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Myths of Power

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  • #31
    This is very good. It has my interest. Keep it coming!

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    • #32
      Richard stops abruptly.

      "Truth? What would a child know about the truth?"

      Gailin looks at the sky. He raises his hand slightly to cover the morning sun. "The truth is..." He pauses, turns and grabs Richard by the shoulder. He looks around nervously and casually moves Richard to the edge of an empty alleyway. Richard slowly reaches inside his cloak and caresses the hilt of his blade.

      "The truth is, William..." He looks around one more time and leans toward Richard. "...the physician is a fraud." Richard releases his blade. "I'm sorry, old man, but that's what he is. He's just some quirky, ancient, dust ball of a man, who has some knowledge of medicine, but nothing more than that"

      Richard looks at him with worrisome confusion not sure of what this boy knows "Does he know what I am? Did Catherine say too much last night?"

      "What are you saying Gailin? Do you think I'm.." Gailin places his hand on Richard's shoulder.

      "No.. no, of course not. I'm just saying that I saw what the man was like. He would take every coin my father had if he could have. I just don't think you should get your hopes up, for Catherine's sake."

      Richard sighs heavy, relived with what Gailin says. "Oh, my boy..." Richard grabs Gailin's arm and continues on. "I've tried all kinds of tonics, snake oils, concoctions and philters in my pitiful life. Having another fail me can't do any more harm. Catherine is strong and she will outlast me, in the days to come."

      The two shuffle down the next few streets in silence.

      "What became of her?"

      "Not sure, to tell you the truth. I was in another room at the time. I heard father yelling a lot about him not being able to do anything and then nothing...for quite some time. When he came out, his face was wet."

      "Wet?"

      "At first I thought he had been fighting with the physician and was sweating. As her got closer, I could see his eyes. It was the first..and last...time I saw my father cry"

      "But what of your sister?"

      Gailin points down the road to a building that was in slightly better repair than most. It had 3 stories and most of the brickwork was still attached, although Richard could tell, it had degraded to a point to which it should have been condemned. "That's where you need to be, William."

      "Thank you corporal." Richard pulls out a coin but Gailin holds up his hand in refusal. "You're a good man, Gailin and I'm sorry for your troubles."

      Gailin gives Richard a small bow "I'm sorry myself for placing my troubles on your shoulders. I'll be off to my duties as I'm late as it is. Give Catherine my best." He turns and walks off at a soldiers pace.

      Out of earshot Richard whispers "We'll meet again lad. I'm sure you'll come in very handy in the times ahead... for both Catherine and me." He turns around and sees a figure standing in a second story window starring back. "And now for the hard part."

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      • #33
        ---------
        The air in the abandoned dungeon was cold, stale and smelled of mold and mildew. The skeletons of forgoten prisoners lay sprawled in the corners of rusting cells, flesh and muscle long since stripped from the bone. Most are human but a few have odd animalistic looking skulls. Sounds of lightly placed footsteps come from a stairwell to reveal a tall, slender man in leather armour and helm, gripping his forearm.

        "Damn you Argus, that hurt."

        He walks to a small table that has some supplies underneath it and pulls a large satchel. He reaches in and pulls out a glass vial with what appears to be a thick grey cream inside.

        "This little 'reminder' will make me use the last of my poltice. I swear one of these days, I'm going to break you for good."

        As he spreads the cream over his burn he grits his teeth in clear pain. Blisters and burns quickly reduce and fade, leaving only a strange hand shaped redness as a marker of thier existance. He throws the empty vial against a wall, shattering it in anger. He leans back in the chair, breathing heavily. Still in pain, he slowly removes the upper portions of his armour. Intricate beading and jeweling glint in the torchlight, betraying its true age. It falls to the ground in a heap and he takes some deep breathes to regain composure.

        The lightness of his skin is pot-marked with scars and other battle wounds, making him appear to be a kind of living puzzle. Scars from swords, axes an other blades cover his back and chest. Other wounds, healed through the passage of time, resemble bite marks from both man and animal.

        He leans forward with his hands braced on his helmet. He turns quickly to an abandoned cell, peering into the darkness.

        "I've told you before not to come to me like that. Your incessant buzzing and crawling annoys me."

        As he reaches for the cell doors, it opens on it own accord.

        A voice from inside answers. It has the sound of a thousand voices all speaking ever so slightly out of sync with each other.

        "I am zorry, my lord..but it waz nezzezzary to conzeal myzelf from the otherzz..."

        As the figure steps into the light of the torch, its form shifts and waves within itself, there, but not quite there. It kneels on one knee in subservience, not quite touching the floor. It keeps what can only be defined as it's head, lowered.

        " You requezted my prezzenze Prince Aranhil?"

