Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

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leviticus
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Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Wed May 23, 2018 10:32 am


The land was like iron...

Once upon a time this plain had been lots of green and yellow, with sweet clover taking hold of the slopes of the hills, and with water… pouring like a divine, dividing light between the jumble of moss-covered rocks. The sun had been at home on these plains, a place where unlimited clusters of trees had risen up erect, and where animals had been grazing from here up to far into the distance.

And now, all there was left was a decayed carpet, barely earth and certainly no grass. The plain’s rocky floor was layered by a thickening mist, and at the top of the next ridge an old and dilapidated tower upthrusted against the gray sky. Its overall appearance was if in the birth of time a part of the world’s core had broken through the crust, heralding the start of a new, yet darker age.

Dead vegetation collapsed beneath our horses’ hooves as we resumed our journey. We best hurry as night was upon us. And this was a dangerous spot to come scrambling around in darkness. It took us an hour to make it through a patch of naked trees, nature’s soul having abandoned these woods probably long ago. But here we were nevertheless, to track down the source of this disaster, and if possible, to undo it.

Between the branches the wind whispered perpetually with a voice that seemed just as slight and smooth as a devil’s, yet it drowned out all other sounds like as if it was loud, and insistent. It bothered me honestly, and though I could perceive nothing more but the vague outlines and shapes of rocks, I did have the feeling we were watched upon.


Our scouting party consisted of seven riders, including myself. And though we were all armed to the teeth, somehow it felt we weren’t equipped enough. Our leader made us stop a moment in these spooky surroundings when a sleek black swirl of mist slid forward from between rocks like a slithering snake. We weren’t exactly easily frightened, but we all failed to give our horses a reason to thrust our call.

As the black mist wickedly started surrounding us, our animals bucked and snorted in discomfort, and mine had begun to express its unwillingness to cooperate in more desperate ways. It reared out of nervousness at the unusual sounds and sights, but a wise shaman once said most animals have something like a sixth sense for the unnatural.


I asked my horse to move forward and offered it a give with the tips of my boots, but instead the animal felt as if it had no way to go. Then, I jerked the reins only to be rewarded with an opposite effect. My mare pranced, and if it hadn’t been for my talent in the saddle, it likely would have thrown me off its back. All our animals now napped and kicked at enemies they only seemed to see, mine even more stubborn responding to my commands.

I was too busy dealing with my mount to notice the dark riders that came out of the mist towards us. But the gurgling sound escaping from my neighbour’s weathered lips right before he tumbled from his saddle, forced me to shift my attention. A few more deadly crossbow bolts flew through the air, one struck my arm with a whet fleshly whack right before I managed to raise my shield. Now, the average humanoid would have cried out in pain, but our tribe only knew one type of cries. War cries. Our leader raised his blade and with a yell ordered us to charge, ignoring the mist that made our animals so nervous. I wished I could have followed his lead, but my mount simply refused.

I could only watch how my fellow tribesmen stopped in mid charge, as if their and their horses’ bodies had run into a stone wall. It would have been comical under different circumstances, but with bright arterial blood spurting from their chests as their bodies were pelted with more bolts, this situation wasn’t exactly funny. Next thing I knew, I was on my own…


Image
Last edited by leviticus on Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Fri May 25, 2018 12:35 pm

I looked at them, and I sensed they -whatever beings they were- looked at me. We were also taught to consider darkness not as some superstitious state of the day. But that I would ever see it as my closest friend, was something I would never have imagined. When at some point all your exits were blocked, what do you do? Fight of course, and on your own terms if possible.

This was me. No paralizing fear, no cramped muscles, no body moisture being released. Like as if my body instinctively prepared when it senses the worst was to come, and should keep as much of its resources available as possible. Even my heart rate was far down below the level of a rabbit in a snare.

No teeth gnashing in a frenzy of wanting to murder either like most of my now dead brothers would have. I believe that fires that burn hot, die too fast. Mind you, once my anger finally came, it was usually unleashed without further thought of consequence, and it would be just as unstoppable as a tsunami. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I… actually was a predator.


With dawn still many, many hours away, I had a lot of precious time at my disposal to figure out a way to prevent a premature death. Good thing I could see a little bit in full darkness. Just before I somehow finally made my horse turn, I locked gazes with one of the riders who presented his crossbow on his left arm, and for a moment I imagined a look of absolute, burning determination on his face. I bet the rest of the bastards were smiling.

To my inner surprise the crossbow snapped, yet with the whip-crack sound of a broken cord, and which echoed impossibly loud. The projectile pierced the man’s eye as it backfired. Backfiring along with his ‘generosity’ of putting me out of my misery with one single shot. More I didn’t require. With my expression unreadable, no invitational smirk nor a display of fear, I urged my horse to choose a path in the opposite direction during their frozen moment. To my even bigger surprise my steed responded and galloped off with a very high speed. It took them a few seconds to react.


