the creature and raced up its length toward its head. She dodged it as it coiled around and struck at her, then landed on its head. She climbed down along its face, swung in front of its gaping maw, and unleashed a torrent of fire right down it's gullet. She then sent a dizzying blast of blue mana coursing through it.

    The wurm coiled back, stunned, visibly shaken from the effects of her spell. But it recovered quickly, and with a roar set back upon them.

    Lance swung again with the Black Blade, and this time it found its mark, scoring a glancing blow against the four-armed assailant's top right shoulder. He felt the power of the blade, the unrelenting pull and Hunger. Its calls for blood matched his own, and he wished--oh how he wished--that he could just fall into the Need and the Necessity and full embrace his Dark Passenger and rise up as something new and beautiful.

    But there were times for such musings, and the heat of battle was not one of them. Instead he focused on the task at hand. He sent a gout of flame towards the dark figure, drawing on the knowledge he'd gained with the Boros Legion. As expected, the four-armed figure called up a field of distortion and countered with blue magic. But that left him exposed; and Lance sent a spiraling lightning helix ripping into him. The figure seized up and teetered on the edge of the spire.

    Lance struck, hurling his silver dagger towards his opponent. He managed to intercept the blade, but then Lance was upon him. The mighty angel swung the Black Blade with all the strength in his right arm, breaking right through the figure's guard, and then made a quick slash with a second, bone-handled dagger across the figure's torso.

    The assailant fell back, tumbling over the edge of the spire, but managed to grasp onto a small jutting-out of rock with a free hand. His hood had fallen back to reveal a being with scaly, green skin and vaguely snake-like features. Lance was familiar with many breeds across the multiverse, but he couldn't quite place where he'd seen this sort of strange snake-man.

    And just like that, the man was gone. Blinked away.

    "A Planeswalker," Lance mused. He flapped his wings and ascended, turning back to the beach where the battle still raged. "How intriguing."

    Thayshia wrapped a fiery collar around the wurm's neck, Rimuel hurled flame at the snake, and Morgana slashed at it. Gibrael erected shields to surround himself while Rckaird stood silently, watching the entire event unfold.

    Jareth sprang back as the wurm struck, pulling against Thayshia's collar. It yanked against its bonds, but its movement was significantly hindered. Jareth swung his sledge against its face and sent the wurm reeling back. With less green mana to draw upon, he couldn't bolster the power with which he struck as much as wanted, but it would have to do.

    "Move!" Claire shouted. She had her hands pressed together, boils of red and blue building between them. She pointed her hands—shaking with the contained pressure—towards the towering beast, and let her power loose with a roar. It sparked and flowed and flashed from her fingertips, searing into the creature and shaking it apart. She boiled its atoms away into the Aether from where it came, and it dissipated into a frizzled cloud of half-light.

    Claire stumbled forward, clearly exhausted by the effort. But when Jareth moved to help her up, she stilled him with a glare and did so herself. She was fiercely independent, that much was obvious. Jareth glanced up as Lance approached the group.

    "Did you uncover the identity of our friend?" the lion asked, hefting the Behemoth Sledge over his shoulder. He eyed the angel carefully, having quickly glimpsed his display of rather un-angelic power.

    Lance just chuckled and pulled his wings into his body. He ran a hand through his dark hair. "A four-armed snake-man, of sorts. I didn't catch his name," he said. He held up his bone-dagger and ran a finger along the flat of the blade, wiping off the excess blood. "But I drew his blood." He sheathed the dagger and licked the few drops of blood off his thumb.

    "Orochi," Jareth mused, his arms crossed. He'd ignore the angel's strange behavior, for now. They had more pressing concerns. "Snake-men of Kamigawa. They're usually quite peaceful and not ones for conflict."

    "I'd find a better source of information," Claire hissed. She tied back her hair and swiped the sand from her clothes. She turned to Lance. "This one sure seemed like it wanted conflict. What happened to him?"

    "Oh, he 'walked away?"

    "You let him just walk away?" Claire snapped, flinging her arms wide. "What kind of idiot are you that you just--" she stopped. "Wait. Do you mean he Planeswalked? What the hell? If he's a 'walker, then why wasn't he helping us?"

    "Perhaps he was the one who drew us here," Jareth suggested. It was certainly possible; the Orochi might have even set the surrakar as a trap first, waiting until that option was exhausted before summoning the wurm. Perhaps he hadn't counted on such a large gathering of 'walkers; if there had been fewer of them...

    "Planeswalkers fighting Planeswalkers," Lance mused, shaking his head. The Multiverse hasn't seen that for quite some time now, and certainly not on this scale." He gestured to their group of ten. "The question remains, what are we going to do about it?"

    "We're stronger together than we are alone," Jareth mused. He looked over the group; volatile personalities, for sure, but he was right. Together they had survived the ordeal. Alone they would not have. "Combine our resources, our strengths, our knowledge. We can get to the bottom of this quickly, perhaps prevent another major incident from taking place." He remembered Alara and the Conflux, and the rumors that it was all triggered by the machinations of a single, ancient Planeswalker.

