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2/27/2021 22:40:04   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


Warmth filled Kunze’s core. He couldn’t help but grin as he lunged through the flames, blade focused on Aurelia. He may not resist burning, but he was the Flame of the Forest. This was his fire, to wield as he saw fit. Fire to burn those who threatened his allies; fire to light the way to a brighter and better fut -

A massive, earth-shaking roar burst outward from the Knight of the Dragon, accompanied by a rush of superheated air that slammed into the dryad. He stumbled, sent reeling several paces backwards at the force, and gaped open-mouthed at Ginevra. The human - the dragon? - grinned, now wreathed in an inferno that melted from blazing orange to blue-white flames. Kunze gasped, throat suddenly parched in the sudden dryness as he stared at the blazing figure. You were dismissed!

Ginevra showed no signs of caring. Small eddies of flame flickered in her wake as she charged, forcing Kunze to take another hurried step aside to avoid her mindless stampede. The Dragon Knight breezed past him without a second glance, but the dryad found himself half-turning with her, eyes drawn to the fiery tempest as it devoured a path towards… Scyon! The dragon’s firestorm slammed into Icarahael’s icy gale as the two dismissed knights collided. Gold leaked out from Ginevera as Scyon wrapped burning and frozen tendrils about her. You fool, take your freedom! Kunze wanted to scream, but his words would never reach them through the clamor and pandemonium as the two beasts tore at each other. Blood splattered across the tiles, and the prince winced and stepped forward, intent on helping the Knight of Hunger even if it meant ignoring the foe at his back.

Pendulum moved first. The statue had risen, still smoking after its flight through the falls as it skirted about the edges of the brawl before it. Then it charged, bronze footfalls falling as heavily as a woodcutter’s axe. It ran faster and faster, arm pinwheeling about its socket before letting fly towards the Knight of the Dragon...

Instead, the metal fist slammed with a bone-breaking crunch into the skull of the Knight of Hunger.

The two beasts, locked in their duel of death, fell backwards and together plummeted over the edge.

He thought he heard, just for a moment, a faint strain of a lamenting wail as they fell.

No! Kunze’s partizan slipped from his hands, arms outstretched as if that alone would be enough to halt Scyon’s fall. Guilt churned at his stomach. He had ignored Ginevera, had assumed she would depart from this bloodshed, and instead she had attacked needlessly one whom the Powers had dismissed. She had killed for no other reason than to kill. Another tyrant. The princeling snarled, pulling fury to the forefront to drown his shame, his sorrow, his failure. No more will I allow you tyrants mercy -

“Yoisho!”

The dryad glanced sideways and immediately ducked, the whistling of one of Auerlia’s blades overhead accompanied by singing crystal. Her second glowing blade had vanished too - likely sent flying into the earlier mayhem surrounding Scyon, Icarahael, and Pendulum. Kunze determinedly turned his back on those remaining in that fight to square off with the Knight of the Spearhead. Pendulum would have to fend for itself. And even if it can’t, Kunze thought, rage burning ever hotter, sacrificing an ally to kill your enemy is not acceptable. He could no longer trust the Knight of Time.

Before him, Aurelia smiled. The fringes of her lilac hair smoked slightly, scorched from his earlier flames. Shimmering gold magic coalesced about her now-empty fist. She grinned at him, as if the death of her ally meant nothing, as if the screams of Scyon and Ginevra both meant nothing, and Kunze’s lips curled into a snarl. All of Order are tyrants. Even Tear, who had sprinted towards the edge of the battlefield to distance herself from Daiyu, spared no glance for the deaths of friend and foe alike. Had she known of the greater conflict from the start; rushed to his side before just to ensure one reluctant opponent? If your name is called, Wolf-Spirit, take the freedom offered. The dryad stiffened and straightened to his full height once more. If you kill only for the sake of bloodshed, I will slaughter you myself.

Scarlet bloomed to life in his hands, scorching his fingertips with his fury. Kunze turned molten gold eyes upon Aurelia. No more. The woman broke into a sprint, movements suddenly, inexplicably swifter as she looped around him and towards the waterfalls. Her gauntleted boots slammed hard into stone with each step, but the dryad could not hear them over the echoes of the screams, over the crackling of the inferno building in his core. No more. He hurled the flowers at her retreating form, comet after comet of red and gold sailing through the air as she wove and ducked about them. Discarded petals smashed into the ground, exploding in a series of resounding cracks and leaving crimson scorch marks upon the tile. His fire raged within him, and he snarled, ignoring the blackened chill slowly spreading across his torso as he flung yet another blossom at Aurelia. No more!

The last missile sailed true - on target with Aurelia’s smirking face - but before it could connect, she raised the gleaming vortex about her hand. Bright-red blooms sailed harmlessly through the cloud of magic and smashed into her outstretched fist, releasing a whirl of orange and gold. The fire exploded outwards, clawing at the Knight of the Spearhead before getting sucked into the pale golden maelstrom, magic and flame twirling together before fading away. Aurelia shook out her arm, smile curling into a grimace as she snuffed out the flickers of embers remaining on her now-smoldering sleeve. Kunze already had another blossom sailing through the air when she suddenly halted before the waterfall and turned towards him.

Kunze eyed her warily, smoothly pulling his karambits from his waist instead and mirroring her fighting stance. Swords gone and magic dispersed, Aurelia had raised her fists up before her like a brawler. Her eyes flickered back up to his, lips moving in some unheard jeer, and Kunze’s last shred of patience withered. He charged, letting loose a wordless howl of fury as he did so. Anyone would burn if he could only get close enough, and whatever other tricks she was packing could do nothing to halt his wildfire. She was just an obstacle, just more kindling to fuel him further. Just another tyrant.

You will kill no more under my protection today!
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 26
2/27/2021 23:20:11   
draketh99
Purple Armadillo


You poor, foul creature. An existence born of hubris and wrapped in suffering.




So hungry…

The Strong One parried Gluttony’s limb. Crimson shards of glass rained from the Scyon’s scars as a tail impacted the tendril. Within the center of it’s chest, a small fluttering seed began to sprout. A small, unfamiliar sensation.

A hiss of frustration seeped past Gluttony’s lips. They brought forward another tendril to strike down the Strong One, yet the limb did not heed its call. Instead, a streak of frigid agony arced across the limb. Cold. Cold had encased the limb. Cold had stolen its movement.

The fluttering seed blossomed into a suffocating bloom. The sensation now slithered its way from Gluttony’s heart to their lungs. None had ever been so strong as to parry a limb. Nothing had caused such damage.

Hungry… and… afraid...




Your birth was no fault of yours. Your suffering born not of your own sin.

...Yet your existence can summon naught but sorrow.





Burning. The Scyon’s attention had been torn from the Strong One. A new Blazing One appeared. This one demanded focus. This one was not a “Chaos”. This one moved too quickly. Gluttony’s emerald eye flicked back and forth between the Strong One and the Blazing one. Shifting back from its position, a tendril raised up to strike.

Why... does afraid… make me weak…?

The Blazing One leapt forward, attempting to seize the creature’s tendril. Glass met the Blazing One’s shell. Glass succeeded. Glass met flesh. Glass succeeded. Blood spilt.

As each droplet of blood spilled from the flaming opponent, the Scyon’s halo began to grow brighter and hotter. The surrounding air began to shimmer and warp.




You will walk this world no longer. Your feast of bloodshed shall cease here, as She has chosen.

Walk the Planes’ edge until you have found your satisfaction.





Blood dripped from the Blazing One, yet it would not fall. It held to Gluttony’s tendril. With passionate strength it began to drag the Scyon away from the Strong One. With both free tendrils now restrained, Gluttony began to thrash about in panic. The halow grew brighter before a crimson hue crawled over its surface.

Twice now, the beast had been overpowered.

So hungry…. So… very

No more. More so than hunger, the string of fear tore through Gluttony’s senses. They bore their fangs at the Blazing One and summoned all their might into a scream. With the scream, their halo turned black. Gluttony attempted to rip their tendril away from the Blazing One. The little dragoness held strong. The Scyon’s scream grew louder.

