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Adservatae Animae (the Guarding Spirits) RP 
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Velox accepted the oddly pigmented raven's answer with ever fading suspicion, everything they had discussed so far pointed him to the conclusion that both the raven and the lioness were telling the truth. As unlikely as it sounds, he was standing behind two beings that worked on a higher plane of existence than he, and though that frightened him, it also gave him a deep sense of excitement. This information came with the realization that he was in quite a bit of luck: he had been continuously seeking a way to stop the corruption of the land, and he finally has come across a hope of succeeding. True, that hope lay in two unpredictable companions, but with the new-found knowledge of the corruption's cause, he wasn't ready to be picky.

Velox wondered what he could offer these two, but he quickly received an answer from Pacis with her request for water and shelter. It occurred to him that while he lacked supernatural abilities and experience to lend to his new companions, he may have a good chance at aiding them with the skills he perfected over the years in his travels. In any case, now that he decided that they were his best chance at completing his quest, he was determined to aid them in any way he could. He picked himself up from the ground and began padding off in another direction in the woods.

"Aye, there's a stream not far from here; plenty of washed out places that make fine spots for rest in the dry season. I'd be happy to show you some that would fool even these unspeakables that you two speak of, on one condition" Vel stopped

Pacis ceased panting and raised her ears, "Oh? And what exactly is it that a Feles Mutans could desire that either of us could provide?"

Velox continued, "You two seemed to have made quite a bit of trouble for yourselves, and you seem to be itching to make quite a bit more before you're through. I can't pass up that kind of opportunity, and I see it as only fair that you let me tag along with you. Besides, you may need some a bit more... inconspicuous and less brightly colored."

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:25 am
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Lady Sloth
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[again, when I write for someone else's character, I'm working from the bio provided and their characterization up to this point. PM me to change anything. I just want this RP to continue smoothly is all. ALSO I CANT WAIT MY TURN HAVE YOU NOTICED DX]

"So you do see our colors, then." Pacis nodded. "We have nothing to fear from those not gifted with Sacred Sight--their imaginations will provide for them a suitable illusion to let us pass unnoticed or unfeared. ...However, your figura humana will indeed prove useful as we attempt to interact with the people suffering here. I am yet unable to converse with human beings without revealing my true form to them, first."

She could sense that this young cat here was eager to do good, to help them. For now, this was acceptable. Prudent, even. "If you are able and willing to help us, I see no reason why you should be turned away," she said. "After all, 'soldiers fighting amongst themselves are powerless to stop foreign invasions.'"

She looked to Editus Candor for his response. They were equals in this, and she did not feel comfortable speaking for the both of them at once. He seemed to be trying his best to shrug off (for now, at least) the great burden that had been thrust upon his shoulders. He cracked a small, avian smile. "The more the merrier, right?" he said.

The Feles Mutans also cracked a grin, turning and leading the way through the woods. Though it was now deepest dusk (the supernatural sunrise having set after only a brief interlude of light), the veil of evil had lifted, and it was easy to see one's way between the trees. The waning gibbous moon was as yet bright in the sky, and the sub-natural shadows had dispersed, leaving only a mundane and comparatively comforting darkness in their wake.

The Feles Mutans clearly knew his way around this entire area, as he moved fluidly and swiftly through the darkened landscape. The trees in the forest were all in various states of disease, death, and decay, it seemed. The smell of mildew and rot was powerful here. Some seemed afflicted by drought--others, insects, and still others by parasitic plants Pacis did not recognize as being native to Euroa. It was as if Fortuna herself had abandoned this place, kicking the dust from her heels upon it as she fled. It hurt Pacis to see the Sacred Groves in this state. Why had she not awoken sooner? Could she not have been more useful when this evil was growing, rather than now that it had achieved a strength that clearly rivaled--perhaps even eclipsed--her own?

They came upon the stream after a time, following the sound of its water rushing over the rocks. It stood in a very large, mostly-empty gully, with steep banks on both sides, except where the werecat knew to safely descend into it. It was much deeper, and more winding, than Pacis remembered it. She approached the water cautiously, testing it for pollution with her keen nose, before plunging her tongue into it. The water still seemed crisp and clean, even if it was devoid of life and slowly running drier and drier as time went on. The amount of strength and stamina the water afforded her was invigorating. Though Pacis was no longer mortal, she still required food, and water, and warmth, and sleep, as she had before. Though lack of these things would not kill her, such a lack would most certainly make her wish she was dead.

Then it occurred to her. "Felis Honorate... I'm afraid I still don't know your name!"

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Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:39 pm
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[I'm fine with that of course, it will certainly make scenes move along a bit more smoothly. I will probably do the same, and will attempt to be as true to the character as I can]

"Velox Softpaw. Slayer of drunk bandits, possessed lunatics, unwatched table scraps, and the like. I apologize for delaying the formalities earlier, but I was rather off balance with the day's events. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, though, I'm sure. I've come across agents of spiritual planes before, though most of them were of the demon variety, so it's a nice change of pace to meet creatures like yourselves." He turns to Candor, who was dipping his head for a drink "Though I don't believe I've ever found friends of the winged variety before. Half of the time I'm angry at your kind for making an awful lot of noise when I desperately need there not to be an awful lot of noise; the other half your kind is.. angry at me for small issues of eggs taken or nests broken or fledglings caught and released for sport..." Velox paused and stared straight ahead, apparently distracted by his thoughts. Candor stopped drinking and turned to the cat to reply, sarcastically, "I know, we're the worst" , before turning back to the river to clean himself. Vel smiled, "Today is one to try new things. But enough of that, I'll fetch us some game; I imagine you still have an earthly palette, Pacis. As for you, bird, I haven't a clue what I can do for you, as I have no idea where you find carrion and I would not like to learn. The lioness' meal will probably look appetizing enough when she's done with it. In any case, I'll keep my eyes open. Don't get swallowed into the opaque shadowy darkness while I'm gone." With that, he bounded into the brush and made his way up river, hoping to find some unlucky critters attracted to the banks.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:34 pm
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Lady Sloth
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Come to think of it, Pacis was a little hungry. Velox bounded off into the darkness before she could tell him, however, that she couldn't eat anything that had not first been consecrated for the use of the adservatae animae, or sacrified to the gods (the gods did not eat, and therefore allowed the adservatae animae to mooch off their table scraps), or otherwise imbued with magical or supernatural intentions. If they entered a village, there would be shrines there, with offerings of meat and eggs that she could eat. Killing small animals living in the Sacred Groves was not something Pacis could do, even if she wanted to. But for the Feles Mutantes and other carnivorous creatures, it was a biological necessity, so she did not condemn nor disapprove of Velox catching and eating something for himself.

Now that Velox was gone for a spell, Pacis turned to observe Editus Candor. He was preening his feathers in the stream, paying special attention to the red X on his chest, as if he could rinse it away, or arrange his feathers in such a way as to make it less noticable. Pacis longed to ask him about it, to ask him what he had seen (had he entered Elyisum? had he encountered the gryphons directly? had he even been informed of his crimes, or cast out and punished silently for some trespass he likely had no control over?). But she felt it was improprietous to bring it up herself. If the raven wanted to speak of it, he would have to broach the subject of his own free volition.