        The prince step forward and removes his helm revealing cropped red hair and the unmistakable points of Elvish ears. Piercings in each ear designate the Princes status in the kingdom of the Elves, what little was left.

        "I did at that my servant. Have they arrived in the city yet, Mallus?"

        Mallus rises from the ground.

        "They have my Lord. There was zome trouble actually getting in, but it waz minor. He iz very adept at what he doez!"

        Mallus puts his hands together.

        "May I have zome payment now, zire?!"

        Aranhil turns and walks back to the satchel. He reaches inside and pulls out a small cut of meat. Steam rises from it in the cold air. Mallus' form wavers and almost looses it consistency in apparent excitement.

        Aranhil looks at Mallus in disgust and tosses the meat on the ground in front of the servant. Buzzing and chatter fill the air as Mallus engulfs the reward, his body swarming in several impossible directions.

        "You've done well so far Mallus. Go back and keep a close eye on our 'friend' until you hear from me again."

        As Mallus rises again, parts of the meat can be seen being absorbed into his body. "Thank you my Lord, thank you!" In an instant his body flies apart and heads for various cracks and openings throughout the cell.

        "Yes, I do believe we shall be meeting quite soon. Quite soon indeed." Aranhil heads to a heavily locked door on the opposite wall. He opens the locks and enters a small room with a large chair facing away from him.

        "Our plan is falling into place father..."

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        • #34
          **AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wasn't liking the style that I was using so I have switched to something more common.**

          --The Dungeons of Haladan--

          Pain shoots up and down Josephs arms. The darkness was deafening.

          "Wake up" the voice echoed in his ears. "Wake up, now!"

          Joseph head slams against the wall as he bolts awake.

          "Arg!" He tries to raise his hands but is stopped by heavy chains." Well that's one way to take my mind off my arms."

          He squints and looks around trying hard to take in any light.

          "Who's there? Leland?"

          "No." the voice sounded close. Joseph leans and looks around into the room.

          "Where are you? I can't see."

          "Don't worry about that now..Do you still have that collar on?"

          Joseph felt up towards his neck and his fingertips met up with cold, hard iron. The pain shooting through his body was stopping him even feeling its' dead weight. Before he could answer, the voicemused, "Well, I guess that will stop you from changing."

          Josephs eyes were slowly begining to soak in some excess light. He couldn't make out much, but he was aware that he was in the dungeons. He looked around for the source of his new found friend but there was still much hidden in darkness.

          "You seem to be able to see well enough in this bleak...I presume, dungeon. Who are you? Where are my friends?"

          "Who I am is not important right now. You must find a way to remove your shackles and collar.The guards here don't take well to your kind."

          The comment made the hairs on the back of his neck stand and he could feel the collar tighten. "MY kind, huh." Joseph had heard this comment all through his life. It was as if the person saying it was treading him under foot.

          With this the voice took on a more apologetic tone. "I'm sorry. I did not mean it in that way."

          Jospeh turned and grabbed one of his shackle chains in both hands and began to pull.

          "I'm used to it, unfortunately." he pulled the chain taught a few times and released it.

          "Doesn't look like these are coming out of the wall any time soon. You didn't answer me, you know."

          "As I said, My name is not.."

          "I mean about my friends. Have you seen them?"

          There was an uncomfortably long silence. "I have not."

          Joseph sniffed the air. "Hmph. Hiding your answers like you hide in the dark huh?"

          "I'm not hiding Joseph. At least not..."

          Before the voice could finish, a lid at the top of the cell slid open. A guard leaned over the top.

          " Quiet down there you animal."

          Sounds of pouring liquid and solids echoed above followed by the banging of block and tackle. Joseph eyes were half blinded by the light but through his squinting he could see a bucket being lowered.

          Laughter screamed from the opening. "Ha ha ha...enjoy you dinner, dog!" The cover slid across but the lowered rope prevented it from fuly closing alowing light to stream in. As Joseph's eyes became used to the light, he took a look around for his cell mate. And found no one there.

          "I told you I wasn't hiding Joseph."

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          • #35
            Joseph quickly backed against the wall.

            "Come out where I can see you then." His eyes darted from one side of the room to the other. There was still nothing there.

            "That would be a little hard."

            "What's so hard about showing yourself?"

            "Firstly, keep you voice down or the guard will hear you. Secondly.." the voice trailed off a bit.

            "Secondly, I can't come out because I'm not really here, per se."

            Joseph started turning his head trying to pinpoint the source." What do you mean 'Not Here'?"

            "Tell me...What do you know about Vampyres?"

            " 'pyres? Blood-sucking, pretty strong, can take a lot of damage...look look...what does this have to do with you 'not-being-here'?"

            "Calm down Joseph..."

