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LOG: Her Name is Nemesis

Page history last edited by Sonata 15 years, 1 month ago

[Synposis: Cassia returns to the mines to finish the task put before her in Big Girls Don't Cry, kills a whole bunch of badguys and manages to escape unscathed, save some damsels in distress and establish her new nickname: Nemesis.

The who: Cassia. Run by: Moons.] 


        Cassia lays the woman onto the lawn and once again attempts to tend her wounds, taking great care. "Tell me then," She says to the woman in a low voice. The look on her face is serious and intent. "Who is behind this? To what strange god did they plan to sacrifice you to?"


        "-fawl smellin' bastard," the woman tells her savior, and though she is being carried and laid down, she still attempts to salvage some modesty around the bloody carvings on his body. "'e came a few months back, maybe two seasons ago, and he talked to a few people," she shares softly. "Then those people down there, in the hole, they used to be part of the regular folk around here. I mean, they used to be just like me, normal, not cutting people up. Maybe a little strange, but never nothin' like that, but after that guy came through people started disappearing, and those people, that family and a few others, they went missing all at once, and I saw them down there, they went crazy or something," a haunted look in her eyes. "They used to be normal. What could do that to them? Make them go crazy?" she asks, and the mending touch of the Cynis is enough to stabilize her, though it will not repair the damage, she should live. Though what husband she will find, with those horrible scars, only the Dragons could know.


        Cassia has little faith in the minds and hearts of normal men and not much more than that in the spirits of her own Exalted race. She answers the woman, but only in her thoughts as she tends to those awful wounds. Greed, ambition, money and power. Isn't it always the same?

        Cast over a jade protected shoulder is the priest's ruined robe and Cassia offers it to the woman for the sake of her dignity, "I fear that once your escape has been discovered the cultists will make quick of the others." She speaks frankly, but not without empathy. Her face is a display of deep thought and intense emotions. "Will you be able to make it town on your own? Can you send others with aid?"


        It is at least twenty minutes to town, assuming one can walk at a constant pace and in the right direction, but the woman nods slowly and points in the direction of town without asking, sees that there is some sort of agreement in Cassia's face and starts to pull herself to her feet. Grabbing a branch as she walks, he steadies herself against it, but it looks like she will make it. A huge turn-around considering where she had been a few minutes earlier.

        Standing now, near the top of the hole, Cassia can hear the occasional THRUM of that great bass drum below.


        Cassia watches the woman go and mutters a quiet prayer to the Dragons for her strength and success. Her attention then pans to the hole and the thrumming darkness within. She thinks little of the risks and focuses her thoughts on the glory of setting something so very wrong to right again. "Prepare yourselves," She says, giving a quiet warning to those below - and then she descends.

        She moves carefully, slowly and steadily, doing her very best to be sure that no one hears or sees her coming. She uses the shadows to her advantage in that regard and keeps her lissome frame close to the wall until she finds the bottom of the pit.


        The drum answers, a reverberating echo of raw energy, the power of the drum struck harder and harder, faster and faster. Moving hand over hand down into the hole, bits of dust and dirt fall down onto and past her to the floor below, as something seems to change about the place. Then she realizes what her body and mind had been sensing in the stirrings of the earth, there are people below, moving, maybe even waiting for her, a change in the lighting down the hall.

        People are coming. Their shadows thrown long down the hall as the approach the gap near the ladder and those rooms where the woman would have been receiving the last of her markings. The approach of their boots and the jangle of metal marks them as armored, slight glints in their reflection mark them as better armored than the men she had killed before. And likely much more deadly.


        They're coming and the sounds of their footfalls and clattering armor only heighten the sense of thrill that has the Dragon-blood's body humming with excitement. A bright grin stretches across her face, narrowing her eyes and rounding out her cheeks. She watches the shadows dance along the walls and makes a soft sound that acknowledges her foes expectations.