"I have not yet thanked you for your assistance back there," Pacis finally said, sitting back down after having drank her fill. "If you had not opened the portal, delivered the girl, and summoned the sun, my awakening might have been for naught." She again surveyed the dying forest around them. "Tell me, corve carissime... how long has Euroa been like this? Have any other guardians awoken? I should like for you to tell me everything you know--we need to decide what our next course of action will be. Any respite we seek in this once-hallowed ground will surely be denied to us..."

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Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:27 pm
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[Hokay! I came back.]

Once again, Candor made an effort to conceal the marking on his chest, this time disguising the effort as an attempt to clean himself by washing in a nearby stream. unconsciously, he tried to wash it away, even though he consciously understood its permanence. He then attempted to conceal it beneath other feathers but, again to no surprise, the mark simply emerged to the fore front. It was a supernatural curse after all, not one that could be so easily concealed. Still, it somehow felt better. There was something emotionally satisfying about a physical cleanse; perhaps it was the symbolism.

The bath also permitted him to satisfy his more physical needs, and he helped himself to water and a few small fish he managed to catch. During this time, the guardian joined him at the stream, helping herself to a drink from its cool clear waters. There was something so surreal about the experience; one of the legendary guardians so casually drinking beside him. During the previous conversation and the most recent events, he had been so caught up in the moment to not fully realize the significance of it, but now that his nerves had calmed in his brief bath, the gravitas of her presence began to strike him. To associate with something he had only heard of in legends was a little overwhelming. He caught himself stealing glances, trying not to be conspicuous.

"I have not yet thanked you for your assistance back there" Pacis finally said in his direction, causing Candor to hop just a little. he quickly came to his senses and turned to the guardian, now that she requested his attention."Well..." he would have blushed, had it been physically possible. "It is my duty. what would I be if I didn't serve my most basic role."

"Tell me, corve carissime... how long has Euroa been like this?"

"Like this? You know...I'm really not sure. The change would be so gradual I don't know if I I could have noticed..." He felt flattered that Pacis spoke to his as an equal. "I mean if we really wanted to know what was going on, we could just trot down and ask the Fates but..." Candor stopped, realizing that Pacis might actually take him seriously in that jest, something that he admitted frightened him.

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-G.K. Chesterton


Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:25 pm
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( I have an Editus Candor reference in this post. Let me know if its appropriate)

A shadowy mist flowed through the woods away a from an ancient well from which it had emerged. A breeze was blowing from the east but it did not seem to divert this ghostly cloud from its course as though it were on a mission. It surged and ebbed through the thickets and poplar groves until it reached the north edge of the forest where the mist thickened, likening itself to long strands of brunette hair, spinning into a solid unidentifiable form; dark gray, except for two holes where no light escaped.

The town was not far way, the form saw it from its position. It knew there would be at least one person on their deathbed tonight, however, with the current attention being given to the missing woman and girl, it chose not to enter. But the farmhouse nearby the town entrance, that would be a good place to start. The Devorans Animarum had not been on a hunt of its own for quite some time, Jorhim and his bunch failed and Liz was now going to taste foul. The sources said the old couple in the farmhouse were ill, not fairing well, and they had no family to speak of nearby. Yes, they will do fine. Night had fallen so movement was easy. Its texture changed back from hair to cloud, and in an instant, it was at the door; the scent of an ailing couple permeated the structure. A blink of darkness and the cloud had another form. The new man, dressed in a dark, tattered robe with a thick, deep hood, knocked and received no answer, so he let himself in. An old man, older than most, pale and sweating, sat next to his wife who laid in their bed unconscious and breathed shallow. Just in time.

"Hello, Martin, how is Genevive?"
"Are you the doctor?" Martin replied between whimpers, his grief overwhelming him so much that the new smell went unnoticed, "I was not expecting you until tomorrow."
"Tomorrow would be too late."
"I know that ,sir I am thankful to the heavens that she has stayed with me this long."
I won't allow this dish to sour. "Selfish of you to bind her to here."
"What?" the old farmer visibly angered. "How can you say such a thing?"
"She should be in Elysium, should she not? Instead you keep her here to suffer."
"No, that is not what I meant to do! But I did. I am not worthy of her," he cried. Martin collapsed to floor beside the bed sadly apologizing to his beloved wife.
Excellent. "You do not deserve her, Martin, you might as well not be here."
"No!" Martin gasped, " I must...stay...mu...," clutching at his chest,"must...stay." He took in his last two breaths and with along exhale, Genevive was alone.

Somewhere, a raven - a very special raven - felt an innocent pass.

Martin's soul began to emerge , a miserable entity slowly climbing from its shell, he looked toward his wife, witnessing the doctor leaning over her. The doctor turned to the newly released spirit, his eyes glowed bright orange toward him from within the darkness of the hood. The doctor shook his head, causing the hood fall back and reveal a grotesque face melting, then reassembling itself into a...wolf? And was it smiling?

"Not sure what you are seeing, old man? Let me help you." A blink , and a large, mangy wolf filled the room. Martin's panicked soul scrambled to remove itself from his deceased, old body as the newly revealed Devorans Animorum grabbed him with its forepaw that somehow grew short fingers from it. "Still, yourself, you are going to love this. Well, I will," the wolf said with a deep, menacing voice. "Genevive, it is time to go. Martin is gone, he has left you."

"No! I am here!" Martin called to her. The Devorans Animorum quickly turned to Martin, roared and bared its teeth. It slowly turned back to Genevive, keeping an eye on him. Genevive opened her eyes slightly, looking past the wolf recognized her husband, raised her hand to him, and then it fell, her life complete. The wolf, being what it was, buried its snout into the woman and pulled her soul from the corpse and tore it apart, slurping it into it's mouth one shred at a time. She appeared to be screaming in silence, as Martin watched. Yes. The Devorans Animorum could smell his terror, and his helplessness increase as it anticipated the flavors of these emotions within him. This may be even better that how Liz may have been.

The raven felt a second innocent life, somehow connected to the first, ended. Editus Candor became restless as he could not ignore these two in such a short period of time.

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Last edited by Phyreman on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:02 am
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Pacis laughed an incredulous laugh at Candor's mention of the Fates. "Those old bats? The Parcae? They never help anyone. And they're not right nearly as often as they think they are, either," she said, shaking her head. "Let's hold that as a very last resort, shall we?"

Suddenly, Candor's head jerked to look at something in the distance. He seemed disturbed. Someone had died, then, Pacis guessed. He must be looking out toward civilazation somewhere. When she flicked one ear in the direction he was looking, she heard a faint whispering: the demonic veil had been shed over Euroa once again. The clue to what they needed to do next would be there, amidst the conniving voices--amidst pain, anger, death.

"Lead the way, Corve carissime," Pacis said, ready to begin running in pursuit of him. Then she remembered their other companion. "VELOX!" she shouted. Where had that felis gotten off to? She had a feeling they would need him, when they reached the town (if indeed it was a town they were heading toward). For sure if they came across any people he would be a valuable asset. Humans there might not even see Candor at all, and whatever they saw in Pacis would be mute to them.

