The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

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Invoker
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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:33 pm

This Time Will Be Different




"So...what now?"

The dark mage didn't reply. He just kept looking in the mirror, his mask on the ground at his feet, cowl lowered.

"That bad? Come now...a victory's a victory. And given the circumstances of the ambush, those Drow had the upper hand. You and your people had already killed a Balor, the Fire Giants' Chieftain and his armies...They must have been observing you for quite some time. It could have ended badly. You must know that."

Silence, once more. The wizard's emerald eyes fixed on his alabaster skin, the mirror offering his absent-minded reflection to his distant gaze.

"Well...at least one is dead and has been delivered to the Dukes. The other escaped, but so what?! Those who sent him are surely not happy with his failure...They might finish the job for you."

Without replying, he took his cloak off, then the gloves, before sitting on his favourite armchair, the one behind the lanceboard. Distractedly, he performed a sacrificial attack against the castled Black King, which in fact exposed it to a double attack leading to the capture of the Black Queen, resulting in a winning position for White due to overwhelming material superiority.

"Did you tell the others, yet?"

"Tell them what?" he replied without turning towards his interlocutor.

"That you are going to do some hunting of your own. That since they threatened those you love, you intend to considerably shorten their lifespans...to yesterday...?"

"Oh, they know. They know...." and as he replied to the spirit trapped in the gem atop the Staff of the Invoker, he could hear the elves of Kalinor calling him. Those who had first warned him about the darkness within.

Those he had been unable to save.

Kor'Vain....Kor'Vain...

Kor'vain....


"This time it will be very different. This time, I have no intention to exercise restraint...
I will simply do what I do best. I will kill them.
Everyone involved, everyone who meant to profit from it, and everyone who opens their eyes at me."
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Invoker
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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:15 pm

The Duel




"I am Arch-Necromancer Jys'Ssysynstra, Leader of House Sshamath, Terror of the Underdark and Scourge of the World Above."

The Drow female listed the impressive titles with the confidence of someone who wields a vast amount of power to back them up, and the quality of her obsidian black, rune-inscribed armor as well as the strength irradiating from the arcane wards enveloping her seemed to confirm it.

Yet, the dark-robed mage standing in front of her did not seem concerned at all. After a short silence, Jys'Ssysynstra spoke once more, seemingly amused:
"Aren't you going to introduce yourself?!"
"I am the greatest mage of all. And I need no introduction" her adversary replied, and this time it was his turn to be amused.
"Well then," she said, biting her lower lip and sighing in resignation "I see you take no pleasure in this. Let us begin...".

And the world exploded in a myriad of colors as they began to weave.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

He was beginning to tire. The thought slipped into his casting trance as the dark elf's force weave shattered a hastily erected magical barrier, right before she deftly slipped into etherealness to avoid his retaliation, flashing a wicked smile at him.

Despite the amount of power they both had drawn upon, a quantity that would have burned lesser mages to a cinder, she seemed rather fresh instead. Impossible. Unless... The sudden realization almost costed him grievously, as he dodged her unraveling weave at the very last moment. Astounding...

She was younger than him, had the magical reserves to outlast him and was better prepared and equipped than him, being able to tap fully into the arcane resources the City of Weavings had to offer to its prodigies.
Realizing time was the enemy - ...but then, hasn't that always been the case for me? - he attacked her with his full might, tearing down her defensive weaves but leaving himself open, in turn, to her incoming retaliation.

Tasting victory, Jys'Ssysynstra pressed her advantage and hurled a force spell of immense power at him. She was clearly experienced enough to know the attack was a lethal one. She was rightfully expecting him to die, as it would have been enough to destroy pretty much anybody else, in the same situation. Anybody but him, but of course, she could not know that.

The magical storm caused terrible damage, but not enough to kill or disable him...and now, he had his opening. And she knew. With a ferocious smile, Kael called upon his darkest powers to weave an imprisoning spell impossibly fast, trapping the Drow, who still could not believe he was still standing.

It was over. I have won. Moving in to end the duel while his spells tore down her wards one after the other, he barely noticed another Drow mage coming out of stealth and destroying his magical cage with impeccable timing and precision. Oh no...No, I didn't... Free from her bonds, Jys'Ssysynstra gazed upon him with the look of someone ready to finish the job. Now fully on the defensive, he barely had enough strength to deflect her attacks coming closer and closer to the mark, until she finally connected, bringing him closer to death than he had been in a long time.