    "Oh, and we're all just gonna defer to you? Mr. Fearless Leader Cat?" Claire challenged. "I don't see what this has to do with any of us. We got caught up in the rush, that's all. There's a billion different planes out there. What business do we have running around and sticking our noses in other people's business?"

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  16. #16
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    OOC: Hope you don't mind a little "interaction", wasn't sure what else to post.

    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    Thayshia let out a devilish laugh as the wurm finally disintegrated. She was sitting on the sand again, slightly exhausted but otherwise fine. Not to mention this exhaustion would pass soon, she knew as much from years of experience. Her powers used her emotions, so her attacks were mentally taxing more than anything. For now, it’d probably be best to just sit still for a while and not attempt to stand, lest some idiot sees her being shaky and thinks she requires assistance again. Really, she still couldn't get over the nerve of that priest!

    Once her laughter died down, Thayshia's expression got darker for a fleeting moment. The wurm was killed, sure, and she had had a hand in it. But the one finishing it off hadn’t been her. She shot a glare towards Claire and curled her hands into fists. It had been that… that skank. She could somehow, albeit very begrudgingly accept someone being a bit more… developed than her, but being stronger too? That she would not stand for. She’d need to get stronger and show her. Strength was all that mattered. Jund had taught her as much. The strong survived.

    Figuring she’d rested enough, Thayshia finally stood up and dusted off her wings, overhearing the conversation a trio of ‘Walkers was having some distance from her. As she heard the Orochi mentioned, she gave a glare at the spot the stranger had been in only a moment ago. Coward, running away the moment things got tough. Well, the next time he’d show himself, she’d scorch of his scales for setting that damn worm on them!

    Rckaird ran his hand across his lion’s mane in one rough motion. Interesting. Very interesting indeed. He had been intently observing the entire fight between the so called “angel” and the stranger, and not only had he confirmed the ill intentions and race of the strange man, he had found out quite a bit about their friend as well. That blood-winged man was no angel, there was no doubt about it anymore. It was clear black mana flowed within him. He was impure, contaminated by both powers and feelings an angel should not harbor. It was apparent in the way he fought; how he sought to kill. What a being such as him had to do with Razia he did not know, but he was certain nothing good could come out of their interactions.

    It was unfortunate the stranger had disappeared and for that, Rckaird could blame none but himself. Instead of joining in the fight and destroying him, he had decided to let the stranger be and focus his attention on the angel instead. He wanted to intervene – but more than that he wanted the fight to continue, so he could see just how far the angel had fallen from grace. Unfortunately, the revelation that the stranger had been a Planeswalker had come in the way of that. Well, it was without doubt they would meet him again.

    And when they did, he would be judged as appropriate. But for now…

    Rckaird sheathed his sword and walked to where three other Planeswalkers were conversing, Gshir following beside him and eying every individual through carefully. It almost stomped on a little fairy, who jumped away from its path in the last second, cursing profusely. But neither of the two paid any further attention to her right now.

    “Combine our resources, our strengths, our knowledge. We can get to the bottom of this quickly, perhaps prevent another major incident from taking place." He caught the lionin suggesting, and after he had spoken, the rash young woman hurried to reply in a display of quite a bit of immaturity.

    "Oh, and we're all just gonna defer to you? Mr. Fearless Leader Cat? I don't see what this has to do with any of us. We got caught up in the rush, that's all. There's a billion different planes out there. What business do we have running around and sticking our noses in other people's business?"

    How utterly foolish, selfish, of her. Well, she seemed young, so perhaps it was but naivety. Either way...

    Rckaird walked beside the woman and, saying naught, placed a hand on her shoulder. His grip was firm and cold, as was the darkness of his hood he now turned to the woman. For a while he merely stood, silently ordering her to hold her tongue. Then he turned to the angel, his hand never letting go of the woman’s shoulder just in case she would continue talking and he’d be forced to apply more pressure.

    He stood still once more, his unseen gaze traveling from the blade the angel had just sheathed to his eyes and the prideful look they held. Rckaird kept silent, but there was an unspoken warning hanging heavy in the air. Warning that, should Lance descend too far into the darkness, he would be cut down in a burst of light with the rest of the evil scum that plagued this world.
    Last edited by GoldenHouou; 12th April 2012 at 12:49 AM.
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    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


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  17. #17
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    Claire turned a--literally--burning eye towards Rckaird. Her battlegear flicked its unbending blades to either side of the archon's fingers. Flames wrapped around her fists as she glared, and she scowled with a look that marred her beautiful features with malice.

    "If you like that hand attached to your wrist, I suggest you take it off me. Right. Now," she said, her voice even and unwavering. No one just waltzed up and touched her. No. One. Especially not some holier-than-thou, stick-up-his-*** archon who was too useless in a fight to move his butt, and let that creepy snake-man get away.