"You do what you need to do, Corve," Pacis said. "I'll round up the werecat and then catch up with you. Whatever it is you just sensed, we'll face it together."

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Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:39 pm
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If he had to explain the sensation, the best example Candor could offer for it was as as smell; a sense of direction that told him where that death was happening, and grew stronger the closer he got. What he was detecting was the spirits of the dead. In the middle of the conversation, Candor was hit with the sensation of a spirit that had left their body. At first he perked up; this proved that he had not been denied his abilities as a spirit guide, and maybe that meant he still had a chance at re-earning his salvation. This excitement was killed immediately as the sensation vanished moments after it had appeared, causing Candor to gasp in horror. A spirit could not just vanish. It would only disappear from his sensation if the spirit had been transferred to the heavenly realms, or if...

"A demon is killing people!" He exclaimed in panic, but Pacis seemed to be already aware. "Lead the way, Corve carissime" She said with an understanding nod. Needing no more provocation, Candor took to the air, heading towards the city with all possible speed. He hadn't lost many souls during his tenure; just two, and he remembered them clearly. He needed to stop whatever was doing this; he couldn't take any more failures.

IT only took him a couple minutes to make it from the mountain to the village, moving at his speed in the air. They were painful minutes, as his mind explored all the possibilities of what could be going wrong. Of course, he knew that if the holy mountain was violated, nothing around here was safe. Maybe the demons had grown so bold as to start killing people. Oh, but that thought made too much sense! It was consumed so recently after death...

This line of thinking was deleterious and Candor killed it. He focused on a simple task; find the demon, and keep it from hurting anyone else. Of course, he'd never killed a demon before...Now that he thought about it Candor really wasn't sure how he would...maybe he could lure them away to Pacis?

Arriving in the city, Candor perched atop a building, trying to remember where the sensation was coming from. The village was just now awakening; light was cracking over the mountains, and people were stirring. Generally speaking, no one cared for the sight of Candor; someone might notice the strangeness of seeing a white raven, but otherwise were unfazed by his presence.

Blast...I have no idea where this demon would be....but I'm closer now. If someone else dies, the demon will be drawn to it, and I will be there...

He waited, focusing deeply, for the demon to make his move first.

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Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:48 pm
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The rabbit only raised its head a moment before Velox was upon it, quickly breaking its neck. It had been awhile since he had last eaten, and the excitement of his new journey with the others had renewed his hunger. Now, in his element, he had a moment to recoup before diving into what he was sure would be a chaotic future. He looked down at the fresh rabbit. He knew he had told Pacis that he would provide her with a meal, but he didn't see any harm in taking part of his meal now before he continued his hunt. Vel smiled before tearing into the meat, happy to finally answer the call of his complaining stomach.

He was only midway through the rabbit before he suddenly heard what was clearly Pacis urgently shouting his name louder than he thought physically possible. Velox bit off one last piece of rabbit before bolting off into the woods in the direction of river. I leave that pair for not an hour and they've already gone and found more trouble, he thought to himself as his nimbly bounded under the roots of a large oak. I may be in over my head

Within a few minutes he was in sight of the lioness, who began running off towards the village. As soon as she was in earshot, he began, "What have you --"

"A demon has spilled blood once again," Pacis cut in, "Editus Candor has gone ahead."

Vel didn't press any further into the matter; time was obviously of the essence if they were to prevent any additional lives from being taken by these monsters. He bounded beside Pacis, determined to be of more use this time around.

_________________
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:54 pm
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Once Pacis had collected Velox, she took off running in the direction the Raven had gone. He left a small, spiritual glow in his wake that Pacis could see laid bare against the demonic veil that had dropped to the far-away earth. She soon realized that she was quickly outstripping the shorter-legged Felis Mutans, built as she was for speed and him for stealth. She couldn't wait for him. "Quickly, on my back!" she invited the werecat, who, after a brief incredulous look, leapt with a nimble grace onto her sinuous back, and clung to her neck while she continued at full speed toward the distant evil.

Pacis could see very clearly in the dark, and zigzagged between the trees with ease and a lithe, seamless speed. Suddenly they burst from amongst the branches and leaves, galloping over barren farmland as the barns and houses and other buildings grew more and more dense. They passed through a town, arranged around a central temple to (most likely) Jove, and out the other side of it, back into farmland again. There was a small farmhouse near the town's entrace that was shrouded in a deep darkness, even as the sun began to rise over the mountains to the east, stretching tendrils of sunlight into the open air. Pacis slid to a stop in the dust and Velox tumbled from her back, landing on all fours beside her, mirroring her defensive stance--teeth bared, ears back, eyes alert.

She couldn't see or sense anything besides the demonic veil at the present moment. A dissonant chanting filled her ears, the syllables garbled and broken. Editus Candor was perched on the barn's eaves, stock-still, trying to concentrate his sixth and seventh senses in order to find the source of the contagion. Pacis was ready to face anything. Velox seemed equally eager to help.

"SE OSTENDE," Pacis shouted at the mute building. Show yourself. But nothing emerged.

So she went inside to see what damage had already been done to the inhabitants of the house, motioning for Velox to join her.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:57 am
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Squinting from the tree line, with Martin still in his teeth, the Devorans Animorum watched as a white raven swiftly, yet gracefully, landed atop a building at the edge of the town near the farmhouse. It had felt the raven approaching; not knowing what it was until it had actually seen the bird, only knowing that a holy light neared and it needed to remove itself from the farmhouse to a more concealed position. This bird is what I am competing with? Harmless! This will be an easy dispatch. It crouched; preparing to make an attack upon the seemingly helpless and distracted bird; then, pause. Something else caught its eye. A blur exited the town at its west end and turned to a cloud of dust. Strange.

As the dust and dirt settled, it made out two shapes, both cats, one significantly larger than the other and they stood in a posture of action. This is no accident. Martin saw them and tried to alert them of his presence. The Devorans Animorum bit down on the soul to silence him and whispered through its clenched jaws, “Make a sound, and you will be useless to me. That will surely guarantee the end of your existence.”

The smaller of the two cats, it could tell, was no ordinary cat but still mortal, no threat. But the other; this one was known to it. The shape: catlike, no, lioness. That, and the vibrant colors that Jorhim described, the Guardian. It scowled, concentrating on the Guardian, I know this big cat. The Sleeping Protector we called her. What was her name? P-Pa-Pacis. Curatrix Pacis of course. Not the strongest, but her will was unparalleled.

"SE OSTENDE!" Pacis shouted at the mute building.

The big wolf’s body tensed, and with its claws it gripped the earth beneath the dew laden poplar leaves . With the resonance of evil actions that had occurred within the farmhouse masking its presence, it watched the Guardian cautiously move toward the building and beckon the other cat to join her. The wolf grinned an evil grin, If I can surprise her, I can eliminate the last Guardian in Euroa. Both cats were inside the boarded up house, the curtains were still drawn and the shutters closed tight. Even with the morning sun breaking over the peak, it would be some time before there would be any light entering their tomb. Advantage, me. The wolf stepped out of the brush toward the dark, grey-wooded farmhouse and, “Dammit,” it growled under its breath, “the Bird!”

