Legends of the Sun (IC)
Selt. A tiny town, near a tiny puddle, in a tiny corner of the desert. The winds had stripped the town of any wealth it once had. The houses nowadays were small little things, the largest of them only hving three rooms. They were made from sandstone, hardened over the years, with bare wooden doors and shutters.
Gael sighed. He had come here a few days ago to evacuate the residents, fearing the worst with the black clouds approaching, but they were unbelievably stubborn. One of them had stopped him at the door with a sword trained on his nose. The town would be covered in clouds tomorrow, and the monsters always followed shortly after. And for all his control over weather, these clouds resisted even his best attempts at keeping them away. Now he was sitting at the supper table with the family that had taken him in, preparing to leave in the night, although they didn't know it.
"Thanks for the food, ma'am." He commented simply. He stood up from the table, and went to the small room where he was staying, ignoring her reply. He was not in the mood for conversation right now. He flopped down onto the sandy mat of tangled brush, and waited for night to arrive.
Night had fallen. Gael, now satisfied the town was thoroughly asleep, got up from the mat slowly, and strapped on his armor and blade. He crept passed the open door where the rest of the family slept, and stepped outside, into the full light of the moon. To the south, the black wall of clouds was already approaching, and he could make out a dark form on the ground. A single creature. That was all it would take to wipe out this town.
But it wouldn't arrive until the morning. He turned towards the north, and began walking. As long as he kept moving until the next settlement, he could easily outpace the clouds.
But he had no sooner stepped away from the edge of Selt, when a gleam in the sky caught his eye. A star, falling from the sky. The red dot grew, filling the night with a demonic glow, before it passed overhead, angled towards the sands in the NorthWest. There was a mighty flash, followed by a rolling thunder and a gentle gust of wind.
"The Helios...?" Gael whispered. The legendary Sun-gods were said to be haralded by falling stars, in times of great need. There was certainly great need now, and that was without a doubt a falling star. He quickened his pace, hoping to greet the new arrival, wether with words or with blade. He desperately hoped the clouds would take their sweet time.
Gael arrived at the impact site a few hours later. As he topped a sand dune, the blasted, glassy crater appeared in his vision. The hole was gigantic, easily half a mile across. The sand still radiated with intense heat, but not bad enough to prevent him from entering. He drew his sword, not knowing what lay at the center of the crater.
But as the center came into view, he saw nothing like he was expecting. The legends all said the Helios were grand, towering figures, blazing with shining glory, mighty beyond imagination. There was certainly a person at the center of the crater, but not the towering figure of brilliance he was always told of.
Gael took a close look at the newcomer. The Red-haired man had his back to him, and was sitting cross-legged, as if meditating. He was wearing what appeared to be red leather armor, with two gaudy shoulderpads that held an over-the top cape. But perhaps the most impressive feature was the pair of swords attached to his waist. Few men had the skill necessary to wield two weapons at once.
Gael raised his voice, making sure he would be heard. "Who are you, swordsman, and what are you doing here?" The red-haired man didn't move. Gael repeated himself, moving a step closer. "I said, who are you, and what is your purpose here?" Still no response, Gael walked forward, readying his sword, hoping to catch the man unawares. He was only a few steps away, when the man suddenly sprang into motion.
All of a sudden, both swords came out, fire trailing through the air behind them, as they whirled in two grand arcs. They halted an inch from Gael's side and neck. It looked like he was the one who had been caught unprepared, not the redhead. The newcomer spoke, his voice filled with wrath. "Put your sword away. I will not answer you otherwise." Gael didn't exactly have much choice. He sheathed the blade he held, and stepped back from the redhead. The man did likewise, sheathing his blades, and stepping back, before speaking again, this time much more calmly.
"My name is Serras. I am a Lord of the Helios."
James stepped out of his tent to find that night had at last fallen, the huge clouds casting darkness over the lands beneath had gotten closer while he slept and it was time to run some experiments. He took a wooden stick and moved it into the fire for a moment until it set alight, next he tossed the burning stick into the dense shadow, next the man noted the results in a small log book. "Traditional fire does little good to lift the darkness under the clouds." He said aloud as he wrote, he then placed the book on the ground and looked up at the clouds, he then raised both arms and shot a large ball of fire into them. "Gah, nothing." Returning to the log book he noted down the magic had no effect either, then he began to pack up the small camp.