But right when she could muster the power for a final blow, she noticed the crowd of adventurers that had gathered all around them were done hacking her Undead minions to pieces, and seemed now eager to try the same with her. Special mention for Captain Mealir Ostirel, whose brave, deft blade tried to stab the Drow repeatedly, mostly finding enchanted plates and being turned away by her formidable defenses. Flashing her adversary a last grin, she and her companion teleported away, disappearing in a brilliant white light.

Oddly enough, despite the tiredness and the wounds, he felt alive...young, even!

Wait...did I just grin back at her?
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Invoker
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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:13 pm

A Gift of Hope




A chill in the air announced her arrival moments before she came through his chambers' entrance, her steps so light she was almost inaudible, even for his keen senses. He continued writing as she made her way in, stopping right behind his chair. He continued even as she spoke, her voice a cool mountain spring:

"What you did was utterly illogical, senseless even by a young race's standard." Straight to the point. How typical.... Her tone was blank, but he did not need any further indication to perceive the quivering rage within her, the kind of fury only love and fear combined can generate.

"You are just back after an almost uninterrupted absence of two years.
You did not rest enough, you did not equip suitably and did not prepare properly, yet you deemed it a viable plan to just go ahead and accept a challenge to a duel from a Drow mage."
Strangely enough for him, he had nothing to say. No clever remark, no "Kael's golden tongue to the rescue", none of his typical, defiant retorts. The stretching silence did nothing to diminish her anger. Shocker...

"And not just any Drow mage, which would have been dangerous enough already, but the Head of House Sshamath, a ruthless Lolthite Arch-Necromancer who scourged the whole Coast for months, creating an infamous reputation for herself. If you were any less powerful than you claim to be, you'd be dead by now. Not to mention the likelihood of it being a trap was exceptionally high...yet you managed to ignore even that." He opened his mouth to reply, but at the last moment, he thought better of it, tiredly letting the air out slowly in a sigh as he wrote a last sentence, subsequently putting the quill down.

"I find it remarkable you succeed in being incredibly long-winded in the most inappropriate circumstances, and yet right now you have nothing to say." He slowly stood, turning and walking towards her. "Where are y-" his bloodless lips touched hers, a thin layer of frost immediately forming on them as his gloved hands gently took hers in them.

When he walked away, she lowered her puzzled eyes on the crumpled parchment he left in her hand. The ink was still fresh on it, so it must have been what he had been writing all along:
Traveled the world, by land and sea
Everywhere I look, you're all I see.
Dark vault within, and you are the key
to the fading memory of whom I used to be

Now Shadows obey me, and Hell's my domain,
The Void inside knows no bounds, no chain.
And even though I'd never hurt a friend,
Should it surprise to be shunned, condemned?

Facing it alone is like Night chasing Day,
No matter how eager, the fight is in vain.
Light in the dark, your love shows the way,
A song of solace in a cathedral of pain.
As she read, the dark wizard walked out without looking back.

He didn't need to.

He knew she was smiling.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Invoker
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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Mon May 14, 2018 4:32 am

The Battle for the North

The formation was an island of order in a chaotic, ever-changing sea of death and destruction.

General Siger's combat prowess and inspiring presence were the beacon around which his highly skilled, excellently trained handful of soldiers stood against the tide of trolls, goblinoids, beasts and demons swarming upon them. Six fighting like six hundred against overwhelming, impossible odds, making the best possible use of terrain, steel, destructive and restorative magic, standing where others would easily have fallen.

And then, there were the dark wizard himself and his kin. For the very first time, the aspiring conquerors of the North came face to face with its ancestral denizens. In the case of the Dharashan leaders, Kael thought it would definitely be a lasting impression. Fading in and out of sight, Mendel and Ithilwen proceeded to systematically destroy everything they targeted like vengeful ghosts. The invaders' losses were horrible, the dead count more and more staggering as creatures were pierced by arrows in their main vital organs in alphabetical order, sliced open by an elven bladed vortex, frozen solid in mid-stride and then smashed to bits by the inevitable fall or unfailingly exterminated by devastating force spells wherever they tried to take cover.

Eyeing meaningfully the incapacitated knights laying beside him, he arched an interrogative eyebrow at the girl as her powerful healing weave washed over him, chilling to the bone. When she made a face, he followed her stare to the huge cleaver lodged into his right shoulder. He smiled sardonically at its recently disintegrated owner's idea that such a weapon had any chance to even slow him down, let alone stop him. He nonchalantly extracted the blade and tossed it aside, not a single drop of blood pouring out of the entry point.