The white raven glowed brightly, sensing, then seeing the desperate, yet salvageable, Martin. The Devorans Animorum’s surprise was purged, and it knew the best course of action now was to retreat back to its lair. The wolf turned and ran into the thick wood. The raven was quick to pursue, and called to his companions that the demon was fleeing as he entered the forest behind the wolf. The Guardian and Velox scrambled to exit the structure, as they did not want to leave their new companion to face the evil alone, but they knew that they would be moments behind, and that could be vital.

“This wolf is amazingly fast,” Candor thought, “but still no match for MY speed.” They wove in and out of the groves and valleys. The Wolf muscled its way through brambles and thickets, while the raven skillfully navigated the higher branches, careful not to breech the canopy and lose sight of his quarry.

The wolf chanced a peek behind it, and saw all three giving chase. The Guardian and the other were far enough behind that it would reach its destination before they would be able to catch it. Figuring that the raven must be a spirit guide and relying on its sense of duty to save Martin,“Here’s where you become useful,” the wolf said as it swung its head upward and opposite the raven, hurling him away. It worked. The raven broke pursuit as Pacis and Velox continued. The wolf stopped and turned toward them leaving a ring of stone surrounding a hole between them. It spat black phlegm into the hole as the cats approached. The wolf raised its haunches, spread it forepaws, lowered its head and drew in a deep breath. Pacis, yet unwavering, noticed her footing becoming less sure as the ground shook beneath her. Velox took to the trees as the limbs had become more stable for him. Leaves vibrated against the ground as the wolf seemed to grow, now four times its initial size. It raised its head toward the two and let out a thunderous roar accompanied by a gale of wind that sent Velox reeling, and caused Pacis to stop and dig her claws into a fallen oak just to stand her ground. Unafraid and unyielding, her ears folded back as she tolerated the sound of a thousand years of tortured souls being hurled at her. Martin wailed as he heard his bride’s cries above all of the others.

When the roar ended, and with their ears ringing, the wolf yelled at Pacis, “I AM THE REASON THAT YOU ARE ALONE! I AM THE REASON THE OTHERS HIDE BEHIND THE GATE!”

They all heard a dull thud with a flash of darkness and saw a black cloud disappear into the stone ring. Pacis hurried to the opening and peered inside, and saw a hole, probably an ancient well, lined with bedrock, roots piercing the interior from all sides and a bottom of solid granite.

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:35 pm
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Inside the farmhouse, there was hardly a shred of useful light. Pacis could still see, but it was more of a spiritual kind of vision. It smelled of death in here. Whoever had lived here... someone had been dying for quite some time. There were two bodies there, one on the bed and the other sprawled nearby on the floor. Maggots spilled from their eye sockets, their nostrils; wiggled from between their teeth. The whole place was teeming with unnatural flies. It was the buzzing of those flies that formed the drone note beneath the angry, escalating dissonance of the demonic veil. It put her teeth on edge, raised her hackles high.

She didn't look back to see how Velox could handle the smell, the sound, whatever it was he could see in the shuttered-up house. She approached the two bodies and spat into their squirming eyes. The maggots therein hissed and burst into a vile steam. She then bit her tongue, sprinkling a bit of healing blood in each of their mouths. Though their souls had long departed from their bodies, the cohort of flies departed swiftly from the presence of the guardian's blood, leaving the corpses to rot of their own accord, without sub-natural interference.

Suddenly there came a shout from the bird outside. She did not hear specifcally what was said, but the shrill urgency of it meant only one thing: the evil had been spotted. Pacis turned and burst out of the farmhouse, scanning the sky for the raven and galloping in pursuit, completely forgetting about the werecat in her haste and hurry. He followed after, but this time without an invitation onto the guardian's back--though he leapt and clung to her neck anyway.

It was moving west. Pacis strained to keep up with the raven, who had had a decent head start. She could barely see what it was they were chasing: something burning-- black and gray. Something very large. Something that turned her stomach, drove her into a blind and boundless rage. It seemed to fling something into the air, and Candor peeled off to catch whatever it was it had given up. Pacis did not stop to think about what it had abandoned, what Candor had found. She pressed on, trying to eke as much speed out of her aching muscles, pounding feet, as she could. Though she pulled and strained against her physical limitations, she was not sure that she was gaining any speed. But suddenly, in the middle of the clearing, the creature stopped in a stone ring and faced her. Its eyes were twin flames, eating away at its black and terrible skull. Though it looked to be some sort of wolf, it was no wolf--and it was no shadow either. It was a demon. An archdemon. It was something the pits of Hades and the hounds of Hell could not contain in the deep caverns where it was meant to dwell.

As she began to gain on it, the earth beneath her feet shook violently, throwing her forward and sideways and causing her to fight more to keep from losing ground than to gain it. The creature grew and swelled greatly in size, opening its yawning chasm of a mouth and letting out a scream that curdled Pacis' healing blood within her veins. She dug her claws into a fallen tree to keep from falling over.

I AM THE REASON THAT YOU ARE ALONE
it said.
I AM THE REASON THE OTHERS HIDE BEHIND THE GATE

And with that it vanished into the ground. Pacis rushed quickly to look down the hole, but it was some sort of old well with no entrance, no tunnel that could be opened without access to the creature's nefarious magic. Panting from the pursuit, Pacis took a second to absorb what he had said. When his words finally penetrated her understanding, she was still for a long time, oblivious to the movements of her two companions. The reason she was alone.

Alone. Tears stung the inside of her eyes and nose. Alone. That word meant so many things to her.

Quote:
"Cyprian, whatever you do, don't seal me up underground, okay? Don't seal me up somewhere 'safe' and far away from everything. Please don't hide me away."

"...what...? 'Sis, what are you talking about? Why would I be sealing you up anywhere?"

"Promise me? Sometimes they seal the animae away deep in the ground where no one can get to them--but they can't get out. They can't get out and they die down there, again and again, because someone was afraid that they'd be killed instead."

"'Sis, I..."

"Just promise."



And then, there were 7 adservatae animae, were there not? Is that who that... thing... had meant? Pacis didn't even know if her six compatriots were still alive. If they were sealed away, if they had awakened, if they took the same forms, had the same faces that she had known before.

The same faces that she had known before.

The same face.

Pacis fell suddenly to the ground, curling up into a tight ball in the leaves as Sol finally rose and washed over her. The ring of stones vanished in the light to reappear next the moon cast its sullen rays over it.

"I can't do this, I can't do this," Pacis whined into her fur. She was shaking. She had recognized him. Once one of her new companions laid eyes on her, she would get up, put on a braver face. But the fear that now struck her to her very core caught her by surprise.

He was back.

