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Death of a Crow

Page history last edited by Richard Hughes 15 years, 2 months ago

Who: Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame, Keeper of Crows and Hope (thanks to Silverclaws (3xp for arbitrating PVP) for watching over the scene)

Where: The woods of Silent Peaks

Summary: What was going to be a patrol turns into an epic battle of good versus evil..sadly, Keeper of Crows has an Obi-wan Kenobi moment as his previous prophecy of meeting his end at the hands of a necromancer is fulfilled.


Yay! More allies have been recruited in the war against the undead. And what a war it will be. It's early evening, just past sunset and a lone young woman travels through the land on her usual nightly patrols. She's alone, as she usually is with her oralchium powerbow slung over her shoulders. Not wanting to be outed as the newly exalted sunchild, she wrapped it up in moss and dirtied it up, even wrapping it with some dirty linens to make sure that it looks wooden. She did the same to her breastplate, but she keeps it under her black tunic, so it should be okay. For now, she wanders the lands, wanting to make sure there arent any hungry dead looking to make a meal out of wandering travelers..


Shadow to shadow, tree to tree, Wolfe moves as silent as can be. His armor melds with the darkness, and the surrounding terrain. He comes not to far form Hope and smiles inside the helmet of his armor. In a sing song voice the dusk caste sings out,


"Walking along, all alone

 In the night, so far from Home

 Little Girl, Little girl

 Crashing down comes your little world..."


He laughs richly and stays in the shadows and hidden. "Good evening little girl. So alone in the wylds of this untamed savage land.... Tell me are you a screamer, or one of those strong silent types?"


The little sing song voice definitely catches her attention, but she remains steadfast, looking around her as she tries to find the source of the voice and hopefully..kill it. Or maim it. Or something. She quickly grabs her bow and an arrow, starting to just aim well..aimlessly as she continues to try to follow the voice, though to know avail. "Neither.." Hope says, though her voice wavers a little. Could this be one of those dark necromancers the monk was talking about? One of the hungry dead who is sacrificing wandering travellers? Who knows...


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame picks up a rock and throws it high in the air over Hope to land on the other side to make a noise. "Don't worry child of the Light. I haven't come to kill you." there is a light chuckle. "Unless you wish Oblivian's gift. Then I'd be glad." He throws another rock to another location. "I've come for information. Reaper's Scythe. That incompitant fool. Where is he?"


So she was found out! She blinks blankly and quickly turns around to find the rock, turning each time the rock lands on the ground. Hope swallows a little nervously as she continues to keep her bow and arrow at aim. "I do not know who this Reaper's Scythe is..but I would assume somewhere in the Towers of Gloom.." she says matter of factly. Now she's at an advantage. This will definitely be good for her...look up and find out more about this Reaper's Scythe.


Tilting his head, Wolfe chuckles. "Poor child. Then you sadly are worthless to me." he steps out of the shadows right behind her and caresses the side of her cheek with a flamepiece in a slow sensual way. "Unless you have better news, I'm afraid I might ruin your little walk at night."


Hearing him speak behind her, she quickly turns around keeping him in her sights as she swallows a little nervously as she looks towards the flamepiece. "Is he the source of corruption in these lands? Why do you want to know where he is?" Hope asks, trying to muster up the courage to stand firm and strong, and she does..for the most part.


The armored man circles hope looking her over. "That's not how this game is played Light Child." he stands to the side looking down at her. "You see. I the agressor ask the questions, while you the frightened timid child cower and plead for her life." he tilts his head and is silent. Then clicks off the safety with a CLICK and then pulls the hammer bac on the flamepiece wiht a CLACK. "Well. I'm waiting."


Hope swallows as she continues to look towards him, sizing him up. She musters all her strength and courage while taking a deep breath, keeping the arrow pointed towards him. "I..I am not afraid of you.." she says firmly and resolutely, not quite sure if those were the best words to say in the end, but oh well, she still is saying it.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame is silent for a moment and then suddenly laughs richly. "Yes. My dear you are." he slowly draws a soulsteel short daiklaive from it's leg holster and begins to circle her agian, placing the tip of the blade at her neck he slowly draws it along her flesh. Not enough presure to draw blood, just a tickling of feeling. "I see the fear. I smell your fear. It's so thick I can practicly taste. Your. Fear." he is silent as he continues to circle the younger Solar. "What is this organization you work for. What are their goals?" Just as she is about to speak again he says "AH! Don't lie girl. Don't posture. Speak true, and you will live."


