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L S O 2012 - Cot Team Two


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#1 Offline Hahli Husky

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Posted Jul 08 2012 - 05:34 PM

DO NOT POST HERE UNLESS YOU ARE ON THIS TEAM AND IT IS YOUR TURN TO WRITE.Thank you. Posted Image Review topic here!This is where Team Two of the COT Library Summer Olympics 2012 will be posting their story. If you guys come up with a team name and/or story title, I can edit it into the topic name for you. Feel free to plot names and titles in the LSO COT topic.In this event, entrants will be required to do the following:- Work with a team to write an epic based on a given prompt, which can be found below. Each prompt will be the first sentence from a BIONICLE book (from either the Adventures or Legends series), and each team will be given a different prompt. Any BIONICLE locations and character names will be replaced in the prompts since the epics won't be about the BIONICLE universe.ScheduleRemember that each team member can post once every 24 hours, creating a cap of 4 chapters per 24 hour period. The chapters can be as long or short as you like. Members will be posting in this order:Pahrak Cantusxccj55555dotcomPlease try to let me know if you won't be able to post for more than 2 days' time! If there's an emergency and you are unable to notify me first, that's all right.The topics will be closing July 25th, 2012 at roughly 11:59 PM PDT. If the server is out, the deadline will be delayed accordingly.Team Two's Prompt:(lifted from BIONICLE Legends #2: Dark Destiny by Greg Farshtey)The elder slammed shut the door of his chamber.Now continue the story as you please, and have fun! :)

Edited by Hahli Husky, Jul 26 2012 - 01:03 PM.

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#2 Offline Noise #0579

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Posted Jul 09 2012 - 10:29 AM

Chapter 1The elder slammed shut the door of his chamber. It was not an incredibly spacious room, but such an illusion was presented by the lack of furniture. In fact, the only object that existed within the confines of the gray stone walls was a single wooden chair that stood at the exact center of the room. A tall, rectangular window was cut out of the wall opposite the door, and through it poured a river of sunlight that drenched the chair in gentle warmth.Elder Norscu stepped before this window, his old yet sturdy body damming the sunlight’s path and sentencing the chair to wait in the shadows. His elegant purple robes shone brightly in the light, but his long red hair seemed to refuse the generous luminescence. Norscu held a stern expression on his face as his amber eyes shifted in their sockets, opening his gaze to the town below.It was a simple village, with tan stone huts scattered along the dirt streets, and it its edge could be seen a towering wall that tightly embraced the town. Virdina was newly constructed, and it would take some time before the clan truly considered it home; however, as Norscu had told them, they had no choice. Times had changed, and it was no longer safe for nomads to wander the land as they once had.The door opened behind Norscu, and through it walked a younger man—a warrior. This newcomer wore bronze armor over every inch of his body, with his head covered by a narrow-faced, vaguely reptilian helmet that provided an opening at the rear for his brown ponytail to escape. On his left gauntlet was mounted a miniature crossbow, a weapon that justified the small quiver of arrows hidden beneath his sheet of hair. In his right hand he carried a large claymore, a weapon almost as long as he was tall that had a brilliantly polished bronze blade that appeared sharp enough to cleave through solid rock. The guard of the claymore was shaped to resemble dragon wings, although these wings had feathers to give them a more angelic appearance as they spread to either side of the weapon.Norscu did not turn to face the warrior. “Sit down,” the elder demanded. His voice was coarse with both age and frustration.The warrior paused to plant his sword in a crack in the tiled floor, and then he stepped up to the chair and slowly sat down. Norscu stepped to the side, leaving the light unopposed and allowing to blind the warrior. He squinted beneath his helmet, unable to think for a moment while his retinas flared with pain.“You didn’t need to attack them, Zykard,” Norscu grumbled. “We had no indication that they meant us any harm.”Zykard gave a short chuckle. The laugh echoed within his armor, as did everything he said. “Yeah. A small group of strangers who were clearly trying to go unnoticed. There’s absolutely no chance they were trying to spy on us.”“They could have just been curious,” Norscu replied.“They should have been more straightforward, then,” Zykard said.“Well now that you’ve mangled their scouts, we’ve made enemies for sure!” Norscu snapped. “We’re off to a bad start in this new land thanks to you!”“Don’t blame me,” Zykard said, gesturing to his sword. “Tenshiryu was getting bored. He needed to rip something apart, and those morons practically volunteered.”Norscu turned away and sighed. No one had thought it strange when Zykard had named his sword. When he started talking to and about it as if it had a mind of its own, however…that was cause for some concern.“Come on, elder, you were a warrior once,” Zykard said.“Yes, and now I am the leader of this clan,” Norscu said. “I am responsible for our safety, and I must not be rash in making my decisions.”Zykard shrugged, causing the plates of his armor to scrape against one another. Norscu went back to the window, casting Zykard into shade again. After some thought, the elder continued, “There are many dangers out there, both known and unknown. We do need powerful warriors to keep us safe, but we must not solve everything with violence. You must learn this, Zykard, or else…”Norscu paused. Zykard leaned forward, finally taking a real interest in the conversation. “…You wouldn’t.”Norscu looked over his shoulder. “If you continue to be so recklessly violent, I will have no choice. You will calm yourself, or I will relieve you of your duties as a warrior.”Zykard shot up, shouting, “You can’t do that!!”Norscu glared into Zykard’s eyes, silently reminding Zykard of how fallacious his statement was. Zykard clenched his fists and looked at the floor. A few seconds passed, but then he whispered, “Yes, elder…”“That will be all,” Norscu stated, never taking his eyes off of Zykard.The warrior bowed and walked towards the door, stopping only to uproot his blade. The door swung shut behind him, and Norscu turned his gaze back onto the town.
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The Blade of Valor: Short Stories.  When the Spirits of the Elements are in danger, Tahra must take up a legendary weapon and challenge the creature waiting inside Lewa's temple.  Testing a concept, so please respond if you'd like to see more of this.


#3 Online xccj

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Posted Jul 09 2012 - 05:34 PM

Chapter 2Zykard walked through the main street of the small town of Virdina. Many of the townsfolk scurried away as he approached. Zykard was not unpopular, but the villagers knew of his legendary temper, and they could see that he wasn’t in the best of moods after speaking with Norscu. They knew better than to disturb him in his current state of mind.However, Zykard’s thoughts weren’t on his surroundings, but rather of his past and his experience with Norscu and the clan. He had spent most of his life with the nomads; he had been abandoned in the fields as a young boy, and it was Norscu and his clan who had adopted him and raised him. He had been found only with the clothes on his back and a single weapon; his claymore Tenshiryu. The blade was his only link to his original family. But over time, Norscu and his clan became Zykard’s new family.Still, in the back of his mind, Zykard had never felt at one with the nomads. He had always been a fierce warrior, and after training with Norscu and the other fighters, he soon gained the skills to match his personality. As he grew older, he became one of the primary protectors of his clan, and helped fight off many attacks by opposing nomads. In the previous year, Norscu led the nomads to build the town of Virdina, where they could better protect themselves from enemies. The new village wall offered the townsfolk better security, but Zykard felt that it had taken away his role in the clan. There were now fewer enemies to fight off, and Zykard felt a consistent lust for battle.When the wanderers had shown up, he had been all too keen to bring the battle to them. Four cloaked figures had been walking the perimeter of the town’s wall when Zykard came upon them. He had questioned them at first, asking who they were and what they were up to. Their response had been infuriatingly vague, and Zykard’s patience came to an end. His attack had been swift; they had tried to defend themselves with wooden staffs, but Tenshiryu had cut through them with ease. All four had fled in terror from his might.Norscu should have thanked him for his diligence of protecting the town, but instead he had scolded him. It was just the latest conflict between the warrior and the elder. If the clan really had no need of Zykard’s skills, then perhaps it was time for him to leave Virdina once and for all. He could make his way on his own in this world. If people tried to oppose him, he would crush them.Tenshiryu agreed with Zykard’s current thoughts. Of course, Zykard knew that his claymore didn’t have its own personality, but in some ways it felt like his only friend. It was the only link to his past life, and he knew he had a strong connection with it. It felt better to address it as if it was another person, because often it was the only one who could understand him.Still, Zykard knew he couldn’t just abandon the clan who had raised him for so long. His loyalty would not be broken so easily. The town of Virdina was still new, and Norscu and the others were still getting used to their lives as villagers instead of nomads. With time, Norscu would realize he still needed Zykard to protect them, and their current disagreements would be a thing of the past.Until such a time, Zykard would continue to guard the village walls, and use whatever force was necessary to protect them. With these final thoughts, he headed to the main gate to start another patrol around the wall’s perimeter.*****The four cloaked figures stumbled into the valley. Their cloaks were tattered and torn, and they were all exhausted and frightened. But their fear increased at the sight of the two guards who awaited them. The guards were very large and muscular men, with head and shoulder armor that represented the head of a hawk. They both carried long spears with black metal heads.“She has been waiting for you,” one of the guards said to the men. “Follow.”The guards led the four men up the valley, where they reached a walled fortress build into the cliff-side. Ravel-like sculptures graced the outer walls, and the carved eyes seemed to be staring down at those entering. Inside the fortress was a collection of tents and other basic structures, which lacked the grandeur of the outer walls. Some of the people poked their heads out of the tents as the four men entered, but they quickly hid again as they sighted the guards.The men did not stop by the tents; they were led to the castle on the cliff’s edge. They entered the central chamber, where the two guards were greeted by four more. On the far side of the room sat a woman on a thrown. She was tall and slender, with jet black robes and silky hair. She was a woman of grace, of royalty, but also of power.Her name was Syrena. And she was the Queen of this fortress.“Alkiviadis,” she said, addressing one of the four men. “You have returned in such a dishonorable state. Tell me what you learned of this new village within my domains.”“We… we were not able to enter,” Alkiviadis said. “We were spotted, and attacked. We barely escaped with our lives.”“What a pathetic attempt,” Syrena quipped. “You assured me you could sneak in and give me intelligence, but your weak skills failed you again. Your tribe will pay for your incompetence.”“You leave them out of this!” Alkiviadis shouted, stepping forward. The guards nearby raised their spears, but Alkiviadis ignored them, and Syrena seemed intrigued by his sudden outburst.“You have taken away so much from them already,” Alkiviadis continued. “You took our land, and then our freedom. Now they survive on essentials only, and are constantly at your mercy. What gives you the right to control us like this?”“You ask for my right?” Syrena asked, half amused. “The power is my birthright. This land belonged to my family, and now it is mine. My guards are loyal to me, and they are more powerful than you or your people. If I wanted to, I could snuff out your entire clan, and it would be as if you never existed.”She paused. “But I am not a monster. I have need for the skills of you and your people. I will not send my guards against Virdina just yet. I need to know where they keep the blade Tenshiryu, and I need you to retrieve it. You have failed at your first attempt, but I will give you a second chance. And when Tenshiryu is mine, I will let you and your people return to your lands.” Her eyes gleamed. “Tell me, Alkiviadis, do we have a deal.”Alkiviadis did not want to work for this evil queen, but he knew the fate of his people depended on his ability to cooperate with her. And he couldn’t allow his people to suffer any more. “Yes, we have a deal,” he said grimly.
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#4 Offline 55555