Louder.

Louder..

Louder still…

Until the halo shattered. A wave of heat and light erupted from the Scyon. A wail of agony and hunger like no other exploded throughout the arena.

The dragoness exploded into a bout of flame. The two neared the edge.




I banish you, Gluttony, to a world beyond the outer edge.




The flaming dragoness neared the pair to the edge. Dark crimson ichor dripped from where a halo once held flailing tendrils together. Glass screamed against the marble floor as Gluttony fought being dragged any further. A third tendril reared up to strike at the dragoness.

A flash of brass.

Gluttony’s gaze turned to see the Brave Ant had thrown its arm. The shining fist cracked against the beast’s headband.

The dragoness fell.

Gluttony stared at the Brave Ant.

The Scyon also fell.

Traitorous Ant




Know that while your time here has ended, you shall not be forgotten. I will tell your story. I will ensure none would ever be foolish enough to create us again.

Nicales, Scyon 09, 00:00 Post Calamity





The checkered floor grew smaller. The darkness, the stars, the emptiness. All of it began to envelop Gluttony as they fell.

Nothingness took them like a sleep long awaited.

So…

Very…

Tired…

DF  Post #: 27
2/28/2021 0:03:46   
  Chewy905

Chromatic ArchKnight of RP


The tiles below quaked once more as lightning flashed through the colored sky, lighting the battlefield before plunging it into dimness once more. No thunder followed the bolt, as it instead carried an intense silence that swallowed the wails and shouts of the dying. The scales tipped once more, leaning first towards Chaos, then towards Order, dropping two more orbs into the raging waters. One a swirling ball of clouded jade, the other a dark ebony. The waters split again, mist-shrouded portals making their presence known.

Knight of the Spirits. Chaos is ever-changing. Yet you have grown predictable. You are not our champion. You are Dismissed.

Knight of the Forest. Order requires motion. Yet you fail to move forward. You are not our champion. You are Dismissed.


The echoes faded off as the sound of battle swept back through the space. The Scales once more balanced and froze, prepared to tip again.


Post #: 28
3/1/2021 0:52:38   
Anastira
Member

The blood streams from her hands and Daiyu stops short, the Dragon above her flaring its wings wide and disintegrating; the Vermillion Bird carrying itself too far forward in its death-plunge and colliding in a miasma of fire with the ground. One after another, each blinks into nonexistence, a tiny pinpoint of consciousness disappearing entirely. Daiyu watches them go, and as she watches she feels an ache in her chest, the sensation of being pulled away physically. And, in a flash, she sees.

She sees herself.

___________________________________________________

It is New Year’s Day.

A child dances in front of her, long-haired and golden-skinned, her eyes creased with a smile. The pavement is uneven beneath her feet: a rippling solid cascade of stones, one rising above another, ungainly and mismatched. Above her head the stars spill themselves across the sky, and she sees the diamond corpses of her spirits steeping themselves in the dark: Dragon, Bird, Tiger, Tortoise. Someone calls lightly through the night. Daiyu has not met Mother Earth in a long time now, but tonight she stands at the edge of the water, where the steppes lower themselves gently beneath the rain, and smiles at her reflection.

“Daiyu, my child.”

“Mother.” She takes a step forward, her skin darkly verdant in the night: sweeping clouds of green and mists of black coiling together across her skin, bathing her mane in an inverted glow. The bridge across the stream glitters in the night, lanterns hung from every post - the bridge as red as the lantern’s paper. Behind her, the people drum frantically in the streets, huddled in twos and fours under their lion costumes, sweating and stamping as one. Red lantern, lion dance. Things Daiyu used to hate; but it feels different now. Almost like a show of respect.

“You’ve come back from that horrible place.”

“I thought I would die.”

“You almost did.” Mother Earth turns, and to Daiyu she is not so much a woman as an impression: long and lush with gentle swaths of brown and green and red; blue irises, somehow inhuman. All the colors and fragrances of nature enchanted into one flowing form. “I thought you might not return to me, my gentle flower.” She reaches out a tendril, and there is the faintest impression of something very soft and very tender against Daiyu’s cheek, a sensation she cannot find words for. “You were caught in the place between, Daiyu, and I have no place there. I could not have saved you. The balance there is lost. There is no equilibrium between yin and yang; there is only one victor.”

Behind them, a city rises high into the night: peaked towers and weather-worn ramparts, a flash of magic behind silvered balconies. Daiyu feels somehow misplaced: out-of-touch. The world turns slowly around, a carousel for one, and she stands in the middle of it, in the shadow of the far side of the moon, with Mother Earth’s hand touching her cheek and the lanterns singing softly in the wind. The cicadas chatter on the tree branches; a silkworm crawls along a leaf. A moth - the spirit of a dead ancestor - wings up towards the constellations, feathered. The stars seem to blossom above them like flowers, like the mouths of lilies opened wide.

Mother Earth turns her gaze upwards, and smiles the impression of a smile. “The cicadas have returned.”

“Seventeen years have passed.”

“It seems such a short time, doesn’t it? Their cycle is a lifetime to them, and nothing to us. The cicadas come and go, the gingkoes bloom, and we are always here. Watching. Death is nothing to us.” Mother Earth does not turn her head, but Daiyu feels an intensity on her, as though the Mother is looking straight at her. “You have a gift, Daiyu. You are human by night. You live as they do and walk as they do, but you will never fear death or dying the way they do.” Her voice goes hard - as cold as Daiyu has ever heard it. “Your humanity is your greatest blessing. You walk the line between nature and man, animal and humankind. Don’t try to give it up again. Don’t lose it.”

“I won’t.”

“I will not stand by your side again if you do.”

Daiyu bows her head. “I know.” She closes her eyes. “I remembered, Mother. The Wall. When I was on the battlefield - it took me back there. I remembered what it was like, alone in the belly of the earth with the dead men around me. I remember thinking how lonely of a noise it is.”

“It,” Mother Earth murmurs, her voice like a lullaby through Daiyu’s body, more felt than heard. There is a question mark to the word.

“The silence.” Daiyu turns back to the city - the snap of the firecrackers, the children clutching hongbao in their hands. “Silence is such a lonely noise. It was worse than death, being all alone. Sometimes I worry. What if the humans tear themselves apart? I saw the world of magic shearing itself into pieces on that battlefield. I do not want to be here centuries from now and be the last living thing -”

“You won’t be.” Mother Earth’s sigh is like a passing of wind, a whisper through the trees. “I, and all my incarnations, will protect them as I have protected you. Until they learn.”

“And balance will be restored,” Daiyu whispers, feeling it in herself. No; she could never have been the victor on that battlefield. She is too much Order to be Chaos, and too much Chaos to be Order.

She is balance, and she will bring balance to this world.

God knows it needs it.
AQW  Post #: 29
3/2/2021 23:48:03   
Apocalypse
Member

Tick-

A floundering limb and a bout of flame crested the edge of the battlefield one final time before the two titans tumbled down into the abyss.

And as they vanished, so did the foreign commands.

-tock.

Pendulum came to a halt at the dividing line between the obsidian and ivory tiles. The automaton rewound his arm as he slowed his pistons with a mental command. Adversary/Ally Scyon… His consciousness replayed the events in the previous battlefield, pouring every detail of the encounter. The order and exact timing of the events. The first appearance of the invasive thoughts.

The close proximity to the Knight of Hunger.

Ti-

Pendulum slipped from time’s shackles as the world ground to a standstill, the various shades and hues of the abyss freezing in place in their abstract chaos. But for once the automaton was not observing the marvels surrounding him. Instead, his consciousness sifted through and repeated the foreign commands.

Inaction begets nothing.

Claim what is yours.

Conquer.


Each and every one a new directive of previously unknown origins. Each and every one the prerogative of another. How long had this been occurring? His prognostication unit ran through countless hypotheses, from Adversary/Ally Scyon bolstering psychic capabilities to a built-in failsafe within Pendulum’s own processes that activated in close proximity to the leviathan. All with varying levels of probability. Did he not lay claim to any thoughts of his own, his little observations when he slipped from time another machination built into his system? Where did it end?

