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Log: The Madman's Plea for Peace

Page history last edited by Richard Hughes 14 years, 3 months ago

(3 xp to Zera)


The camp of Walker in Darkness is a mobile thing, erected with each passing night. It has none of the pomp and circumstance of a proper citadel, but Walker tries to make do. The black velvet domicile remains at a mildly uncomfortable cool temperature despite the weather outside; it is a mammoth command tent held upright by strange black wood poles. Walker must lurk within it. Around him is the army - a horrid and vast thing, faceless in many cases (like the hopping dead limbs, all a-jumble; how does one ascribe a personality or manner to an arm, thrashing on the ground, or a leg hopping about?). It has strange devices which look more mechanical than zombie, in great number. Mostly, however, it has skeletons - thousands of them. Some speak, in raspy voices. Others say nothing. Walker's personal attendants are Excellent Undead Emissaries - essentially, they look human, though they smell of mildew and sawdust but never blink. These are more cordial, polite attendants, and before you are let in to see the master, they record your name and purpose in a ponderous looking tome that's as big as a child.

"Syme" he utters in a breath-soaked, croaky sigh. "The Mad Baron of Freehold." He starts towards the tent and then stops "Oh! And these three-" He casts his arm out to gesture at empty air. "Are my plus ones. I'm not sure they have names. So be a dear and write my name four times."

 To those who know him, the Baron would be unfamiliar. His eyes are shadowed darkly and he breathes through his mouth in a slow and chaotic stream of long languid breaths punctuated every few minutes by a staccato exhalation. He walks drunkenly through, past the Emissaries, to the man himself. A half-bow, his hunched body briefly straighter than straight. "Your... Honour? No. Grace? No. Magnificence? No. You! Yes, Yes. You. The Walker in Darkness. I am Syme, Baron of Freehold, honoured and humble servant of the Lover-Clad-In-The-Raiment-Of-Tears" the deathlord's name washes over his lips in a fast stream. "I have come, Great Walker, to ask you to leave The Empire of Vir Sidus alone."

The 'Great Man' is a towering thing, thirteen feet in height. His skin is a pallid blue, like a person who has been frozen to death, but his eyes have a bright orange color. They glow faintly. He does not speak. His thoughts are audible. He shifts in his seat.

<<< I see. I have no desire to take that place. It has no value to me. >>>

Syme laughs. Or coughs. Or chokes. His parched throat makes the noises blur together. "Well of course it has no value to you. If it had any you wouldn't be tearing great chunks of it up." He taps the side of his nose and inhales sharply through his other, uncompressed nostril. "But obviously it has value to SOMEONE, or else I wouldn't be here."

<<< I take what is mine. It was -always- mine. It will always /be/ mine. The trespass against my holdings was punished. >>>

His lips press into a tight frown as he says this, eyes hard. Yet, he seems to remember himself, and this foul expression he subdues. He cultivates, instead, a warm smile. It feels innately insincere. The monster leans forward. <<< It is unimaginably hard for somebody with my power... my... patrons... to do anything to help the living. It is not in our nature. Only those with the strongest will can hope to reach out of death to aid those who descend from them. Why do those who enter into my holdings spurn my efforts? I have worked for centuries to be able to restore that place to what it was. I will feed millions. And that worm trespassed upon my efforts. So long as she does not do so again, her homeland will be spared. It is a simple arrangement. Do not enter Denasdor, and the Dreaming Black Marble Skull will never be deployed again. >>>

Syme turns his grimy hands upwards in a mock-shrug, stained palms pointing skyward. "I couldn't say. I'm mad. Madmen get let out of the lou-" his head jerks skyward, skin stretching taut over his features as it vibrates in a violent stream. When it stops, his posture is changed. No longer the hunched madman, he holds himself as the seasoned veteran of ten thousand campaigns, a great warrior. Even his face is subtly different. The same skull wears the same skin differently, implying a thicker brow and deeper set eyes. "Because everything you touch turns to shi-" he cuts himself off, head jerking again, and again a new face. Tragic and doomed and too young. "I can make promises for myself. And the empress has agreed to abide by this meeting and the words I bring back. But I cannot for the Time Lord." His voice has changed again as well. A tenor with the sorrow of ages burnt into it. "His will and his madness are his own."

A whispering spririt comes alongside Walker, manifesting and handing him leaflets scrawled upon some sort of skin. He pauses to pass his hand over these, absorbing the contents via some mystical osmosis. What he discovers intrigues him. He looks at you more closely, quirking his head.

<<< You are nothing like my reports say. Has something happened to you? You are the one who spoke to the Sun. >>>

He chuckles. The laughter seems sincere.

<<< Explain yourself. >>>

Syme changes again, again the madman who entered. "And I im-PRESSED the Sun and I en-RAGED the Sun and the Sun in his infinite wisdom Chose me. And he made me into the thing that I hate and he made me a shard stained to the core with the ghosts of the minds and the wills of first age and it broke me." His voice has grown higher in pitch steadily, until it's almost childlike. "Oh, but I hide it. Every waking hour I hide it. Like so many, like the Empress, I hide it."

<<< And now you work for dear Lover. Who amongst her faithful has passed on? >>>

Syme shakes his head. First normally, and then as he did before and the man you're talking to changes. Again the tragic prince, the paler skin, the tenor voice. "We are the same, Deathlord. Reflected in a mirror as shattered as my psyche. But the same. You fight against what you are to try and do good for mankind. I fight against what I am. Because of hate. Because I hate the Sun and I hate the Solars."

<<< We are nothing alike. >>>

Those condescending words hang in the air, cold, and a long silence ensues. Walker in Darkness stares as if mortally insulted, as if greatly offended by the mere suggestion that his majesty could be equated with something so lesser as a living thing. Every one of the dead in this tent is absolutely silent. Fearful.