        "Far be it from me to keep the fellows waiting." She tells herself just before letting go of the ladder. She kicks off the rung and gives her body over to gravity, but not without some compromise. Her body bends and twirls in an acrobatic display and her nimble hands are quickly working to arm her bow and draw a trio of arrows from the quiver. She descends through the humid darkness like an angel of vengeance, armed to deliver justice to the unjust. "I am Nemesis," She announces as her feet near the packed earth, "Come to deliver you to your next lives. I pray you fare better on your next go around the coil."


        The man in the lead of the trio of armored men takes a hefty wooden shaft in the shoulder, the head of the arrow sliding righ through the shoulder plating and spinning him around--pinning him to the wall. The other two neatly catch their arrows in the throat, perfect shots in the biggest gaps in their armor dropping them before they can so much as utter a word.


        Cassia plays her bow like the fine instrument that it is and the weapon aptly named Arbiter of the Maiden's Fate sings for its mistress. A gentle strum of its string releases another volley of deadly missiles at the last man standing, "The Dragons await you for judgment. Consider me your transport!" She's a cocky creature, so sure and steady as she releases death and pain to her foes. She's also a huntress, eager and greedy to hunt her prey and see they fall; the bigger the better.


        The first arrow is a killing blow, where the second merely glances off his armor and into the hewn walls of the mine shaft. Striding out of the drop shaft, to her right, she can hear in the distance, the continuing steady beat of a great drum, and now the sound of voices being raised. Voices of protest and those of condemnation.


        The Dragon-blood's body is still vibrating from the rush of battle when she turns towards the rising din of drums and voices. She barely glances at the bodies strewn about the earthen floor and relies heavily on Arbiter's final judgment as she moves into the tunnel. Her feet carry her quickly, but she extends her will and forces them to fall as carefully as can be as she approaches the rest of the gathering. Her bow is drawn and nocked; gleaming jade that hums with a current Essence and the pulse of the red stone set on its curve. Her violet eyes flicker left and right, studying the landscape as she moves and watchful for any who would dare approach. Tuned into the power of the earth, her other senses are sharp as well, ready for ambush or surprise.


        There is a general clamor from within, and the drums slow, and then stop, and then the voices resolve, "Master have you returned?!" a voice calls, and then a man wearing a head-dress, much the same as the first she had killed, the one with the cape made of skin, comes to the hollow, bearing a ceremonial blade in his hands and looking utterly and totally insane--his eyes filled with madness, and his body covered in ceremonial scars. Seeing a dragonblood instead, he looks clearly confused.


        Cassia steps into view, looking every bit like the demi-goddess she is. Essence burns the air around her in a scintillating bright green aura edged with violet light that traces strange blossoms in the air. "Your master isn't coming back." She tells the crazed priest. Her voice is eerily calm and her gait strangely serene. The length of her sable hair rides the gentle wind of her wake and the instrument of her judgment is raised and ready to strike down these madmen.


        In a clear attempt to relieve the crazed man of his confusion, Cassia levels her bow and fires off a single arrow that breaks open his skull and fishes out his worries and fears, the madness that drives him and the bloodlust that had led to this the moment of his doom. "And he's not coming back for any of the rest of you either." She sounds like the cat calling out to the mice, cajoling them out of the space they occupy and entreating them to bottleneck at the threshold where she can pick them off, one by one.

        The cry of her anima is the roaring wind in the trees and growling grown of their limbs caught in its taper. She burns green and yellow and violet and the overpowering smell of rare and wild orchids is heavy in the acrid air.


        Men start to bubble out of the room, carrying wicked looking blades. Some of them unarmed, some carrying nothing more than vile intent in their heart. Surging forward, the leaders see that there are men down, four in total in the hallway, and a welling of blood from the room beyond--and they charge. Battle is joined and the hallway starts to fill with more and more, darkly cloaked, cloaked in skin, cloaked in their own flesh and nothing more, mutilated, wicked, horribly disfigured and angry. All of them are filled with a madness, and each and every one of them is as terrible as the one before him. Only a handful remain in that sparkling steel plate armor.