Image

Yes I ran, but I would not bow for them. I intended to do anything in my power to have my actions equal theirs. I only hoped that I looked as deceptively strong as I once had looked to my fellow tribesmen. I had noticed my armor was lighter than those of my pursuers who all wore plate. Speed would be of the essence, and along with darkness it was my potential ally. First thing I did during my flight, was reaching for a net I used to fight dangerous animals like wild cats and alike, and I cast it behind me. The weighted rope that bordered it, made the throw fairly easy. It had been my purpose to make it difficult to my nearest attacker of catching up, and to increase my lead. But it seemed the gods favored me.

My net landed on the ground, just before the legs of his steed. And just like a fish’s gills and fins get caught in the mesh, hooves got entangled within. Heads over heels both rider and animal crashed, the speed sending the man’s head with a nauseating crack against a protruding rock. Unwilling their bodies blocked the path for the rest of the marauding riders. One couldn’t even stop in time and crashed into the barrier. More bones and muscles, joints and organs smashed into a rock-hard surface before disappearing into the bitter darkness of the chasm at my left.

Three down. I barely was able to suppress a certain overenthusiastic urge as this was far from over, though I admit vengeance tasted sweet...


Last edited by leviticus on Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Tue May 29, 2018 3:48 am

As they struggled to get around the obstacles on their path, I shouted and urged my horse further up the slope that would lead me into the mountains. Ominous black clouds rolled before the moon, and I sensed a very strong wind coming up, howling unnaturally between giant monolith-like rock formations that surrounded my path. I had no idea yet where I was heading, and as the sky turned even darker by the minute, I overheard my pursuers catching up on me.

I didn’t waste any time figuring out how that was possible, but figured some magic might be at hand. Something I could have taken into account when considering the earlier encounter with the black mist. Suddenly I pulled the reins hard left and veered off the trail towards huge boulders that dotted the slope. I dared one glance over my shoulder and saw in the distance how men and steeds bent into the wind as it howled all around the hill. A sudden lightning flash, followed by a trembling soundwave lit up their forms, giving my pursuers a metallic appearance. I suppose it was asking for too much luck when I wished for that lightning bolt to have struck them.


I noticed I was riding closer towards a rock wall, and I strained to see in the darkness, looking for a way out, or a suitable place to defend myself. Only thanks to another flash of lightning tearing the black sky apart, the dim outline of what appeared to be a cave opening was revealed. I suppose it was my only chance for making a stand. I didn’t believe I stood a chance against them, especially not when some of them used magic. But I would avenge my brothers and take as many of our enemies with me to whichever world was the next after this one. Tempus was the god my tribe worshipped, yet it wasn’t mine. I’m not sure whether I even believed in the gods or not. Life hasn’t exactly been helpful in that regard either. But that was an entirely different story, one that didn’t exactly matter right now. Probably what they say is true though : life flashes before your eyes when you expect the end to be near. Dammit, it was way too soon for me.

Quickly I dismounted right in front of the cave and hurried inside, grateful for the chance that seemed offered. Lightning struck right behind me, illuminating a few feet into the cave as thunder shook the earth’s floor. The cave further ahead was pitch black, and even my -compared to humans- otherworldly sight had difficulties with penetrating the inky blackness.


Image

I listened for any sounds as animals may reside in here, and if so I’d be caught between two fires. Nothing.Well, except for the sounds of a heavy armored company of men dismounting in front of the cave. Already? Only very briefly I wondered why I was so important to my unwanted pursuers. The sound their boots made when they landed on the rock floor with a muffled thud, made my hair stand in my neck. They were just way too fast, unnaturally fast.


I backed away further in the cave, expecting it not to be too deep. That would’ve been asking for too much of that precious luck, and I might need some of it the moment I had to fight. Was I really that superstitious to luck? Did I really think or believe some mysterious force would come to my aid? And by -my- request? But then all thought ceased to swirl through my mind as a large man stepped out of the tunnel and into the cave. First, I only saw his boots stepping onto the sand and dirt, and I noticed they were heavily stained with blood of former fights. Great, a veteran. I’m not sure if he saw me yet as I sensed his head turning.

Chains produced an unholy rattling chorus as he moved further into the cave chamber, and for a moment I caught myself admiring the beautiful, flawless way of how he moved in such heavy armor. Magic probably imbued the thing. Outside the wind continued to howl and beat the rock wall, but it was his voice that had me fascinated. It was deep, surprisingly warm, and almost comforting in ways.

“You can give up now, lady. You’ve proven your worth and if you surrender, I promise I will let you live.” He then even pitched his voice a bit lower in an effort to make it sound sultry. “Who knows what amazing future awaits you, and at whoms side.”

That, was a mistake however. If he’d think he could flirt with me right after killing my brothers, he was wrong. Either way, his voice has proven its effect, and lured me out of my hiding place. But damn, he was big bastard, his chest like a crusaders’ bastion. He bent his dark head and gazed down at me, before his eyes darted at the weapon in my hand. Not that he seemed nervous. Not at all.