Maybe she is afraid, but she still tries to gather her will and inner strength to not cower in the face of adversity. "We have been fighting the growing corruption for years. We have no name.." she says truthfully as she swallows a bit once more, keeping her gaze locked on his form. She trembles a little at the tickling feeling of the tip of the daiklave against her neck, but for now she makes no sudden movements. She's young and inexperienced, but she also isnt stupid.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame takes a step back and puts away both the flame piece and the soulsteel daiklaive. "See. Truth works wonderfully. Now let's try another hmm? Who is the leader of your little troop of misbegotten heros?" he unslungs the rifle from his shoulder harness and racks a round in the chamber.


"I do not know.." she admits ruefully, sighing a little. There's a reason why the young girls are only trained by one master of the golden janisssary style and why they're kept separate for this reason, because if one is found out the others wont be. Hope continues to look towards him though she keeps her arrow still pointed at him, not exactly trusting him to not harm her afterall.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame laughs and hasn't bothered to raise the now armed Plasma Rifle. "Really. Then where do your orders come from? Who is your master?" he looks at the arrow. "You don't really think you can hurt me with that stick and string do you girl?" He leans in and whispers in her ear. "I'm not mortal." then he steps back again and laughs.


"I also do not know. My master only tells me things.." she says firmly and resolutely, though her eyes widen at being told he's not mortal. She was suspecting this considering he's all deathly pale, thinking he was one of the ghostblooded at first, and maybe that thought it confirmed. At the question though, something from deep inside her wells up, and Hope says matter of factly, "These lands will be cleansed, and Reaper's Scythe will lose. There is a chosen of the sun in these lands and the sunchild will succeed.." trying to make him think that she wasnt the newly exalted.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame is silent for a moment. Then a small snerk, another snerk and then he laughs outright. One hand clutching his side. "Oh man. That sounds almost pluasible the way you throw your Conviction in there!" he shkaes his head. "I may have to kill you just to show you why your pathetic conviction will fail." He raises a finger in a point of interest way. "Here's a clue though. Reaper? He's pathetic. So is whomever he works for. They jsut don't grasp the bigger picture." He walks around Hope again as he speaks. "It's really pretty bad. I mean here he is being all sneaky, all let's make freinds with these guys, and let's make freinds with those guys. But in reality he needs to sow FEAR. Fear, and carnage, and a taste of conviction. Just a taste." he grins and points to Hope. "You. You my dear have been given a whole platter of conviction. This ... What did you call him or her? Sun Child? Yeah. They will be made to suffer, and burn, and feel torment. They will watch as their friends are tortured, raped and gutted before them. Then, my dear. Then YOU and YOURS will now the true meaning of what it means to face a Deathknight."


She just lets him laugh, taking in everything as her knuckles whiten while she clenches onto her bow tighter along with the arrow. At least he isnt going to kill her now, so that's always a good thing..right? However, he has confirmed something for her, that he and this Reaper's Scythe are both Deathknights..or at least..related to those creatures of darkness. She just listens to his diatribe, beads of sweat forming on her forehead as she starts turning, keeping the arrow pointed at him at all times. Hope is taking no chances now, and for now she's just listening. Knowledge is power, and considering the way he's been going on, he's just given her a whole lot of it.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame sighs and looks to the sky as if waiting. "What? No witty comeback? No rightous proclamation?" He touches where his heart lies underneath his armor. "I'm wounded. I mean we had the /perfect/ opening for a story book battle of good versus evil. And you're just going to stare?" he shakes his head. "Totally, and utterly an epic failure on your part hero."


"I only speak truth. A proclamation of your defeat at my hands would be a lie.." Hope says softly as she lets out a resigned sigh. "The sunchild however will defeat you.." she says matter of factly. It's still a truth of sorts. The way she was before would of had no chance against a Deathknight, but perhaps if she gets the chance to grow into her newfound abilities and power, then just maybe..she'll be able to succeed. For now, she doesnt want to give her self away unless she absolutely has to.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame sighs dramaticly. "Well if somebody /must/ follow the rules, and there are rules to this sort of thing Hero, then I suppose it /must/ be me." He tilts his head, raises his gun, and fires. "Good bye." Essence infueses the barrel and the arms of the man firing the gun.