Despite everything, he thought they were winning. Keeping this up, they would reach Soubar soon enough. It was at that moment that he saw the enemy reinforcements, constituted by a rather unpleasant amount of oozes, very powerful darkened trolls (spell weavers and fighters) and goblinoids. His eyes met the First Mage's, briefly. They needed no words to understand each other, not anymore. He nodded, slowly.

Turning towards the battlefield once more, he began artfully weaving the most complex and powerful spells he knew, tapping as deeply as he could into the vast reserves of power he possessed. The sounds of battle all around him quieted down. The world itself disappeared. Time became irrelevant. Concentration, absolute.

The end result redefined the concept of obliteration.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:40 am

Behind Enemy Lines

"Wren, could you scout ahead and see if there's an alternate route we might use?"

Ever the leader, Mendel's voice was calm and collected, despite the veritable army of steel devils, Eyrinies and worse between them and the Druid's refuge, behind the hardened crystal barrier blocking the tunnel ahead. A barrier that wouldn't last forever, under the infernal creatures' furious, relentless hacking.

Kael knew his brother's first instinct would have been to simply start fighting, but he worried for them. He was trying to reduce the risk margin, fully aware of the formidable foes ahead. He smiled bitterly under the mask. He would probably not have hesitated, if he thought he could still count on his full power...but now...


"If" he could still count on you?! Did you forget how to weave, Kor'Vain? Or, perhaps, you simply forgot who you truly are...

Wren was already back from her scouting, silent and elusive like a ghost in the shadows of the dark cave despite the sweat dripping copiously from her forehead, her shaking and unsteady legs. She gestured a "no", confirming there was no avoiding them.
Whatever the problem affecting her was, it seemed to be tied to the environment, since she had fought these enemies as fearlessly and valiantly as usual all along. She had mentioned something about "caves"...hadn't she?!
No matter. They would soon be out of here.


Oh, really?! Who's going to break the impasse, "Archmage"? You?! How long before that potion keeping you standing expires, leaving you weak and helpless? Perhaps you could ask the Silver Rose Human to carry you...she seems strong and sturdy enough...

"I have a plan" he whispered, keeping weariness out of his voice as he leaned on the Staff of the Invoker casually enough he hoped nobody would notice. Everybody turned towards him, even shapeshifted Nai, craning her draconic neck to stare at him all the way from the frontline."Attack. Let's kill them all." the pools of emerald radiance that were his eyes flashed from the dark depths of his cowl, ablaze with arcane power.
"That might be unwise...albeit likely necessary." said Ithilwen with her usual cold, dispassionate logic, her frozen skin undisturbed by the sulfur cave's heat. Lady Waynn nodded her agreement, her silver Morningstar gripped in a firm way that he knew meant extremely serious intentions, and terrible news for her adversaries.

Mendel nodded as he grinned at him, the way he used to. As his own lips curled under the mask, the tiredness was forgotten, pushed to the back of his mind. "Please, allow me to introduce myself, first..."

He stepped forward, and began weaving one of the most devastating spells ever created, one that only few mages trusted themselves enough to even learn, let alone employ it in battle. When it hit the enemy frontlines a moment later, utterly deleting several of their ranks from existence in a cataclysmic impact, it suddenly became clear these Devils were likely wrong in thinking they had escaped Hell.

Hell was there, coming to claim them back.
And he was it.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:55 am

Rise of the Crimson King

He stood alone, black robes blending in with the darkness all around him, the low-light vision turning his eyes into emerald pools of radiance as his gaze pierced the mists and shadows enveloping him. The Staff of the Invoker was firmly in his grip, its blood-red stone lacking its typical bright, ravenous glow, substituted by...something else. He had no idea where he was, which for mages of his power, meant almost invariably something had gone, or was going very, very wrong.

If he had been warded, he surely wasn't right now, and his attempts to tap into the Weave failed miserably. His head shaking in surprise, he moved some tentative steps in one direction, but it was hard to tell whether he was even moving at all, with no landmarks in sight and so much fog he could not see the ground he was treading on. Suddenly feeling bone-weary, he leaned on his staff, considering the situation


Dear, it would be advisable for you to join the fight in a timely fashion. She is hurting the humans, and given her power level, controlling her is rather problematic.

Arching an eyebrow, he looked around, unable to ascertain the origin of the sound, seemingly coming from everywhere, and nowhere at all at the same time.

We could use your help, brother!! The Countess is extraordinarily strong...we need to fight her together!