            "And how do you know my name?" Joseph began to scratch at the bricks in the wall looking for some type of hole.

            "Here's the thing Joseph. Most of those things are true. However..."

            Josephs eyes tightened. He knew something bad was going to come out.

            "In every clan there are two or three that are, shall we say, different."

            Joseph managed to place his head in his hands and shack it. " You're really starting to get me mad and this damnable collar will kill me if that happens so ,please, just explain yourself."

            "My apologies. These 'special' vampyres look act and have the same abilities as the others except for them to survive, they don't just drain a victim of their blood."

            "I don't understand...."

            "Normally blood draining can keep a vampyre alive forever. That's not enough for the others. It may keep them alive for a longer time than a normal human, but not much more. At some point he needs to perform a blood-transferance."

            "What, by the gods, is that?"

            " They transfer all of their blood into a new host body, which is then transformed into a new 'special' vampyre."

            Sweat began dripping down Joseph's brow. "What are you telling me?"

            "I'm so sorry Joseph, I never intended this to happen." The voice slowly changed to a more familiar one.

            Joseph's eyes widened fully. "MEYLISS?! What the HELL?!?"

            "Some of my blood must have mixed into your body during our first fight...turn away from the bucket."

            Joseph quickly turned to his side and vomited anything that was in his stomache, and spits. "What have you done to me?"

            "While my host body was still alive, i was surpressed, but after those wilds...I started becoming aware."

            Joseph laughed. "So your timing is just great! Maybe you can take me over before they hang me!"

            "That's another problem."

            "Oh fantastic...what's next?!"

            "Well, none of my kind have ever been able to take over another faerie kind. Just humans, so this is new to me as well."

            "Well I'm glad to be the first." he said sarcastically.

            "The good news here, Joseph, is that only a small amount of blood-transferance was done. I don't think I COULD take over your body, even if it was possible."

            Joseph falls back onto the cell wall, drained by the realization. With a flick of his leg, the bucket is thrown across the cell.

            "I'm sorry Joseph, I'm so sorr.."

            "Just shut-up...just shut-up and let me sleep."

            ".....sorry....."

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            • #36
              Sorry for the long wait...

              _________________________________________

              Catherine rubbed her eyes as she woke. The room was bright but her vision was blurred.

              "hmmm.. What happened? Joseph?..."

              She grabbed her head. A dull thud kept repeating in her ears, like approaching thunder. She closed her eyes tight then opened them again in an attempt to clear her vision. She was in the bed, the blankets covered her haphazardly and were partially ripped and rotted.

              "Were they like that when we got here?" she thought, unsure of herself still.

              She stood up and started to walk to a water bowl that was across from her. As she walked, she tripped slightly. Looking back, she saw that there was a large area of floorboards that had half-softened with decay.

              Ignoring that for the time being, she washed her face and looked into an adjacent mirror. Everything seemed okay. But she felt...

              "..lighter. I think that's how I feel. What did he do last night... and where is he now?"

              There was a faint tapping coming from the door. Panic embraced her and she glaced around, picked up a dagger that Joseph must have left behind and held it tight to her side, fearing whoever it was on the other side of the door. As she stepped cautiously, the door knob turned and the door opened slowly. Heavy fingers wrapped around the edge of the door.

              The fear now rising to her skin she quickly lashed out and caught the tip of one of the fingers. A low muffled yelp came from the hallway as the door burst open and Coltan stepped in to the room, sucking on his index finger.

              "WUF DE HELL WAF DAT FUR?!"

              Catherine dropped the dagger and pulled Coltan in towards the wash basin.

              "Oh ...I am.. I am so sorry, Coltan. I...I didn't know it was you!"

              Catherine quickly rinsed and washed his wound.

              "That's...ow...okay...ow ow, watch it, ow... I'll be fine...ouch." Coltan tried to pull his hand away as she was causing more pain trying to help than the wound itself, but she had become very strong overnight.

              "Hmmm, looks like it worked."

              Catherine looked up at Coltan. "Looks like what worked?"

              Catherine released her grip and he managed to rescue his hand.

              "Hm? Oh.. nothing, nothing......" He held up his hand. "My hand..see.. all better... no blood."

              He dried his hands with a towel that was under the wash table and thought to himself, "Well what do I do with her now?"

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              • #37
                "Coltan, where is..."

                Coltan raised his uninjured hand. "He's fine Catherine, he's fine. Your friend from last night took him to the physician."

                Catherine's face strained with worry. "I should go to him, help him..." She moved quickly to the door before Coltan grabbed her shoulder.

                "What he has to do, he must do..alone, Catherine." He moved her to the bed and she sat down.

                "I'm so confused! What happened last night? What happened to me?"

                Coltan sat beside her. "I'm not sure if I could, or even should tell you. It's a complex thing and I'm not even..."