It's a good thing she had been pointing the arrow towards him the entire time, as that little bit of precaution was just enough to react first. Her own essence goes into the arrow, charging it with a bright golden light and at near pointblank range, Hope lets go of the arrow, hopefully striking the creature. Knowledge is power, and the fact that he said he was one of the deathknights was enough...


After the arrow is harmlessly stepped aside, Wolfe grins. He then finally discharges his rifle. He racks another round in teh chamber. "See! There you go. FEAR! Feel it course through you. Don't forget to scream. In rage, A warcry, or in your fear. It makes for SUCH a better story."


A bright golden light shimmered from her body and for a very brief moment, a full golden circle appeared on her forehead as she seems to move with inhuman speed, sidestepping the blast from the plasma gun. She pulls out another arrow from her quiver and decides to be conservative in the use of her essence as she swallows once more and pulls the arrow back, letting it fly towards the Abyssal. At the same time she screams, "Keeper! Someone! Anyone! Help!!!" on the top of her lungs, hoping that anyone..would be nearby..


Wolfe sings as he casually moves to keep up with Hope


All our times have come

 Here but now they're gone

 Seasons don't fear the Deathknight

 Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are

 Come on baby...don't fear the reaper

 Baby take my hand...don't fear the Deathknight

 We'll be able to fly...don't fear the Deathknight

 Baby I'm your man...


Then he calmly spends essence. The flow of his Martial Arts filling him with the latent powers of death in a discharge of necrotic energy. His anima flaring in a ghostly silvery luninesence, blood forming the Dusk Caste mark, and slowly dripping down his forehead.


The softest of sounds tickles up to Crows' ears, a faint whisper of urgency, carried on the wind. His face grows cold, and turns toward the door, which rattles on its hinges. Paper strips begin to flutter in the room, and a chair slams against the wall as a storming wind erupts about him. Diving through the window, glass shatters about him, a coruscating rings, ripping about his form, gouging the earth, as he dives forward, flickering lightning cracks erupting from his eyes as he bounds over the rock-strewn ground, dead grass crunching underfoot, and a howling wind roaring over him, not quite drowning out his own roaring voice, calling to the dark shape that closes behind hope.


Even with what's considered expert aim amongst the order, Hope just misses and starts running, occasionally turning her back on the Abyssal. She notices that he fills himself with necrotic essence and shudders. If she wasnt scared before, she's certainly somewhat scared now..


The song Continues:


 "Your Death is near,

 Here but now they're gone

 Romarious and Julianna

 Are together in eternity...

 Romarious and Julianna

 40,000 men and women everyday...Like Romarious and Julianna

 40,000 men and women everyday...Redefine happiness

 Another 40,000 coming everyday...We can be like they are

 Come on baby...don't fear the Deathknight

 Baby take my hand...don't fear the Deathknight

 We'll be able to fly...don't fear the Deathknight

 Baby I'm your man..."


 His tone is mournful as he sings, but the rifle he holds sings a different song. A loud one of violence. He calmly fires it at the fleeing woman, aiming for the legs to trip her up. The necrotic essence infuses his shots lending it supernatural accuracy. His wings spread to lend him more speed.

Still humming the song as he moves, his hands suddenly go through a series of quick motions. And essence flares about him as he goes through a simple and quick kata in mid flight. He stays just behind Hope.


The monk comes diving forward, loosing from its bound a wickedly barbed chakram from its sheath, its edges already howling for blood, quivering in his hand, and as he spins up into the air in a swirling leap, a huge erupting gust of wind rockets fomr his fist, blowing rock and rubble shooting out of the way, carrying a cloud of dirt and pebbles into the air, following in the wake of the black-limmed disc, whose edges crackle with lightning toward the dark figure that lays before him.


Upon seeing Keeper within range, Hope seems to have some..hope...now. Renewed by this, she turns back towards the singing deathknight and mutters a soft prayer under her breath as she charges yet another arrow with holy light. Her entire body is surrounded by the golden light as she swallows a bit nervously, feeling empowered by some sort of higher power. She lets that golden arrow fly, before reaching back with that of an expert huntress as she lets two more fling afterwards..though they miss


As the smoke and dust clears away, there is no sign of the monk. A shadow moves between grave stones, swiftly, silently, not disturbing a perching raven or moving a single piece of broken stone. His robe is cloaked in the darkness of the grave, his eyes grow dim as he attempts to maneuver behind the dark-clad man, his chakram's voice silent, waiting till it might fly again.