Were those Mendel and Ithilwen's voices...? What were they talking about? Which C-

Come, now. You remember...

He suddenly opened his eyes, viridian bars of light in the depth of his dark cowl, his staff lying beside him and still charged with the negative energy of the Cultist wizard's Death Spell it had partially stopped, momentarily saving his life. He rose in a blur of dark garments, already weaving. He was dimly aware of his own weariness, and what unleashing the kind of power he was calling forth would do to him in his current state.

He didn't care.

The Crimson King had risen, and now the Countess was hurting his friends and allies, and threatening his family, just like she had done with Wren.


"Enough..."

Spell forms and glyphs of power followed one another as centuries-old, black-gloved fingers traced them in the air. Mystical words in the arcane language of magic were uttered as spell components bursted into raw energy, the Weave bending to the Archmage's will. And that will, was obliteration.

By the time they were done with her, the Countess had been pounded into dust, scattering in the wind. But he knew all too well she would come back. Whether or not he would be still alive to face her again, was yet to be seen.

Picking up his staff, he limped away, silent, preparing to teleport to safety and assess the gravity of his conditions.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:05 am

Planeswalker

They came from behind.

Sane and Frin, both shapeshifted according to their...somewhat different tastes, were engaging the huge magma golems barring their way head on, with Natariel and Ithilwen supporting the offensive with their davastating attack weaves, when a second wave of golems materialized right behind the group, directly within striking range.

The ground exploded into red rock splinters as their warmace-sized fists hit the ground where the dark-robed mage had been a moment before, avoiding damage with a short-range teleportation spell executed with a speed most mortals could only dream of.
The blinding burst generated by the black wizard's response hit them moments later, permanently disabling the creatures and facilitating Natariel and her summoned ally's efforts to dispose of them, but unfortunately not fast enough to avoid Frin's planar form to be shattered, leaving the indomitable hin battered and barely conscious as she laid on the warm cave floor, stunned but alive, the fight still in her eyes.

One lone Golem remained up front now, far more powerful than all the rest, and markedly more resistant to magic than the constructs which had accompanied it. He tasted just how impervious when his magical frost arrows unceremoniously fizzled out against its shields, dealing no damage. As Sane was fighting with the might of a true Dragon, and yet taking heavy damage, and Natariel was busy cleaning up their rear, his emerald gaze met Ithilwen's calm, placid stare. He and the First Mage did not need words to understand each other, not any longer. She turned towards the creature, hurling at it a cold spell so powerful the warm air in its wake became drizzle. It hit the Magma Golem's right arm a moment before it could strike, shattering it as the Archdruid went straight for the neck, decapitating the monster. The giant head fell off, leaving its massive former body to crumble.

The way was open. Time to discover the next horrors this strange plane had in store for them...


*******************

"I will grant you your desires, One of the Elves..." boredom and disappointment gained a deadly edge in Shazis' tone. The pleasure Devil was used to have her wishes fulfilled, her commands obeyed. And her voice left little doubt on the nature of what she was about to command. "...once you are capable of speech once again."

Here we go...Showtime. "Very well. Let's see if you can take that "speech" from me, Devil trollop..." He grinned, despite himself, knowing already what her next words would be.

"As the one who controls this domain, I shall claim you and grant you death." she signalled the Cornugon warriors and the Eyrinees archers to finish the visiting mortals off.

A demi-godlike Devil?! Half a layer of Hell worth of servants?! No escape whatsoever in sight?! This looks like the funeral you've been looking for, Kor'Vain...

A sinister laughter came from within the depths of the Dharashan Archmage's dark cowl as the arrows aimed at him flew through his suddenly ethereal body. She might have claimed him...but actually collecting on that was a far more difficult matter than she could imagine. She was about to get a taste of just how much more so...

He began by creating a shadow version of the closest Eyrinees archer, casually stopping her heart with a death spell immediately after her illusionary self began firing on her former comrades. Then, he paused a moment to study the battlefield.
Once more shapeshifted into a powerful Gold Dragon, Sane was fighting no less than two Cornugons and had two Eyrinies raining arrows on him, while Shazis showed an unsurprising mastery of some of the most devastating weaves ever created.
Despite her weariness and the absence of protection wards, Frin had engaged the contingent of Eyrines and a Cornugon on their left side, fearlessly weaving necromantic spells one after another in an obvious attempt to kill as many Devils as she could before they took her down. Gutsy, and rather clever idea, in its desperation.
Natariel focused her power on the Cornugons engaging Sane, dealing immense damage to them and contemporarily impacting Shazis herself, whom however seemed to possess an uncanny resistance to force weaves, shrugging them off unscathed.
Ithilwen danced in and out of the shadows, evoking piercing cold attacks far beyond what the natural resistance to elements Devils possessed could protect them from before vanishing once more, entirely avoiding harm and repositioning for the next kill.