    She wasn't scared of some tin can p*ssy who thought he could intimidate her because he didn't have a f*cking face. She didn't give a damn. She'd shared her soul with the Obsidian Fireheart elemental. She'd shared thoughts with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind--a being whose thoughts were so complex, and knowledge was so great, that the mere act of invoking the Firemind's power drove most mad. Claire had shared his thoughts, and understood them. And she'd looked into the eyes of her own twisted reflection and hadn't blinked. Did this gold-plated prick really think he could intimidate her?

    Lance, meanwhile, watched the exchange with amusement. Oh, how fascinating these 'walkers were. How delightfully twisted and grotesque, all so eager to wear their hearts and insecurities and intentions on their sleeves. It almost made things too easy. He'd been able to watch them from the corner of his eye as they fought. The half-elf, with his strange necromancy and flair for the dramatic. Claire the pyromancer, fiery and cunning, with a quicksilver intelligence and wit seen in very few; but with a temper that was easily tweaked. Jareth the leonin, the soul mage; noble and fierce, reverent of nature and looking for the thrill of the Hunt. Morgana, bitter and scorned, a knight with anger and darkness. Rimuel, devoted and strong-willed, convinced of his actions and importance. Gibrael, overflowing with white mana and the need to purge the evil nature of beings. He valued life and proper order over choice and free will. Yuu the rabbit-girl, a being nearly as twisted and bloodthirsty as the part of him he held in reserve, full of condescension and carelessness. Thayshia the faerie, power hungry and volatile, easily manipulated with the right words or buttons. Rckaird the archon, silent, stoic, but quietly seething with contempt for all things that didn't fit into his vision of "pure."

    How droll. Lance laughed to himself. It was always fascinating to see those like him when their worldview came crashing down around their heads and shattered like glass. How he hoped that he would be around if and when Rckaird's resolve shattered. It would make for wonderful viewing.

    "While I understand the sentiment," Jareth began, hoping to diffuse some of the tension. "At the moment we have no idea if there will be similar attempts on our lives."

    "Let the b@stards try," Claire said. She glared back at Rckaird, as if daring him to try and shut her up. "But I was in the middle of something that I need to get back to, if you don't mind."

    "You'll always be in the middle of something," Lance said, bored already with the conversation. He picked at the dried blood crusted beneath his fingernails. "And what happens when they come for you then? At least now, you have nine other Planeswalkers to watch your back." He smirked. "Which is a far from unpleasant sight, and I would do so happily."

    "I wouldn't trust you to watch my back if my life depended on it," Claire shot back, eyes bright and defiant.

    "Don't speak too soon," Lance said with a laugh. "It just might."

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  18. #18
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    The woman snapped a threat back at Rckaird, effectively revealing the true extent of her naivety; so overconfident in her own abilities she was that she didn’t even seem to comprehend what she was doing, just who she was challenging. Rckaird knew her type, knew the young foolish warriors believing they could defeat come what may. And they were always the first to die come real conflict. They did not understand that fear was not a sign of weakness – it was that of intelligence. It indicated you knew the extent of your power, and that you had the instinct and ability to retreat when faced with certain death. It was something that let you live another day.

    Flames erupted around the woman’s fists and there were blades hovering near Rckaird’s fingers, but he didn’t even bother to turn his sights back to the woman. He saw no need to heed her warning. Did she truly hope to damage the armor shielding his hand with naught but puny blades? And that raging fire she could bend under her will was without a doubt one of the worst choices of attack against him, especially in an environment like this. Just some feet from them lay an ocean, all its water his to control if necessary. He would rather avoid conflict, but if she were truly foolish enough to attack him, he would make sure said attacks turned right back at their caster through his countering powers. And if that would not be enough to calm her rage, he would be forced to sooth her the way he did with the first surrakar attacking him some minutes prior; by drowning her in a vortex of purity, not letting her breath until her very soul was at peace. It would not kill her, but it would teach her a lesson that would surely come in handy in time.

    Rckaird merely tightened his grip with no indication of letting go, still facing away from her and calmly listening to the conversation going on. The fallen angel, that wretched creature of evil, was playing with his blade of darkness again, seemingly unfazed by his warning. He displayed similar arrogance as the fiery woman did, yet Rckaird believed his was at least a bit justified; out of all the assorted Planeswalkers, Lance was no doubt the worthiest opponent to him. In fact, he may very well have been the only worthy opponent. Not that he would not be able to annihilate with him if need be, but the man had experience and was a force to be reckoned with, that much was certain. The lionin attempted to ease the mood, and while Rckaird held respect for the gigantic man even taller than himself, he saw his actions as unnecessary. He was not looking to start a fight; not yet at least. He was yet to see a crime worth giving death over. He was merely giving warnings.