Having completed his Kata, Wolfe now continues his song.


 Love of two is one

 Here but now they're gone

 Came the last night of sadness

 And it was clear she couldn't go on

 Then the door was open and the wind appeared

 The candles blew then disappeared

 The curtains flew then he appeared...saying don't be afraid


He spins in air allowing the Chakram to sail past him and then in mid spin stretches his right arm out, the one holding the rifle and let's loose a breath of fire at Hope. More Necrotic essence fueling his shot.


The intimidating sight of his aura causes her to swallow nervously, but as the necrotic essence ball shoots towards her, she quickly disappears and then reappears with three arrows balanced finely with her fingers. Knowing deep down inside that the monk will not abandon her (or at least, that's what she's hoping), she stands strong as her own castemark is burning brightly, readily visible to the deathknight and the monk. With a deep breath, she aims for now, keeping him in her sights..


Locke flies past Hope and fires his rifle at Hope as he passes. What did I tell you girl? He lands with a skidding of gravel and a crouch. "I said what? That I would torment and burn your frineds, and here you go bringing one to me...." Wolf's eyes beneahth the visor of the helm look about. "Come out, come out, were ever you are little monk. Oblivian does call to thee....." He racks yet another round into the chamber of his rifle. "Or do you want your little sun child sex toy to die for you?"


A form rises from the gravestones, like some walking dead being called to life by its dark lord. Black rippling shrouds tear about its silhouetted form, like the wings of some bird of prey, or vulture. From within its depths flies forth a silent spinning wheel, calling for blood, screeching out in its desire. The ex-monk grits his teeth and narrows his eyes, his fingers releasing it in perfect form, his body still, his breath held. This might be Hope's last chance, and he will not more innocent blood on his hands. Flinging forth the crackling discus on nothing more than his prayers, he watches it flick toward the dark monster's back.


As the necrotic essence charged bolt heads towards her, she moves once more, though this time she's at full anima banner. Her entire body is suffused with a bright golden light, going into her arrow as well. If she was scared before, something gives her a sense of purpose now as she looks towards the Abyssal with an angry glare. "You will not touch him!" Hope cries out with a booming voice. With that said, she lets the arrow fly....


The monk falls back atop of the grave, his form moving lazily in a kata of the Air Dragon, the wind whipping about him, tearing up gravel and small rocks, filling the air with the smell of electricity, as he slowly moves around in a semicircle, keeping (hopefully) out of range of the madman.


The Arrow slams into the armor and stays there. Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre flame gives it a look. Then looks at Hope. "Oh my dear. That. That was a very unintelligent move." He leaps at Hope launching a kick, when he lands in the form of a vicious round house, the armored boots of the Gunzosha coming toward Hope's head. Then he slashes with the bayonet on his rifle at the woman's midsection, followed by an elbow to her face. "I'm giving you a gift Sun Child. Accept it." His essence flares as he attacks.


It's almost as if she really isnt here..or something. Her anima continues to flare brightly, mixing the dark contrast of the necrotic flare of Pyre's as he tries to kick, slash and elbow her face. Each of the attacks miss as she ducks and weaves, moving with an inhuman speed...

"Brother Crows! We must escape!" Hope cries out as she jumps back, trying to give herself some distance from the deathknight as her body is almost blindingly bright. She hates to admit it, but with her being new to the world of the exalted, she knows there is no way to defeat the fearsome foe before her. Sometimes it's just better to run away, so she'll try to give the monk some cover. Pulling out two arrows from her quiver, she lets them fly towards the Abyssal, hoping that he wont go for the monk instead..


Launching in to the air, the armored man twistes and turns to avoid the arrow. He jets toward Keeper of the Crows, staying out of the anima and a little toward the right side and let's loose with a burst of fire toward the monk. "See Sun Child? It could have been just you and me, a dance of oblivin, but instead you braught your friend in, and now he will share your fate..."


A massive thunderclap screeches down to earth, slamming its full force into Crows as he roars out, brilliant blue-white flames erupting from his mouth as he throws a myriad of black-ringed shadows out, their spinning forms peppering Vengeful Kiss.