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Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:59 am
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Bolting out of the farmhouse, Velox leapt onto Pacis back reflexively as they sped towards the cause of the calamity. This chase was gaining momentum quickly, and his blood was pumping with a vigor he experienced few times in his life. The growing body count had given him a focused blood lust that drove his every decision and movement. As their target came into view in the distance, Velox's determination fell on this sole creature's downfall, even as it grew to its full monstrous size and strength. He could tell Pacis shared this same determination, and he knew he would stand by her side to accomplish this feat.

The ground became unsteady as the demon seemingly prepared for an attack. Vel instinctively leapt to a nearby bough, a more advantageous position for both he and Pacis. This soon proved to be a misstep, however, as the demon roared, sending a forceful gale through the trees that dulled the cat's senses and imbued him with a deep sense of dread. He gripped the wood for stability and out of frustration at the attack and hissed through closed eyes. The wood splintered around his claws and he was flung through the air, hitting his head on an adjacent trunk before landing on all fours.Ah blast it all-- Velox swayed, his vision blurring as he attempted to regain his composure to resist the demons force, before falling to his side. After the gale had ceased, the cat wearily brought himself back to his paws and stood rigid in the brush as his vision cleared. He then hurriedly jumped back out to the clearing to where Pacis stood near an old well. She seemed unhurt but her composure was shaken, and Velox guessed she hadnt faired much better against the demon's gale.

"What's happened, are you alright?!" Velox exclaimed, "Where do we pursue?"

Pacis shook her head and motioned to the well. Vel leaped up onto its walls and cautiously peered down into it before spitting in frustration, "Agh, we may as well regroup then." He looked back at the lioness, who nodded and turned back to the well. "I'll go find the bird and offer assistance if he needs it" Vel said and paused, growing more suspicious of the lioness' well-being "--we can meet ya back here if you wish to continue the search, I'm sure you can handle yorself far better than we can" he cracked a half hearted smile and Pacis forced a response in kind. "...thoouuggghhh we would undoubtedly enjoy your company, I 'avent gotten a back ride like that since I was a kit, ha." Velox turned and took off in the direction of Candor

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Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:09 am
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(o.o.c. - sorry for the delay. Finally found the time (see: motivation) to sit down and get to work on this.)

Generally speaking, Candor counted himself as an optimist. Maintaining a positive and tranquil affect was crucial, so he figured, when one dealt with the anguish and despair that so often accompanied death. He prided himself that he never descended to the morbidity and apathy that so often plagues spirit guides who have to deal with suffering for so often. It helped him enjoy his work, and was something he held too dearly.

Right now, however, all he felt was rage.

He didn't know if this wolf-demon was responsible for the mother's death, whether it had anything to do with the chain of events that had led to his banishment and condemnation, but it did not matter. It served as a wonderful target for his pent up frustrations. The sight of an innocent soul in its vile jaws only galvanized him to action even further. The wolf burst from its hiding spot and out into the wolves with tremendous speed, but Candor would not be deterred so easily; emotion was giving him power, and he was an emotional wreck.

"Oh, no you don't! You're fast, but I'm faster!"

Like a bolt of white lightning, Candor took to the sky in pursuit. The demon had to weave and dive over uneven terrain, while Candor merely had to fly in a straight line. Despite the former's considerable velocity, the raven simply had the advantage. As he grew closer and closer, his passion grew, and he began to glow as he unconsciously channeled more and more power. He was going to release it in one, almighty burst to vanquish his foe....

But at that moment, the wolf tossed his bloody and ragged victim aside. The man was in bad shape as it is, but falling at such speed was disastrous to his ruined body. His body would be destroyed soon if he wasn't cared for. But Candor was close; a few more seconds he would be on top of the the demon, and he had gathered so much power even this creature would be wounded or killed. Surely the loss of one soul was worth the dozens this creature would kill if left to live?

But he couldn't do it. He had seen enough suffering for one day, he couldn't let another soul pass into oblivion, not if he had the power to stop it. With a frustrated cry, he drifted off from his target, slowing rapidly as he came to a landing beside the torn body. With a sigh, he let his energy seep out from. He wasn't sure what he was going to do to save this man, but at least he could say he tried...

A miracle unfolded before him, the likes of which he had never seen before. As the volume of light bled from his body, Candor watched in real time as the man's body stitched itself back together. The loss of such power exhausted him, but he was both fascinated to discover this new avenue of his abilities, as well as noting the salvation of this man. His body restored, Candor noted that he was an older man; a person's spiritual appearance matched how the individual perceived themselves, and as he had been old upon death, this was how he viewed himself.

"Thank you, kind spirit." The man was standing now, facing Candor with a pained but grateful look. "Though I wish you had instead killed the creature that stole my wife from me."

Candor looked away. "I...I'm sorry for your loss. I couldn't let another spirit die, not while I watched..."

I AM THE REASON THAT YOU ARE ALONE
Came a roar from up ahead. Candor jumped and turned to see the wolf creature, now much enlarged and more terrifying than he was before.

by the gods, i sought to fight that thing?!? He thought, shaken to his core.

I AM THE REASON THE OTHERS HIDE BEHIND THE GATE
And with that, the creature vanished into the ground through a cruel mockery of the divine technique Candor used to send souls to heaven. The presence of Pacis helped steel him somewhat, but even the sight of the mighty guardian paled in comparison with the fierce demon that he had just witnessed.

"Swear to me you will kill that monster, spirit." Candor turned, shocked, to the elderly man who now stood behind him. He was surprisingly unfazed by its appearance, and like Candor had been, he was boiling with rage. "Swear to me you will make it pay for taking my beautiful wife..."

"I..." was all the raven could utter. How could he stand a chance against such a creature? He was not a guardian, not a defender of the heavens. He was a spirit guide! Equipped to hide and flee, not to fight! How could anyone expect him to face such a fierce monster!

"I'll do it."

He couldn't believe what he was saying, but he knew, deep down, he had no choice. Perhaps this was his road to salvation, perhaps this was the reasoning for his particular gift. He did not know, but he knew that he had no choice but to fight to stop this evil.

The were-cat came bounding up beside the pair, a look that asked "is everything alright?" Candor sighed as he turned to face his companion. "Permit me a few minutes to see off my newest charge, than I will return to see to this new threat to our world."

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Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:53 pm
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Pacis stopped shaking and stood up, steeling herself against what she had seen, what she was feeling. Devorans Animorum was back. Thousands of years ago, her and her compatriots had sealed it deep in the ground, lashed it to the same perverse altar upon which it burned its human sacrifices. Left it to languish in dripping darkness for eternity. But something had freed it from its prison. Allowed it to once again torment the souls of Orbis Terrae, drag them to the depths and tear them into shreds with its ragged teeth. Last she remembered, it was in its favorite form--that of a faintly smoldering wolf--bound in large iron chains, thrashing about in the blood that spilled over the sides of the altar, wallowing in the residue of its malice and treachery. The entrance to that cavern had collapsed; they saw to that. The entire thing was sunk below the earth, below the sea, into and even beyond Hades itself. The demon dogs of Pluto, three-headed guardians of the underworld, had left it be, afraid even to approach it. Pluto would not have allowed that cavern in his domain for long. That, they had counted on. Even he, immersed in death and decay as he was, would not tolerate the presence of such a corrupted spirit. He would press the cavern deeper into Hell. He would...