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Posted Jul 09 2012 - 08:28 PM

Chapter 3Alkavadis walked out of the throne room and into the muted bustle of the dusty streets. The high, grand walls masking the tattered, dismal camp within has a symbolism that pleased him. Long had the Raven's Kingdom hid behind the ruins of their ancient glory, adorned with rich ornaments and strong armor, but lacking the very essentials of life, food and shelter.He strolled slowly down the corridor of ragged tents, orange firelight shinning from either side. It was a cold night in the cliffs. He wrapped his cloak tighter around him and walked faster.The power of the Raven was strong but not wide. Their army was experienced and deadly, but small in number, A sword such as Tenshiryu would change all these things, the Raven would soar above the other warlords and brittle kingdoms, the world would once more hear the cry of the Raven over all the lands.Alkavadis arrived at his own crude shelter, hidden from the moonlight by the high walls. He started a fire and sat down cross-legged in front of it.The Raven's claws had a strong hold over Viridina, and this was why Alkavadis must keep the favor of the Queen. He had tread that line carefully for a long time now, not succeeding any more than necessary, or failing too consistently. And so he was doing now. In truth his expedition had been an unprecedented success, for the sword had been found. Of the four who set out, he alone knew of the sword's appearance and nature. He had seen it before, and one who has seen it once does not lightly forget it.Furthermore he had discovered why the fortress they had sought was so difficult to find. The mists that pervaded that land had long made exploration and mapmaking nearly impossible, but there was something else at work here. Whether the inhabitants knew it or not, a spell had been woven about those walls. A hiding magic, a misting magic, a cloaking magic.Alkavadis smiled to himself in the light of the fire. For he knew that knowledge was power, and power was the one thing he would never give to Queen Syrena.---"We are sending out another trading party. You assure me that they will be able to find their way back?" Norscu asked the figure before him.The person did not turn, but responded, "Yes Elder, those who have once seen the walls of Yonce are immune to the maskings. They will return with ease, and will not be followed."Norscu sighed, and began to depart. He paused, turned back, and bowed to the figure before leaving the house. Respect where respect is due.The elder was not cloaked in his purple robe of rank, he had donned an old gray garment for this meeting. It would be best to keep such things unknown to the people.He reflected on the life they had once led. Never stopping more than a few days at any given place, constantly embattled, the youngest of their warriors had both lost and taken blood in those days. Many of the people fell.But that would not happen now, in the Fortress of Yonce, hidden from the world, Norscu's people would flourish again. The bloodied swords would be replaced by the tools of trade, they would be farmers, weavers, craftsmen. Or so he hoped.

Edited by 55555, Jul 22 2012 - 03:12 AM.

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#5 Offline dotcom

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Posted Jul 10 2012 - 06:13 PM

Chapter 4Behind the closed walls of the Raven’s castle, Queen Syrena reflected.Now that she had spoken with Alkiviadis, she had retreated to her chambers. Her elegant robe was abandoned for something more comfortable, clothing that would not look off in a peasant. However, her grace was not gone, for she bore the dress with such dignity that her status was unquestionable.Yet even in her grace, she worried. Declaring her status as sovereign due to her birthright was easy, and effective. It was, after all, the truth. Her family had ruled this land for longer than anyone could remember.The right to rule, unfortunately, did not grant one the knowledge to rule. Syrena was not stupid, and so she knew that one can never account for all possibilities, be sure of certainties, or underestimate the will of the poor. The retrieval of Tenshiryu was an act of unprecedented importance in her reign. Laying claim to small clans, using her military to gain what she wanted...they were all petty acts of a ruler in comparison to the retrieval of the blade. It had been the lifelong goal of her mother, and her mother before her. The Raven’s history was long-intertwined with that of Tenshiryu.Appointing Alkiviadis to retrieve the claymore was...potentially hazardous. Her enemies were many, and Alkiviadis was one of the more clever ones. He could turn against her, and with the blade in his power, if he learned how to master it...there would be nothing she could do to stop him. But it was a risk she was going to have to take, and not without a fallback plan. In any case, it was unlikely that he would succeed. The holder of the blade would have Tenshiryu, and with it, he was unlikely to be bested by the likes of Alkiviadis. He had already failed a task as simple as reconnaissance, so she felt she needn’t worry. If he succeeded, she could finally fulfill her destiny. If he failed, that was just one noisy pawn out of the way.Her mind drifted again to the claymore. How she would love to send her warriors again the new settlement, to raze the village to the ground and retrieve the blade. That would not work, she knew, and it would be useless bloodshed. No, she had to acquire it with more subtlety.Even with all its tendencies, she felt Tenshiryu would respect the thought that went into her plans. The wise bronze sword with the dragon’s wings...how she craved the day she would finally hold it.According to legend, those who held Tenshiryu would feel a deep connection to the sword, almost as if it had a mind of its own. Of course, such claims would be disregarded as fantasy by most people, for as they claim, a sword is just that, a sword. It can’t possibly have a mind.Those who thought this way were right, in a way. The claymore Tenshiryu did not have a mind of its own, no. The reason the Raven wanted the blade was a secret to which only the royal bloodline of the Raven were privy.Tenshiryu did not have a mind of its own...Tenshiryu itself was a mind. It was the physical embodiment of a legendary, sharp mind, one full of bloodlust and cunning and self-interest.And, Queen Syrena mused, whoever controls the mind of the beast can command its every action.
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#6 Offline Noise #0579

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Posted Jul 11 2012 - 11:18 AM

Chapter 5Zykard sat outside the wall of Virdina, Tenshiryu planted in the ground beside him. Light from the rising sun glinted off the blade, giving it an ethereal glow. Zykard felt something akin to calm in these moments, perhaps for the fact that they made Tenshiryu seem alive to others aside from himself. However, these times were fleeting.“Alright,” Zykard said. With a grunt, he rose to his feet and set a hand on Tenshiryu’s pommel. “We have to get started on our long day of standing watch…believe me, I’m as thrilled as you are. Not like we have a choice, though.”Tenshiryu was lifted out of the ground and gently placed on Zykard’s shoulder. As the warrior turned guard began to pace the length of the wall, he spotted rustling in the nearby bushes and readied for battle. A blue bird flew out of the brush and perched on a tree, chirping at Zykard as if to laugh at his overreaction. Zykard sighed, lowering Tenshiryu’s tip to the earth.“So much for learning to be calm,” commented a voice.Zykard spun around and pointed Tenshiryu at the stranger. The throat that now stood an inch from the blade’s tip belonged to a bald man who seemed a few years Zykard’s senior, who wore a suit of iron armor and had two small hatchets hanging from his waist. This man was also a warrior of the clan that now inhabited Virdina, and was in fact one of the few considered to have skills rivaling those of Zykard. The two of them had never gotten along.“What do you want, Dakari?” Zykard asked. Tenshiryu didn’t move an inch.Dakari raised his arms, calmly replying, “Hey, calm down. How many times do I have to tell you we’re on the same side?”Zykard remained as still as a statue. Dakari answered, “At least once more, I guess. Anyway, I have a proposition for you.”“Your ‘propositions’ never end well for anyone,” Zykard laughed. He finally lowered his sword and turned his back on Dakari.“Come on, this is an offer you can’t refuse!” Dakari persisted. “I know how bored you get when you stay in one place for the same time. But the way I see it, we have more than enough warriors to guard the city walls, and sooner or later someone is going to have to make a more in-depth exploration of the surrounding landscape. Still, who knows what could be out there? It could be awfully dangerous…whoever goes out should definitely have at least some competence in military matters.”Zykard thought for a moment. “…Norscu told me to stay here.” He sounded easy to convince.“Who says Norscu has to know?” Dakari said. “As long as you’re back by evening, he’ll just think you’ve been patrolling the walls all day. Come on, you’d be doing us all a favor.”“And what do you stand to gain from this?” Zykard asked. Dakari was only ever motivated by self-interest, as Zykard had learned through many painful surprises over the years.“If you do the exploring, I won’t have to,” Dakari said. “I actually like the whole ‘settling down’ thing—requires a lot less effort. I certainly don’t want to go out on some possibly perilous surveying expedition.”Zykard found himself looking at Tenshiryu. It felt as if the sword was shaking in his hand, eager to jump at the chance to wander the area in search of battle.No… he thought. Dakari has other motives. Every time I trust him, I only end up being tricked…This thought process was very logical, but, then again…Zykard had never been the logical type. Tenshiryu was not the only one who hungered for excitement—Dakari’s offer was indeed one neither the blade nor Zykard could refuse.Zykard glared directly at Dakari, an expression that was in no way impeded by the former’s helmet. “If I come back and find out that this is another one of your tricks…”“I’m hurt, Zykard,” Dakari said, his expression softening. “Haven’t we moved past all that? We’re not children anymore.”Zykard mumbled something under his breath and turned away. After one last hesitation, he ran off, away from the city and towards whatever mysteries waited for him. Soon, he was out of sight…and with no one around to see, Dakari flashed a devious smile. Reaching into his armor, the warrior drew out a small sack of gold coins, which he sifted through greedily.“Don’t worry, Zykard,” he whispered. “If all goes well, you won’t be coming back at all.”
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The Blade of Valor: Short Stories.  When the Spirits of the Elements are in danger, Tahra must take up a legendary weapon and challenge the creature waiting inside Lewa's temple.  Testing a concept, so please respond if you'd like to see more of this.