    “Hey, you, bastard in the scrapmetal! Yeah, you! How dare you?!” Thayshia breathed from some distance behind the group, beating her wings angrily to support herself in the air, one tiny hand pointed at the back of the archon. She was furious again, wings blazing. “Watch where the fuck you’re going! Just because you happen to be a bit bigger than me doesn’t give you the right to stomp all over me! That goes for that obese cat of yours too! Now, how about a nice apology before I melt that armor in your face, huh?!”

    Rckaird didn’t display any sort of reaction, but Gshir did turn to look behind him and start growling quietly, eyes fixed on what would soon become his lunch would she not shut up. Rckaird calmed the beast with a single motion of his hand however, and if he had had a mouth, he would have heaved a sigh.

    Children.

    Why was this group cursed with so many of them?
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    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


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  19. #19
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    Rimuel sheathed his swords and stepped forward, taking in the discussion. He frowned when the name 'Kamigawa' was spoken. "Kamigawa?" He recalled his own brief trip there. He had only really encountered a single group while there, the kitsune. He had not encountered these 'Orochi'.

    "He's right," Morgana said from behind him. "I've met the Orochi. They are a peaceful group. So if that Planeswalker was an Orochi... that's strange." She wiped the surrakar and wurm blood from her blade with a cloth, before tucking the cloth into her armor and sheathing the sword.

    "Regardless, there has to be a reason we were called here," Rimuel said, addressing the group now. "Something, or someone, called us to this place. I for one want to know why, and what for. Was it just to ambush us?"

    "If the purpose was to kill us, then that Planeswalker didn't do a good job," Morgana deadpanned coldly. "That leaves two conclusions. Either his intent wasn't to kill us, or he didn't expect so many Planeswalkers to respond to the call."

    "Either way, I want answers," the Auriok decided. "That call was sent for some reason. It's too much of a coincidence that we arrived here, and immediately we got attacked. With the ten of us together, I'm sure we could track down that guy and get our answers from him."

    "I don't speak for anyone else, but I'm with him," Morgana said. "The way I see it, if we were called here, someone wanted to gain something from it. I'd quite like to find out who wanted to gain from killing Planeswalkers, and more importantly, why."

    "Who is she?" Rimuel wondered. "At first she seemed cold, but now... she's happy to come chasing someone with a man she just met?" Partly, he wondered why he was resolved to this. He could see the fiery woman's point. Why was it any of their business? And yet... he couldn't think of turning away and just returning to his normal routine, chasing the elusive ally against the Phyrexians, the way to bring those allies to Mirrodin. Something had brought the ten of them to Dominaria. And that Orochi Planeswalker had attacked them the instant they had arrived. It reeked of something more than chance. The instinct which had been honed in the hell of New Phyrexia was piqued, guessing at something behind the scenes.

    "So," he said, adressing Jareth. "I'm with you. How about the rest of you?" He turned to the group, looking across their ranks, wondering if any more would step up to join the hunt. Morgana stood quietly near the Auriok and the leonin, not speaking. She too wondered who might step forward and join this chase.
    [CENTER]

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  20. #20
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    "I warned you, *sshole," Claire snapped. She sprung loose the blades on her armor, the unbreakable Darksteel-Mizzium alloy sliced together and scissored clean through Rckaird's wrist. She didn't know if archons could heal severed limbs, but quite frankly, she didn't care. She then wheeled around, shifting seamlessly into her flamkin state, and drilled Rckaird with all the force in her 1000 pound frame. Right in his stupid face, right between where his stupid eyes would be.

    "I'm not gonna say it again," she said, her voice low. "Hands to yourself, you over-pretentious; creepy; second-rate angel. Or I remove more than just your hand."

    She extended the curved wrist-blade and pointed it at Rckaird and prepared a counterspell between her fingers. Blue and Red mana were in abundance in there place--overflowing, even. Giving her access to the power to cast any spells she needed. And just to be sure...she channeled more mana into the hand beneath the wrist-blade.

    "Now are you gonna be a good little toy soldier and fight your urge to touch everything? Or are you and I going to have problems?"

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  21. #21
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    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    So she was foolish enough to attack him after all.

    How very unfortunate.

    The alloy sunk into Rckaird’s wrist, but he had ages ago prepared for the attack. And so, while the scissoring blades did actually work on his armor, his powers manifested on the spot they would have sunk into, deflecting them away before they could do the deed they were set out to accomplish. As if he would, after a hundred years of experience, let a little girl sever his hand with a poorly coordinated attack such as that. His countering powers were usually reserved for magic, but if given preparation time like this, physical attacks could be deflected just as well. And she had practically shown him where she was going to strike well in advance. Foolish girl.

    She then shifted into a more battle-suitable form and proceeded attacking him once more. Not seeing the need to take out his shield, Rckaird merely raised an arm to cover his “face” from the impact. She smashed against him with considerable force, causing the archon to slide backwards on the sand. He kept the muscles of his arm flexed and gathered mana on the spot of contact yet again to lighten the blow, but he knew he could not counter it this time.

    She kept shouting profanities, which Rckaird didn't feel warranted answers. Such temper she possessed. That would no doubt prove trouble for her later.