He spread his arms, showing he was unarmed, but also spoke in a most inspiring way.
“Imagine we’d be in the middle of an arena, with an audience right now cheering wildly at us, even though they have no idea yet who you are, other than some fightress we found up in the hills. Imagine standing in the center of the ring, drawing that fine gladius of yours out there.” He motioned at my double edged blade. “Imagine raising it skywards to greet a gathered thousand or more faces, and then to meet your opponent which triggers another wild reaction that arises from the crowd. They are cheering… can you hear them? They are cheering for the other.” His eyes showed how he tuned out of this world a moment and got trapped in some memory. “Imagine… the master giving the wave to start, and you start circling around your enemy, -the crowd’s favorite-, dealing out quick, explorative lashes, testing ones defences. You strike, you miss, he strikes, yet too fast cause he thinks you are weak, and then you strike again, and you push your armored shoulder into his face, making him trip before planting your blade into his bare stomach. Vivid blood spouts and for a moment the world around you slows down. Savor that victory, and our Lord’s praising…”

I have to admit, he had me a moment there. I noticed I had followed him into the world he painted with his words, -instead-... of grabbing my chance and burying my gladius into -his- stomach. My lips twitched as I spaced back in, and shook my head. “And you ask me to surrender now, for that? Where’s the sense in that?”
Last edited by leviticus on Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Thu May 31, 2018 4:45 am

I didn’t think I’d stand a chance, but I had to try now that he wasn’t armed. I jumped in, but before I could strike at him, my head connected with his armored fist. He was fast. The impact cast me backwards with my arms and legs flailing, and it was as if every part of my body felt like it was being crumbled. I think he expected me to stay down as he didn’t move, just remaining to stand there, blocking my way out. Why didn’t he call in the rest of his friends either? It would be over in no time. Nevertheless, my world was still spinning when I struggled to get back on my feet.

“Nice trick………... Not nice enough.” There was no emotion in his eyes or face or voice anymore.


His appearance might as well have been carved from stone, like a death angel’s statue. He made no further sound, stood there silent crossing his arms, awaiting my next move, his body like as if the soul had been taken from it. In a way this was kinda dreadful, realizing he was playing a game with me before killing me off. I shook my head, and then all of a sudden rushed forward, dodging left and right as if I was avoiding arrows, my hands, feet and blade moving constantly and rapidly from one place to another in an attempt to confuse him.

Yeah, right.

I didn’t came even close with the sharp edge of my blade. The impact of his next blow, delivered just as matter-of-factly as his entire appearance, sent me spinning like a top. An incredible pain exploded like fire in my head. I didn’t even manage to dodge that blow partially. The warmth of my blood was the only thing that was perhaps a bit soothing. I began to recognize the absurdity of the situation, my opponent not even displaying a snicker or contemptuous smile.


Sprawled on the floor, I blinked a few more times and lifted my head off the cold cave’s ground. Surrounded by darkness... a pulsing... aching, throbbing darkness…, that was how I was going to die. I wiped my face, and groaned soft as I brushed over my bleeding, swelling flesh. The pain that followed was as brilliant as a solar flare when I touched my cheek. I think my jaw was broken. Such agony… such pain… I cannot describe it.

I looked up once more at my adversary with what had to be misplaced admiration. This was probably how the perfect warrior looked like, with a body and instincts honed to perfection, combined with a calm state of mind. I imagined him solid as a rock in a world that was so chaotic. His eyes were steady on me. Me, his victim. Yet he made no gesture he was about to finish me off. Not yet probably.

Almost, I was to lift my gladius into sweet surrender, allowing...no, asking him to return me to whatever creator was responsible for my existence, and give me my peace and mental calmness as I couldn’t find another way out of this. -That- overwhelming and vast was his presence. Then, I became aware of my blood rushing through my ears, and of the rise and fall of my chest as I breathed. I had been close to drift off into semi-consciousness while he just stood there and watched me. I couldn’t bear that. I couldn’t bear the thought for not even having tried one more time to take one more enemy with me. Death was certain. If I managed to kill him, there were a few more waiting outside. Nothing to lose, only to gain.

I reopened my heavy eyelids, and in the quietness of the cave I turned over, and scrambled to my hands and knees. My eyes stinged. Figures, my face had to be wet with blood. My lips felt like they’ve been split in two. Blood mixed with saliva ran in a stream from my mouth to the ground. I was still feeling dizzy and faint. I closed my eyes. Let out another breath. I counted a heartbeat. And then another. Could I let the wild thing out just one last time? With each slow breath my nature spooled out of me, wrapping around my senses. I was stronger than I thought. At least, isn’t that how I always had pretended to be? Softer on the outside than men, stronger at the core?


Finally, I managed to look up in his eyes. A sudden rage burned hard and clung fast, and like as if outside’s lightning propelled me, I hurled myself towards his legs. The gigantic warrior was taken by surprise as I dug into his legs in an attempt to knock him down. It seemed a good plan as I figured that heavy armored people had some trouble standing up again once they were down. And my blade would be quicker than theirs.

But the gods be damned (if they existed). His reflexes were outstanding. He simply took one step back, nullifying my attempt to turn the tide. I blinked as I found myself hanging around his leg, like I was hugging some thick trunk. The last thing I saw when I looked up, was his incoming fist. My lunges grasped in one last pathetic attempt for air. And after that, the droning sound of the thunder outside was as good as a lullaby...



---

Within the keep’s walls everything was rather quiet today. In the main hall an ongoing conversation was taking place between two fully armored men.