Where did he begin?

Attoseconds or ages past as Pendulum contemplated the question. He received no answer. Nor would he if he fell in this battlefield. Stolen from the Architects, liberated from the Acolytes, and now free from whatever sway Adversary/Ally Scyon had over him, the Chronomantic Engine still had yet another master lording over him.

Join us. Fight in our name, and we will give you freedom. Fight for Chaos!

-ck…

Reemerging into time’s flow, his consciousness poured over the command again and again. Fight for Chaos. A paradox to be fighting with such clear guidelines for an apparent entity of disorder. The Knight of Hunger had waged war against ally and foe alike, and for that he had been dismissed. The fingers of his guilty hand twitched. Would Pendulum be next for striking down the leviathan?

And what if he disobeyed?

...tock.

His glowing eye focused on Adversary Frost, standing by where the others had fallen. She turned to him with an expression Pendulum had seen all too often: glowering eyes, skin stretched tight in a grimace, and the undeniable aura of some primal nature. It was the very same visage worn by Garox, leader of the Blinding Radiance. “Wrathful,” Alzeera had once told him. “It means...well, you want to destroy something but have a reason to do it.” She hesitated, biting her lip before adding, “Hopefully a good reason.”

The automaton plucked a pendulum from within his thoracic cavity. He could not deny the Knight of Order’s logic for wanting his demise, but he could also not accept it - there was yet one more master to overthrow.

Tick…

Adversary Frost charged forwards, closing the distance between them with her bounding steps. Pendulum held out his arm before him, calculating the precise moment to drop the rhythm keeper. Acceleration field status: primed, confirmed his chronological subunit.

One step.

Two steps.

Three.

Her remaining glaive reared back, steel reflecting what little light the arena offered.

Now.

..tock.

The pendulum hit the ground while her blade was mid-swing, and a fulgarmation of lights erupted all around the two combatants. Their colors were as plentiful and tumultuous as those in the vibrant sky above. With every minute movement of her body, undulating waves of silver and lapis rolled off Adversary Frost’s form even as her glaive cleaved a streak of merigold through the open air. Pendulum gave the command and his arm responded - speed enhanced by the temporal anomaly to intercept the oncoming steel. The blade bit into his hand, the metal clang distorted into a violent grinding of stone as crimson and azure fractals of light swarmed around the point of impact. Despite the damage, Pendulum ignored the warning signal for decreased hand function. Here in the temporal field, Pendulum’s body could almost keep up with his mind.

Here in the anomaly, he was strongest.

Tick…

Lightning blazed overhead. Its luminance filtered through the temporal field in a prismatic rainfall as the Chronomantic Engine grasped onto the blade. He stepped forward, his analytical system working in tandem with his motor functioning unit to compensate for the increased momentum of his movements. The slight stumble in Adversary Frost’s step indicated her organic mind was not equipped for this sudden change of tempo, and her head was conspicuously lacking the same armor as the rest of her body. Pendulum’s free fist rose in an emerald fury and struck the Knight of Order squarely in the jaw, unleashing an implosion of violet starlight. The force of the blow threw the Knight of Order onto her back, her glaive clattering across the marble in a cacophony of disparate sounds: first the shattering of glass, then the rush of water, and finally the howling of wind.

...tock.

Above the entities spoke, and despite the warping of their many voices, Pendulum understood them as clear as crystal - two more knights were dismissed, but neither were those of Frost or Time.

Chaos deems this course of action worthy, determined the analytical unit.

Continued elimination of Order’s knights indicates victory and freedom, established the prognostication unit.

Pendulum urged his pistons to beat faster, chromatic waves flowing off of their newly rapid pace.

Tick-

The automaton took a lumbering step forward.

Alpha Priority (Provisional): Fight for Chaos.

-tock.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 30
3/3/2021 0:09:53   
roseleaf320
Creative!


As the queen charged towards her target, she watched it reach within its heart and drop a small, bronze token to the ground. It softly clinked against the obsidian stone; tiny, harmless. Icarahael barely paid it any attention- it was likely just a simple distraction- when suddenly her sight was assaulted with neon colors as vivid as the sunset reflecting off of fresh snow. Icarahael blinked, trying to shake the daze from her eyes before she made a clean cut. Instead, her ears rang with a guttural scraping sound as her glaive slammed into the automaton’s waiting arm, sending shutters up muscles she had not yet braced for impact. She opened her eyes to a dance of crimson and blue as neon lights burst from the jarring impact. The queen knew she should dodge as the bronze man’s arm rocketed towards her chin in a streak of verdant green, but her thoughts were much too slow to direct the movement in time.



Time seemed to flow on even as her mind stood still.

Though her maw moved, she could scarcely recall having told it to do so. Though her tongue formed words, her ears would not listen to what it had to say. Though her words held meaning, her mind would not remember why they were important.

“Your father is dead.”

Was her tone harsh, or soft, or sad? She did not know. What should her tone even be? It scarcely mattered. Was her son really rendered motionless by her words? Or perhaps her eyes had just stopped caring enough to bother processing.

“He wanted to see… our progress. We were ambushed.” Her son’s eyes flared with confusion- or anger- or suspicion? It could even be happiness, she knew not. Was this a happy occasion?

The queen could not tell how long her ears rang with the manticores’ howls.




Icarahael cringed as she slammed into the obsidian ground, pinning her tail between her body and the stone. Her eyes opened once more to the storm of colors surrounding her and her foe. A pulse echoed through her jaw, much sharper than the dull throb that remained from the strike of lightning that had raced through her earlier. Her mind struggled to catch up with the rest of the battlefield. A blur, everything feels a blur, I- no, I cannot let this happen again, I must keep control. the queen could see her glaive on the stone beside her- it must have fallen from my grip. She would retake it when she felt confident she could hold it once more.

As her eyes flicked to the ground, watching each raindrop of her stormcloud toss up a splash of warm yellow light, Order and Chaos spoke once more. Through a pulsing in her ears, they sounded as if they spoke two languages at the same time. Her mind could hear them speaking clearly- though she cared little for their content, only to identify that each was again rejecting a single Knight. Her name was not among them; but she found little satisfaction in the approval of such an elusive leader. One by one, you discard your Knights like food which has rotted too quickly. Do you seek to accomplish nothing? The two powers were opposed, yet spoke simultaneously in their dismissal. If this were to continue, both would be left without allies and without victory. Though you possess such power, you use it… frivolously...

The second language rushed through her ears in a high-pitched chatter. “If-” Icarahael thought she heard the word through the layers of gibberish, but it had been such a fleeting recognition that she almost wrote it off as coincidence. “You-” Again, a coincidence, a single syllable which happened to line up. “Were” caught her off guard for a moment- at “quicker” she furrowed her brow. When the voices finished with “stronger,” the queen flared her nostrils in anger. Were they criticizing her? Taunting her with accusations of weakness as they hid behind fields of stone and smoke? Icarahael bared her teeth as she seethed with rage.
Is it better to be weak, or to betray your own?


“Gah!” With a roar, Icarahael gripped her fallen glaive and flung it towards the center of the battlefield. She felt a pang of loss as its cold metal slipped from her fingers. It will not be for long. The automaton had shot through the waterfalls on his initial assault, and Icarahael had seen them crackle with electricity. Her weapon spun sideways, the blade tracing thin loops of sunset-colored water that splattered the stone below before spinning out of her line of sight. She could not spare a glance to watch whether it would hit. I know it will. I do not miss. Beckoning the winds to push her momentum forwards, Icarahael swung to her feet and whipped her tail towards the menace, dark streaks of brown following its curve. Again, her mind felt panicked by movement which felt too quick, too foreign. But the odd familiarity of a weight she had missed for so long remained.

The Queen bellowed as she brought her tail down upon her- her-
She was too powerful to have simply been overwhelmed by numbers. Her target must have been him.
She could see his panting body on the ground, his eyes flickering open to look at her with pain and sadness.
They were surrounded by corpses of the beasts they had slain. This was simply one more.