#7 Online xccj

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Posted Jul 11 2012 - 08:58 PM

Chapter 6Dakari nodded to the cloaked figure that approached the village walls. “Zykard has been taken care of,” he said. “You and your party may pass by without his notice.”The man made no response, and for a moment Dakari wondered if he had even been heard. But then the man said, “Good. The warrior could prove troublesome if he saw our departure. Our mission cannot be put at risk.”“What mission is that again?” Dakari asked slyly.“If you do not know of it already, then you have no need of this knowledge,” the man said.“Perhaps Norscu would also be interested in knowing why you are leaving,” Dakari pressed. “He likes to remain aware of what goes on within the walls of his new city.”The man chuckled, as if amused by a reference that Dakari didn’t understand. “You would sell us out just as you sold out to your comrade?” the man asked.“Zykard is not my comrade,” Dakari snapped. “I was more than glad to make a fool of him. But my loyalties still lie with Norscu, and if you are up to something…”“Our mission is to the benefit of our clan,” the man said. “And the gold we gave you promised silence. If I cannot trust you, maybe the payment should be returned.”“Oh, no need of that,” Dakari said. “Okay, I’ll keep my mouth shut. But if you are up to something, remember this. Zykard isn’t the only one skilled with weapons around here.” He gently patted his hatchet.The man was unimpressed. “My party will leave within the hour. Make sure Zykard is kept occupied for that whole time,” he added as he walked off into the darkness.“Will do,” Dakari said with a grin. All he had been asked to do was make sure Zykard’s guard duty was interrupted so that the mysterious party could set out. Dakari had just altered the plan slightly when he sent Zykard out to explore the surrounding lands. The lands around Virdina were uncharted for a reason; the mists and landscape made it easy to get lost, and those who wandered off rarely found their way back. Dakari knew that Zykard wasn’t a skilled tracker. Hopefully, he would get lost, far from the village, and would never return.And then Dakari would be the greatest warrior in the clan.*****Zykard had spent three hours on his little exploration mission. He knew he should be turning around soon, but he had yet to find anything of interest, and his need for combat forced him to press forward. So far, the landscape Zykard had explored was not very remarkable. There were many hills filled with low brush and small trees, and the ground was wet and marshy in places. Worst, a mist covered the land, making it difficult to see over great distances. It was easy enough to transverse through the mist on the roads to Virdina, but alone in the wilderness, Zykard found it troublesome to navigate through. And he was so set on moving forward that he never spared a thought for how he would return. He didn’t even look back to see his footsteps getting absorbed by the mud.Zykard’s patience began to wear thin. He wanted action; he wanted to fight. His impatience was fueled by Tenshiryu. At the very least, he would like to fight some deadly beast within the mists. At most, he would enjoy encountering a rival clan and fighting them to the death.His wishes did not come to pass. The hills began to steepen and form taller ridges. Zykard realized he was approaching the foothills of a mountain range. He knew there were mountains in the areas around Virdina, but none this close. As he pressed on, he found a clearing along the side of one of the hills. As he approached, he realized that it was a village.Zykard drew Tenshiryu and charged inside, but there was no one to attack. The village was abandoned; the stone huts were all in disrepair, and there was no hint of recent occupation. As Zykard began to examine the town, he also discovered many carvings on the walls. The images varied, but one appeared over and over again. It was an image of a raven head.Intrigued, Zykard entered some of the huts, looking for any treasures that the civilization might have left behind. But all the buildings were empty, with only the remains of broken furniture littering the floor.Zykard was about to give up and move on, but he decided to enter one last hut. It was the largest in the village, and had likely belonged to the clan’s leader. As he entered, he discovered that it wasn’t as barren as the other huts. The floor was cluttered with broken statues of ravens, likely placed inside by the villagers before they left. The carvings were all interesting and well designed, but Zykard knew he wouldn’t earn anything from broken raven statues.Then something else caught his eye. There was a carving on the far wall, and Zykard realized that it was a map of some sort. But what really caught his attention was a small carving in the center of it, which depicted a detailed dragon wing.Zykard had seen the design before. It was the same as Tenshiryu.
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#8 Offline 55555

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Posted Jul 12 2012 - 11:14 PM

Chapter 7Zykard lightly ran his fingers over the carving, concentration furrowing his brow. What dd this mean.Behind!Zycard whirled around, bringing Tenshiryu up in a combat stance. He stiffened as he saw the warriors before him.They had entered the ruins silently, and they were twenty in number. Armored with old armor and holding ancient weapons, they stood tall and strong with the strength of days long passed."Swordsman, we come not to kill you and mean you no more harm than you mean us. What brings you to this place?"Zykard smiled slightly under his cold helmet, his eyes narrowed in anticipation.Kill them. Break their swords.A voice seemed to whisper to him."Swordsman, tell us, why come you here?"Defeat them with your strength.Zykard straightened, and spun his sword in a salute. It was a movement taught to every student of the sword, it was a declaration of combat, it was not a challenge but an announcement. A fight to the death.The leader of the twenty looked startled, and then angry. He loosened his dagger in its sheath, lowered his visor and signaled to his men. In such a battle as this there were no rules, no holds barred and no quarter.Wait, they must feel fear.Zukard stood, head lowered, watchful, silent and relaxed. The warriors were tense as they spread around the walls, surrounding him. They seemed more afraid of him than he was of them, there was something about him and his silent declaration that struck fear in their hearts.Go.Left, under the guard of the young man with his sword to high, spin and slash the one who charged him from behind, hook the ankle of the one from the right and slice him as he goes down...Zykard felt he might almost close his eyes and still destroy the twenty men that surrounded him. It was like a dance, with a pounding drum in his mind to keep time to. The steps and movements flowed, one into the next, and man after man fell.The leader was more difficult from the rest, he broke the tempo with a block and a calculated swipe. But he too fell.Zykard straightened up, p[anting only slightly. Where twenty living men had stood none now breathed, only twenty bodies of dead men.No, only nineteen. One had escaped in the complex chaos, no, in the complex order of combat. One lived to see another dawn color the clouds, one to carry the tale as far as his life carried him.Zykard looked once more over the bodies in the ancient room, and raised his visor.

Edited by 55555, Jul 22 2012 - 03:12 AM.

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#9 Offline dotcom

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Posted Jul 14 2012 - 12:22 PM

Chapter 8Zykard stood facing the corpses of his enemies. The adrenaline he had gained during the short strife was only beginning to subside, but his mind was racing. He saw the nineteen bodies with disbelief. He was an amazing warrior, and he was more than confident in his abilities, but he knew this had been a nigh impossible feat. A sole warrior annihilating such a large group, and doing so unscathed...nobody should be able to do that. For a moment, he tried to fool himself into believing his skills had simply evolved, but discarded the idea. Zykard looked at Tenshiryu. The young warrior always felt closer to the claymore during battle than at any other time. When he swung the blade, the two became as one, and their combined might had led them to many victories. What had just happened, however, was completely different. The thirst for battle that came over Zykard, the way he defeated the warriors in a matter of minutes...it was almost as if Tenshiryu was the one commanding his actions. Although Zykard had felt a deeper connection than ever before, it wasn't as if the two had come together as one. It had felt like Zykard’s very being was being swallowed by the sword, as if he no longer had a will of his own. Most surprisingly, Zykard realized he didn't care about that. He didn't care if he momentarily lost control of his actions, or if the claymore wanted to wage battle towards any foe that may come their way. The sense of elation and satisfaction he now experienced, facing and overcoming so many warriors, was indescribable. A small part of him told him this was the same kind of unsolicited violence that would make Norscu furious if he knew of it, but he ignored it. More than ever before, he felt as if the blade was alive. He no longer cared whether it was madness or not, he was certain there was something special and alive about Tenshiryu. It had been his companion for years, and Zykard trusted the blade completely.Zykard was curious about the origin of the blade. It was truly a beautiful weapon, and he couldn't imagine how he first came to possess it. When he had been found by the nomads, he had held stubbornly to the claymore, as if his life depended on it. Even now, Zykard could remember nothing of his past. Maybe he had blocked the memories off, or maybe they were not worth remembering. Up to now, nothing about the life he had had as a child had had any relevance to his life as a warrior. However, he now desperately wanted to learn of his trusted weapon. How could a boy have gotten ahold of such an amazing weapon?He turned to the inscription on the wall again. The map, he saw, encompassed a huge expanse of land. The valley on which Virdina was located was placed on the far west of the map. Oddly enough, a crude carving of a raven was placed on that portion of the land, as if drawn just as the villagers were leaving. What meaning it could have, Zykard didn't know, but he thought it must have had something to do with the statues littering the floor. Once again, his eyes were drawn to the center of the carving, where the wing was located. Zykard had never been one for maps. He was a warrior, and his concerns were on perfecting his skills, not on marking the tribe';s process through the land. Nevertheless, he had still seen enough to have a vague understanding of the land. He saw the wing's location in comparison to the valley, and his eyes widened. There was no mistaking it. The location of the carving was the precise place he had been found on as a boy. He didn't know how, but he had a connection to this place, and to his claymore. He knew he did.Zykard turned his back on the wall and departed from the dwelling. He walked past the empty village and down the steep hills. His task of exploring the area now forgotten, he tried to come up with a plan. Should he risk a week-long journey to the place of his previous life, or seek another village in search for clues?Through the path that brings you the most opportunity for war. Zykard felt these thoughts, and smiled.