                Catherine turned and held Coltan's injured hand. A slight twitch caused her to to let go.

                "Sorry. I NEED to know Coltan. With Richard off on his own thing, he's left me here all alone..." Tears start to well up in her eyes.

                "Look child, I'm not...really...good with emotional people..." He nervously gave her back a half-pat.

                "Here's what I know about your kind. You are creatures of the earth that are sustained by the earth. Beetles, worms, and other...things..." He shivered visibly. "Newly reborn rev's like you only have a small reserve and when you got upset, it almost got used up."

                "So I could have...what...re-died?!"

                "Not sure if you could call it that, but a bigger problem occurs when the reserves get used up beyond a certain point."

                "Then what?"

                "Wildlings. Uncontrollable, devastating, and damn near unstoppable."

                They both sat silent for a few minutes.

                "I don't remember anything like that..."

                "Be glad about that. We got you up into the room and Richard performed a type of ceremony that transferred some of his reserve to you. It took a lot out of him."

                She turn and stared at Coltan through her tears. "But he'll be alright though, right?"

                He couldn't look at her. "I'm told that a rev's reserve can only be filled a certain number of times. Richard is VERY old. I don't think..."

                Catherine stood up and slapped Coltan's face. "Don't you even DARE think such a thing..." Realizing her reaction, she turned away and sobbed in her hands.

                Coltan stood up, rubbed his cheek and embraced her softly....

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                • #38
                  Richard entered the Physician's building. The door had been rubbed thin by the sheer number of his patients. The hinges were barely holding on to the wood strapping that made up most of what was left. Scavenged pieces were attached where they could be to give it some more life. To Richards surprise, there was no noise as it opened.

                  "Hmm. I guess not everything was left to rot away." he thought.

                  It seemed as if the entire refuse of the city's population was either sleeping of dieing in his waiting area, which admittedly, took up most of the ground floor. People were shifting and moaning and Richard could smell the decay and death that was hanging, curtain-like, in the air.

                  A small frail girl wondered around the menagerie, handing out wet cloths to whoever needed them. Richard motion to her and she slowly worked through the maze of bodies.

                  She was thin, too thin for such a young girl, although her face had seen enough pain and torment for many lifetimes. Her blond hair hung limp from her scalp and her skin had a sickly yellowish complexion.

                  "You'll have to wait your turn sir..." Even though her voice was harsh and croaky, Richard could still hear a faint echo of the life that she once knew.

                  Richard reached into his cloak and pulled out a small box. He placed his hand on the girls should and handed it to her.

                  "Go tell him I have arrived and give him this..."

                  She gently caressed the box and looked up at Richard with a small excited smile. Her face bubbled over with suppressed emotion. Richard was sure he heard a slight girlish giggle as she ran up the ramshackle stairwell. The sudden change in her attitude did not go unnoticed by the others waiting in the near vicinity. Curiosity was peaked in a few, who managed to stand and make their way to Richard, trying to recognize in him what the child did.

                  Not wanting to draw too much attention, he pulled his hood past his face and slowly made his way closer to the stairs, when the girl bounded hallway down and started beckoning him to her.

                  "Come, come. He's been waiting for you." Her eyes seemed to be brighter and full of life.

                  Richard carefully climbed the stairs, taking care to miss the questionable ones. The second floor was quite brighter and, relatively speaking, much cleaner. In the corner, behind an examination table bound together with spit and hope, was the Physician.

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                  • #39
                    Bottles lined the room, teetering on shelves too old and too splitered, the contents just lining the bottoms.

                    "Treating these people on vapours?"

                    The girl had followed Richard up to the room. He mussed her locks and motioned for her to leave. She smiled, and hummed to herself as she walked down the stairs.

                    The Physician placed a half empty bottle on an off kilter shelf, and leaned foward with his back to Richard.

                    "What took you so long, dead man?" There was little humour in his voice.

                    Richard gently closed the door to the stairs and removed his hood.

                    "I'm sorry, I ran into a little issue outside the gates."

                    Before Richard could react, a surgical blade came flying past his cheek and embedded itself into the thin wall behind him.

                    "I know all about your 'little' issue. Your charitable attitude is going to get us all killed. You should have left her behind."

                    Richard reached over his shoulder, removed the blade and slowly placed it on the examination table.

                    "You're over-reacting a little, Corin."

                    Corin walked over to Richard, grabbed his cloak and forced him onto the table.
                    Leaning in close, Corin whispered in his ear.

                    "Youre being followed, Tell Beth that your job is done here. She'll take you somewhere safe."

                    Carin pushed himself off of Richard, who, at this point was having a hard time taking in this new information.

                    "Now get out, before you bring the gods down on us all."

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