    As she ceased her attack and Rckaird lowered the arm he had used to shield himself from the attack with, he found it smoking, the armor burning red hot. Unlike with the first blow, he had actually felt that. His arm felt slightly numb and the burning sensation remained even after the impact. This new form of hers had power, he had to admit, but that seemed to be all she possessed; raw, uncontrolled power. And even then, it wasn’t quite enough. She needed something far more powerful to get through his defense.

    She threw in yet another threat and seemed to be prepared to continue the fight. How unsightly that she would engage in a meaningless battle over someone trying to teach her manners. It was unfortunate indeed, but he would need to calm the woman by force.

    Rckaird allowed his arm to fall back to his side. Standing still, not seeing the need to pull out his weapons for this, he gathered the overflowing blue mana and started to take control of the water behind them. The surface of the ocean rippled and then suddenly rose, bursting forth in a shimmering, high pressured stream that smashed against the woman and wrapped around her in order to encase her in a blinding, watery prison. The water sought to enter every opening it could find in an attempt to soothe her from the inside.

    Rckaird watched calmly, raising his hand slightly and allowing some of the glistening water to wrap around it to heal the damage it had received. He was ready to draw his shield should the need arise. And at the same time he kept controlling the water attacking Claire, the stream from the ocean continuous and unrelenting.
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    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


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  22. #22
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    Talon Gates
    Madra
    Dominaria


    The sight of her mighty dragon being reduced to nothingness in one single strike shook Yuu to the core. Even as the few mana droplets the hooded figure didn’t absorb reshaped into the sword inside its sheath, she could only look on, reactionless, as the wurm razed everything in its path.

    Was this the extent of her power?
    Power meant everything to her. It was the reason she forsook her clan and dedicated years learning to weave her own magic by combining the Illusion school of the Soratami with the Geist magic from Innistrad. To have one single creature be able to destroy so easily one of her most powerful spells… t simply left her speechless…

    Only for her rage to flare up and overtake her entirely. This beast thought it could tame her flames? Well let it rot and writhe in the pain of its own foolish ignorance! Yuu forcefully called on all the red mana she could grasp from this land and flew off against her target. With all the violent grace of a thunderbolt she struck down explosion all over its metallic skin, making sure her blade’s vengeance was not forsaken over long range fire balls. She alternated between her legendary sword and her just as powerful fire, swirling around the snake faster than the wind could carry her; truly untouchable.

    When the Tornado, formed from absorbing her own power, approached her, she embraced it. She flew right to its center where she channeled magic she’d forbid herself from using: her clan’s Soratami landscaping. Creatures that live in the clouds, whose power can change the very surface, had no trouble taming hurricanes, let alone tornados. In the tumultuous core she spun uncontrollably; she dared not fight it, she knew it would be a waste of her energy. Instead, she used the speed and momentum of the tornado to empower her own dance, releasing her blood mist and letting it contaminate the wind. Within seconds, her power made up most of the tornado, yet she still could not divert its trajectory. If anything, she had been caught inside a storm she created. The other walkers would likely still be caught in its path, but Yuu cared nothing of this.

    Once the Tornado touched the beach’s sand, the winds changed. The centrifugal force weakened only so slightly, but it was enough. Yuu projected her own power vertically, in a pillar of red light. The tornado, made of her own magic, channeled with this force and shot upwards as well. Soon, the swirling winds dissipated and coalesced into Yuu’s own pyroclastic pillar, which was promptly absorbed back by her, or simply scattered through the land.

    When she rejoined the others, her drive for battle satiated for now, she was sad to see the battle was ending. She could faintly make out the dark angel fighting with a hooded creature, its four arms the only trait she could identify, shortly before the careless hot-headed burning human shot forth what could only be described as several volcanic eruptions worth of power right at the creature. Once again she felt the unfamiliar sensation of self-doubt and even humility, but those emotions were so fleeting one should doubt she even realized them creeping in her soul.

    “Yet another Planeswalker?” spoke out Gibrael, who had restricted himself to erecting shields and bouncing back the monster’s lunges throughout the fight. “I had never even met another one of my kind until this very day.”

    This day’s events were having a big effect on the novice priest. He was most likely the youngest from the bunch, at least from what he could see, and also the most surprised and inexperienced. While he watched the others fight, he gasped at the amount of power at their grasp. It made him realize how much broader his horizons could be, and how much he had yet to learn. The command of powers as tremendous as those he’d seen were beyond his reach. He doubted that he had a chance of winning a fight with, among others, Jareth, the powerful cat beastman, even if he adopted his other visage.

    Yet, somehow, he didn’t feel intimidated or even diminished. If anything, this realization only brought him more strength. After all, he’d just seen a Planeswalker’s limitations are virtually non-existent. He tried to take note of the back and forth going on between the more outspoken members, taking this opportunity to study their personalities. However, one particular comment irritated him:

    "Oh, and we're all just gonna defer to you? Mr. Fearless Leader Cat?" shouted the restless pyromancer. "I don't see what this has to do with any of us. We got caught up in the rush, that's all. There's a billion different planes out there. What business do we have running around and sticking our noses in other people's business?"