<<< Answer my question. Who has died. Which monstrance have you emerged from. >>>

Syme smiles, showing his yellowed teeth and too much spit and bloodied gums and tongue. The madman again. "No Monstrance. As I said, I fight what I am. I am a broken solar, a tarnished solar, but a solar. My service is a matter of Geography. The parents of it are Happenstance and Madness. Never look for great significance in a madman, Deathlord. The truth is low and dirty and soiled and made of hate."

<<< Ah. So you fuck her. Or her servants. >>> He looks unimpressed. A sigh escapes him, and his lips curl into a sneer of disgust. <<< Such useless diversions. Pathetic. >>>

Syme laughs that horrible, raspy laugh. "Oh no, I like boys. As I said, Geography. It was a mere accident of Geography that brought me close to the Empress the night that a servant of the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears put her on the throne and-" he crooks a finger, as if beckoning "-/bent/ the Senate. It has nothing to do with sex."

<<< You like boys. >>>

Something about the story has struck the Deathlord as off.

<<< You have denied the affections of the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears? Because you prefer someone else. Of another sex. >>>

<<< And she accepted this rejection. >>>

Syme sighs. "Well, to be exact, they've never been offered. I have yet to meet her, only her agent and the shrine in my office. I hear voices, but none of them are hers. I fear her and I fear her affections and besides, I don't clean up so nice."

Walker decides that this is not a deception; and if it is, he does not particularly care.

<<< Bring her this message. >>>

He nods, and then clears his throat. When he speaks, he does so in a voice that is deep and magnetic - yet, inhuman. Layered over it, like a warping dub, are the voices of a dozen other things. Whispers. One cannot make out what they are saying. One probably shouldn't try. The sound brings the living to an almost frantic discomfort, rather like nails being scratched down a chalkboard.

With a tone like he is dictating a formal letter - "Foul harlot. I know not how your attention has been diverted from the rigid organs that so often demand it, but I beg that you refrain from guzzling the fluids of flesh-things for a few moments while one Greater Than You demands your attention. I beseech thee, return to thy idle thrusts and moans, for nothing remains for you in the furthest east. Waste what you have been given, and know that we all mock you in your despair, that we see your failure as manifest and plain. It amuses us that you are so shamed. We contemplate you recieving sodomy from your mortal lovers and envision that you believe this is a proper use of your station. You may enjoy some benefit from my mockery of your lifestyle, and that is that I take you not at all seriously. If you have laid claim to Vir Sidus, so be it, yet do not think this will stay the wrath of my Dreaming Black Marble Skull from that place should it send champions against my plan. Keep your deathknights suckled upon your teats, and let them not stray into the playground of the Black Psychopomp, for if they do they shall be punished. As per our agreement, I will not raise hand against you, dear 'sister'. I would not deny myself the comedy that shall arise from conversation with the others regarding your latest 'accomplishments' and how many of them you were able to fit inside you at once. Very Truly Yours, Walker in Darkness, Your Brother and Confidant."

<<< Every word. Understand? >>> It amuses him to think of you receiving her anger, so he smiles.

Syme nods, and his fear is the fear of the mad, all wide eyes and squalid limbs. "I Understand! Every Word!" The voices in his head are already repeating it, converting voice to memory. "Every Word" he repeats, before bowing and scraping backwards towards the exit of the tent like a man possessed. Well, he is a man possessed. He has three voices in his head screaming to leave before he gets them all killed!

<<< Swear it. Swear you will deliver this message to her, personally. >>>

The Walker grins as he says this. Again, his pleasure here comes from the fact that he knows Lover will probably kill you, or at least be very angered. Walker, it seems, is a major asshole.

He extends his hand, as if imploring you to come forward and touch it, to 'shake' on the bargain.

Syme swallows. "I swear it. I swear I will bring it to her and repeat it. Personally. Every last word" He looks as if he's about to die right here from fear. Apparently he's not mad enough to have lost his self-preservation instincts. He holds up his hand instead of "shaking." "Oh, no. No. What I have is catching."

<<< Touch me or die. >>>

Walker seems almost bored, as he 'thinks' this, as though people being afraid to come into contact with him is not an unusual thing. A straight-shooter, he cuts right to the chase.

Annoyed. <<< Come come. Quickly now. >>>

Syme tsks. His wide, stark eyes show that no matter how casually he tries to act, he's deathly afraid . "Begging your pardon, but that's hardly a threat. The message will kill me as surely as you and if you do kill me then she won't get your message and you'll have put together all those pretty words for nothing and then won't you feel so silly?" Slowly, he begins to slide his hand towards Walker.

Walker clutches the hand fiercely. The pressure is just shy of what is required to break bone. It is unimaginably painful. The whispers that were woven into his speech rise up again - only, now, they are not in the room around you. They are /within/ you. Bubbling up from your very soul. You feel unusual. Emotions flare into existence and die quickly ; is this what somebody meddling with your thoughts, feels like? You feel a distinct pressure, like a headache, or being in a deep ocean of water.

Investigate where Lover is keeping her Monstrances, prepare a report, and deliver it to me by the most effecient method possible.

Investigate what Solar Exalted Lover knows, prepare a report, and deliver it to me by the most effecient method possible.

Investigate the Bane of the Lover Clad, prepare a report, and deliver

Investigate the Soul Mirror, where is it, and deliver.

Investigate what Lover Knows About My Plans, and Deliver

Investigate something embarassing about Lover, and deliver.

Syme nods slowly. He turns and runs away without another word, scrambling out of the tent. All in all, a successful night, and he didn't even have to use the Southern Bastard. Now, to reach the others before it's too late...  

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