        This bold daughter of the Wood Dragon looks unworried as they cultists charge forward, pouring into the passageway with their weapons and their bravado. There are no witty comments, no biting comments or acidic observations. There is only Cassia, Nemesis incarnate. She moves smoothly backwards, one nimble step after another as she puts some distance between herself and her foes.

        Training and Essence have made the Cynis something remarkable, a huntress who is as one with her bow. She fires missile after missile in impossible succession. The lean lines of her arms are tensed and flexing bronzed muscle and her sinewy back tenses with each release.


        The first three, unarmored, but filled with hatred for their new enemy, as they hate all people who are not one of them, one of those who serve 'the Master'. But quickly enough, another three fill their place, and charge, throwing caution to the wind. The first two easily jump over the bodies of their fellows, the third trips and falls down onto the bodies, tangling himself up in the many limp limbs while the other two charge.


        Her quiver is empty, but the Dragon-blood doesn't miss a beat. She smoothly hangs her bow and following through with that same fluid motion, unsheathes the sword hanging at her waist. "Come on then, you bastards!" She cries out as their weapons whirl harmlessly around her. There's bloodlust in the huntress' eyes. Gone is the cool collectedness that came with the strategy of distance. Up close and personal now, she enters the fray with a predator's taste for blood and with her sword slicing silvery arcs at her foes.


        Despite the hazards of stepping into her anima, men continue to do so even while Cassia continues to cut them down, leaving bodies trailing behind her. The anima doesn't always get them, but within ten seconds of standing closer to her, they die of the cuts and bites of the Wood-Blessed Anima. The battle lasts for several minutes, but with her anima cutting into them, and their relentless unfearing assault, it isn't long before every last one of them is dead, and only Cassia remains, and the faint cries of women, children and perhaps even a few men, in the distance.


        Cassia burns with an aura of bright green energy; Essence that bleeds from her core and lights the very air around her. More than just a demonstration of her raw power, it is a high that transforms the world around her. She moves like a ghost, stepping over the bodies of the fallen and finishing off the dying as she progresses towards the chamber that holds the captives. At the same time she wrestles with the power that pours out of her in an attempt to calm down and draw in the killing aura that embraces her.

       At the threshold, looking at once terrible and beautiful, she pauses and searches the space with glowing eyes. There were three, the injured woman said. A girl that is her daughter and two others taken from the villagers. "I have come for the villagers. Who are those that would keep them from me?" Cassia's voice is hollow and distant, cold and threatening in a most unsubtle way.


        The room at the end of the hall is probably the biggest in the mine, along the far wall, a huge cage has been erected, and in which a mass of three people can be seen. But the most eyedrawing of that which is within, is an altar composed entirely of body-parts. Skulls and human heads serving as the base of the altar, with gutted and sculptued ribcages to serve as a makeshift surface upon which to perform the actual sacrifices. A pool of dried and semi-viscous blood all around. The rest of the bodies are missing, but based upon the number of heads there, they must have been consumed or disposed of elsewhere.

        No other being lurks in that dark chamber, no headsman, no Master of whom they had spoken, just the horrible stench of death, and the cries of the women and child in the distance.


        Cassia gags on the stench that fills the room and fights back the sting of tears that come to her eyes at the sight of the gruesome alter. "How can men be so brutal?!" She tears her eyes away from the macabre scene and turns towards the cage. A hand raises to cover her mouth and she moves quickly to help the captives, "Hurry now!" She commands them, her anima now faded and the way made safe. "Do not dawdle, do not hesitate. We must flee this forsaken place as quickly as possible!"


        Those in the cage huddle back and away from her, but with a little coaxing, they start to get up and to come forward, recognizing Cassia as someone different than their captors. She is beautiful and powerful, and one of the dragon-blessed, she is what the bards would call heroic, and what her enemies would call terrible. The youngest, a mere girl, takes the hand of the woman nearest to her, and refuses to let go, but over the next ten minutes, they manage to get out of the tunnels, and to the relative safety above. Just then, as the last is emerging, people from the nearby village arrive. Though the woman with the ritual mutilation on her body, is nowhere to be seen.

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