“I congratulate you with the efforts to dominate the region. Were there many survivors on the last tribe village you invaded, ser Waters?”

“Just one I believe, my Lord.”

Disbelief rang in the Lord’s voice. “You mean the woman you brought in earlier? She didn’t seem more than spare parts to me. Do you consider to train her then?”

The Blackguard knight gazed up at his Dreadmaster. “Her training... has already started."

Image...Image
Last edited by leviticus on Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

User avatar
leviticus
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:18 am

Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:58 pm

I called it a black hole.

And the way how I felt was exactly the way how I would have felt when falling into one. A fall where your arms flail in the fading light as the ground beneath your boots gave-way, and falling so deep that the remaining sunlight is but a dot in the distance. A fall where you believe that the hole you fell in was actually for the remainder of your life. A fall, where you feel yourself so small… so insignificant, that it was petrifying and paralyzing.

Hours, days, tendays… I have no idea how much time had passed. The blackness around here was absolute, the walls darker than raven feathers. Like I was surrounded by nothing, a void perhaps. Temperature was as constant as a wine cellar’s, but I bet they weren’t keeping me here in order to preserve me like some sophisticated beverage. There was another constant element down here. Or rather someone. I turned my head in the direction where the door was at. A key was inserted into what had to be a high-security lock, one that produced three clicks when the key was turned. I think he was supposed to be my jailer. Sort of.

The core of the lock made a sound similar to the dragging of a spike over a metal pipe. A sudden thump told me the bolt was unlocked. Metal started scraping over stone as the heavy door was opened, the smell of fire and weapon oil drifting into my prison. With a door not going open that easily, I wondered why they never applied any of that oil onto its hinges. Unless, this was on purpose, the sound meant to be intimidating to those who reside inside these cells. During the first times that door was opened, it was only meant to shove inside a chunk of bread and a small bowl with water, nothing more. No questions, no comments, nothing. Silence became my new enemy, I simply couldn’t stand it. At first I didn’t notice how it also changed, improved my other senses, but as more cycles -or whatever- passed, the nature of my jailer’s visits changed as well. Like the visit where they came in with two and cut my hair with a simple knife. It only got worse after that.


Every time now I was fully awake, alert, and on my guard whenever I heard his key turn the lock with that stomach curdling snap. I tried to ward away the feelings of dread and helplessness, but I simply failed to draw out any optimism. My best improvisation so far was simply to hope one time his key would break off in the lock, just while their locksmith had broken his neck a day earlier. But I was unlucky, the door opened and my jailer entered as unhindered as a priest going about his rites in ordinary time.

He was not ugly in the glow of his torch. On the outside that is. He was bald, and towering, and he displayed sinewy muscles on his bare limbs. He had a long beard, and the rest of his face bore scars. His eyes, even in this to me blinding light, were dark as oil. Unlike my captor, this one didn’t wear armor. My eyes moved to his hands when my ears picked up the sound of chains. Again, the chain. All my muscles screamed and I gritted my teeth as I scrambled to stand, quicker than last times. Unlike my captor, this one didn’t display a lot of patience.

“Escape,” he simply commanded.

Terror had grown upon me ever since the first time he said this. I looked from him to the open door and back, meanwhile painfully aware of the sound of chain being wrapped around his wrist. He tugged the wrought iron mass tight around it after each round. It smelled like death. And I hated him. I hated the way how his footfall becomes steadily louder when he comes to visit me, I hated the silence in which he waited as he worked with his chain, and I hated the pain he handed out. But I was forced to make a move, and leave any small talk behind. And so I did. I ran for the door…


In this always intense silence, my own scream tore through me like broken glass. I hated how desperate and terrified I sounded when his chain caught my lower legs and floored me completely. I don’t know what sort of crazy experiment this was, but he rolled me over and hit me repeatedly with the metal, my lower arms taking the worst as I attempted to protect my face. Adrenaline surged through my veins. Even though this never lasted long, his beating seemed to know no end, no limit. At least not to me.

“You got captured!” he shouted harshly and reproachfully.

One of the previous times I had screamed for mercy, but he simply told me me being alive was mercy enough. This time I kept silent. He grumbled something and left me behind with my face closed in a quiet grimace, my head filled with uncried tears. Dying didn’t scare me, but nowadays pain did. My blooded arms quivered as I rolled to my side and moved to sit against the walls.

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Eventually, my consciousness slowly ebbed. But not before one final thought shot through my mind.

As long as he knew that my hate would never ebb. It only multiplied.


---
Last edited by leviticus on Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

User avatar
leviticus
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:18 am

Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:30 am

I didn’t understand it. Why he commanded me to escape, only then when I tried... to catch and grab me, and beat me up with his chain, whip and whatsover? It has not been easy to keep my mind together with all that pain. Even as I was sitting here alone in darkness, it was as if my prison guard was still loitering about in my black cell. Like he was still aiming for every bone, with his unbearable and unbeatable strength. I had no idea how I could ever escape from him, and he must have known that too. It was just sadistic. One time I hadn’t reacted at all, and at first he nudged me with his staff, calling me a loser, a no-body. I simply had ignored his words, but then with savage intensity he started to poke at this serious infection I have on my upper arm. All I could think of was pain, how it commanded my entire being. Hells, I even forgot about him. Appearantly I had screamed, but I don’t remember anything of that at all. My brain seemed to listen to one thing and one thing only.