But someone had recovered it. Freed the spirit that they had not had the power to completely destroy. And it was back, and it was stronger, while Pacis was weaker--and her fellow guarding spirits absent. What profane, desecrated place could they find to bind this spirit to, this time? What chains would hold him? What else could they do?

She turned and looked askance at the sun, feeling its warm light on her cheek. She sighed. They were safe, for now--until sunset, at least. Eventually even Sol would not protect them, as Devorans Animorum marshaled his forces and gained power. But for now, they had a chance to rest, to plan, to prepare.

Prepare for what, Pacis? She asked herself, her emotions running wild as the gravity of their situation pulled at her. To be devoured?

...If I am doomed to die, then I will die a martyr's death, she thought.

With the fear of death confronted and overcome, Pacis' face settled into a determined glare. She turned around and sought out her new companions. They needed to consult with each other, reach the town, find a warm, dry resting place and plan their next move. She had to tell them what was to come. What to expect. After all, it would be cruel to recruit them without saying that their chance of death was supernaturally high, and the stakes even higher still.

There is at least one guarding spirit that hides not behind any portals, gates, or doors... beware of that, Devorans. I am here, and will not back down.

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Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:56 am
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[OOC: Let me know if anything needs changing to this post. I'm not going to have Deuza meet any of your characters just right away--you can have them meet her if you want, though.]

WHACK!!!

Deuza felt the hot sting of her mother's claws against her right cheek. It wasn't the first time her mother had done this to her, nor would it be the last. Deuza was more or less used to such treatment by now, not that she liked it, or even felt indifferent about it.

Flecks of spittle flew out of Deuza's mouth as her head jerked to the left in reaction to her mother's strike, and soon she felt warm blood on her cheek--her own. In addition, her long ear whipped her in the face due to the momentum. She growled low, but she hoped not loud enough for her mother to hear her.

"Lazy good for nothing!" snapped the older beast. "You've begun the day late again! The Darkness is becoming stronger, so that you must exercise your powers in the daytime--how many times must I tell you before it sinks into that skull of yours?"

Deuza knew her mother was trying to bait her, to make her use her powers. But Deuza wasn't interested. She didn't dare tell her mother what she had been dreaming about when she received such a rude awakening. It was the same dream that occasionally came to her--only occasionally but she had dreamed it multiple times. In it she saw a figure that she felt she ought to know but didn't: a human. A beautiful human girl, about 14 years old, and clearly of some stature given her clothing and hairstyle. The girl wore a blue dress, embroidered with green to look like vines, as well as yellow flower blossoms decorating her gown. The dress was beautiful, but modest--this girl was not royalty, that much was certain--fitting the girl loosely but not hiding her figure, with a high collar, long sleeves, and long skirt each with frills of lace fringing them. She had green eyes, milk-white cheeks, and lips drawn up in a kindly smile. And she had soft brown hair which she wore piled atop her head in a sort of beehive style, only with something in the way of braiding going on--Deuza neither knew nor cared what the specific name of that hairstyle was. What did she have to do with humans anyway? She had never even met one before, not a live one. She didn't ask for these dreams, nor did she want them.

Her mother WHACKED her on the other cheek, which shook her out of her recollection. Now blood mixed with her spittle.

"PAY ATTENTION when I'm talking to you!"

Deuza glared at her mother. "If it's so important to use dark powers now, why don't YOU do it?"

Her mother towered over her. "Did you just...talk back to me...?"

Deuza was scared, but did not show it. "YES."

Her mother grabbed her muzzle in her sharp teeth and bit down.

"OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!" Deuza tried to say, but it came out more like "MMmmMMmmMMmmMMmmMMmmMMmmMM!!!" because she couldn't open her mouth.

"No more backtalk, young beast! You need to practice making wights--you still don't have it right! You keep making them resemble giant puppets--there's nothing powerful or intimidating about that!"

"I don't wanna!" said Deuza, rubbing her face.

"That isn't your decision to make--you HAVE to! Do you want to weaken, and fade away?"

"NO."

"This is the only way. Now TRY AGAIN!!!"

Deuza rolled her eyes. She breathed into the ground where her mother had buried her latest kill, and out came the body on its own. But it was the same as every time before--it did not move of its own accord, it was as though it were a doll belonging to an enormous child who was picking it up like a piece of garbage.

"No good. Try harder."

The corpse flung itself to and fro, but never did it seem to be moving of its own accord, only being acted upon.

"HARDER!!"

Deuza sighed and dropped the corpse back into its resting place. "That's the best I can do! I'm hungry--and thirsty."

"Well, that's too bad because you don't eat or drink until you get it right."

"That's not fair!!"

Her mother GROWLED and snapped her teeth right in Deuza's face, prompting Deuza to jump back.

"Don't talk to me of fair, brat! You can stay out here until you get it right--and don't think of eating the corpse, that's not for eating!"

Snorting, Deuza's mother entered the cave where she lived alone with Deuza.

Deuza was left alone, hot tears streaming down her angry face. She was tired from outrunning demons the previous night, and she was hungry and thirsty, and her tears mixed with the blood and spittle. She couldn't get this right, and she didn't want to, and her mother had no sympathy for her--indeed, if she wasn't her mother she likely would have killed Deuza long ago.

Why does everything have to happen to me?!? she whined in her head. She couldn't articulate it in words but she desired something better than this. She tried to concentrate but that image from her dreams, that human girl she didn't know, would not leave her alone. She hated that image even though she had never met the girl--all it did was emphasize how wretched her life was by showing a contrast to it.

She breathed heavily, but nothing happened except for the corpse being flung back and forth again. She couldn't eat its flesh--not that she wanted to--because her mother would find out. She could not use her powers to regrow flesh that had been consumed. She pounded the ground in frustration.


Last edited by ChewyChewy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:46 am
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The Devorans Animorum re-entered the chasm from a large conulite. Still in its wolf form, it was in silent reflection of its recently experienced events; walking in a determined manner, unconsciously aware of each footfall and staring vacantly toward an unknown point in front of itself.

“How was your hunt, that you were looking so forward to, your Excellence?” asked a devout minion through her tusked snout. An ambitious hog, she did her best to shift her scant coverings to make herself, what she thought, more appealing to her master.

The wolf continued to walk past her.

“My Lord….” She was met by a swift stroke of the back of the Devorans Animorum’s front paw that sent her sailing past the great wolf’s members of its Council of Thirteen, only to be crushed against the far wall of the subterranean sanctorium. As her corpse slid down the wall to the floor, leaving streaks of dark coagulation in its place, lesser occupants quickly devoured her feral pig-like form to empower themselves, while her essence wafted along a draft of stale air to be absorbed by ‘her Lord’, who took no notice.

The smoldering wolf wisped away into a whirling dervish inside of its pool, its resting place, paying no mind to the council that awaited its return. Martin, your wife strengthened me enough to escape the Guardian’s pursuit, but had I not had to give you up, I might have been able to rid myself of that confounded cat forever. And you, cat, I remember you! The winds inside the throne room began to wail.