***

Back in the village, a soldier, the sole survivor among the twenty who fought Zykard, sat hidden in a hut. He had just seen the mysterious warrior depart, and at last he was able to breathe properly. That man wasn't human, he was sure of it. The strength he possessed was unnatural, and the way he fought was savage yet orderly...it was purely inhuman. The demeanor of the warrior was not even the most frightening part, however. The blade he used was the true cause of terror. He had felt as if the blade were laughing as it cut through his comrades. It was a beautiful sword, as war itself was beautiful. It was dignified yet destructive, and utterly, completely selfish. He could only think of one person who fit that same description, and she was sitting on a throne far from this decrepit village. It was time he returned to his queen.

Edited by dotcom, Jul 17 2012 - 12:32 AM.

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#10 Offline Noise #0579

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Posted Jul 16 2012 - 09:16 AM

Chapter 9Syrena looked up as the door to the throne room creaked open. In walked a soldier clad in black armor—one of her own—covered in wounds and using his sword as a crutch. She clenched her teeth and narrowed her gaze into a glare.“You had better have a good reason for marching in here unannounced,” she warned.The soldier came to a halt near her throne and bowed, nearly losing his balance. When he straightened up, he said, “My queen…I have seen Tenshiryu.”Syrena’s eyes doubled in size. She instantly stood and stepped towards the soldier, who flinched in fear. “Where?!” Syrena asked with excitement. “Where is it?!”“M…My patrol encountered the warrior bearing it within the walls of Edgallen,” the soldier answered. “I was the only one who escaped alive.”“Edgallen…” Syrena repeated. She turned aside to think. “This warrior…did he see the map?”The soldier nodded. Syrena smiled.Excellent, the queen thought. The bearer of Tenshiryu must be curious about the origins of his sword, and that curiosity will force him to follow the map directly to the Dragon Plains. We merely have to get there first.Syrena turned back to the soldier, causing him to flinch again. “Gather all the soldiers we can spare, and prepare my caravan,” she ordered. “We have a net to cast.”Dakari sat against the wall with a bored look on his face, casually spinning a hatchet with one hand. He yawned and his gaze drifted…and that’s when he spotted Norscu. Dakari scrambled to his feet and put his weapon away, and then he bowed just as the elder approached.“Elder Norscu,” he greeted. “What brings you out here?”“I must see Zykard,” Norscu said. “Where is he?”“Um…he’s not here,” Dakari answered.“…Then where is he?” Norscu asked.“I, uh…I don’t know. He wasn’t here when I arrived.”Norscu frowned. “Dakari, this is serious. If you know where Zykard is, you must tell me.”Dakari shrugged. Norscu sighed and drew a scroll out of his robes, saying, “This is a document that I have been searching for a long, long time. A trading party recently acquired it, and now my worst fears have been confirmed.”Tentatively, Dakari took the scroll—it was old and brittle, and as he unrolled it he worried it would crumble in his hands. When he read the contents, however, his face grew pale. The scroll detailed an ancient legend, one that predated any kingdom found in the land…the legend of Tenshiryu.
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#11 Online xccj

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Posted Jul 16 2012 - 05:55 PM

Chapter 10It was growing dark out as Alkiviadis approached the Queen’s chambers. He had been planning all day, and now his small party of men was ready to return to Virdina to continue their mission. Queen Syrena would believe that they were going on another scouting mission to verify the existence and location of Tenshiryu. But if all went according to plan, the sword would be in Alkiviadis’s hands by the morning’s light.And then Queen Syrena’s rule would come to a bitter end.As Alkiviadis pushed the doors to the chamber opened, he adopted his solemn persona. He had to do his best to make the queen think that he was at his wits end, and that his only goal was to ensure the survival of his people. As he entered the room, he exclaimed, “My men are ready, Queen Syrena.”Only Syrena was not present. There were only two guards stationed beside her thrown, and both were smaller than the ones Syrena usually kept at her side.“Where is the Queen?” Alkiviadis questioned them.“She is away,” the first guard said harshly.“Then you will inform her that my men and I have embarked on our mission,” Alkiviadis said.“She gave orders that you were not to leave,” the second guard said. “Return to your people and await her return.”This new turn of events surprised Alkiviadis, but he hid his emotions as he quickly exited the room. He knew that there were only a few reasons for Syrena to leave her chambers, and only one of them required her departure to go unannounced. Somehow, she had discovered something about Tenshiryu.It was time for a change of strategy. Alkiviadis and his men would sneak away, which would be easy due to the lack of guards on the wall. And they would have to set out at once.*****Dakari stood on guard as the moonlight shinned down through the mist. But his mind was not on his extended guard duty; he was thinking of scroll Norscu had showed him, and what it detailed.Dakari had eventually admitted that he had seen Zykard run off into the mist. He had left out certain details, like how he had convinced Zykard to go out scouting in the first place. Norscu had been worried, and had ordered all the guardsmen to be on the lookout for the warrior and alert him if he was sighted.Dakari hardly cared for the safe return of Zykard. But the legend of Tenshiryu was a different matter.The scroll told of an old warrior known as Tenshiryu. He had been an evil tyrant, who had conquered vast lands and ruled over them with an iron fist. Eventually, those he ruled fought against him, and managed to destroy his body. But Tenshiryu’s mind carried on, and was embedded in the form of a blade decorated with a dragon’s wing. The blade held all of Tenshiryu’s power within it, and those who could wield the blade would have access to that power. Through the blade, Tenshiryu continued to threaten the people of the world.Zykard’s claymore had been decorated with a dragon’s wing, and Zykard had even named his sword Tenshiryu. It was too much of a coincidence. Somehow, Zykard’s weapon was the blade from the legend.Norscu was concerned for Zykard. Tenshiryu was said to be able to influence the user, and Norscu feared that it might exert too much control over Zykard already.But Dakari knew better. The claymore offered unparalleled power, and if it was in his hands, then he could become a greater warrior than Zykard ever was. He could become the greatest warrior ever!When Zykard eventually returned, Dakari would take Tenshiryu from him.Dakari’s fantasies of power were cut short at the sound of approaching footsteps. Outside the main gates, four figures appeared out of the mist, running towards the city. Dakari saw glints of metal in the moonlight, and realized that they were armed.“Alarm!” he shouted, drawing his hatchets. “We’re under attack!”The four men stopped, even as the warriors of Virdina gathered along the top of the walls. Their leader stepped forward, and Alkiviadis threw off his hood.“People of Virdina, we mean you no harm,” Alkiviadis shouted up to the wall. “But we come with a warning. There is a Queen who is approaching, and she is searching for a weapon. And the lives of both my people and yours depend on her never getting her hands on it.”
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#12 Offline 55555

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Posted Jul 18 2012 - 10:20 PM