And now, I had started exploring that pain. It was perhaps a weird thing to do, but since I had nothing better to do. I tried to captivate what pain actually was, tried to analyze it. I was left with only a few conclusions. It was something that was deep, and strangely enough, something that was warm. To my tribe warmth and heat has always meant energy, so what if pain was energy? I studied my body even as I could barely see anything in this darkness. Any of my soft skin has had to be purple by now, the surfaces feeling lumpy where they once had been rather smooth. The pain never took me too far from the waking world either. Eventually I tried to… channel it. To a small, primitive place deep inside me until I’d learn how to deal with it. I tried to cage it, lock it up, and considered it as a part of myself, but one I perhaps could shut out. When it showed up next time, I could perhaps say : “I got pain, so what! Go to your room!” It was mental exercise for the crazy and insane, trying shutting out such a powerful sensation. But I wasn’t planning on that entirely either. I was planning… to use it somehow, like said energy.


I have no idea how long I been locked up by now. It could be a couple of tendays, at most. It could be less too. I estimated he visited me once or twice a day, but there was no regularity to it. My eyes never really adapted to the darkness, but my vision was nowadays blotched with imaginary and violent colors that swirled and then merged without a steady pattern or composition. I rocked on regardless as I tried to come up with a way of how to succeed at what my jailor asked of me. I bet he would be surprised if I succeeded. Wish I could see that, wish I could see his face. Eventually the pain seemed to dominate less and less my every thought. Mind you, when I thought about it however, it came back as fast as the sensation of a branding iron on your rear. How could I destroy him? How could I ki….

Wait a moment? Was I really thinking of attacking him? He was so much bigger than me, so much stronger? And he so badly wanted me to give him even more reason to beat me up. There was no time left to think however as I overheard a familiar footfall. He was on his way to my cell, and I still hadn’t had a plan or a way of ending this. Perhaps I should just let him kill me? But that didn’t seemed to be what he was after or aiming at. I doubted he would actually. Now... there you had it. That piece of information may give me an edge. Maybe he wasn’t allowed to kill me. Maybe he lived by rules. That didn’t mean I had to however…


The door opened with a crack, and his face appeared near a torch, to see where I was sitting. Then, he swung open the door entirely, confident, and entered my cell with a rattling chain. I lifted my head from my arms resting across my knees, and gazed up at him from between tresses of black chin-length hair. Oh, I could see it in his eyes he wanted it so badly again. I could almost sense how the chain had to feel between his eager fingers when I saw his thumb tracing the shape of the links. Pain was certain, and I did what I have been doing earlier. I opened a channel to which the incoming pain could flow once he started dealing it and then…

“Escape.” He commanded with his droning voice.

I refused though by shaking my head.

“Escape, and I will not be asking this again.”

Sure you won’t, is what I thought. Once more I refused, but meanwhile I had moved to stand. He didn’t saw anything threatening in that. Nor did he see my focus was on the chain. Or he didn’t care. And then he lashed out, hitting the side of my arm and shoulder. Physical pain and mental anger surged through me like a chaotic ocean. The channel I had opened was too small for the current, and waves of pain crashed all over me. I had to end this quickly, somehow. He frowned at me however when I flinched but didn’t scream. Harshly he lashed out at me again, but this time I was faster and raised up my arm as if to ward off the blow. He widened his eyes when the chain swirled around my limb, locking itself tightly. My hand grabbed some links, and I used the force of his blow against him by jerking the chain out of his hand. Before he had a chance to recover, I started hitting him with it in the face.


Image

I unleashed my pain, had it fuel my arm, the chain becoming something like a wicked tornado. It was twisted, distorted what I did. But I was intoxicated by my emotions, and by the way how he displayed fear. The way how his eyes widened when I handed out the first blows, and how his breath had turned ragged and harsh by the time he was down. I loved it! And I loved the way how was too late protecting his head, one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body. His own fault, he should have worn a helmet.

I didn’t stop jamming with the metal on his face until the life in his body slowly faded, and had merged with the ever-consuming darkness of the floor. I hated that floor so much. Sweat drenched my forehead, my fingers were still curled in a fist around the chain even minutes after I had stopped. My eyes shifted from the dead corpse in front of my feet to the open door. My guts felt funny, churning my stomach in tense cramps. It wasn’t because of the blood and brains that dripped from my chain, nor the smashed head before me. No, fear was torturing my guts because I didn’t believe I was actually free. They would never let me go, that wouldn’t be realistic if I were them. The question remained, why did they catch me and made me go through all of this?


I stepped out of my cell only to freeze, standing eye in eye with the person who captured me, his (handsome) face clear in the flickering torchlight.

“You’ve done well. Now, put that chain down and come with me.”

“Why?” I blurted, staring a bit in disbelief.

“Because we have a new prisoner.”

My gut slowly twisted as I noticed how I obeyed to follow him out through the damp, shadowed corridor, my jaw tight as I dropped the bloodied chain.