Yes. I killed your father.

Post #: 31
3/3/2021 8:02:19   
Kooroo
Member

A kick from her left boot, a push with her right arm, and Aurelia was up, dashing away in a circling arc. Koumetsubou’s magic hummed around her, raging and surging through her entire being—filling her veins. Strengthening her limbs.

Ravaging through her; both body and soul.

But such was the cost of the Sacred Spear’s blessing, though Aurelia personally felt that the word was misleading at best. From what she knew, blessings didn’t tend to make people literally cough their lungs out. Cultures and norms tended to differ across time and space though, so maybe she was the weird one.

It wasn’t long before her wiry little dance partner responded to her hasty getaway, showing his affection by way of lobbed fire flowers.

As much as she appreciated the commitment, a bouquet would’ve been much better and probably more accurate. His first and second shots went wide enough that they were better off forgotten. Flower three was close, requiring a timely skip from the darkforged to avoid kneeing the explosive little payload.

It was the fourth one that came dangerously close to nailing her, the vermillion blighter straight at Aurelia’s fetching and—most importantly— unburnt face.

Well, that was rude. Luckily, she’d come prepared.

She raised her left gauntlet and its golden gyre, grin widening as the Kunze’s gift neared—




—and then struck her fist, before erupting into flame. Aurelia bit down a hiss and kept running, as the flames were sucked into the vortex.

Right, so the flowers were solid flowers, then. Not magical. So somewhere out there, in some backwater realm, there was a plant that bloomed into natural flame grenades. That put a whole new meaning to the saying ‘wake up and smell the roses’.

A violent shudder ran through her shining glove, signalling the end to her sprint. The Imperator slowed, and ground to an abrupt halt as physics regained its hold. Aurelia grimaced as she shook out her smoking hand, focusing on her smouldering cuff in lieu of her hammering heart.

She had other problems though. The sketchy hermit attempting to extract the aforementioned organ was the most prominent one, but the other Knights seemed to be in all sorts of trouble. Tear had yet to be devoured by Daiyu, though by the looks of the archer, the feisty kitten had been damn well trying. Icarahael was still holding against the Time Knight, which Aurelia had no good quips for. As for Ginny—

Her eyes narrowed a hair, before she forced them to lock with Kunze’s. She readied herself, fists rising and smile widening, despite the dragonling’s fate.

Another path had reached its end. Nothing was forever after all—something that the Shattered Dream was all too aware of. It just so happened that some ended far sooner than others. She had certainly learnt that-first hand, as a matter of fact.

Had Ginevra’s end been too soon? Nobody could answer that but her. The Dragon Knight had made her own choice, afterall—to continue the fight, at the cost of her life. It hadn’t been Aurelia’s, nor Icarahael’s, nor anyone else’s decision but Evra’s own. Nobody had been the dragonling’s keeper—the battlefield was the wrong place to entertain such notions.

That raised questions about her own path, though. Where would the road take her? Was there a future beyond Shion? Past Arturius?

What purpose would she have once both were removed from the realms?

Nothing came to her. Or rather, ’nothing, came the answer.

How depressing. But it was still better to have a life without a purpose than no life at all. Something else the shadowborn had learnt first hand.

Granted, if she didn’t deal with her little hot-headed issue, then the end of her line would be coming up much sooner.

“What do you think? You keen?” Aurelia asked, with a leftwards nod, indicating the board’s closest edge. “Easy way out for ya, unless you want to have a bad ti—“

And then Kunze snapped and lunged towards her, howling like a beast. Heavens and Hells, and all in between, was there anyone around here that knew how to dish out some banter?

Still, at least the blondie’d fallen for her ploy.

The paladin laughed as her hands flew down, fingers tightening around her sayas’ mouths. One moment became two, just as Kunze’s footfalls numbered four.

Another heartbeat passed, marking another unit gained by the Bark Knight. She licked her lips, just as both scabbards shifted, gravity tugging on the shadowborn’s belt.

Now!

Aurelia grinned viciously, hands rising and fingers curling around the twin weapons’ grips.

The Wildfire’s eyes widened as he closed, his knives glinting as they cracked down into the Imperator’s crossed, reverse-gripped swords.

“Alright, a bad time it is,” she said, as their weapons clattered against each other. “Final round, start!”

And then she pushed in, lunging off her heel as she tore their blades apart. Her wiry foe staggered, knocked off balance by the paladin’s brutal assault. Without missing a beat, Aurelia stepped in and twisted, her blazing left katana singing for the Chaos Knight’s neck—

A miss. Great, so the hot-headed little blighter was tricky and speedy. Just her luck.

She stomped her left, killing her momentum mid-followthrough. There was a flash of gold as Kunze pressed in once more, his flaxen fangs seeking the shadowborn’s nape. Both Mandates hummed as Aurelia corrected her grip, before swinging the pair back to meet the deadly strike.

Gilded knives met bleached swords, as the four collided in a mighty crash, before her foe was forced back—

No, forced wasn’t the right word. That’d been far too easy. The lanky cuss had allowed the blow to push him, just like bef—

Her eyes narrowed as Kunze steadied and then sprung forward, darting in and under her guard. A sharp, jolt of pain lanced through Aurelia’s right side, drawing a sharp hiss from her lips.

Shifty little—

She cut herself off, shouting as she whirled and swung her blades across to her right—

One of the falls greeted her, its crystal waters sparkling majestically despite the energy coursing through it. She froze and pulled the swing, less than half a unit from the electrified water feature.

A bait, huh? Why wasn’t she surprised? Oh, right, because his first trick had nearly turned her into a smore.

Aurelia grit her teeth and focused, tuning out the roaring of the torrent at her fore. There was nothing, save the clamour caused by the chequerboard’s other combatan—

Something to her rear. Behind, coming from—

With no time to spare, the Shattered Dream pivoted, spinning rightwards once more. This time she was rewarded, as something slammed into her elbow and Kunze was knocked away from her, reeling.

The darkforged took a breath, inhaling deeply as the Divine Spear thrummed once, and both Mandates erupted with auric light.

She grimaced, as her finger joints throbbed from the magical feedback.

This was going to suck.

Aurelia gritted her teeth and then forced the two glowing blades into one.



They lay there, shattered in the darkness.

Broken beyond recognition.

And yet, they persisted.

Time passed as it always did. How much time? Minutes? Days? Months? Years?

They didn’t know and they didn’t care.

All they knew was that the dream continued.

They continued.

Occasionally, there were sounds around them. Movement that shook and shifted the emptiness around them. Sounds muffled, beyond any interpretation.

They ignored them.








Then, something called to them—a voice, echoing and reverberating all around them.

Commanding them, with a single word.

“Rise.”



The violet chrysalis that had consumed the Imperator vanished as quickly as it had come. As the purple light faded, the Knight of the Spearhead strode forth, the last vestiges of black draining from her suit of bone-white plate. A pair of opaque, diamond plates encased her torso, linked seamlessly by many smaller brethren and hundreds of thin, granite scales. An alabaster visor wrapped around the shadowborn’s head, hiding her eyes from both ally and foe.

Within her left glove, she held an obsidian-coloured claymore—much larger than the sum of the Mandates it comprised of. Blackened mist and darkened motes drifted from the giant blade’s guard, disappearing long before they struck the ground.

Aurelia exhaled. Well, that hadn’t been so bad.

Her gaze found the Knight of Wildfire and the Broken Dream smiled toothily at him, before beckoning to him with her united sword.

AQW Epic  Post #: 32
3/4/2021 22:20:08   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


Cool steel hilts slid along Kunze’s palms as he raced towards the Knight of the Spearhead. He gripped the metal tightly, raising both hands high. The woman tilted her head slightly as the dagger-tips plunged downwards towards her chest, strangely motionless. Has she given up? The dryad’s heart raced, so close now to ending this fight - and then his target grinned. Light gleamed out of nowhere, and Kunze’s karambits slammed abruptly into Aurelia’s crystal swords with a dull clang, the twin blades appearing out of nowhere to block his strike. What the - how?! Her hands had been empty just a moment ago!