Chapter 11Norscu was on one of his customary walks through the village, greeting his many acquaintances and enjoying the peacefulness of the streets. He was talking to a friend of his, an old potter who was losing his sight, when he heard the horn sound the call to arms.The horn sounded on, calling and calling again as the village erupted into chaos. Everywhere craftsmen, still becoming accustomed to their new trades, were becoming warriors again. They sprang up from their work and sprinted for their tarnished helms and rusted swords.Norscu's face grew grim. He had not told his people of the masking magic that had been woven to cover the village, and this was his reward. To calm them down now, without revealing the measures that had been taken for the protection of the walls would be a task indeed.He strode down the street, the wind moving the dust of the road around the hem of his purple cloak, a man with a single purpose among the confusion of the streets. He was going to the main watchtower, the horn that had sounded the alarm could sound the all clear just as easily, though the minds of the people would be harder to reverse.The disorganized mass of men on the walls came to attention as Norscu arrived on the ramparts. He ignored the men and walked on to the where the commanders, Dakari signaled to the horn blower and he fell silent."Why have the trumpets sounded? Why was I not informed before the alarm was given?"Dakari bowed and gestured to the four strangers in their midst. Norscu turned, an eyebrow raised. Their leader stepped forward, a noble looking man clad in the armor of the Raven, the muted sun gleamed dully off of his dark hair."Lord of Virdina, I bring dark tidings over many miles. An army marches on your home, it follows my message by few hours, it will be in sight at any moment."Norscu made no response to this. He had expected as much. This must be the man who had found them once before, none could find the village who had not seen its walls before. How Alkiviadis found his way that first time was a mystery."I know what you are thinking Elder. Yes, I am of the force that comes here, hat will be pounding at the gates and burning your homes. I am with them in body, but not in spirit. They threatened my home, my entire village with fire. I have long served their Queen, but with as much futility and inefficiency as I could manage."Norscu's visage was as solid as a rock. The armed men waited for some kind of response to these statements, their confidence ebbing as the silent seconds ticked by.Norscu turned to the horn blower, "Sound the all clear, we are safe as long as we stay within the walls."The men on the walls exploded into confusion behind him, Dakari exclaimed aloud in his consternation before running after the Elder.Alkiviadis turned to his men, his eyes narrowing, "Battle is not something I fear, it would be comforting compared to this..."---Norscu sat alone in his room when Dakari burst in, without knocking. The fire in the center of the chamber threw a dark, shifting shadow of Norscu against the wall. Dakari's voice was quiet in the sound of the crackling flame."What do you mean, 'We are safe within the walls'? What are you hiding?"Norscu smiled into the fire at Dakari's choice of words. He rose and strode toward Dakari, putting a and on the other's shoulder."Trust me in this Dakari. Us elders must have our secrets. We are safe from this invasion, and any other while we are within the walls of Virdina."He walked Dakari towards the door.The door was thrown open with a crack and a black cloaked figure was hurled inwards. Norscu sprang backwards, his red hair falling into disarray. Alkiviadis and two of his men followed, their swords drawn and their attention on the dark figure, who lay bound on the floor before them.Alkiviadis strode towards the elder, his sword glinting in the firelight."The invasion comes, and you tell us that the walls will guard us. How long have you been employing this black mage to conceal your fortress?"Norscu grimaced and turned away, his face lost in the shadow,. "I did what I had to do. My people had been at war for too long, they needed peace to raise their children, to pursue their trades, to gather food and to grow our culture."Alkiviadis raised his head to look at the smoke escaping through the hole in the ceiling. "But art what cost Elder? No magic such as this is free, all blessings from darkness come with a curse."The cloaked figure stirred on the floor, everyone in the room turned towards him, and he spoke in a strangely calm voice, "Norscu, Elder of Virdina, it is time to make my true purpose clear. You would have seen it long ago had I not clouded your mind against it. I alone keep this fortress from destruction, as I have kept it so from the beginning. I said that I would tell you my price when the time was right, and that time is now. If you do not give the sword Tenshiryu into my hands before sunset tomorrow, I will unveil your fortress and leave it naked to the wrath of the army outside."

Edited by 55555, Jul 22 2012 - 03:11 AM.

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#13 Offline dotcom

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Posted Jul 19 2012 - 12:49 AM

Chapter 12Zykard walked aimlessly, now that his first bound of confidence and curiosity was past. What was he to do? What could he hope to gain? The only logical course of action would be to return to Virdina and hope news of his assault on the armored warriors didn’t reach Norscu’s ears. Anything he attempted now would be pointless. He was no less curious about his claymore, but didn’t see how he could learn more about it. He had explored for hours, but he had yet to find another settlement to investigate. Zykard was about to give up and turn back when he felt Tenshiryu stir. He felt the blank emotion that emanated from the blade and interpreted it as a sign that he was close to something important. He looked carefully at his surroundings, and despite himself, gasped. Directly behind him was a cliffside, which he had passed without inspection. Now, he saw that the black rock in fact camouflaged a massive fortress. In its outside were dozens of intricate black raven-like structures. Again the image of the raven presented itself in his path. He was certain he would find answers inside. As he made his way towards the fortress, he recognized the emotion emanating from Tenshiryu as rage. Whatever the fortress represented, it was something Tenshiryu knew, and had grown to hate. As he gave the last steps towards the structure, Tenshiryu underwent an unsettling transformation. Its beautiful, pure white feathers became the color of the dark rock towards which they headed. The wings that formed its helm became tattered and unkempt. The brilliant bronze blade became the cold, dead color of silver. It was still his claymore, but one which heralded not victory for him, but utter annihilation for his enemies. It had been a tool for achieving glory, but now it was an agent of death. Zykard trusted the blade, and he now knew beyond any doubt that it was special, but nevertheless, its new appearance frightened him in a way he couldn’t understand. He quickly ran away from the fortress, and the blade returned to its original appearance. Returning to the fortress, it too returned to its darker form. He decided to ignore the change that the blade underwent and go exploring. He entered through a not-too-cleverly-hid doorway, and was startled when he met no resistance. In his village, the walls and entrances were always guarded. They would never allow someone like him to enter their village unopposed. Of course, if I wanted to go against Virdina, they would never be able to stop me. Zykard stopped, shocked at his own thoughts. He had never considered going against his clan; even when he had considered leaving, he would have done so in good terms. They were his family, and they were the only reason he had been able to live his life up to this point. He could not imagine attacking his fellow clansmen; even those as dastardly as Dakari were trusted fighters, and like him, their only concern was with the safety of the clan. He told himself this as he continued walking, but he knew it was not so. The fact was, he could imagine going against his clansmen, and he was not sure Dakari’s only concern was protecting the clan. The truth was, he was not sure of that about himself, either. All these thoughts were driven from his mind as he finally found something to fight. He didn’t realize he was fighting until the guard he had encountered was dead at his feet. Tenshiryu had fought on its own accord again, and Zykard hardly noticed. He looked past the corpse and saw five other guards, all looking upset over their comrade’s death. He advanced through them so fluidly he barely noticed his sword cutting through their flesh, and he found himself at the entrance to a large courtyard without a scratch. Scattered around the area were various tents and simple buildings. None of it seemed interesting, especially not compared to the castle on the far side of the yard. Some people poked their heads out of their tents, but there were no guards in sight. Leave the commoners. They are of more worth to us as messengers. Zykard ran towards the grand castle, already thirsting for battle. Entering the castle, he encountered two guards, who he discarded swiftly. He hurried along a corridor, and entered a large central chamber. In it was a high, lavish throne, and near it, more guards. The melee that followed was resolved quickly, Tenshiryu cutting through their bodies, Zykard dodging their attacks as in a deadly dance. With a great roar, Zykard dealt a finishing blow to the largest of them all, who had fared no better. Now the only being left in the room was Zykard. He looked past the throne, where a great statue was located. It was of a beautiful, severe looking woman. On her shoulder was a gigantic raven, and on its right hand, elevated towards the heavens, was Tenshiryu. The statue was life-sized, and unkempt. The rock from which it had been carved was breaking down after years of neglect. A passerby may not recognize the claymore, but Zykard could not mistake it. It was his blade, and he wanted to know why. From the central throne room stemmed several doorways to other parts of the castle. Suddenly, he felt Tenshiryu direct itself in the direction of the closest doorway. Zykard followed.

***

Above the throne room, in a smaller, lavishly decorated bedroom, a girl sat on a black velvet bed. Her name was Aimilia, and like she often did, she was reading a scroll. Her mother was away on duty. It was uncommon for Queen Syrena to leave the castle, and her daughter was sure her absence was related to the blade. Even so, her interest was hardly piqued. Queen Syrena was powerful and deadly, but she was also in a position of high risk. It was important that she have an heiress, and even more important for her to be hidden, so as to protect her from those who would bring harm to the royal family. However, Princess Aimilia had never been interested in leading the Raven, or finding the sword. No, what fascinated Aimilia the most were the stories she read. The fantastical realm of magic and old, ancient and glorious wars, the tales of mystical creatures and cursed weapons; those were the things that interested her. Compared to all the amazing tales she read, the drivel of daily life and the concerns of commanding people seemed incredibly dull. Even now, she heard the sounds of battle below her room. Swords and armor clanking, yells of savage battle, muffled by the rock between them. None of it interested her. The guards would surely take care of the problem. They always did. Currently, she was once again enthralled by the tale of Tenshiryu. She read of the mighty dragon Tenshiryu, with its majestic wings and unlimited thirst for battle. Of course, Tenshiryu was not a dragon, not necessarily. Her mother had told her that the tale of the mighty Tenshiryu was one shrouded in much ancient magic and myth. The very existence of the being known as Tenshiryu was clouded by magic. Although there were several scrolls telling of his story, she knew every person read the tale in a specific way. For example, she had heard that those few commoners that had read the tale, those who knew nothing of magic and couldn’t imagine anything too outlandish, thought of Tenshiryu as an evil tyrant. For Aimilia, from whose viewpoint everything was possible, Tenshiryu was a mighty dragon who went in rampages for decades, bringing death with every step it took. Neither interpretation was incorrect, for the true tale was so old nobody could truly remember. She read of how the beast Tenshiryu was finally vanquished by the great Queen of the Raven, of how she led her mighty army against it and finally defeated it. However, Tenshiryu’s consciousness survived in the form of a claymore, which the Queen claimed for her own. In gratitude for ridding them of the monster, the peoples of the valley allied themselves with the Raven. Eventually, however, the ungrateful fools began to rebel and break away from the Raven’s grasp. That was when their power first began to decline. Sometime along that time, and under unknown circumstances, the claymore was lost. Ever since, the queens of the Raven had dedicated their lives to finding the sword, so as to successfully reestablish their position as the rulers of the land. It was essential for their survival. For her part, Aimilia didn’t put much stock in their ability to retrieve the blade. Although she believed in the tales and was fascinated by them, she was sure the claymore was lost for good. Her mother was probably wasting her time. In the past several centuries, the blade hadn’t once been sighted. Princess Aimilia was utterly convinced she would never be able to lay eyes on that blade of legend.