A few hours later James was ready to move, his supplies were tied in a bundle and being carried by his camel. "Alright girl lets get moving, I hate being this close to the clouds." As he spoke he mounted the animal and set off, it was then that he spotted the bright light racing across the sky. "What the hell?" It soared for a little while before crashing down not far from him. "I'm going to regret this..." He muttered to himself. "Lets go!" With that he gave a quick kick to the camel which then began to hurry towards the crash site.
After a brief trip James arrived at the crash site. "Falling stars, clouds of darkness, what's the world coming to?" As the camel got closer it began to try and turn around. "Whoa, calm down!" But it was no good, he and his supplies fell onto the hard sand and he watched helplessly as the camel scarpered into the distance. "Dumb thing never moved so fast before." With no other option he moved into the crater and saw the two people already stood within. "Hello!" He waved to them as he moved closer. "Have either of you found whatever landed here? I just want to get a look at it, maybe sketch it or make some notes."
The Desert went on and on, it was impossible to see the end of it as it stretched towards the orange painted horizon, almost seeming to blend together with the brightly colored sky. Yet this part of the Desert did not know such beauty, it was covered in darkness, left alone underneath the carpet of the dark clouds that whispered of an upcoming doom as they slowly reached further towards the horizon by each passing day. The sun was slowly disappearing, leaving the mostly empty Desert to itself and the darkness, almost seeming to run away as to save its own life, abandoning the lonely Desert all to itself and the pending doom. However the Desert was not all alone. Here and there the wind whispered of small life-forms struggling for their life either alone or together with other characters of its species. Most interestingly were the humans, these primitive life-forms clung to life like a leaf hangs on to its branch as the fall wind tears away, trying to pull it off the branch and lead it into the unknown. These humans assembled in small villages, mostly made out of a mixture of stone and compressed earth, seeking peace and prosperity in the seemingly harsh and unwelcome world they lived in. However, these villages wasn’t what had caught the Desert’s attention, no it was a small life-form, similar to the humans in the villages, but this one was all alone, staggering through the Desert as the wind and sand tore away in her skin and hair, she looked like she had went through hell and back again, seemingly with no goal in mind, just walking because it was all she could do. This small human caught the attention of the Desert, it wasn’t something it had seen before, it was an anomaly, something weird - and that was what had caught its attention.
Omaya staggered through the warm sand of the darkening desert, the wind tore away with each gush, making it hard to focus too far ahead without getting sand in her eyes. She had walked for what seemed like an eternity, she had nowhere in mind, but she just couldn’t stop, couldn’t give up. She had to walk, walking was the only thing she knew for certainty these days, everything else was surrounded with questions and doubt, so she had to walk. With each step she got further away from what had happened, further away from the reality of the situation that had crashed into her, she didn’t want to face the reality, she just wanted it to disappear - and to her each step brought her closer to the chance of getting rid of ‘it’, so that she could at least disappear from this god forsaken world. She had tried it before, taking her own life, bit ‘it’ didn’t let her, it kept her alive no matter what happened, so instead of drowning herself with dark thoughts she gave herself a goal; find a way to get rid of ‘it’. When she said ‘it’ she really meant the voice in her head, or rather the entity within her (there was little doubt that it was just a voice inside of her by now), ‘it’ kept telling her to call it “Aigis”, yet out of pure childish stubbornness she didn’t want to, so now she slowly made her way through the harsh desert, the only company was the brief conversation with ‘it’, which surely meant that she had more or less become completely insane.
“Stop it!” she commanded herself, feeling how the small grit were blown into her mouth as soon as she opened her mouth.
Idiot! Don’t talk to yourself!
You know, talking openly to yourself is what defines ‘insanity’ in some cultures, ‘it’ spoke teasingly, yet with a seemingly bored tone, in her mind. - Just thought I should mention it, now that you wont stop blabbering on and on about the state of your own sanity, and how you que-
Oh shut up for God’s sake! Leave me alone! She yelled in her own mind, trying to shut the voice away, almost forgetting the situation of the empty desert she was in.
Well both you and I know that that ain't possi...
Oh god shut up!
Alright, alright, the voice spoke teasingly annoyed, no need to become angry...
Omaya rolled her eyes in irritation, she almost longed for these small conversations as it was the only piece of socialization she had experienced since she had gotten into this situation, yet she hated herself for that craving. She just wanted to make it disappear.