Before he could recover, Aurelia shouted a challenge and pushed against their locked weapons, hard. Kunze stumbled and dug his heels into the tiles in an attempt to steady himself, struggling to regain equilibrium in mind and body alike. Focus, breathe - Another flash of crystal, and Kunze ducked sideways just in time to avoid being decapitated from a glowing sword. Inhale... The prince spun about to avoid Aurelia’s forward momentum, then closed the distance with a quick step and slashed at her exposed throat. Hold… The Knight of the Spearhead fought fast, but thoughtlessly. She turned to meet his movements, swords held high, and Kunze braced himself for the coming shove. Exhale...

The blades slammed into his daggers with the force of a falling tree, but rather than resist it, the dryad instead swayed backwards with the blow as if in a breeze. Now! Kunze dove under the edge of Aurelia’s guard as the Knight overextended, left hand striking out to slice cleanly along her side. Dark-red blood dripped from the edge of his karambit as the lithe prince dipped about the lumbering figure. The falls crackled beside him, tile slick underfoot from the water splashed about by Pendulum’s prior flight, and Kunze slid smoothly about to keep ahead of Aurelia’s twirl...

A heavy elbow slammed into Kunze’s shoulder - The Knight of the Spearhead had pivoted rather than chasing his flight. The dryad bit back a gasp of pain as he reeled backwards, dark spots clouding his vision at the blow. A karambit slipped from his palm as he pressed his hand into his stinging shoulder, still staggering backwards. Too late, the crackle of static reached his ears over the roaring falls. No - !

Water crashed down upon him as lightning crackled about his body. It found the metal of his remaining dagger and bit; sharp fangs of searing pain tore through his palm. Kunze crumpled, driven to his knees by the deluge above. He tossed the blade away, but too late. His entire body throbbed, his lungs screamed for air, his heart skittered an uneven staccato beneath his chest.

It’s too much…

The princeling’s wail echoed throughout the wooden chambers of the Living Palace. Angina knelt by his side, the two huddled together at the foot of his tree. Fallen petals lay scattered about them; Kunze had attempted to catch one, and it had exploded in his hands. He sobbed as his sister sang softly, angry burns melting away -


Their footsteps made no sound against the soft ash of the desolate landscape. Charred skeletons of dead trees surrounded them, stark against the evening sky. Tamiel glanced over at the despondent figure beside him, then sighed and looked away. It wasn’t Kunze’s fire that had caused the destruction, but the princeling’s shoulders still sagged with guilt and grief -

The refugees spoke eagerly to the youngest royal, desperate for a sympathetic ear. They spoke of homes burned to cinders, of fields brought to ruin, of people unable to escape from neither the blaze nor the soldiers who started it. The dryad merely stared at his own hands. What good was the flame of the forest when those outside its borders used it to kill? There had to be something -


The fire crackled merrily, but the warmth came instead from the two humans on either side of him. They laughed and thanked the prince for lighting their damp kindling on such a dreary day, and Kunze smiled. Fire was his heart and his soul and his core. No matter the pain or the destruction it caused, in his hands it brought safety. Something he could use to protect -

I must fight on.


Kunze burst out of the torrent, smoke and steam and sparks all sent flying as his fire bloomed to life about him once more. He heard as he charged one last whisper of goodbye from the Wolf-Spirit as she vanished behind a curtain of water; saw as he moved the final curl of Daiyu’s mane disappearing between the curtains of mist. Two more dismissed, but instead choosing to live. I’m glad, Tear. I will survive too.

A single obsidian blade pointed at him from Aurelia’s hand, the woman now clad entirely in bone-white armor, her golden eyes hidden behind a thick visor. Kunze rushed her all the same - any armor that appeared out of nowhere was more than a bit magical. And magic always has a weak spot. Stance low to avoid the purple glow surrounding the giant sword, the dryad dodged one swing and dove close to the Knight of the Spearhead. Her coat flared out about her to reveal woven, slate-gray scales covering the joints about her sides and waist. Kunze lunged; his uninjured hand caught one of the flowers as it bloomed to life about him. With deft fingers, the Wildfire slammed the blossom into Aurelia’s side. The resulting explosion scalded his fingertips but left black, ugly scorch marks on the woman’s pristine platemail.

An angered shout echoed off the stone as a blunt force rammed him from behind, followed by a heavy thud. Kunze felt satisfaction curl in his stomach even as he skidded away; a quick glance behind showed Aurelia on one knee, her arm clutching at her injured side. So you can still burn. The prince turned, scarlet inferno swirling about him. A frosty chill snuck its way across over a third of his torso as he lunged again. He could end this now if he caught Aurelia before she recovered -

Before he could reach her, the Knight pushed herself to her feet. She pulled back her free hand, a wave of thick, purple magic fusing into a solid cone about it, and she turned towards him with a snarl. Kunze began to dive sideways, but the energy swelled outwards even as her fist missed his chest by scant inches. The outer edge deep amethyst smashed into his side, and Kunze’s armor splintered. Bruised ribs cracked with sharp stabs of pain, and the dryad’s scream came out as a wheeze, air rushing out of his lungs as he lost contact with the ground and, unrooted, went flying.

Fire trailed in his wake, scarlet scorching the battlefield even as black snuck further about his body. Sound warped around him, piecemeal words and roars assaulting his ears as the air bent to leave trails of emerald and azure along his vision. Kunze started to turn, to pull his limbs in tight and to get his feet under him before he crashed - and found himself for one moment twisting far more than intended, ground sailing rapidly past his eyes. What..?

Then the motion slowed, sound and color snapping back into place just in time for Kunze to feel a splatter against his face - a scant handful of droplets that had made it through the orange tides of his blaze to strike at his cheek.

Icarahael.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 33
3/5/2021 0:41:52   
  Chewy905

Chromatic ArchKnight of RP


A hot wind rushed through the space between, bringing heat that warmed straight down to the bone. The scales shifted in the breeze, careening one way, then another, dropping two more orbs into the sparking falls. One, a stark violet, the other a reflective bronze, both splitting the falls into shrouded portals once again. The Powers spoke, their voices resonating through the wind and echoing along the tile.

Knight of the Spearhead. Order requires purpose. Your own has failed to keep hold. You are not our champion. You are Dismissed.

Knight of Time. Chaos is a harbinger, bringing greater change. Yet you have remained overly constant. You are not our champion. You are Dismissed.


Our Champions are Chosen. Let this War be finished. Fight.

Though the breeze stilled, The Scales did not. They instead continued to shift, endlessly pitching towards Chaos, towards Order, and towards Chaos again, desperate to drop one final orb.
Post #: 34
3/7/2021 18:12:44   
Apocalypse
Member

Tick-

A thrown glaive. A slammed tail into his side. The dissipation of the temporal anomaly as Adversary Wildfire crashed through the field, overwhelming its capabilities.

-tock.

But it was not any of these that grabbed the automaton’s attention, nor was it the sudden influx of heat.

Tick-

No, it was the amalgamation of voices that accompanied it.

Knight of Time. Chaos is a harbinger, bringing greater change. Yet you have remained overly constant. You are not our champion. You are Dismissed.

-to-

The world ground to a halt.

How to proceed?

The powers that be will have opened a portal, stated his analytical unit.

It will send us back to Gnosis, surmised his prognostication unit.

Gnosis.

Back to the Acolytes. Back to the Architects.

You have remained overly constant.

Pendulum stood there, counting the individual raindrops of Adversary Frost’s personal storm. His various systems registered their suggestions before his consciousness logged and filed them away. The same order of operations he had done countless times before. The same stagnation that had cost him his freedom.

The messages built up, waiting to be sorted.

Analytics, commanded his consciousness, delete.

Alert, interjected the logic system, its warning signal running red hot along his neural pathways. Analytics is a top priority system and without it, Chro-

Logics, delete. With nary a sign, the warning vanished, and a void was left in its place.

Analytics, delete. The number incoming messages waned, their sources reduced by two. A certain quiet took its place. A quiet that was louder than any auditory input than the automaton had ever perceived.