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#14 Offline Noise #0579

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Posted Jul 19 2012 - 11:47 AM

Chapter 13Dakari grabbed the mage by the collar and raised a hatchet. “Do you plan to kill me?” the mage asked. “Know that if I die, my magic dies with me, and this city will be revealed to all.”“Why should I care?” Dakari replied with a cold grin. “We are warriors. We’ll repel whoever comes at us.”Dakari cast a glance at Norscu before adding, “We need to let our enemies know that.”“This is no ordinary foe,” Alkiviadis said. “The army of the Raven is ruthless and powerful—no one can stand in their way.”“He is right,” Norscu said. “I have heard far too much of what these monsters are capable of. It was the fear of the Raven that caused so many warriors to run scared across the land, bringing them into conflict with us…”“Are you saying this ‘Raven’ is the reason why we’re holed up in these walls rather than wandering as we have always done?” Dakari said. “If that is the case, then let’s wipe them out while we have the chance. Then we can leave behind this stone prison.”“The only possible way to defeat the Raven is with Tenshiryu,” Alkiviadis said. “The sword may be dangerous, but it has come to hate the Raven with all of its might.”“And its bearer had best hurry,” the mage chuckled.Dakari held the edge of his hatchet against the mage’s neck. “Tenshiryu isn’t here right now,” Dakari said. “We’ll push back this army using our own might, no magic or cursed swords involved.”Alkiviadis looked at Dakari in shock. “It’s not here?” he asked. “Where is it, then?!”Dakari shrugged, answering, “Zykard’s been gone for about a day now. Who knows when he’ll come back.”Alkiviadis hung his head in defeat. “Without the blade, there is no hope…”The mage laughed. Norscu looked at him and asked, “You know a way to find him, don’t you?”“It’s a simple spell,” the mage replied. “I can locate the bearer of Tenshiryu, and I will even give you enough time to retrieve him, so long as the blade ends up in my hands.”“What would you even want with it?” Dakari asked.“That’s not important,” the mage said. “It is your choice. You can find Tenshiryu and use its power to destroy your enemy, or you can let your city fall.”Norscu rubbed his chin and began to think…Zykard charged through waves of guards as he traversed the narrow stone hallway, finally arriving at the stairwell at the end. High above, a guard peered down the stairs and spotted the intruder, but Zykard felled him with one bolt from the crossbow on his arm. After stepping aside to avoid the falling corpse, Zykard ascended the steps quickly, driven on by Tenshiryu’s strange eagerness.What is happening? Zykard wondered. Tenshiryu has always thirsted for blood, but this…this is rage beyond anything I have ever felt.When Zykard finally reached the top of the stairs, he found himself before a thick wooden door with an iron lock. Before Zykard knew what he was doing, he swung Tenshiryu at the door, slicing it in two and opening the path forward. Beyond was a short hallway, leading to an ornate room with one occupant: a girl with a scroll in her hand resting on a black bed.Aimilia locked eyes with Zykard, and the warrior paused. Confusion filled his mind, but soon that was burned away by the inferno of Tenshiryu’s rage. Zykard felt the sword pull him down the hallway towards the girl, who leapt off the bed and darted at the wall. Aimilia reached out and grasped a lever built into the wall, and when she pulled it, a black metal grate slid over the end of the hall. Zykard thrust Tenshiryu through one of the openings, but the wings on the hilt got caught, stopping the blade inches from the girl’s throat.Horror filled Zykard as he realized what was going on. Slaying enemies was one thing, but this girl was unarmed. Had he really just tried to kill a defenseless innocent?Aimilia breathed a sigh of relief and backed away from the sword. “Who are you?” she asked. Her voice trembled slightly, but she tried her best not to give away her fear.“…I am Zykard,” Zykard replied. “Who are you?”Aimilia gave him a surprised look. “You come to assassinate me yet do not know who I am?”“It wasn’t my idea to come. I had no idea you were here.”Aimilia’s eyes fell on the blade. Quietly, she asked, “Your sword…does it have a name?”“Yes,” Zykard answered. “Tenshiryu.”“…I thought so,” Aimilia said.Zykard took a step back. Tenshiryu still wanted to press forward, but Zykard was somehow able to pull it out of the grate. “You know of my sword?” he asked.Aimilia nodded. Zykard thought a moment, then continued, “What is this place? Why did Tenshiryu lead me here, and why does it want to kill you?”After a few seconds of silence, Aimilia turned her back on Zykard. The scroll she had been holding had fallen to the floor earlier, and she know knelt to retrieve it. “So you don’t know,” she whispered. “You have no idea of the nature of the weapon you possess.”The girl sent the scroll rolling along the ground, and it came to a stop against the grate protecting her. Zykard was able to get a hand through an opening and pull the scroll through, and when he stood up he opened the document and began to read it. The answers he had sought were now before him…and he found himself wishing he had never asked in the first place.
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#15 Online xccj

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Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:47 PM

Chapter 14Alkiviadis tapped his foot impatiently as the mage cast the locator spell. He and the other warriors had eventually agreed to give the blade up to the magician, but Alkiviadis had not given him a clear date. The mage could have Tenshiryu after Alkiviadis had used it to free his people.Still, in the back of his mind, Alkiviadis knew something was wrong. When he had learned of Syrena’s departure, he had expected her to send her whole army against Virdina to retrieve the blade. But Tenshiryu wasn’t in Virdina. If that was the case, then where had the Queen made off to?The mage, meanwhile, was chanting to himself, oblivious to the warriors around him. Norscu looked very worried about the whole situation, and Alkiviadis could relate. Norscu was worried about the protection of his people, but he had chosen the path of dark magic to ensure their safety, and so now he would have to deal with the consequences. But while Alkiviadis understood the decision Norscu had made, he wouldn’t go out of his way to help him. In a choice between saving his people or the people of Virdina, Alkiviadis knew what decision he would make.Meanwhile, the warriors all looked very restless. Dakari, in particular, looked eager to help retrieve the blade. Alkiviadis was wary of this particular warrior; Dakari sounded like a man with an ulterior motive.Suddenly, mist began to form around the mage. Everybody took a step backwards, curious as to this new development. The mist rose above the mage and began to condense. It took Alkiviadis a few moments before he realized that it was forming a map of the surrounding area.“The claymore and its bearer are at this location,” the mage said, gesturing to a pinpoint of light on the map.Alkiviadis’s eyes went wide. “But that is the Queen’s fortress! That is where she holds my people captive!”“Then we best head over there and take the sword back,” Dakari said gruffly.“Don’t you get it,” Alkiviadis snapped. “If the Queen already has Tenshiryu in her procession, then we have already lost.”“Regardless, we shall venture forth,” Norscu said. “The lives of many depend on us retrieving this blade.”*****Syrena stood on the edge of the Dragon Plains. The winds wisped through her long, dark hair, but it did not bring the same chill upon her men as her smirk did.She gestured for one of the elite guards to approach. “Are the traps all set?” she asked.“Yes, your majesty.”“Good,” Syrena said. “Make sure the sentries are all in position, and inform me if you spot anyone approaching. We don’t want to be caught off guard when Tenshiryu arrives.”The guard nodded and rushed off. Syrena’s grin widened. She was so close now to processing the blade that had evaded her family’s grasp for years. And the setting of the Dragon Plains was just perfect.From her position, the Dragon Plains looked like an average prairie, with gentle hills and tall grasses. But the Dragon Plains was actually just the top of a massive mesa, which rose hundreds of feet into the air. There were only a few pathways up the steep slopes, and Syrena had already made sure all of them were filled with traps and watched by her guards.Ideally, the Dragon Plains should have been a farmer’s dream; there was plenty of land for crops to grow and livestock to feed, and it was easy to defend the hillsides. But the mesa had a bloody history, as civilization after civilization had fought each other for the land. And, of particular significance, the Dragon Plains was where the great tyrant Tenshiryu had finally fallen, and where his consciousness had passed into the claymore.Syrena’s ancestors had created the blade on the mesa, and it was fitting that she would steal it back in this very location.
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#16 Offline 55555

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Posted Jul 22 2012 - 03:10 AM