Ducking and weaving, the Deathknight, is all business for once. The Chakrams going wide under his dodge ability. He dives in slashing at Keeper's face withe bayonet. He lands in a crouch and then rises in an elbow for the monk;s chin. then he lashes wiht another roundhouse. "And like my fire was snuffed out by your winds, so shall you be blown away."


"No!" she cries out as the Abyssal goes for the monk. However, it seems that Crows is doing fine without her, so she tries to take advantage of this by taking out an arrow and just aiming towards the deathknight, concentrating for now. When the time is right she sends one off, praying to the gods that is actually strikes.


Vengeful Kiss of the Pyre Flame suddenly appearing four yards closer to Hope, he leaps back form Keeper and spins in the leap his Wings flapping once and blasts a breath of fire at Hope. "Why do you struggle so! Oblivion is the destiny of all! Embrace it." He lands in a crouch and prepaes to move from any one of the ranged fighters.


Leaping over to Hope again, Locke racks a round in the rifle and fires all in one swift smooth action. "You, are this nation's last hope?" He casually walks toward the evading Solar a smirk under his helmet. "Pathetic." He racks another round in the chamber. "Do you want to see what will happen to your freinds?" over his shoulder to Keeper he calls, "On your knees Terrestrial Dog. Or she suffers. Horribly, and for the rest of her very short pathetic life."


Her entire body is still surrounded by a bright golden light as her hair wisps back from some unseen wind. Truly, she is a sight to behold, though she pales in comparison to the Dusk caste Abyssal. "I am this nation's last hope against evils such as yourself.." she says, filled with a righteous fury and anger. She looks over to Keeper, making sure he's okay as she pulls out yet two more arrows, letting them fling through the air towards Locke. Unfortunately..she misses..


The monk spins about, the ground erupting under his feet, lightning rocketing all over his form, a crackling nimbus roiling around his arms and legs, as a small dodecahedron somewhere inside his robes releases its tremendous power, a jagged, wavering bolt of lightning shoots from his form into the sky, parting the clouds to the heavens above. A slight rain begins, dark clouds gathering overhead, swirling and menacing, drawn by the power of the orb, and the monk shouts to Hope, "Together now!" as black puffs of smoke burst from his lips. He bounds over a gravestone, his chakram spinning wildly in a clenched fist, fletches of blood trailing behind him from where he was struck. He dashes behind the Abyssal, moving into a flanking position in an attempt to divide the dark prince's attention.


"Tick tock little monk." Wolfe says casually as he side steps the arrows. He raises the rifle. "Ho Ho. Gett'n tactical on me! Please, show me your brilliance and abilities. Thus far they have been found...." he laughs a dark evil bone chilling laugh. "Wanting." then he fires at Hope. The fire washing over the land as he walks toward her, lightening up the sky, the barrel hissing as the new rain falls and touches the heated barrel and swath of fire. Adding a chilling bit of steam to and sound to the heart pounding battle.


Her eyes widen at the elemental fury surrounding the monk, impressed with the power he possesses. If she didnt know before, there are many things that make her own abilities and powers pale in comparison. "Okay!" she shouts and gets into position. Hearing his words, she nods and does her best, firing off two arrows that well..dont hit him..sadness.


Crows runs forward, head low, toward the unsuspecting back of the Abyssal, moving in closer to deal a killing blow. Whipping his arm back, he throws with terrible might, the chakram's long-winding journey slicing through the rock pillar of a downed maseoleum, straight at the Abyssal's head. Straight over, as the black-clad man rolls under, spinning up to his feet immediately before the ex-monk, brining up the butt of his gun into Crows' face, slamming it repeatedly into his skull as Keeper kicks off the ground backwards, to escape the onslaught, stumbling as he goes.


Spinning away from Keeper of Crows, Wolfe Stretches out one arm and fires at Hope. The blast lighting up the sky, as Hope melds into seven shadows and evades the blast, leaving a trail of golden motes in her wake. The Abyssal laughs.


Again, the rifle blasts out a stream of plasma. The Bayonet on the end glowing a sicking red form the exreme heat of all the blasts. Wolf watches both warily waiting for them to strike. His eyes beneath the crystal visor of the Gunzosha's helm glitter with excitement. He can't help himself, and laughs that dark, bone chilling laughter.