Memory, thought his consciousness. Playback.

Which memory?, the unit replied.

All.

And so it did. As Pendulum systematically dismantled the many, many subfacets of his being, he relived what passed for his life in this time without time. From his waking in the laboratory surrounded by the hooded Architects to being cast aside by the last master he had amidst the voidscape, Pendulum observed it all.

And he did so again.

And again.

He had long ago run out of systems and units to be rid of - save for memory - leaving his consciousness alone. Logic would have stated that there was no benefit from preceding with this course of action, but logic no longer existed, so Pendulum continued unabated. It brought what could only be described as... “Comfort”, Alzeera had once said. “When something helps you when it doesn’t really help. No that doesn’t make sense to an automaton like you, let me try again…”

Back then it had not. But now Pendulum understood.

The memory caught up to him, syncing to the moment when he stepped from time.

He could prolong what was coming.

It would not change things.

Memory, Pendulum commanded one last time.

Delete.

And he was truly alone.

-ck.

The world burst into motion, the many details of its, its vastness now escaping Pendulum’s perception. The lack of his systems and their supports was all too present, all too real.

He did not let that stop him from tearing the remaining rhythm keepers from within his chest.

-ck.

Time. What was time? A limitation imposed by the rules of the world. A law that all living creatures must abide by.

A law he was meant to bend. A law he was designed to break.

-ck.

His consciousness rushed to manually perform all the calculations for the anomaly, to assess and predict every minute detail. His mind stretched, encompassing all the duties that once belonged to other facets of himself. Was it possible to miss one’s self?

-ck.

No time, no time. All these fleeting thoughts were but that: fleeting. By now his self-preservation unit would have kicked in and warned him to dial back his attempt to warp time.

-ck.

But to do so would be to remain in stagnation, to be unchanging.

-ck.

The pendulums clashed together, a wave of temporal energy spilling forth as the metal shattered in his bronze hands. They became dyed with a thousand hues of red, twisting and writhing, alive as alive could be.

-ck….

More alive than the statue now standing amid the voidscape, unmoving as its singular glowing dimmed into nothingness.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 35
3/7/2021 19:46:24   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


The massive crown of branches sagged heavily as if carrying some unseen weight. Its outer twigs brushed lightly against the ashen ground. Coals glowed faintly about the trunk, the remnants of a fiery storm. The occasional bud of scarlet peaked out between the web of mahogany limbs. Of the myriad of blossoms once adorning the mighty boughs, only a scant few dozen remained.


Kunze severed his connection to his tree with a grunt, and his surrounding fire immediately snuffed out. The prince hurtled towards the ground, exhaustion dragging at his limbs as he forced them to extend and slow his spiral. A wave of warm wind chased away the chill now creeping into his core, accompanied by echoing voices dismissing Aurelia and Pendulum. At least the former seemed smart enough to take the chance to escape, especially since the dryad was running on embers. Not many blossoms left… His feet reached out to touch the jet black tile -

Bronze flashed at the corner of his vision. A high, clear chime of metal striking metal rang out - and suddenly Kunze’s boots slammed into the ground. He tried to shift his weight to steady himself, and found his body responding far beyond his intentions, feet sliding swiftly out from under him. The dryad threw out an arm, only for the joints to yank jerkily out of control, hand flying past his face in a blur of green and gold as he failed to halt his fall. Kunze smashed and skidded into the stone floor, sending another wave of fire up his injured side. He sucked in a breath; lungs filled further than they should, and he broke into violent coughs. The sound, broken and sharp, ricocheted off the tiles and bounced over and over through his ears. Blood shot forth from his mouth, golden droplets leaving trails of violet and silver hues as they launched from his torn throat. The prince tried to push himself upright, and instead his arm straightened out with a sharp jolt and sent him rolling the other direction, soft rain sheeting down on him in azure waves that struck with shrill, cracking pings.

Kunze caught himself mid-tumble with an elbow just before his head smashed into the ground. His head throbbed, his entire body ached as he took a moment to just refocus, taking several steadying breaths to calm his still-spasming lungs. Rain pattered gently once more against the cool marble. The dryad pushed himself cautiously upright, suddenly unsure of his own movements - but his body responded normally; time no longer played with light and sound about him. Time..?

The dryad shoved himself to his feet, biting back a groan as his muscles ached in protest. His broken ribs pulsed in sharp pain with each movement, and one ankle throbbed from the sudden landing as he shifted his full weight to his feet. Still, golden eyes turned instead to the now-immobile Knight of Time. Its pistons had ceased motion; the body stilled once more. Whatever facsimile of life it once possessed had vanished and left behind only a statue of bronze.

Icarahael stood beside it, but even from here Kunze could see the dismissive superiority in her stance. The queen turned her glowing eyes upon him instead, and the dryad curled his hands into fists - one stinging with mild burns and one so numbed by lighting it barely responded to the motion. Tyrant. You’ve learned nothing.

The Knight of Frost took a step towards him, rain falling in a heavy torrent about her, and Kunze’s lip curled into a snarl. His mind flicked back to the golden blood that had dripped from his karambit in the Battle of the Current, the same shade that filled his veins and that flowed, thick as sap, through the roots and boughs of the Mother Tree. Are all monarchs the same at their core? Icarahael would have killed every person on the battlefield had she been allowed to run unchecked, had likely left a trail of carnage and bloodshed in her wake long before she entered this war of Chaos and Order. Parya Balurnae had likely never killed directly in their long, long rule - but their inaction had cost so many others their lives. Lives that could have been saved if they had only listened.

What could Icarahael have been instead, had she chosen to listen? Well, Kunze thought as he stepped further into her growing storm, we likely would have already finished this fight back in Current. He straightened his spine and threw back his shoulders, ignoring the throb of pain at his side and the fatigue settling into his muscles. The Flame of the Forest would not show weakness. Not here, not to her.

Kunze swallowed, tasted the blood in his torn throat, but spoke clearly. “You rulers. You could be so much more if you bothered to heed your princes.” You forget that we dare to dream beyond your designs. You forget how much you need us until it is too late. He extended his hand to the queen in a mocking gesture of courtly manners. “Is the ballroom clear enough now for our dance, Lady of the Storm?”
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 36
3/8/2021 22:06:35   
roseleaf320
Creative!


Once more, Icarahael felt her body spin out of her control, her mind struggling to catch up as her tail whipped into the automaton’s body. Sharp spikes dug into bronze skin, but as she tried to pull away, she felt five fingers tighten around the base of her tail as if to strangle it. Icarahael shivered at the sinister feeling. As she tried to yank herself free, she watched streaks of yellow burst from the automaton’s grip and felt a sharp ache erupt from the base of her bottommost spikes. The automaton’s hand did not move. Let me go!

The voices of Order and Chaos arose once more, accompanied by the shattering of glass that refracted and echoed through Icarahael’s ears at an unnaturally high pitch. The second of three. Agony ripped through the queen once again, the familiarity of the sensation doing little to keep her from screaming out as hundreds of tiny cuts once again tore open behind her. Her ears were assaulted with the loud, shrill chimes of bells, each ring echoing a word that Icarahael could still hear Order and Chaos speak clearly in her head, and her agitation grew with each harsh tone. “Stop this infernal-”

Before she could finish, the bronze man shoved her tail out of its grasp, showing no signs of a follow-up attack. Icarahael jumped back a step, readying herself for an attack as the searing pain behind her gave way to calm weight. She breathed a sigh of relief at the familiar feeling of a second tail trailing behind her. She flicked it gently, and with the moment of breath, the queen began to process the words of Order and Chaos.

She was not among the rejected. Neither was the Wildfire.

They were the last two.

“Our Champions are Chosen. Let this war be finished. Fight.”

Icarahael knew she should feel reassurance- even joy- at Order’s approval. But her nose instead crinkled with scorn. You command as if you have authority, yet you have done little to earn it. Queen Icarahael assumed Order had shown her her mate, had healed her wounds before depositing her on the battlefield it had created with Chaos. But that was little more than background noise, a setting of the stage for the true Champions to fight. We are the ones doing all of the real work, while you sit back merely to pass judgement. The power to return her to her greatness on a whim. I could do so much more with the kind of magic you possess.