Chapter 15Zykard read the ancient words, long ago marked in watery ink on the crude parchment, age and many hands had soiled and smeared the document to the point that many words were indecipherable.His eyes skimmed across the page...The demon...The dragon...The deathless...He tore his eyes away, his face contorted with horror and sadness. He had taken so many lives, so many lives without reason. He looked back at the scroll, as Aimlia approached to sit crosslegged next to him, the grate between them.The Dragon rose, the Dragon fell, and the Dragon rose anew. Tenshiryu, dark mage, dealer with demons, swordsman unchallenged, conqueror of all he chose to conquer, the creature with the bloodlust unquenchable in his eyes. The Dragon was the name given to him, as the gift of flight he had, and all he breathed upon was withered with an invisible fire. Always he led his army into battle, and not a single piece of armor did he wear. Dressed in a white, swiftly bloodstained cloak he shone and slew, leaping higher than any mortal man, shattering the very rocks with his blade, and sowing a fear in his enemies more deadly than poison.He burned and ravaged land after land, ransacked and destroyed village after village on a conquest with no goal but to bring death to all that stood before him. In his wake lay many shallow graves, each one was marked with only the broken sword of its occupant.Then the ravaging Dragon met a stronger empire than any of the warlords and mercenaries he had encountered. The Raven stood in his path, and the two forces must crash together, though that clash break the world itself. Long the raven had heard of his coming, and long they had prepared. Every blade was honed, every armor plate gleamed, every muscle of the fighting men was hard and disciplined. The army had been trained and tested by the Lord of the Raven, the mightiest swordsman in the land. The forces looked upon eachother, the bloodied chaos of the Dragon upon the shining discipline of the Raven.The battle was joined, and many on each side were slain before the retreat was sounded. The next day the strove again, and for many days after that. Each day more men were lost, more blood was shed, and the plains on which they fought grew fouler and more barren. The bowmen spoke among themselves of the shots they had let fly at the Dragon, how they had missed when it seemed impossible for them to miss, how their arrows seemed crooked and their fingers awkward when they aimed at the white and red of the Dragon's cloak. One man among them was silent, for he had seen what others could not. His second sight had shown him the demons protecting Tenshiryu the Dragon from all harm. He knew a little of the ways of the mages, and for a single moment had bent the demons from their purpose. At that moment he had let his arrow fly, but he could not swear it had met its mark, and touched the Dragon.After eighteen days, the Raven's traditional number of completion, the battle was not yet won or lost, but the casualties were beyond number. Few remained of the Raven's talons, and these were bloodied and blunted from long use, another day of battle could be their undoing. The Lord of the Raven called a meeting of his highest generals and closest allies. He had formed a desperate plan to save the remains of his kingdom and his warriors. A single combat with whoever the Dragon chose to fight for his army, or the Dragon himself.His advisors pleaded with him, but he was firm in his purpose. The challenge was sent.But the Dragon had been wounded by the archer's arrow, and his very life lay on the line. He was lying in his tent in agony when the challenge came, and, with a hissing breath, he ordered it read aloud to him.When this had been done he screamed aloud, and all that were with him fled in fear. There he laid a spell greater than any he had laid before, he transferred himself into his blade, the blade with which he had spilled the blood of so many. The challenge was accepted.The Lord of the Raven and Tenshiryu walked slowly toward eachother in the middle of the Dragon Plains, as they are now called. But it seemed that instead of the Dragon himself, another held his blade and fought in his place. The Raven was cold and wrathful, the Dragon was eager and confident. The swords struck and struck again, and as the battle went on the Lord of the Raven wondered if this conflict would ever end. The ground cracked and moved beneath them as they strove in mortal combat, the lives of so many hanging in the balance of the two swordsmen. Even the magic of the sword could not best the Raven Lord's swordsmanship.Then the Dragon saw his opening, and with a reckless blow drove the sword Tenshiryu into the Raven Lord's left shoulder, between the plates of his armor. But as he did so he let his guard down, and the Raven slew the Dragon even as he died himself.As the swords and the men fell to the ground, the plains shook and shattered again, greater than ever before. The men scattered, and Tenshiryu was not found when the place was searched in the days following.Be it known that this is the true origin and nature of the sword Tenshiryu. It is conscious, evil, and thirsty for blood, especially the royal blood of the Raven dynasty by which it fell. As long as it exists it is a threat to all.

Edited by 55555, Jul 22 2012 - 03:10 AM.

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#17 Offline dotcom

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Posted Jul 23 2012 - 12:40 AM

Chapter 16 Aimilia looked at the warrior through the iron grate. His bronze armor glinted from the dim light from the candles that she used in her reading. She could see little of his face from where she sat, as he hadn’t removed his helmet, but she could make out a distraught expression. She didn’t understand why he looked so troubled. It was a great tale, and she thought he would feel incredibly fortunate to own such a mighty weapon. She could still hardly believe the blade he had was really Tenshiryu. When the matriarchs of the Raven’s earlier days wielded the blade, it had been described as a bronze, almost angelic sword. The claymore the warrior held was cold, gray and tattered, but there was no mistaking it for some common blade. Even now she could sense the sword’s bloodlust. She realized the blade may be able to sense her royal Raven blood, and its bloodlust was directed at her. Deciding she was not safe, she stood up and paced the far end of the room. At last she asked, “Who are you?” The warrior looked at her and said, “I could ask the same thing. Who are you, what is this castle, and why do you have this scroll?” “Surely you’ve made the connection by now? This is the castle fortress of the Raven. We have that scroll, and most like it, because it is our right, and because it’s our history.” “That doesn’t tell me who you are.” “I gave you that scroll, and I’ve answered your other questions. It’s only fair you tell me who you are first. How did you come to possess the blade?” “My name is Zykard. I’m a warrior from a village on the valley. Its name is Virdina.” Virdina. Aimilia vaguely remembered her mother, or her mother’s advisors informing her that nomads had recently settled on the valley. “Now you’re the one withholding information. How did you get Tenshiryu?” “I’d like to know that too. I came here seeking answers, but now I’m only more confused. If your Queen defeated Tenshiryu and used the claymore to rule, how did I get it? Tenshiryu has been my companion since I can remember. As far as I know, it’s been with me my entire life.” Zykard stared right at her, and repeated his earlier question: “Who exactly are you?” “My name is Aimilia. I’m the heiress to the Raven’s throne.”

***

Zykard registered the news and nodded. This didn’t mean much to him. He had no quarrel with the Raven, although he noted that with all the guards he had thoughtlessly killed, they were bound to try and kill him. Zykard stood, ready to flee. He turned to return the scroll to the young princess. And then everything went wrong. Tenshiryu came alive. It now knew its enemy was close, and vulnerable. Horrified, Zykard saw his left arm move of its own accord. This arm did not hold his claymore, but on it was his miniature crossbow. Tenshiryu was controlling his body, and there was nothing Zykard could do. Aimilia, panicking, demanded: “What are you doing? Did you really come here to kill me, then?” Zykard couldn’t answer, not at first. Straining, and with all the control he could muster, he yelled: “Hide.”

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#18 Offline Noise #0579

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Posted Jul 23 2012 - 02:38 PM

Chapter 17Norscu looked up at the fortress towering over him, feeling a rush of fear as he scanned the rocky walls. Beside him, Dakari smiled and asked, “Losing your nerve, old man?”Norscu gulped down his apprehension and sighed. “We still need a plan,” he said. “Zykard may not be willing to come back with us, even if we do invite him to battle.”“Then we take him down and get the sword away from him,” Dakari said.Alkiviadis laughed, “Haha…you’ve read the legend and you still think you can defeat the bearer of Tenshiryu?”“Darn right I can,” Dakari replied. “Zykard may have a legendary weapon, but take that away and he’s nothing but a—“Norscu raised his hand, silencing Dakari. The party of travelers carefully entered the courtyard of the Raven’s fortress, seeing numerous bodies of guards strewn about and a few peasants darting back into their tents at the sign of movement. One of them, however, spotted Alkiviadis and ran up to greet him.“Sir!” he called. “A strange warrior broke in and headed for the castle. He killed everyone who tried to stop him…he killed them like it was nothing…”“Has the queen returned?” Alkiviadis asked. The peasant shook his head. “Good, then we still have a chance…”Alkiviadis broke into a run, tailed closely by his warriors, Norscu, and Dakari. They burst into the castle and straight into the throne room, coming to a stop in confusion. “Why are there so many doors?” Dakari grumbled.“We’ll each have to take one,” Norscu said. “Even if you find Zykard, come back here! If he’s in a rage, you must not approach him!”Arrows flew from Zykard’s wrist and buried themselves in the wall. Aimilia stood against another wall, one out of Zykard’s attack range, and listened in fear as the warrior shouted. It was a shout of rage, that much was clear, but it also had an attribute of pain. A loud clang sounded as Tenshiryu was slammed against the grate, and Aimilia crouched down and covered her head.Zykard threw himself against the wall of the passageway, damaging his crossbow in the process, and then wrapped his arms around himself and fell over. The sword’s bloodlust threatened to consume his very being, but he fought against it as best he could. No matter what, he would not allow himself to take an innocent life…but if he could get out of here, what would happen when he ran into an armed combatant? He tried not to think of that.A searing pain filled Zykard’s mind, and he shouted even louder than before. Wisps of dark energy were streaming off of the sword and wrapping around him, trying to pull him back to the demonic blade. Zykard did his best to fight it off, but as he did so, his armor began to change, darkening to the same silver color that Tenshiryu now bore. His hair, too, changed color, though it took on an eerie shade of white and began to raise up in spikes.It was Dakari who came up behind Zykard as he was undergoing this transformation. It shocked him at first, but then his expression softened to show how pleased he was. He cast a look over his shoulder, making sure no one was there to stop him. Dakari then grabbed one of his hatchets, took aim at Zykard, and threw his weapon.
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The Blade of Valor: Short Stories.  When the Spirits of the Elements are in danger, Tahra must take up a legendary weapon and challenge the creature waiting inside Lewa's temple.  Testing a concept, so please respond if you'd like to see more of this.