“Master,” inquired a warthog in blood-red armor, “what news from the hunt?”

“All of you, OUT! Except for my thirteen.” The great hall emptied of servants and subjects all seeming to be tripping over each other while exiting, the fear of being the next to fall at the hand of the Devorans Animorum consuming them. Besides the requested few, all that remained were the muffled screams of tormented souls beneath closed golden hatches covering the pits under the chamber floor. “I will feed after you hear me.”

The thirteen gave their attention, as the small tornado spun into the decayed lupine form. Stepping out of the ring, it walked the line of its council. Inspecting them, perhaps? An intense look, deep inside of each one, ensuring the evil that was entrusted to each still swelled within them. Good…Good.

With a scowl the wolf spoke at them, “I am going to give something to each of you. You have all served me well, and it is time that you are rewarded. With this reward comes new assignments. You will now have the ability to take human form whenever you want.” Sinister grins grew on the faces along the line. “You will be able to blend into their societies flawlessly with one exception, holy creatures and exceptionally perceptive beings will be able to see you for what you are, so be aware of your surroundings and who you are with. Until you master your new art, I suggest that you limit your contact with anyone. Any souls that you happen to ‘release’ are still mine, NOT yours! Failure to render to me my spoils or failure in your duties will result in removal of your reward. And my judgment upon you will be swift and you know that you cannot escape me.”

The thirteen knew exactly what it meant. Anyone who fails would either be stripped of their powers and thrown into the pits, or have their existence absorbed away into the one they now call master, which was preferred.

“Now, go. Practice your new art, especially speed and variety, those elements are key. You will be ready in a day, and I shall call upon you as I am ready for you. Fraus! Deploro! With me, now.” The three strode into a private chamber as heavy iron doors clapped shut behind them. The words “Quod Animos Depascit” engraved around the voussoir and embossed in blood.

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:12 pm
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Pacis turned to see the summit of the Holy Mountain engulfed in light once again. So the Raven could still open the portal to Elysium. Whatever punishment he had been given, the heavens were so desperate for psychopomps that they couldn't entirely divest him of his role or powers. Good. The gryphons might have become meddling fools in her absence, but even they weren't stupid enough to punish Candor for something he didn't do or wasn't responsible for, and also deny him the chance to ever make amends for his lack of transgressions (they were manipulating him: but to what end?).

The werecat came bounding back to where Pacis stood. "How are you holding up now?" he asked.

She knew that he had sensed her immense distress, earlier, even if he hadn't seen her initial, fatalistic reaction to the revelation of their enemy's identity. "I'm all right now, Feles Honorate. Thank you for your concern. We have until sunset before we, or some other unfortunate soul, is attacked again... And I need your help, before that happens."

"What can I do?"

"We'll go into the village. Editus Candor will meet us there, I'm sure, if he wills it. I need you to talk to the townspeople for me, so that we might better absorb the rumors, the stories, the myths, the superstitions of this town. They live here under the shadow of the Holy Mountain: surely they are most in tune--as far as their human constitutions will allow for it--with the sub-natural developments happening all around them. Why have the shrines been neglected, until that woman and her child met their doom in"--she choked a bit on this--"m-mine? What gods or spirits protect this village? Have the priestesses, the shamans, or whomever they have here noticed the steady loss of souls...? Who is dying, or otherwise approaching death? We need to find out where Devorans Animorum will strike next, and how. And we need to know who is on our side in this."

Velox nodded, cracking a bit of a grin. "I think I can handle that." It would feel good to be useful in this, to do something proactive rather than wait around in the dark for something to attack, then arrive too late to do much about it. (Twice! Neither he nor Pacis wanted it to happen for a third time.)

Together they returned to the village, Velox in his human form. Though to his eyes Pacis was still a large, colorful, out-of-place lioness, people kept complimenting him on what a beautiful hound he owned, and how well-behaved it was, not needing a leash or anything. From what he could gather, most people saw some kind of large, shaggy wolfhound? He couldn't be sure. People were very vague on what they saw, exactly, only that it was something friendly, that they felt no compunction in coming up to pet and scratch her ears and tell her she was such a good dog, such a very good doggie, aren't you a good dog yes you are!

"Perhaps we should split up," Pacis said, padding over to a small shrine to Sirius, the Hunting Dog, and slurping up some venison entrails that had been left there in thanks for a good hunt. It was considered good luck for hunting dogs to consume the offerings, so she didn't fear for anyone chasing her away from this place. This first taste of consecrated food in a thousand years awakened her stomach, left it clamoring for more, to be filled. It took the edge off the hunger for now, however, which was all she needed at the moment. She turned back to her companion. "I will seek out the priestesses or shamans in the temple," (which she now noticed was not to Zeus at all, but to Orion, the Hunter), "who will hopefully be empowered enough to communicate with me, and you can gather rumors in the pubs and halls--if that sounds good to you, of course."

Velox nodded and vanished around a corner. Pacis scanned the sky for Editus Candor before trotting up the temple's steps. Hopefully someone in here would have sensed the evil that had passed through here recently, and have a word or two of advice. Because, however much she may have hated to admit it, she was quickly getting out of her depth.

--

[plot-note: I think it would be cool if the villagers are telling rumors about a family of beasts that live nearby--that would be Deuza and her adoptive parents. something in the rumors will lead Pacis to deduce that these beasts may be able to lead them to Devorans Animorum, so the party will seek them out in time to thwart some sort of attack on Deuza. So there can be any number of rumors Velox hears, so long as this is one of them--sound good?]

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:15 pm
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[NPC role]

“What a beautiful morning,” the doctor quietly mumbled to himself as he left the village gate. He loved mornings; the brisk air, the dew breaking off of the blades of unmown grass onto his sandaled feet, and the birdsong... Wait, that’s strange. The doctor turned back to view his village. It was later than he’d like to begin his morning but still earlier than most of the folks start their day, so only a few people were out getting their shops in order and cleaning the streets in front. But that’s not what he was looking for. The birds that should be in the wood were instead lining the village gate, perched on rooftops and overcrowding every tree that he could see inside the walls. They were not singing as they should at this time of morning either, but more squawking, and are they looking at me? Wondering if he had done anything to make the birds uncomfortable - even he knew that was unlikely that ALL of the birds would be spooked by him as some were quite large- he looked himself over and even smelled his cloak to ensure that he was not offensive, after-all, I am going to visit Martin and Genevieve.

The small homestead was only a little more than a quarter of a mile walk from the gate. The doctor would not have minded it be a little further as he enjoyed his walks. As he approached the farmhouse he remarked at how the structure did not seem so bad at sunrise. It had not been white washed in years, and the wooden exterior was showing wear. “I really must get some of the youths out here to help them repair their home.” The curtains inside were still drawn. This is indeed a strange morning. The McPhearsons are always early risers. At that moment, the doctor realized that something was wrong, Genevieve, being as ill as she was, must have passed last night. He quickened his pace to console Martin, if he needed it. The doctor, being older himself, was out of breath by the time that he reached the front steps; he unslung his pack, causing him to become off balance as he climbed the stairs, and he stubbed his toe on the bottom step “Ooh, that’s a good one,” he cursed.