There's another blast of fire headed towards her, and yet she disappears again with a trail of golden motes. When she reappears, she just keeps the arrow pointed towards him, swallowing a little more. She feels defeated, but as long as the monk keeps fighting, so will she.


A cascade of jagged-edged chakrams ripple toward Vengeful Kiss, roaring lightning and howling edges calling for blood. They are met with cruel laughter, and air.


As the ball of plasma comes hurtling from her, she disappears into the shadows once more, gasping for breath. She's tired and she's weary. Physically, she's pretty much defeated, but mentally..she's almost defeated. She pants and looks towards the monk for a bit of inspiration as she letss loose with another arrow, praying to the gods that it hits..


Thrusting the rifle foreward at Hope, Wolfe see's her dodge with a trailing of flickering golden motes. Then smiles darkly though none see it. So close the Anima;s almost war wiht each other twirling and biting and lashing as essence flares intermingle. In just above a whisper he says, "Gotcha." then pulls the trigger. The blast catches Hope in the chest, charing clothing and flesh in a sickening flash of orange mingled with the dark grey and silver from Wolf, and the flaring gold from Hope. "Monk! She's spent. Surrender, or you watch her burn."


The crackle and clash of the holy fire surrounding Hope's body juxtaposing with the necrotic essence of death surrounding the deathknight is truly a sight to behold. The energies clash and the winds howl as she evades the first, melding with the darkness, though she isnt fast enough for the second hit. The plasma burns at her chest, burning away her tunic, revealing a golden oralchium breastplate with intricate designs, trembling a little as she looks back towards the monk. Her eyes widen as she remains quiet, not wanting to admit that she's completely spent. Perhaps the monk will still think there's...hope. To emphasize this, she remains holding onto her bow steadfast and resolute, pointing another arrow towards the deathknight as she lets it fire off. It's truly a desperate gamble..


The rain is pelting the area now, and thunder rumbles overhead, as brief flashes of lightning puncture the darkened sky above, almost, almost as bright as the raging flares of light that billow up from below, as the trio of figures duck and dance about one another, shallow streaks of blood washing away under the torrent. A vortex of black smoke and blazing electricity spins about the form of Crows, a spiraling cloud touching down in a raging whirlwind, a tornado, which gouges the ground and rips the rest of the mausoleum off of its supports, flinging it through the sky. His robe is torn, and the nimbus of power around his head is fizzing, sending sparks of trailing electric tears in his wake, as he sidesteps around a tilted rock, his chakram tearing through the darkness, light pulsating about its filigreed edge, striking forth just as the cacophonous crash of thunder rocks the entire plain. Rippling smoke clouds trail his every move, and he stands, glowing with white-and-blue flames, in the middle of darkness.


Casually firing the Rifle, Wolf slams the rifle forward into her shoulder holding the downed Solar up the bayonet. Blood sizzles as the puntured woman hangs barely conscious on the end of his gun. THe rain drenshing all three parties. "It's /over/ Monk! On your knees, or I pull the trigger ending her, and her shard." he tilts his head and the visor retracts as he looks over his shoulder, the dusk mark dripping blood over his pale handsome features. His yellow canine like eyes bore into Keeper's. "So I make you a deal. Your life. For hers. It's a choice we are all given at one time. A sacrifice. So make it! And make it quickly!"

To hope he sneers, "Scream for me."


The howling winds rage on, as headstones are flung into trees, and saplings are uprooted, slamming themselves into a small hut nearby, ripping through sutra-lined walls. Skeletal corpses spin and twirl, dragged from their earthen prisons, and are sent rocketing up the spiraling clouds like ragdolls, silllhouetted in flashing lightning. A chakram's spiked edge roars forward one more time from within the vortex, the raging lightning about it strobing, fading, its edges wobbly and weak. But this time, it hits its mark. Directly in front of the Abyssal, it slams into the dirt, tearing clumps of rock and soil outward, a glistening semicircle protruding from the ground: a symbol of defeat. The voice bellows louder than the thunder above, roaring out in its deep basso like a ber might to defend its cub. The form of a man walks out of the tornado, its screeching winds lost under the weight of his words, its spiraling black form following in his wake, and his words ring through the valley. "You have it." He kneels down in the torrential downpour of the skies, under the blackened clouds. Wet droplets slowly crawl down his face. Rain. Tears. Who can tell?