#19 Online xccj

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Posted Jul 23 2012 - 06:22 PM

Chapter 18Alkiviadis raced through the fortress, searching room after room. The passageways were new to him; he had never been allowed to venture further into the structure before. Now there was nobody to stop him, but this worried him. Where were all the guards? Surely they had not all been slain? And where was the Queen?He entered one room, and a quick glance confirmed that Zykard and the Tenshiryu blade were not within it. But he paused as something caught his eye. On the far end of the room was a map of the surrounding landscape. Alkiviadis was familiar with most of the topography, but there were strange symbols placed on it that he’d never seen before.He took a moment to study the map. The symbols appeared to represent areas of importance to the Raven Empire; surely Syrena had used it to plan her conquest of the neighboring lands. But one symbol was larger than the rest; it was the dragon’s wing, and it was printed over the mesa known as the Dragon Plains.Comprehension came to Alkiviadis. The mesa must be connected to the blade, and if Queen Syrena had not gone after the village of Virdina or the bearer of Tenshiryu, then this was surely her destination.*****Zykard felt a sharp pain in his leg, and the shock broke Tenshiryu’s hold on him for a moment. He collapsed to the floor, and turned to see who had struck at him and stalled his transformation. But his mood fell as he saw Dakari step forward.“And they kept saying that you were such a great warrior,” Dakari mocked. “But one blow brings you to your knees.”“Dakari, you must flee!” Zykard exclaimed. “It’s coming back, and I won’t be able to control it.”“I am not going to flee,” Dakari said. “At least not until I take your shiny blade.”“Dakari, you fool!” Zykard snarled, even as he felt Tenshiryu’s hold on him strengthen. “It will destroy you!”“You are the fool,” Dakari snapped, pulling his second hatchet off his belt. “I was supposed to be our people’s greatest warrior, but then you came along. You stole my glory, and now I will steal your blade, and end your pathetic life. And then the people will know how powerful I am!”With a mighty swing, Dakari brought his hatchet down on Zykard’s neck. Or, at least, he tried to. But in an instant, Zykard snatched up his fallen blade and used it to block the attack. Dakari looked Zykard in the eye, and saw that all sanity was gone. Tenshiryu was in control, and Dakari’s attack would not go unpunished.Zykard left to his feet, throwing Dakari back with a lunge of his sword. Dakari steadied himself and readied his axe, even as Zykard charged. He swung his sword, expecting the blow to fell Dakari like it had felled the guards earlier.But Dakari’s skills were not just boastful ramblings; he was indeed a worthy fighter. He expertly dodged beneath the swing, and as Zykard lashed out with a second blow, Dakari parried it with his hatchet.The two traded blows, but neither touched more than their opponent’s blade. Zykard was powerful with his claymore, but Dakari was exceptionally skilled with hatchets. He drew a second one to his hands and used both of them to parry Tenshiryu. The clangs of metal echoed throughout the fortress, and sparks flew as the sword met the hatchets.As Zykard descended into a blind rage, Dakari began to strategize. Over the years he had analyzed his comrade’s fighting style and knew how to strike back at him. But Zykard was fighting as if he was a different person, and Dakari had to use all his skills just to stay in the fight. But as the brawl escalated, Dakari recognized the tactics Zykard employed.“He fights with confidence, like nothing can touch him,” Dakari said to himself. “He will not be felled in a single blow, but there are more ways to take down a warrior.”Dakari pressed on the offensive. But instead of aiming for the chest or the head, he swung his blades at vulnerable sections of Zykard’s armor around his knees and elbows. His blows landed, but only resulted in slight wounds.Zykard’s demented mind recognized the wounds, but ignored them. Tenshiryu was not one to be bothered by mere scratches, and he pressed on with the attacks. His blade sliced through the air, but Dakari continued to dodge aside, and the best Zykard could get were glancing blows off his armor.Soon, Dakari began to notice a change. Zykard’s attacks persisted, but he was slowing. The wounds on his arms and legs were weakening him, and he was losing some of his lightning quick reflexes. Dakari pressed his advantage; he ducked beneath a wide swing of Tenshiryu, used his momentum to slide beneath Zykard, and then sunk his hatchet deep into the back of his opponent’s knee.Zykard yelled out in pain, and stumbled forward. Before he could retaliate, Dakari was back on his feat, and kicked Zykard hard on the back. Zykard fell face first into the floor, and his grip on Tenshiryu weakened. Dakari knocked the claymore away, and pinned down his adversary.“Now we know who the better warrior is,” Dakari gloated, and yanked his hatchet out of Zykard’s leg. He grinned as his opponent cried out in pain.Zykard lay on the ground, wounded, but Tenshiryu’s hold on him was weakening again. His mind started to return, but rage was building up inside him. He was not going to fall to Dakari. But he needed time to get into position. It was time for a bluff.“Please, friend, don’t,” Zykard managed to say, as he tried to push himself up.“We are not friends,” Dakari snarled. “We never were.”“But we are of the same people,” Zykard insisted. He attempted to roll over so he could face Dakari, while discretely reaching for one of his arrows from his quiver.“No we are not,” Dakari said. “You are an outsider; a foreigner that we unwisely accepted into our ranks. There is nothing to keep me from slaying you.”“And then what?” Zykard asked.“Then I will take your claymore, and I will master its powers,” Dakari said. “And then all will bow before my might.” He lifted his hatchet. “I’m almost disappointed that you won’t live to see my rise to power.”Zykard acted, even as Dakari prepared to deliver the final blow. Zykard’s crossbow may be damaged, but the arrows were still sharp. Zykard lunged forward and stabbed the arrow into Dakari’s exposed shoulder. The sudden wound took Dakari by surprise, and as such he wasn’t prepared for Zykard’s fist to make contact with his face. The punch caused Dakari to drop his hatchet and fall back on the floor.Zykard stood up, ready to disable Dakari and prevent any further fighting. But then Tenshiryu took control of his actions again. Before he could stop himself, Zykard picked up the sword and stabbed the blade into Dakari’s chest. Dakari screamed out his last breath, even as Zykard pulled back.“No!” he said, struggling to regain control. “I just wanted him out of the fight. I’m not a killer of my own people!” But Tenshiryu was exerting control over him again, and now he was focusing on Aimilia again. The princess had remained frozen as the two warriors had fought, and her eyes were full of fear as Zykard turned towards her.But then a voice brought him to a halt. “So the power of Tenshiryu strikes again.” Zykard turned his head to see Alkiviadis framed in the doorway.“Get out of here before I’m forced to kill you,” Zykard roared.Alkiviadis didn’t move. “The blade has exerted its control over you,” he said simply. “But that last move was not guided by Tenshiryu. He would never show weakness, even as a ploy. That was the actions of the warrior Zykard.”“It doesn’t matter who delivered the final blow,” Zykard shouted. “The sword wants the blood of the royal family of the Ravens. I can’t stop it, and it will kill all who stand in its way.”“Then why do you seek to harm a defenseless girl?” Alkiviadis asked. He had never seen Aimilia before, but already he could guess at her identity.“She’s of royal blood!” Zykard said. “It wants to kill her!”“Why kill the daughter?” Alkiviadis asked. “When it really wants to kill the Queen?”Zykard felt his body freeze, as the spirit of the claymore seemed intrigued by this new information.“I know where Queen Syrena is,” Alkiviadis said. “And I will gladly tell you and then get out of your way.” Silently to himself, he added, “And then, when you finish off the tyrant, we can find a way to put this blade to use for my people.”Zykard’s body relaxed and he turned away from Aimilia. “Tell me where the Queen of the Ravens is,” he said, with bloodlust in his eyes.
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#20 Offline Hahli Husky

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Posted Jul 24 2012 - 11:30 AM

The deadline has been changed to July 25th, 2012, 11:59 PM PDT to adjust for a day of server downtime.
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#21 Offline 55555

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Posted Jul 25 2012 - 03:36 AM

Chapter 19"The Queen awaits you on the Dragon Plains. Where you were formed, were you fell, and where you appeared again," Aimilia heard Alkiviadis say.And the young Zykard intoned, in a voice older than the swelling hills and swirling mists, "Thank you Alkiviadis. You a white mage of a low order, have betrayed your morals. The services of the Black Mage that you first abhorred, and then made use of; with shrewd cunning you plot the slaying of the Raven Queen, relying on my bloodied soul, your wits are a dark magic of their own; and even now you plot to take my power for yourself."The sword rasped through the air, and Alkiviadis parried, sweat beading his brow, and backed through one of the lofty doors onto one of the cliffside ramparts of the Raven's fortress."I have faced once before, remember! I escaped alive through my swordsmanship, it will prevail again."Then Tenshiryu laughed through Zykard, his foul amusement echoing off the cold stone walls, "Alkviadis, fallen mage, you think you can defeat me? I am now come into my full power, I am not a half-trained boy with a heavy blade he does not understand, still with shreds of mercy clinging to the edges of his heart. And you were four men strong that day, look about you now."His compatriots were nowhere to be seen, Alkiviadis seemed to see the footprints of their flight glimmering in the feeble light of the oncoming dawn. Perhaps they would come back, the choice of change lies always before men.Aimilia's face contorted in fear and sadness. Zykard had begun to resist the power of the blade, and now he would kill a man with whom he had no quarrel, possessed by an ancient power, unstoppable and foul.Then suddenly her eyes cleard, as she remembered one of her many scrolls. She plunged into them, frantically looking among the dusty documents for the information she half remembered.---The black mage listened to the voices of Tenshiryu and Alkaviadis, and a smile creased his skull like face, the light of long hopes being realized in his eyes. Norscu and the rest had already forgotten that he traveled with them, his craft had seen to that."I have waited so long to feel that sword in my hands, to triumph over it and in that triumph gain its powers. The day is near."

Edited by 55555, Jul 25 2012 - 03:37 AM.

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#22 Offline Hahli Husky

Hahli Husky
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Posted Jul 26 2012 - 02:48 AM

The entry period is over, so I'll be locking the topic for the judging period. After the judging is over, the topics will reopen and writers can continue if they wish. You will be allowed to collaborate, drop out if you want, mix up the order of posting, etc. If you wish to have your epics renamed, please PM me with a decided-upon title. Look for review topics tomorrow! :)EDIT: Judging over, epic reopened.

Edited by Hahli Husky, Aug 06 2012 - 02:58 AM.

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