The front door was ajar, and before he stepped inside, he caught a whiff of stale, foul air, almost like rotten flesh (he remembered coming upon a deer in the wood last summer that a hunter obviously never found after tracking). But it was not the same. That smell was present, there. This smell was as though there was rot here, but had been removed. He shook off the odor, drew a dagger from under his cloak and entered cautiously.

“What the Gods!” he exclaimed.

Martin lay upon the floor appearing emaciated. “No, no, no, that can’t be. I was just here two days ago!” Desperation was welling up inside of him. Then he saw Genevieve. The doctor dropped his dagger and it stuck in the floor, he covered his mouth with both of his hands as he saw her face. She was no longer the beautiful elder woman that he remembered. Her face was distorted as though she had died in anguish, either physical or emotional it did not matter, and her abdomen was distended as though something had been tugging at it, but there were no marks upon her. “I must report this,” he said to no one. He bent down to pick up his blade and he noticed all of the prints in the dust on the floor: a cat, a big cat, and by all that’s unholy a giant wolf. He quickly gathered all of his things and ran back to the village. Not the graceful traveler he was minutes ago, he stumbled several times during his return as he remembered the stories from his youth. But those were just fables! Bedtime stories to make sure we behaved as children! He began to cry.

“Oh, Gods, they’re true!”

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Last edited by Phyreman on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:53 pm
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There was no visual cue that the soul had passed and that the portal to Elysium had closed, but Candor could feel it like a pressure on the back of his mind. It was different this time than previously; firstly, a sense of foreboding clung with him the entire time it was open. Apparently the Gryphon's malice passed into the very essence of heaven, or perhaps the mark was more damning then he knew. More importantly, this time he had not opened the portal. He was confident his powers were retained, after all he was still able to sense death and access his use of light. He did not know, however, what punishment would befall him, however, should he open the portal, so he had sought out another psychopomp to aid him.

Her name was Amica Natorum, and she was his oldest friend. It had been her kindness that had allowed the other spirit guides to accept, and eventually embrace his gifts and unique nature. She was passionately benevolent and possessed that lust for life that was so lacking among others of their kind. The two were remarkably fond of each other, Candor hoping that the relationship would evolve into something deeper. At this point, however, he was simply happy she hadn't fled from him on sight...

She had been waiting to meet up with him since before the....incident. At first she was concerned for him, but that concern turned to shock upon seeing the mark. Still, she remained long enough to permit him to explain the situation. Torn between her sacred duty and care for her friend, she finally agreed to help him send the soul of Martin to heaven.

With the soul safely away, Amica looked down to where Candor was concealed in the trees. She nodded, pain visible on her face, before she took flight. Waiting until she was facing away from him, Candor wrapped light around himself before taking flight, invisible to any prying eyes. He hadn't called to her simply because he feared reprisal from the Gryphons. He needed to know what was going on. He needed answers. There was someone who could answer those questions, but he'd never liked Candor, and even then he would have no idea where to find him. Fortunately, Amica was predictable. After such a distressing revelation, no doubt she would fly to him for guidance, and he would follow her, and force him to answer his questions.

It took them ten minutes to get there, but true to form Amica met up with an small group of five or so other ravens, one of which Candor immediately singled out; a graying and slightly larger raven. His name was Veritas, and he was Candor's former mentor.

Amica landed and began talking animatedly with the other spirit guides, most of which were milling around until the newcomer addressed them. At first Candor meant to reveal himself immediately, but cowardice restrained him, and he waited in concealment, listening to Amica's report. The shock in the faces of the other psychopomps, nor the scorn in Veritas', meant much to Candor, but the pain in Amica's voice moved him. He had thought she would have understood it wasn't his fault, that there were forces outside of his control at work...

"CANDOR!"

Shocked out of his stupor by Amica's exclamation. He only realized then that his phantasm of invisibility had disintegrated while he was distracted. At first, everyone was silent, no one quite sure how to handle the situation. The other spirit guides looked back and forth between them, unsure how to react. Veritas, however, showed no alarm at Candor's presence, and instead drilled him with a vitriolic look. Marching forward purposefully, the larger raven loomed over the albino, and for the first time in many years, Candor was cowed in his presence.

"You know" He started, in his deep bass voice that dripped of contempt "I almost appreciate you proving me right after all these years." He chuckled slightly, "But to actually get yourself declared Anathema? Even I underestimated your potential for miscreance."

For a moment, Candor had no response, but deep down a fire kindled, that manifested through years of frustration with the older raven. "I don't really care what you think, Veritas!" He spat back, only just noticeably perturbing the other. "You know just as well that I didn't cause this! I'm going to fix what did this, and you're going to help me!"

Veritas snorted derisively "Right now, I'm supposed to attack you on sight, what that you are now my mortal enemy. Its my grace" He put unnecessary emphasis on that word "then that we are even talking."

Candor knew this to be an aggravating lie. He was more powerful then him, more powerful than all of them. He could destroy them at any moment if he so-

He stopped, shocked by his own arrogance and vindictiveness. He wasn't like this. Maybe there was some truth to this curse, maybe he was changed?

No. No he couldn't believe that. He was stressed and frustrated, and Veritas' behavior certainly wasn't helping.

"Goodbye Candor. Try not to make the world even more worse with your reckless behavior." Veritas turned proudly, his repugnance palpable. The other ravens had already fled, save for Amica and Veritas, and the latter spread his wings to take flight.

"NO!" Candor yelped, more in panic than as a command. He needed to know what Veritas knew, and if the elder guide fled, he may never find him again. With an unconscious burst of power, Candor erected a dome of opaque, chromatic light, barring all exit. Veritas stopped just short of colliding, crashing to a halt. He charged at Candor, malice in his voice. "So you will force my testimony, is it now Editus! How one so gifted could fall so far I will never know!"

But this time Candor had no fight left, just supplication and humility. "Look, I know. I screwed up somewhere. I always do. I get ahead of myself, I get arrogant, and I get myself and others in trouble like I have now. But please, I don't care right now what happens to me, but others might...others will get hurt and die, or worse, if I do nothing to fix this. Just...I need to know what I'm dealing with, and you're the wisest person I know. Please..."

For a moment neither raven moved, Veritas standing over Candor, the latter ducked low in a submissive stance. the older raven softened, his tense stance relaxing with a deep sigh.

"Describe to me everything that has happened in detail. Don't skimp anything, no matter how damning to you or others it may be." He said at last, his demeanor changed to one of a focused teacher. Slowly at first, then picking up pace as he went, Candor retold the incidents of the last few hours. Veritas would interrupt him every few minutes for clarification on a detail, but otherwise permitted the younger raven to speak.After he finished, Veritas was silent for a moment, considering what he'd been told.

"What if....I told you this wasn't the first time I've seen this?"

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Poets have hitherto been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

-G.K. Chesterton


Last edited by TomIsAwesome on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:51 am
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