As she started walking slowly through the now dark desert, filled with nothing but the night and the dark clouds above, she saw it. A light! Something fell from the sky, almost like a star, yet it was something at least. It was a goal to Omaya. With refilled hope she started walking faster, almost breaking out into a small run, towards the bright light that filled the world around her with a bit of hope. She forgot everything, the situation she was in, the craving for water and company, the only thought in her mind was that this light could save her. Get her out of this sticky situation so that she could finally sleep peacefully in the eternity...
Nirmala awoke suddenly. The air around him had changed, it was thick with a sense of foreboding. It weren't the ever encroaching clouds, those were an perpetual underlying feeling of dread. This was different, Nirmala thought as he exited his makeshift dwelling for the night. The remains of his fire were still smoking, and he could clearly see his breath in the cold desert night. It didn't bother the wanderer though. It had for a short time, long ago. Nirmala looked around, trying to place his unease. Were it robbers or slavers? Perhaps a wild animal or two? None of that would cause the feeling he had now.
Then he saw it. It was kind of hard to miss, as it illuminated the sky until it was nearly as bright as day. A blind deaf man would have noticed the object streaking across the heavens and plunging into the earth. Shielding his eyes for the flash of light, and a little while after, the heave gust of wind and sand, Nirmala considered his options. The next village was still quite a ways off, and it seemed unlikely the object crashed into anything inhabited. Still, Nirmala felt the meteor was an omen, at least he could place the sense of foreboding he had had. Packing his meager belongings and leaning on his staff, Nirmala set off towards the crash site at a steady but brisk pace.
Gael and Serras stood facing each other for what seemed to them an eternity. But it was only a few moments before it became apparent that Gael was not the first to arrive. “Hello!” Came the call from over the ridge of the crater. Immediately, both swordsman turned to face the scholarly young man who appeared. He was waving far too cheerfully for one who had likely walked halfway across the desert. "Have either of you found whatever landed here? I just want to get a look at it, maybe sketch it or make some notes." He inquired.
Gael was the first to act, his warrior’s instincts telling him to draw first, then ask questions. The blade shined dully in the light of the setting moon as it angled towards the scholar’s nose. Gael was much too far away to do anything, but he wasn’t taking any chances. “What’s your name? And why so curious?”
He felt a hand on his arm as Serras reached over to deter him. The hand was almost burning hot, even through the armor he wore. He lowered his blade, deferring to the much calmer “Helios”, as he claimed to be. Serras whispered to him, out of hearing of the scholar. “Do not draw a blade yet, traveler. My business is peace.” He released his grip and walked towards the scholar, his arms spread out and his back to Gael.
“Welcome, friend. If you’re looking to sketch a meteor you won’t be finding any here, only myself. My name is Serras.” He smiled. “But I won’t be saying much just yet. I believe we’ll be seeing a few more visitors first.” He grinned, and a spark of battle rage was barely visible in his eyes. He could sense two more approaching. Warriors, both, by the feel of the energy. But on top of one warrior was another presence, laying all but dormant. A Voice. Could it be…?
Gael stepped forward, sheathing his blade. “You may call me by Gael.” He didn’t offer any more words. He was worried more about the black clouds in the distance than the “visitors” Serras said would be coming. They were well out of sight range, but he could feel them, and they would close in if they idled too long in here. They were only so far out from the village, after all.
Coming from the west and running through the desert was Cravos. As he ran a cloud of sand dust trailed after him since he was running twice as fast the most athletic people can sprint. He was heading over to Selt before the Star fell to the sands. Cravos was a mercenary, taking jobs with town militia and helping with defense against monsters. He didn't do it for the coin nor the satisfaction of keeping the townsfolk safe. It was because he had suffered a lot in the hands of some very devious monsters, having captured the water farm* he had grown up on and slowly torturing his family, enjoying the fear they put into the children by making them watch. Ever since that day he had wanted nothing more than to kill every single monster he'd see, large or small. He had a string around his wrist and on that string were dangling many fangs, claws, talons and two large feathers, all of which were plucked from monsters he had come across.
The star then fell and he noticed it. He stopped for a few moments after it had struck the earth and he decided to go investigate. A large explosion of dust erupted as he started to sprint to the site and he had one hand on the hilt of his glaive that was on his back, under the large bundle on his back where his sword was all wrapped up, hiding the fact that it was a sword and it was about 4 times heavier than an anchor for the largest ships.
Cravos arrived around the time Gael was introducing himself and he stopped at the edge of the crater that the "star" had landed and he looked around, eyes narrow at the people that were around and the glaive in his hand, the sharp blades on it gleaming in the dimming light as the black clouds. He said nothing to them, wondering if they were monsters in disguise, he had heard rumors about such things but nothing solid so he was on guard.