    “It has everything to do about us!” he shouted back.

    “Why else would the planes be connected to no one but us? Do you believe this gift of ours was nothing more than a drunken amusement of some bored deity? Do you fool yourself into believing you created that power, because you’re –oh, so special? Or perhaps you justify it as an act of chance, fortune’s random blessing?”

    He’d hoped his words had any effect on the volatile walker, but all dramatic effect was cut short by Rckaird’s interference. He watched them cautiously, for he knew that her type were not one to surrender to their elder’s wisdom. Or authority.


    “Planeswalkers are supposed to help save the planes. Our horizons are ever growing, specifically so that we can fight dangers those limited by their planes reality can’t even fathom. If one of us, being given such a gift, chose to abuse it... I shudder just thinking of how much evil they could create.”

    His speech was cut short, again, by the archon and the pyromancer. Could you believe the girl actually attacked him, simply because she was insulted by his touch? Granted, the Archon’s reaction only served to escalate the confrontation. This needed to be stopped before it derailed into something much more serious.

    “End this now!”

    Gibrael positioned himself between the archon and the ball of water forming around the girl, invisible shields already cast; while this had to be stopped, he actually feared for his life for getting in the way of these two forces. What the flame-witch had done to that wurm... It was nothing he wished to see again.

    “We are not here to fight amongst ourselves. Now release her or I’ll have to do it myself.”
    He raised a hand at the sphere of water trying to encase Claire, white mana strings flowing from the sands, coiling around the robes and merging between his fingers. Gibrael’s message was delivered while he looked at the archon’s... eyes? Under his hood. Such a vision made it hard to even concentrate, and Gibrael was sure he had dropped his strong facade and let a glimmer of fear and anxiety escape from his eyes once or twice. But his resolve was strong and quickly drowned such fears and doubts.

  23. #23
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    (To be fair here, Rimuel's not going to see this as anything but a vicious murder attempt, and Morgana doesn't like archons.

    EDIT: Bleh, ninjaed)

    "Hey!" Rimuel bellowed, ignoring Gibrael's intervention and surging at the archon. He called flames from the searing crimson of the red mana and let them loose, hurling a fireball at Rckaird. "You're going to kill her!"

    "Idiot," Morgana muttered. She couldn't decide who she was referring to more. Rckaird for being so bluntly stupid, Claire for deciding the best reaction was to try and chop an archon's hand off, or Rimuel for charging and attacking said archon. About the only sensible person here seemed to be Gibrael. If the entire group kept infighting like this, they wouldn't survive each other, let alone their mysterious enemy. The black knight scowled. Idiots.

    Rimuel rammed the archon with a shoulder-rush. "Stop it!" He drew back a gauntleted fist and socked the armored figure in the face... or whatever archons had there. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

    As Rimuel continued to yell at the archon, Morgana acted. She stepped forward and called blue magic from the mana twisting out of sight. Touching a hand to Rimuel's watery prison, she unleashed treachery and rebellion into the archon's magic, loosening his bond on the forces he had created, releasing them from his command. And she turned them back on him.

    The prison snapped, the bubble shattering around Claire. Compelled by Morgana's deviously tricky counterspell, an art she had devised after experiencing the wild mana of Zendikar, the water reversed and shot back, twisting around Gibrael, then slamming into Rckaird and drenching the archon. Morgana turned and glared at the golden-armored figure past the white-clad cleric.

    "If you're quite done trying to kill an ally who fought beside you," she said frostily. "Oh. I remember. You didn't fight. You stood back and watched." The knight turned away. "If we can stop the petty squabbles and get back to the issue of the person who tried to kill the lot of us, now." She stalked back to stand near Jareth, expression cold and hard. Idiots.
    Last edited by storymasterb; 13th April 2012 at 1:28 AM.
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  24. #24
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    OOC: Heh, no worries storymasterb, I find all this clashing of values and points of views fun.

    --

    Dominaria
    Madra, The Talon Gates


    “End this now!”

    Out of nowhere, the priest from earlier positioned himself between Rckaird and the bubble keeping Claire prisoner. The foolish youth dared utter an order; release the girl, or watch as he does it himself. That was simply outrageous. A lowly priest trying to command the Judge himself? It was clear from his earlier actions that he thought too high of himself, but this was bordering on heresy. Was the man not aware that he was the embodiment of everything a priest should serve; law, order, goodness, justice and purity. And now, one of the very priests who should bend their knee at the very first glimpse of his golden glow was questioning his actions, his motives? Inconceivable.