I hated myself… cause I feared him.
Last edited by leviticus on Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

User avatar
leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:02 am


After stepping outside from the underground… -how long has it been?-... I was surrounded by a continuous wall that stretched far away in a circular shape, a wall that rose up tree-high. But what caught my attention more were shouts and screams, and the sound of weapons clattering and clanking into shields and armor under a roiling, lead-grey sky. When I turned to watch, I saw something I have seen before, but never of this magnitude nor approach.

Not far from us, dozens of men were fighting, facing each other not in pairs, but rather in groups. And they were battering and beating against each other. Metal glinted wickedly as some groups surged forward, their swords swishing and hissing as they lashed through the air in attempts to strike at the others. Brazier-red blood sprayed from cuts they caused. Bones were exposed, people were lying on the ground and clawing effortlessly at opponents looming over them. One swung the biggest sword I've ever seen, down on the head of a fallen. Blood splashed like a glob of water up in the air, only to fall back down on the body which jerked back and forth in an uncontrollable manner. Men shouted and roared like they were really at war. It was madness, and I watched it from a trance-like state.

And yet, the longer I watched, the more I noticed the differences with the practice grounds I ever been at. Most of these warriors fought rather disciplined. Many of them were well-armored, and they wore all sorts of weapons, ranging from spears to short blades. They also seemed to fight as cohesive groups, their forward assaults looking impressive and deadly to me. Aside from the blood, steel-grey and intimidating black seemed the dominating colors around here. There was one group that looked different from the others though. They wore no armor nor weapons, some were half naked, others wore several weathered clothes on top of each other. Most of them were filthy and dirty in their rags, a small group of warriors standing across of them looking like royalty themselves compared to the poor lot. And I was ushered towards them…


As I approached, I observed the small crowd. They weren’t really wretched beggars either, most of their bodies a bit too developed for that. Prisoners of sorts, is what shot through my mind. Like me. Did I look as poor and as terrible as them? I noticed their gazes were nervously shifting between the fighting groups and the group of warriors standing idle not far from them. Their looks were of lost hope, and more than a fear of death. It were looks of horror. When I arrived, one imposing warrior clad in solid steel turned his head towards my escort and me. Even as he wore a helmet, I could swear I could see his eyes from behind the narrow slit lit with glory when he locked gazes with me. Like as if this was a moment for which he had yearned.


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“Bringing me a woman now, are we, sir Waters?”

The way of how he asked that cut through my soul. My hands instinctively tightened into fists, the venomous energy within me surprising myself.

“Yes. However. Standard procedure.”

Just on that moment, a high-pitched scream tore through me like a shard of broken glass. I turned around, just in time to see how one man in the other groups had made the error of going out by himself, and was punished… by his own team. He had gotten stabbed from behind. He clawed at the abandoned hilts of a pair of swords driven through his back, and sticking out of his chest. His eyes grew wide as the looked down at his own blood. His scream came again, now more desperate, terrified… and very human. My blood ran cold and ignited some primeval pathway as the rest of the warriors cackled. Like as if they barely registered the yelps and blood choking cries of their comrade-in-arms. What... kind of madness was this??

“Resurrect, sir?” One of the men asked to my escort.

Sir Waters shook his head. “You know the drill. Equal footing means everyone will have a fair shot to show their strengths and shortcomings.” He lifted a shoulder. “Everyone has his limits.” Then he eyed me. “Or hers…”
Last edited by leviticus on Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:12 pm

Bastards. They pushed us all into rooms of some immense square-shaped subterranean building featuring solid stone walls. They were rewarded with a cry of surprise as I was pushed down into the darkness, lost my balance and tumbled down cold steps, my bare knees and elbows crashing against a floor I never saw coming. Black and dark again. It was something that just like the pain was becoming a state of mind. What did these people want from me, us? Torture? Then it was a form of torture unlike anything I’ve seen before. A movement in the darkness nearly made me jump out of my skin. Though it was something I rather sensed than saw, I veered away from that direction, and put up my fists, ready to defend myself. I knew I was weak as I hadn’t been eating properly. Yet I didn’t take my eyes of the darkness that surrounded me and strained my ears. If there was something out here, they sure had put me at a major disadvantage.

A masculine male voice sounded from ahead. “You are a prisoner as well? Don’t worry. I won harm you.”

A towering silhouette showed off broad shoulders and strong limbs, making me think of one of those church buildings standing out againt the night sky. The stranger navigated his hand in my direction. “The name’s Jakob…”

The darkness had robbed me once more from daytime colors, and I had to rely solely on this rather fluid black out-line from which I had to guess Jakob’s appearance.

“I’m Jez… fellow prisoner I suppose. What kind of tomb is this?”

“I honestly don’t know… Jez. Just like you I was pushed in here a couple of hours ago.”

“Hmm…” I rubbed my elbows as I looked in the direction of the stairs. Darkness obscured the view of the door and the steps, but a very very thin outline of light came from underneath what had to be the door. I estimated we were about 7 feet below the surface. “I don’t think escaping will be the purpose here.” I turned back over to Jakob. “How they got you?”