He drew a deep breath.

My turn...

Moving towards the left side of the vast chamber, where Frin was laying facedown, barely breathing and surrounded by an impressive amount of dead enemies, he finally found the space he needed to weave safely.
His eyes flared up with energy while his hands moved frantically through the spell forms the casting trance brought to the surface from the deep recesses of his vast mind.
Black, slick oil was suddenly conjured, covering the ground under their enemies all around the spot where the Dragon Druid was making his valiant stand. Moments later, a thick web of spider silk trapped some of the Devils, slowing them down and hampering their combat capabilities.
And then, it truly began.
Death Fog was followed by Curse of Years, then Evard's creation, and in its wake came Killing Wall, then Sonic Blizzard, and a powerful enough blast of Balefire that the unflappable Pharos himself would probably have greeted with an arched brow.
His onslaught was momentarily interrupted by arrows shattering several of his defensive illusions, and getting closer and closer to their real mark. His lips curled into a wolfish grin as an impenetrable darkness enveloped him, swallowing the missiles hurled at his former position while he safely relocated under its guise.

Meanwhile, Natariel had successfully managed to dispatch the last fiends attacking Sane, who was wisely employing almost all of his magic defensively, being the enemy's main target. Thanks to the window of opportunity Frin and Kael himself had created, Ithilwen could finally bring her full might to bear on Shazis in an attempt to send her back to Hell in pieces. Anything more or less mortal would have been obliterated over and over again...but not her. She looked heavily wounded, but had impressive regenerative powers and kept on holding on, confident that their mortal strength would sooner or later wane.


Let's see how you like this, Shazis dear...

The Staff of the Invoker pulsed twice, black enervating rays hitting the ancient Devil contemporarily to Ithilwen's own draining weave. He followed up by imprisoning her within a force weave, just as the First Mage called down the most powerful attack weaves she could evoke.

Mortally wounded, the ruler of the plane went into hiding as Devil reinforcements and a group of crazed zealots dressed like some sort of knights poured into the great hall, and charged directly at them instead of fighting the fiends. With Frin that had just recovered, Sane that was spent and heavily wounded, Ithilwen and Natariel whom certainly had used almost all of their reserves of power to bring Shazis down, he suddenly was reminded just how bone-weary he felt.

They were in no condition to fight anything, any longer. Natariel shielded them all with her magic, and they broke into a dead run, trying to get back from the portal where they had come from some five candlemarks ago. Somewhere before getting to the area where they had faced the Golems, though, he realized only Ithilwen was with him. He could still hear the others running, but headed in another direction. As he stopped, considering trying to rejoin them, an Eyrinees' claws sank into his side just as he bursted her down with his last reserves of Arcane Fire.

Bleeding copiously, he met Ith's eyes, and she slowly shook her head. They did not have the strength to carve themselves a path to them any longer. They had to leave, hoping to see them back on the Prime Material...or preparing to come back for them, if need be.

Leaning heavily on Ithilwen for support, he crossed the gate and began to descend, his robes wet with blood that kept oozing from his wound.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:01 am

Beneath a Blistering Sky

The chamber's darkness was unbroken, shrouding it in a foreboding, slumbering repose, a dark mirror of abandonment, a gentle oblivion the world would never know if the invading fiendish forces had their way.

The quiet was only marred by a humanoid figure expertly moving in the absence of light, intimately knowing the room's disposition and acting upon it. Black robes were donned and adjusted to a perfect fit...dark leather gloves tightened...a long traveling mantle set upon the figure's shoulders, hood raised, enveloping the wearer like an obsidian, velvet waterfall...a mask placed over porcelain skin, concealing a set jaw, thin lips contracted in a grimace of pain.

After the death spell courtesy of the Blood Court lackeys, and the wound suffered during the very last steps of the seemingly endless journey across Shazis' prison plane, he didn't know exactly how long he had left to live...but he knew it was not long, especially with the kind of power he was investing in fighting this war as well as researching the means to actually win it.