    White mana strings flowed from the sand at the priest’s command, and it was clear he was not afraid to use white mana against him. Yet another unacceptable act. He was using white mana, the power meant to bring order to keep him from calming the child of chaos? The boy apparently required something to open his eyes and make him realize there would be consequences to such actions. Gshir was more than happy to be that eye opening experience, instantly pouncing on the youth with claws extended. It did not seek to kill nor even harm; it would push the man on his back with its weight, dig its claws into the sand on both sides of his head and stare him down, fangs capable of breaking bone exposed for the boy to see. And then, once the man could practically feel death embracing him, the lion would move aside in a display of mercy. Maybe then, after looking in the eyes of the manifestation of the Judge’s wrath he would realize what he was challenging. It was apparent the man felt fear already; so much was clear in his eyes. Curious, how the man was intelligent enough to fear, yet not intelligent enough to stay his hand at the sight of his superiors. But perhaps he had a chance yet to make amends; he hoped Gshir would guide him in that.

    Just then, from among the Planeswalkers another emerged to intervene; it was the Mirran knight, another one he had considered servant of good.

    "Hey! You're going to kill her!" The knight bellowed. Unsightly. He formed a fireball and slung it at Rckaird. Even more fire? The archon found the choice of attack amusing at best. He raised his hand higher, the water that had been healing his hand bursting forth to meet the attack, extinguishing the red hot sphere and producing a cloud of steam. And from within that cloud charged the knight, ramming into him shoulder first. The momentum and small area of impact gave the man’s attack power, so even his form wasn’t exactly ideal for ramming a steel-clad archon head on, his attack did force Rckaird a few steps back. But what actually felt was his next blow; a powerful punch to his head. The archon turned the side of his face to the attack, the gauntlet smashing against his helmet-like hood and drawing out a loud, hollow clanking sound. The man kept screaming at him, and for a while Rckaird just stood there, his face turned from the knight. Unlike the priest, this one had actually attempted physical harm to him. It was clear, then, that like the fiery woman, this one needed a little lesson taught to him as well.

    A lesson of pain, of fear.

    Rckaird grabbed the man’s wrist, finally turning his head to look him in the eye. Water from the woman’s prison deviated a little from its path and moved to wrap around the archon’s arm like a snake, spiraling forth and continuing its coiling around the knight’s arm, headed towards his mouth, its intention to force its way into his throat, his lungs. It would not kill; just deliver an unpleasant, choking sensation. A near-death experience, if you will.

    Rckaird let go of the man’s hand, and just then he felt himself lose control of the rest of the water making up Claire’s prison. It was a weird sensation and he did not like it. Losing control meant losing order. Chaos.

    He turned his gaze to where the bubble was or rather, where it had been; it had burst now, the water used in forming it now rushing towards him, not heeding his orders.

    What was this?

    The water hit him, effectively soaking him and the knight close to him. It did not show, but Rckaird was a bit taken aback as he eyed the culprit; another knight, this time a woman, stood near the scene, glaring at him.

    "If you're quite done trying to kill an ally who fought beside you," she said frostily. "Oh. I remember. You didn't fight. You stood back and watched." The knight turned away. "If we can stop the petty squabbles and get back to the issue of the person who tried to kill the lot of us, now."

    The woman didn’t seem to understand the situation, didn’t seem able to grasp the reasons behind his actions. It would appear this was true for the others as well. Very well. If the situation truly called for it…

    Rckaird let go of the remaining water he controlled, turning to the woman. And it was then that Rckaird did the unthinkable.

    He spoke.

    “A group without discipline is naught a gathering of fools, destroying that which they try to create,” he began in a voice that didn’t quite seem to come from this world. It was cold, hollow and followed by a distorted echo, as if his voice traveled from another dimension, as if it came from beyond death. “As long as chaos breeds in our midst, we can wish not to bring salvation. It is my duty to bring order…” He turned to look at Claire, lowering his voice just a bit as he continued: “…to force change upon those that would inflame the chaos."

    He turned back to the female knight and finished: "All for the Greater Good.”

    With that he withdrew back into silence, standing still like a mountain and waiting for the next act of the fiery woman. Should she still be ready to continue the fight, he would not stay his hand either. Yet, should she have learned manners, he would not harm her any longer. He, too, would rather they figured out the reason for their arrival and the identity of the assassin after them.

    Gshir, already having let go of the priest, walked next to its master and sat down, its glare fixed on Claire, tail whipping about in annoyance.
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    "I am not a bad man
    Even though I do bad things
    Very bad things
    Such horrible things"


    Current rps
    wow none wtf


  25. #25
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    “As long as chaos breeds in our midst, we can wish not to bring salvation. It is my duty to bring order, to force change upon those that would inflame the chaos. All for the Greater Good."
    "That chaos is called 'free will'," said Jareth. Perhaps it was wiser to ask the archon to leave. He was already the center of so much violence and animosity. "If you seek the eradication of that, you will find no foothold among the living, for it defies the very nature of living beings."