“They attacked our village, some tendays ago. There was no warning to it really, and we weren’t prepared for their armored cavalry. Many were killed, but a few of us were spared and taken captive. Not much else to add there really. Ever since I’ve been their prisoner, I waited in a dark cell until they brought me here today. No questions, no conversations, nothing. They are the strangest bunch I ever crossed blades with.”

Jakob sounded sincere, and by the sound of it he knew just as much as I did. I decided to tell him how I ended up here.


“That’s even more strange than my treatment. But if I knew better, I’d say they are sparing you, and likely also me for some special occassion.” He said.

“I really don’t know what to think anymore. Listen Jakob, I barely have had sleep lately. I suppose we could take some rest and find out later what they want, alright?”

“Alright, Jez. And I agree. Better to save energy.”

I nodded and moved to lay down. The stone floor was cold and damp, making it feel like I was resting on snow, or wet peat. What I’d expect eh? A bed? I sensed an emotion welling up from my stomach, and tried to force it down. If it had managed to escape, it probably would have sounded like the strangled sob of a trapped animal.

...

From somewhere close I heard a low gasping sound, only one second before a sudden wet coldness wrapped itself around my body. It caused an involuntarily gasp. Like as if someone had picked me up all of a sudden and tossed me into chilly water. With all my senses awakening now I became aware of the sound of water rushing down stone, rushing inside this prison, trapping me like a rat. Panic had my heart hammering against my ribs, any illusions I may have had of surviving this imprisonment dissipated.

Due a lack of any visual reference points, I went under, and every cell in my body immediately screamed for oxygen. And then I surfaced again as I pushed myself off the floor, gulping at the stale dungeon air, the cold water being an excellent thief of my body heat. I rubbed my eyes and looked around over the churning water. Like as if I was in the middle of a rain-swollen mountain river.

“Jakob??” I called out as I realised I didn’t overhear my fellow prisoner. “Jakob, where are you?”

And then all of a sudden I sensed something jerking at my ankle. Next thing I knew, I was pulled under water again. I fought to keep my head up but it was useless, a tremendous force pulling me to the bottom. When I reached down to feel at my ankle, I learned there sat a ring around my leg, and it was connected to a chain. Another jerk and I sat at the bottom where I struggled and resisted my impending drowning. Down at the floor the chain ran through another ring which was stuck, likely embedded into the stone. I traced the chain while I held my breath as long as I could, and discovered it ran all the way up to the surface.

With both hands I grabbed it and pulled it down, the urgency for air more apparant than ever. To much of my surprise the chain gave way, and as I pushed myself forcefully towards the surface again, my mouth already opening, gasping for air, I sensed another body passing me on my travel towards the surface. Jakob? I thought. All the oxygen I had had moments earlier was now entirely spent. I clawed at the smooth walls, flailed myself towards the surface, smashing my head into something hard. Just as I thought I was going to die, I realised I was inhaling not entirely water, but air mostly. Frots and spray too, like a sweaping ocean.

I opened my eyes, looked around and concluded that this prison was almost filled to the brim with water. Not that I had lots of time to recover as I sensed that chain on my leg jerking me downwards again. My lungs froze. Not again! My arms and legs kicked out desperately when I sensed how I was pulled down. Black water swirled around my eyes, keeping me from the air I needed. No no no!! And then the surface closed over my head.

My entire body started to throb and spasm, my lungs feeling like they had been set on fire. A glow appeared above me while my limbs were moving in a way comparable to one of those funny clockwork creations I once had seen. Only there was no fun, there was only horror. Gradually I sensed how strength left my limbs. I looked up once more at that golden light above me, thinking it might be a portal to the realm after this one. Then, I exhaled the last breath I had, and watched how a fascinating stream of bubbles rose to the surface, right before the blackness that had slowly began seep in at the edge of my vision sent me floating under a dark, starless sky.

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Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:06 am

((The previous upper story parts have been cleaned up, and some text and songs to create more atmosphere have been added. Down below, a new part.))


The world was black...

That was a color people really underestimated. To me the color was associated with death, hatred and fear, but also with power and prestige. And I was strangely enough comfortable with that. The black surrounding me had this velvet quality, like a night sky. But cloudless and not speckled with stars instead. It was just as absolute and similar as a void. There was no temperature I could detect, nor did my senses pick up any scents. But I did hear voices, in the distance, first a murmuring like ghost sounds that ebbed and flowed like waves on a deserted beach, followed by words which were strange to my ear. It was no language I knew, but it sounded harsh, like iron nails scraping over rock. A scream sounded from the backdrop of terrible voices, followed by brief, maniacal laughter.

Steadily, the voices came closer. Or maybe I was moving towards them, I couldn’t tell. As if out of thin air a white-framed window appeared, and I sensed how I mentally reached out and pushed at its black glossy glass. Behind it was a moon-bleached avenue lined with leaded church-like windows, staring at me like judging parishioners. As I moved forward, from below my feet there was a crackling sound of hollow bones crunching and snapping. The voices had reduced to a soft whimpering, and instead drums sounded in the distance. No, not drums, more something like… children, stomping pencils down on a hardwood table. Even as it grew louder, it still was hard to pin-point which window it was coming from.