"My, you're a spry one, aren't you?"
Duan Morana crossed his arms over his chest as he watched the spectre go wail in its torment. A small, pitying smile formed on his face as he observed the ghost's numina pulse dramatically, stirring up dust and knocking over markers in the crude gravesite that it he had trapped it in. This ghost had been rather difficult to track down, but Duan had eventually managed to triangulate its anchor point, and then bind it in a stigmatic ward. The ghost was certainly not pleased by the bind that it was in, as evidenced by the tantrum that it was throwing. He had been commissioned by the spiritual leader of this small, desert village to rid the community of this troublesome apparition, and Duan always saw a contract through to the end.
"Let's wrap this one up quickly." said Nav, whose ethereal form billowed in impatience.
"Very well." Duan waved him off as he prepared to banish the ghost.
From one of his overcoat pockets, Duan withdrew a length of dusty linen, which he then wrapped around his fist. Tightly gripping the cloth, he outstretched his hand toward the spastic ghost and tightened his focus. Blood seeped from his palm, turning the cloth bright red as it ran down it, and Duan's brow furrowed as he glared at the ghost. Gradually the spectre's motions grew more rigid, and its presence in the world became less noticeable. There, it was ready to be reclaimed. Duan turned his hand so that hus thumb faced upward, and then whipped the bloody linen out of his hand and struck the earth before him with it. A massive, ethereal canine skull then erupted from the ground beneath the ghost and snapped it up in its jaws before dispersing into a fog over the graveyard. Duan released the breath that he had been holding. The ritual was complete. That was quite an easy ghost to subdue, despite all its posturing. He snapped the linen twice more, somehow clearing it of any trace of his blood having ever been on it, rolled it up and then put it back in his pocket. His palm, of course, bore no mark of having ever been wounded in some way.
Duan strode forward and dismissed the ward that he had erected around the graveyard. He kicked around a few grave markers and stones before eventually finding what he had been looking for, the ghost's anchor. It was a small scabbard to a child-sized knife, with what Duan assumed to be a name scrawled illegibly on the side. The ghost was weak, and this was only good for converting to plasm. Duan knelt down and tightly gripped the scabbard, and it turned into a brightly glowing mist, which Duan then inhaled. He sighed in relief and rolled his shoulders before rising back to his feet, feeling refreshed.
"We need to move on quickly. Collect your payment and leave." Nav sounded wary.
"Are we in a hurry?"
"If we are depends on whether or not you want to contest with... that." Nav gestured to the southern sky, where a massive black cloud was forming.
"It should not be far now, I can already see the dunes it has created." Nirmala thought as he got closer and closer to the crater. He could almost taste the power in the air, so thick as it was. "Perhaps one of the Guardians, or Heaven forbid, a Sunlord itself." The wanderer kept his guard up. Whatever had fallen from the sky, it (if it was alive) would not have to be friendly. He also didn't figure he was the first to arrive, judging by the time passed traveling.
Nirmala focused, letting his mind wander to the crater itself, feeling the life energy of those present. A lifetime of training mind and body had made this task nearly trivial, it didn't broke his stride in the slightest. He could sense three presences, and focused a little more on them. The first is wild, untamed. Aggressive and powerful. A brute. The second is much softer. Passive. One could call it weak, yet it has hidden depths. An optimist or idealist. The third. Also powerful but has more discipline. A warrior. There was a fourth presence, but he dared not focus on it. It was immense, and Nirmala feared to be overwhelmed by it if he did explore it. So, he sighed and crested up the dune.
Indeed, four figures greeted his sight. With him on top, the first presence and down in the crater, the warrior, the optimist and the fourth. He looked at the one he dared not identify. Its hair, its armour, its very aura signified what he was. Nirmala knew what it, or rather he, as it looked male, was, yet he almost disbelieved his own senses. "Helios..." He whispered. Sunlord.
James threw his arms up in the air as the man came at him with a sword. "Whoa! Calm down I'm James Riverson, I'm a mage and a space rock would really help my studies." Thankfully the other person seemed to be more reasonable, after bringing his arms back down and being informed that the rock was nowhere to found he dumped his heavy bag on the ground. "Well nice to meet you Serras." He said giving a nod of acknowledgement. "But something landed here and what ever it was spoked my mount and sent it running, I think I'll still have a look around if you don't mind." He was then greeted by Gael who seemed a little bit too aggressive for his own good, while the two waited for the others to arrive he went about searching the crater.