    "Perhaps New Phyrexia would be a better place for the archon then? Unified will, unified order and purpose. Seems like a good fit." Lance laughed, flicking dust from his coat. "Either that, or become a necromancer, and impose your will upon all the dead you want." He chuckled. "Or make the living into the dead and impose your will upon them then. You have oh-so many options. And you'd likely make a wonderful stitcher."

    It was then that Claire's throat cleared and her anger came roaring back.

    "You arrogant, self-righteous tyrant!" Claire snarled. She threw her arms to the side, and the bedrock ripped upwards. Two huge stone arms and fists tore through the sand. The first grabbed Rckaird, crushing him in its stony grip before flinging him violently into the palm of the second, which caught him as the first drove a horse-sized fist into him. Then the second tossed him in the air, grabbed him by his flailing leg, and slammed him to the ground.

    Claire leaped through the air and landed atop the archon. "You don't get to tell me what to do, monster. I don't belong to you. I don't belong to anyone." She pointed angrily.

    "Oh, I'm sensing some deeper issues here," Lance mused, still watching with that same bored expression. Well...not so much bored. Very entertained, but not overly concerned.

    "Don't you ever forget that," Claire shouted. "I am an Izzet League guildmage, an artificer, an elementalist. If you think I'm afraid of a little water or can't protect my mind from your little tricks you've got another thing coming." She stood up, power coalescing between her fingers and dancing across her form. "If you ever try to violate me like that I'll make sure you never Planeswalk again." She smirked, she'd seen it done before; knew how to do it too. Though she didn't tell him. "Then I'll break your mind into so many pieces that even Niv-Mizzet would take a thousand years to put you back together."

    She stepped back and backed away. Then turned and fixed Gshir with a glare. "And tell your pet to keep his claws to himself. Or I'll cook him and eat him." She smirked. "I hear Mizzet has a weakness for fried wings."

    Lance chuckled.

    "While I can't condone the eating of lions," Jareth spoke up, his voice deep and rumbling. "It would be better for us all if you two did not speak to one another further." He turned to Rckaird. "And perhaps you would do best not to speak further of subjugating the free wills of others through force. For I doubt you'll find many sympathizers here, or anywhere else."

    "If tinsel-town and his little kitty over here can keep their grubby paws to themselves and keep from violating the laws of nature with their self-indulgent narcissism, then yeah, I'll be fine," Claire snapped. She glanced over to Jareth. "I think I'm gonna like you, Big Cat. I still don't think this is any of our business. Maybe that orochi just has a personal grudge against one of you." She glared pointedly at Rckaird. "Maybe someone mind-raped snake-boy's best friend and he wanted to get back at him."

    "Certainly possible," Lance said, his amused demeanor giving way to one much more cold and calculating. "But why attack the rest of us. I've certainly not spent enough time on Kamigawa to have wronged an orochi. Even one as well-versed in extra-planar magics as this. Summoning surrakar from Zendikar, and a slagwurm from New Phyrexia."

    "Mirrodin," Jareth corrected quickly, looking sympathetically over to Rimuel. "It is still Mirrodin as long as there are still Mirrans willing to fight."

    "I believe you'll find the vast majority of the plane in disagreement," Lance pointed out--though not maliciously. "Who's to say who a plane belongs to and what it's called if not its inhabitants?"

    "Inhabitants with no will of their own, forced by violence to convert, skinned alive and flesh rendered into the monstrosity that is New Phyrexia," Jareth growled.

    "Careful now," Lance said, his amused smirk slicing its way back across his features. He glanced to Rckaird. "You'll get the archon all aroused with that kind of talk." His demeanor changed again, eyes flashing dark as he rolled his shoulders back. "Regardless of what you call it, this orochi 'walker was skilled enough to keep ten others at bay. It at least warrants a cursory looking-into."

    "And we're perhaps the only ones capable of doing so," Jareth mused, his voice rumbling deep.

    "I still say it's none of our business," Claire muttered. "Going out of our way to get involved will only cause bigger problems down the line. At our best, Planeswalkers are impartial. At our worst, we're meddling tyrants." Again she glanced to Rckaird, though she didn't make a display of it this time.

    "Anyone can become a Planeswalker," she said to Gibrael. "Anyone. Doesn't matter how good you are or how twisted you are. And power like this just amplifies whatever you had before. Good or twisted, having this power only makes you more-so. There's nothing special about us. It's just random, stupid luck. We're born one-in-a-million. And only one-in-a-million of those one-in-a-millions actually ascends.

    "And this power isn't limited to just 'walkers," Claire continued. "Or have you never met an Eldrazi before? Who's to say that's not we're supposed to be like?"

    "Because I think we can all agree that bifurcated arms and floating tentacles would do none of us any favors," Lance deadpanned. He smirked and glanced at Rckaird. "Although they could fit nicely with the mind-rape motif you have going."

    "Is that where you stand then, Claire?" Jareth asked, glancing down at the young woman.

    "No, I'm curious as hell," Claire said back, smirking. "But I just want you all to recognize that when everything around us is going to hell, I was the first to say 'I told you so'."

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

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