As if flung by Chaos itself, the Wildfire streaked through the air towards her, and the dizziness in her head ceased. Confusion and relief were both muffled by the primal dread that arose as she took in the sight of the dryad’s body completely consumed by flames. Her face and leg grew hot even as the cold rain continued to fall. It is as if Chaos has chosen specifically to spite me.

Icarahael readied herself to charge as soon as the Wildfire landed. Only out of the corner of her eye did she see the subtle movement of the bronze man removing his heart and slamming it upon itself, shards dropping to the ground like snowflakes.

The Wildfire tumbled to the ground, and though her body had calmed just a moment ago, Icarahael felt it lurch forward once more as her first step flew too far in front of her. Her heel landed awkwardly, and with an attempt to right it, Icarahael’s leg slipped out from under her. Plates on her skirt bent and broke as she hit the stone beneath her, their clattering was replaced with the shrill chirping of birds. She thrust her arms downwards to push herself up, only to be met with harsh stinging as she failed to catch her momentum and fell over her outstretched fingers. Her tails nearly swung into her own chest as she swung but failed to stop them in time. Come- on- Icarahael tried once more to leap to her feet, expecting to end up on the obsidian, but found her body suddenly hers to control. The neon colors vanished from her sight, and the automaton stood motionless beside her. The blue light that had been glowing in its head had gone out; it seemed left with nothing but a lifeless frame. Finally shut yourself down, metal man? I was debating ripping you to shreds, but… It no longer seemed worth it- merely an outlet for her irritation. Her true foe stood in front of her with nothing but his bare hands and a defiant look on his face. His features seemed to blur for a moment, overlapping with the navy eyes and helmet she knew too well. Gaendriel.

His voice rang with the same spite as her son’s. “You rulers. You could be so much more if you bothered to heed your princes.” Queen Icarahael raised her eyebrows at the proclamation. So you, too, bear a crown. Her stomach twinged with the memory of his dagger slicing through her skin. This field has been full of worthy opponents. The abomination and automaton were both stronger than I. Both were rejected in favor of you. The Wildfire reached his hand out as if to take her own.“Is the ballroom clear enough for our dance, -Mother- Lady of the Storm?”

"Are you ready for the ceremony, Mother?"

“I will never be ready for my own son to betray me.” Icarahael lay curled in her cave, her head raised barely enough to shoot a pointed glance at her son. Her form seemed thinner in the dim light.

“Ha. That’s rich, coming from someone who betrayed the king.”

The queen’s eyes flared, but she did not stand. “I am the Queen and your mother. I laid the egg that held you, I taught you everything you know.” She spit on the ground in front of her son’s feet. “I have led the cryodrakon into years of prosperity! You have doomed them all.”

Her son scoffed, his teeth bared in a menacing smile. “We’ll see about that. Come, Mother.”

Queen Icarahael swayed as she stood, letting out a huff of effort that sent several flowers tumbling across the floor.
Icirion’s gifts…


She had let Gaendriel become her weakness. She had surrendered willingly- whether out of love, dignity, or exhaustion, she did not know. But were she to go home, Icarahael knew she would have nothing to go back to. She could not win back her crown with words of confession or guilt.

”Tyrant.”
”Murderer.”



In every way, the boy in front of the queen was her opposite. Ice and Fire. Guilty and innocent. Mother and child. Yet they both stood empty-handed in front of each other. Both Pawns in a greater game.

“If you are still interested in dancing with a tyrant,” The queen willed her storm to aid her, and rain turned into a downpour of sleet, droplets pinging against her armor. You are everything I despise. Queen Icarahael took two steps and launched herself into the air towards Prince Kunze. She flipped her body once-over in the air, relishing in the freedom of movement and the momentum of her tails behind her. She slammed them down in front of her, hoping to catch the prince in her spikes, but the prince was merely splashed with water as he leapt out of the way. No matter. I am only getting started. “Suffer!” Queen Icarahael practically screamed the command, her eyes trained on the water that soaked Kunze’s waist.

If I must be a tyrant and a murderer, I will start my reign of terror with you.
Post #: 37
3/9/2021 21:47:15   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


You won’t be the last tyrant I face, Icarhael. Rain froze solid as sleet pelted down upon the prince. The frozen drops stung his rapidly cooling skin, but he made no move to flee the blizzard. His lip curled, teeth bared in a snarl. I will face them all.

Kunze lunged.

The Knight of Frost mirrored his approach for a step, then leapt skyward - much like how she had rushed Finn back in the Current. Her tails split the cloud above her as she twirled towards the dryad; pale trails of water that glinted in the lighting followed in their wake. Kunze pivoted hard to halt his momentum, ankle buckling slightly as it skidded along the storm-slicked stone. A gasp escaped through clenched teeth as the sudden motion sent another wave of pain stabbing outwards from his broken ribs. The air whistled, and the prince lept backwards just in time to dodge the spines lining the ends of Icarahael’s tail. Instead, streams of frigid water slammed into the dryad and drenched him from head to toe.

Kunze dragged a wrist across his face to clear water from his eyes, turning as he did so towards the loud thud that marked the queen’s descent. Icarahael’s armor gleamed, coated by water and ice, as she spat vitriolic fury at him. Her crown lit up with an azure glow - that light - her magic! The dryad willed sluggish limbs to move faster, a scarlet blossom falling into his hand even as he pulled back his arm. The chill in his core bit deeper as the flower bloomed to life upon his stinging palm. He could feel the liquid solidifying upon his torso even as the petals left his fingertips and soared at Icarahael’s crown.

Ice split his armor further as it formed, harsh cold clawing its way between green wood and dark skin. Kunze wanted to call forth his fire, wanted to burn any trace of Icarahael from this battlefield, but - not yet. The prince sucked in a breath as his numbness seeped across his stomach and Icarahael shouted out in pain. Save your fire.

Silver and blue scales flashed beside him, faster than Kunze had anticipated, and his frozen torso refused to bend enough for him to dodge entirely out of their way. One tail sailed overhead; the other smashed into his stomach. Wood splintered and ice shattered with resonating cracks, sending tiny pinpricks of stinging cold biting into his core - followed by a sharp, freezing pain as a slim spike sliced deep through his skin.

No - ! Kunze turned and caught the tail with both hands, using all his remaining strength to stop it from plunging deeper. Golden blood seeped out from about the spike, agony lanced its way from where it dug through his body. The dryad raised his eyes to Icarahael; saw the burned and bleeding mess of skin that surrounded her crown. No. Blistered fingers wrapped their way about the base of the spine, now coated gold, and snapped.

A broken wail burst from Icarahael’s throat. She yanked herself away from him, curling the tail back towards her body as she reached for the bleeding stump of the spike. Kunze swayed at the sudden lack of force. A deep ache filled his entire body. Golden haze filtered slowly across his vision, painting the wintery storm in a delicate sheen.

Sissy stood behind the weeping Icarahael, her tiny figure blurred from the snow.


Kunze gritted his teeth and yanked the spike free from his torso, releasing a golden river of gushing blood.

Lilly and Gerard were on either side of her, their faces full of hope and faith.


He had one last chance. One last strike.

Countless other people stretched out behind them, wavering in and out of his sight...


If he could stop this tyrant…

Hoping, praying, for his victory.


I can defeat theirs.


The dryad turned upon the Knight of Frost and dove. Fire exploded about him, the blossoms’ inferno easily melting through the sleet. Cold sunk through his chest and core as he slammed into Icarahael and knocked her to the ground beneath him. His torso throbbed, his ribs screamed as her heavy plate slammed into tile with clashing clangor. The icy sheen upon the metal steamed and melted away; the armor buckled beneath his weight as it seared at his exposed skin. Kunze raised the queen’s own spine against her, the last of his flames flickering about him, and plunged it downwards towards her heart.