If his frantic quest for the remedy he was desperately in need of did not yield results soon, he would not see another year. Probably not even a season. Could he make a difference in only a handful of tendays, before dying? Highly unlikely. This war was not going away. Brute force would not bring a swift end to it...diplomacy would not stop it. It was now deep in the damage control phase: saving as many lives as possible while fighting delaying actions, skirmishing against the hulking monster that was the infernal army. Once the forces of Life had marshaled under the same banner, there would finally be a stand with some sort of success chances...hopefully.

Was it going to be enough? Maybe. But regardless of that, or whether or not he lived or died...before this was over, he would teach them fear. A different fear than the one inspired by their masters, the one they existed in and breathed every moment of every day, for the centuries or millennia they lived through. A kind of fear probably not as profound, but definitely unexpected, and all the more effective because of it...

His lips curled into a smile at the thought. At least, ONE of his project had been completed. The Devils thought they were the only ones who could consume the world in blistering heat, burning it to a cinder as they laughed at mortals melting in hellfire...

He was curious to hear their opinion on the very special present he had in store for them...


"...because as you will soon realize, even Fiends can burn..."
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:01 pm

The Fiends March

Finally, the adversary came.

It sent waves of its endless legions sweeping through the hallowed tranquillity of the Misty Forest, desecrating its glades, burning its trees, killing its denizens, scouring it for the last remnants of opposition sheltered within it, waiting like a small branch on the shoreline awaits the tidal wave that will crush it.

Dharasha was a ghost village by now...he didn't think he would miss the children laughing so. Others were not so fortunate, though: today, they had three simultaneous requests for urgent aid coming in at the same time. An evacuation and caravan defense mission, a delaying action to stop a rampaging orc warband serving the fiends, and lastly Dryads and other forest creatures battling some canian Ice Devil and its entourage. Mendel, despite being stretched thin to begin with, split the forces at his disposal evenly, ever-willing to help everyone, or die trying.

He opted for personally engaging the Ice Devil and its minions. He believed they'd be the most challenging force, I could see it in his eyes. Of course, Kael went with him. His frail, pale frame was brimming with barely restrained arcane power he was eager to unleash, eyes lit with a sinister, malevolent emerald light.

Not even two candlemarks later, the Dryads were safe, and a horde of Eyrinies, Cornugons, Hellhounds and Imps had been utterly destroyed, the Ice Devil leading them felled by the dark wizard's death magic.

"Well, fiend...looks like it's back to Hell for you. I guarantee you: you won't be lonely..."

This wasn't the beginning, nor the end of it. But in a way, it was...a beginning.

They hastened back to the village, hoping to soon hear from the others.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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Invoker
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:21 pm

Re: The Master of the Shadow Tower, the Fallen, the Forsaken

Unread post by Invoker » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:33 am

Waiting for the End

He fell heavily on the armchair, feeling like if a Dragon had sat on him. Which was almost true. The hell of pain that was his old, frail body protested as his chest heaved, despite the controlled, shallow breaths. His allies hadn't said anything, but they noticed. Probably they dismissed it as happenstance, because of the powerful weaves he made use of, and the devastation he could still unleash upon their enemies, living or dead. The instant deletion of the Key Caretaker of the Vault had been remarkable for them, judging from their reactions. But of course, his ability to wield arcane power was not at all the problem. The issue was the unwillingness of his body to cope with the rigors of battle.

Blackfire was ready, and soon he would be able to demonstrate its power...or would he? He felt weaker every passing day, more and more in need of friends and allies to shield him, protect him, restore his waning strength. Certain days, he found it difficult to even so much as stand, with the effort of trying to hide it taking a huge toll on his energies...and his mood.

He knew abandoning certain kind of rituals and sources of power would result in weakening himself. He thought he was prepared for it. He wasn't. While his spells were as powerful and destructive as ever, his staying power had become nonexistent. He had become a liability on the battlefield, not only needing to contend with the enemies' efforts to end him and his friends and allies, but also his own waning stamina.

He was far from concerned about his death, or being ultimately unfit for battle. The real issue was: would he succeed in making a difference in this war before fading? Of course, he could return to...old practices...the less "savory" ones...but not only that would take time he didn't have, potentially worsening an already critical situation...it also did not guarantee the same, excellent results of the past.


"Don't say a word. Not. A. Word."

He sad, threateningly pointing a finger towards the Staff of the Invoker, laying in a corner of the room. But the Staff did not speak.

It had not done so in a long time, now.
"Life is nothing in itself. It’s a place marker that proves who’s winning, and we are the winners. Even winning means nothing. We win because it’s an insult to lose. The ends don’t justify the means. The means don’t justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justice."

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