The windows fell apart in a sudden arising mist, the clouds taking on more ominous mushroom shapes. I swallowed as I perceived endless rows of tombstones standing erect left and right of me, most of them crumbled with the passing of centuries.


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When I tried to read the inscriptions, I learned they all read the same thing. ‘Grave of a weakling and coward’. What the hell was this? Entire generations of chicken hearts? It were so many! The force of disapproval I sensed in me surprised myself. Whimpering rose up from the porous path between the graves, and unearthlike echoed through the fog. They however were dead, their mourning would never be able to reach my core. Then I saw one of them, a soul, or whatever was left of it, its light blue form writhing in the mist in a silent scream.

Suddenly, a shape as massive as an iceberg loomed up out of the fog and darkness, and moved towards us. Its eyes, like blinding orbs bore into me before its gaze shifted to the soul. A large hand picked it up and squeezed so hard until it fell apart in tiny stars of white energy. Perplexed, I saw the shape absorbing the sparkles, and I realized I had just witnessed some sort of devourer of souls at work. Then, it turned its eyes back on me, and when I looked down at myself, to my horror I saw I was just like that soul…

Ohh… no… no way, you won have me.

But the ‘mountain’ didn’t approach, and instead I heard now voices I could actually understand.

“Will she make it?”

“Yes, if she does everything that is on the other side of fear.”

“Good, cause we want her to b…” But then all the voices faded, and it seemed as if there existed nothing else except for the sound of my own breathing...
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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leviticus
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:18 am

Re: Iron Forged - The Rise of a Banite

Unread post by leviticus » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:41 am

“Finally, you’re awake.”

My eyes had slowly rolled open, and with the remnants of dark dreams I glazed over at the one sitting next to me. He must have seen the shock registering on my face when I recognized him. It was Jakob, my fellow prisoner. But, I had seen his grave?? At least I thought so as the world I just came from had looked so realistic, obscure as it had been. I also remembered the water, and how its surface had closed above me. And how I had kicked viciously when I felt that intense pain in the back of my head, and the shimmer of light rippling above me right before the last amount of air escaped my lips and my eyesight became dark and deluded. There was no way I could have survived that without some form of assistance.

A small smile played about his lips, his handsome features telling me he does that a lot.

“Are you alright? You been out for two days.” Jakob asked.

If he had been a member of a choir, he’d definitely be the baritone, his voice displaying a richness of tones, giving me an impression of exclusivity and mystique. Why hadn’t I noticed such before? I rubbed my eyes and stared at him, and at how moonlight struck his blonde hair, and how it illuminated his profile just enough to tell me I was looking at a very strong man. We were nothing but strangers, but I could swear I could for some reason love this man more than the breathable air surrounding me. His presence had a strange impact on me.

“Yes… I think so. Eh… You saved me, didn’t you?” Without realizing, I had lowered all my instinctive defences.

His face now set like stone, his lips forming a grim line. “I don’t really remember, just to be honest. But since we are both here in this…” He looked around at what looked like a barrack’s sleeping quarters with a dozen sets of bunk beds lined up in a row.

“Well, for what it’s worth. Thank you. Do you have any idea what happened? Why our prison suddenly was flooded?”

He stared at me as if I had just told him some dumb child story.

“Ah, you don’t remember that part either, do you?”

The man shook his head, and gods be damned... he offered me that … smile of his again. His appearance didn’t match at all with his demeanour. If I wanted a man, I would want him to be… strong willed, dominating me a little even. I would like to be a real challenge for him, and him to be prepared to fight for, with -and- even against me to prove his worth. This guy, with a chest like a ship’s deck, and arms so muscled, at the same time appeared so soft on the inside. He was one large frigging teddy bear!

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On the inside I had already started to rage, preparing myself to reject this… flaw of nature. But I couldn’t. Somehow I couldn’t. This guy was just too… ‘convincive’, in other ways than I was used to. What… was I even thinking about? I hardly knew this man, so how could I even consider -or- judge him, and how could I even allow to let this person to get to me, to a place where normal women likely would already have opened up and moved out to…

“Eh… Jakob? What do you actually remember then? About me, before the water, or maybe after?”

“Ah, that we met and talked. Nothing else. And after?” He nodded once. “They told me you nearly had drowned and asked me to stay with you until you were up and ready again.”

“Ready? Ready for what?”

He frowned. “It seems there’s a lot to tell.”

I shook my head. “I don’t think I remember a lot either of what you already told the first time we met.”

“Ah... “ I observed how Jakob’s gaze wandered to one of the wooden walls. “They want us to become soldiers in their army or something. They’ve been a while here now you know, kidnapping people from the surroundings and taking them here. Slowly but certainly their numbers seemed to have increased. I knew about them for a while now.”

I stared dumbfounded at him. “And… what makes them think or believe that these prisoners will cooperate, let alone be loyal to them?”

Briefly Jakob looked over at me before his eyes shifted to the side once more, glazed with a glassy layer of what appeared tears. His complexion was ashen. “With pain…”
Jezebeth , Natural Follower of Bane... : "Bleeding and crawling is acceptable... quitting is not."
Haunn Brightwing , Traveler Unknown
Greagoire Forde , one of Shaundakul's wanderers... : "Damn sneakers..."

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