Feeling the sharp piece of metal slice through her armor and into her chest, Hope's eyes widen as she coughs up blood, screaming in high pitched pain. Never has she felt anything like this in her very short life. Her anima flare, once burning with a righteous holy and golden fury has all but disappeared, though the her Zenith caste mark still glows brightly. Hearing the ultimatum, she looks towards the monk in sheer terror, unable to do anything, or even say anything as she just waits, tears running down her cheeks as the monk makes his decision.


Forcing Hope down to the ground with the force of the Bayonet Wolf drags her by the bayonet lodged in Orichalcum to a nearby tree. The Deathknight stands her up and slaps her face. He then leans in and whispers "Remember what I told you? Watch, and learn your lesson sun child." Blood form his caste mark drips onto the Solar and he walks over to Keeper the rain pelting down and pinging off his Black Gunzosha, smearing the blood on his face from his mark.


With little regard he kicks Keeper of Crows in the chin sending him sprawling onto his back. "See? See?! THIS is how a Deathknight is to behave!" He looks down at Keeper of Crows. "You faught well Monk, and you made the right choice. He leans down and whispers, the blood dripping on the sprawling monk, "Good bye Monk. See you next incarnation." then he stands up racks a round into the chamber of the rifle and fires directly at Keeper's face.

At the slap, her cheek burns red from the lingering sting and she just watches feeling utterly and completely helpless. Tears well up in her eyes, trying to look away, not wanting to see the gore that will result.


The shot rings out over the field, a dull sound, hollow, echoing over the empty plain. The tornados winds subside quickly, disippating, like they never were, bringing a slow rain of muddy dirt and rock, and the rumbling clouds give one last heave, before departing, their movements slow, their shadows somber on the earth. Though, in that instant, Crows' eyes lock with the gold-gilded women from across the plan, his head looks up as the rifle's shot erupts, and in the last instant his mouth is still curled up in his signature grin.


No blood erupts from the wound, no torrent of splashing liquid and brains. But red roses flicker out where it might have, shooting out in a cloud of scintillating, flashing beauty, their edges glinting in the last strike of distant lightning. His head falls to the ground, and as it slams into the sharpened pebbles, the dead grass, the muddied earth littered with bone and stone, it blazes up once more, into a blinding light, in a crashing, ringing sound of distant trumpets.


After but a second, the light fades, darkness consumes the earth again. But in the place of a body of a broken, dead monk, lays only a bundle of white feathers, flitting in the gentle breeze. A single black feather floats down onto the bunch, lazily spinning and twisting in the wind, until it lands. A crow's feather. The field is quiet once more.


Staring down at what was Keeper of Crows, Wolf shrugs and turns on his heels. "Neat trick." He casually disconnects the now searing hot bayonet from his rifle and slings the rifle over his shoulder he takes rope from the pack on the back of his armor and walks over to Hope. "This my dear, is all part of the Plan."


He gestures around him, the little puffs of fire from the missed blast, the damage created by Keeper's Whirling anima. "You see. This creates a story. Now you have a reason to..." he notices her trying to look away and grabs her chin delicately "Shh Shh Shh" he shushes her lightly, "Look at me, this is important," then he says in a dark savage voice "LOOK AT ME!" forcing her with power armored gauntlets to face him. He licks his lips of the dripping blood. Casually as he licks his lips he slashes a lock of her hair and tucks it away. Then from the would he squeezes out blood into a small glass vial. He then casually places the red hot bayonet's tip on her forehead.


"You see." he says pressing down to the skull on with the blade. He begins to carve her caste mark into her skin, the red hot blade making it black around the edges but the blood cooling the interior of the wound and forcing it to drip in a river of blood down her face. "You see, we are not so different you and I. And now, your people will see that. With your anima flaring, people will see it and come running." he steps back when he's finished, and spreads his arms wide. "Welcome to the game little girl." he drops his arms to the side and says in a menacing voice. "Now the rest of your friends and family will be made to suffer."


The armored man snorts once, then again and then throws his head back and laughs maniacally. He steps back upto Hope and lashes once with his foot then a second time snapping her left leg's lower bones, then the knee on the right. "Try to tell them there is still hope." Then he turns back to the pile of feathers and plucks up the black one tucking it away with the trophies he took from Hope. And then spreading his wings rockets away.






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