I will win.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 38
3/9/2021 22:35:06   
roseleaf320
Creative!


Black, vicious curls glowed as Queen Icarahael’s crown wreathed in a brilliant cyan light. Sleet fell and froze to each jutting peak, coating the crown in sharp ice. As another of Icirion’s gifts flew from the prince’s hands, Icarahael had too little time to react before the flower kissed her forehead and erupted into flames. A wave of agony flooded her head, the heat of her crown burning as if it was Icaraheal’s own skin, and her roar was stifled by a cough as her breath caught ash.

Icarahael shivered in the dark, tiny cave she had crawled into for shelter. Water dripped from the ceiling down her bare neck and underneath the armor that had so recently been her scales. The harsh metal did little to protect from the cold that bit into Icarahael’s face and limbs. She would need to kill soon, for food- for warmth. But how? The tools she so easily used in her drakon form were gone now; her only markings were tiny fangs and the two horns that rose from her forehead. Her only reminders; but they would do little to take down even a small rabbit. Anger welled up within the queen with each new pang of helplessness. You robbed me of everything I held dear. First the manticores, foes and intruders upon the mountain range the cryodrakon alone had ruled for centuries. Then her own kin that stole her body, her status, her reason to live. She was nothing.

With a roar of effort and fury, Icarahael gripped her horns with both hands and began to pull. Freezing and dazed by hunger and grief, Icarahael’s brain felt blurred. She could not process the damage she could cause, only that she hated the horns’ uselessness.
Her uselessness. She screamed as they fractured, jagged cracks darting down their bases before they ripped from her forehead in a wave of searing pain.

Icarahael did not know how long she sat in that lonely cave, blood dripping from her forehead, broken points resting in her hands. Her tears fell to join golden droplets, both freezing against the horns’ cold stone. When her hands did rise, it was to place the horns atop her head, freezing them in place with what little magic she could manage. Her voice rose and fell erratically, whispering from strained, freezing vocal chords.

“Every queen needs her crown.”


Never again will I stoop to that despair. Icarahael’s brow dripped with sweat, blood, and melted ice as she struggled to push through the scorching sting that surrounded her skull. Her head throbbed; her throat felt hoarse from screaming. She gritted her teeth; she could not- would not- fall. I have… felt worse. The queen whipped her tails towards the prince’s stomach, where she was sure his flames would soon melt the ice. If my ice cannot freeze you, I’ll just have to use it to gut you instead. Though the prince dodged the first strike, Icarahael’s second swung true, gashing deep into his weak armor. Ice shattered; shards flew from the prince’s body, while others followed her tail and dug deep into wood and skin. Icarahael watched as golden blood spewed from his wound. Bleed, Gaendriel. You are my weakness no longer. The prince reached his arms over, struggling to protect his wound, to dislodge her sharp blades from his body. Icarahael braced herself for the burn that was sure to come--

But the queen let out a gasping, guttural sob as, instead of alighting her spines, the prince snapped one clean off.

Tears welled up in her eyes as Icarahael yanked her tail back from the prince’s grip, her own golden blood seeping from a circle of ripped scale and flesh. She wrapped her shaking fingers around it, willing it to freeze shut with a flash from her mangled crown. She had just been reunited with the most important parts of her drakon form, and one was already deformed and broken. You’d best make this worth all the effort, Order.

Fire erupted from the prince, and the Queen was pushed to the ground, tails splayed to either side, as the dryad’s flaming body careened into her. Agony bloomed from where he touched, her chest, stomach, legs, and face all covered in hot flames that licked underneath her armor. Her ears filled with sizzling as sleet poured down upon them, melting instantly in the fire. She felt as if burning liquid seeped across her skin, and realized her armor was beginning to melt. The queen squirmed, panicked, but couldn’t form a grip on the prince to throw him off. With the last of her effort, Queen Icarahael swung her tails to coil around the prince, aiming to dig the spikes deep into his back.

Yet the powers of Order and Chaos did nothing. They watched, silently, as their final champions fell onto each other, wrestling on the ground for a victory that wouldn’t even bear their name. Order made no move to intervene as Icarahael gasped for breath through the flames that wracked her body with agony and burned her scales to nothingness.

Those with strong powers are weak if they fail to use them. That power belongs in the hands of those with the will to truly wield it.

I will kill the prince. You will return me to my body. And then you, Order, will be next.


Post #: 39
3/11/2021 19:07:35   
  Chewy905

Chromatic ArchKnight of RP


Where once there was heat, now, cold. The frigid wind rushed through the battlefield, screaming along with it as the tiles trembled and shook, cracks closing, bloodstains clearing away as the breeze passed. The aurora above flickered, dimming ever so slightly.

And the Battlefield roared.

The aurora shifted, stars and colors pulled into distinct patterns and shapes, parts of it freezing in place for brief moments before spiraling out of control once more. The flickering lightning above flitted out and vanished, replaced with a howling chill. Order, brought to a system that rejected its every pull. The Scales tilted, a single orb of fiery crimson plunging into the falls that still roared over the now pristine board. As it struck the waters, both cascades froze solid, pillars of solid ice that shoved the electricity within outwards and upwards, rejecting it back to the sky from whence it came. Between the two frozen watchers, a final portal opened, its destination shrouded by mist and steam.

One final orb remained, a chilling swirl of white and blue dancing within, pressing The Scales out of balance.

Order spoke alone, its single voice drowning out the roar of Chaos’ rage.

Icarahael. Queen of the Cryodrakes. Queen of Frost. Champion of Order. You have brought Me victory on this day, and for this, I acknowledge you. You have tipped the scales of war in My favor - so, too, will I repay you. Return home with the Blessing of Order, and may the scales fall ever in your favor.

The icy orb descended to rest before its champion, bursting forth in a storm of frozen shards and chilling winds to form a final gateway from the battlefield. Above, The Scales remained unbalanced, tipped in favor of the battle’s victor. In favor of Order.

Post #: 40
4/11/2021 14:22:14   
  Starflame13

Gryffin Warrior of DF & RP


The fire enveloping his body snuffed out at the frigid wind. Dark smoke curled about him as the spike - clutched tight in his aching palm - pierced the silvery armor.

The Queen snarled.

Amber eyes boring into gold. Exhaustion dragged at his limbs, their strength fleeing the coming winter. Sounds wavered, echoes fading in and out even as his eyes remained on hers.

A deep cold pierced his heart. Ice filled his veins, chilled his core. Shadows crept their way across his vision, dulling colors until only grey surrounded two glowing orbs of amber. Dark ichor dripped downwards…

The spine slid from blood-slicked fingers…

Kunze slumped forwards, falling onto Icarahael’s chest…

And the Flame burned no more.


The last blossom fell, drifting downward lazily on stagnant air. It landed on an outstretched palm, deep brown fingers curling gently around the glowing petals. Parya Balurnae stood motionless, expressionless, as their son’s tree died before their eyes.

For a long moment, the only sounds came from the muffled, hiccuping sobs of one of the humans behind them. The worthless, foolish
humans that Kunze had loved with every fiber of his being.

Tamiel raised a hand to their shoulder, hesitated, glanced at Angina, and lowered it once more.

“Mother…?”

“Gather the warriors.”

“Wh - Mother, what -?”

“Gather the warriors, Tamiel.” The Mother Tree turned to face their remaining children, grief hardened in their emerald eyes to tempered, deadly rage.

“We will remind the world of our power once more.”

AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 41
1/2/2022 0:46:41   
roseleaf320
Creative!


The body of the forest prince slumped against Queen Icarahael’s armor, his last breaths ragged beside her ear. His vibrant fire, once burning so hot it threatened to consume her entirely, flickered and died under the command of the biting chill that blew around them. Icarahael dulled its winds, but she could not bring herself to halt the freezing rain as it splattered against her metal scales. For her, it brought a mental healing - a refreshing calm that gave her the strength to rise. She unlatched her tail from the Prince’s body, slipping him gently to the ground beside her feet. For him, her rain would be a casket.

You fought well, Prince Kunze. But one who defends those below him is doomed to inherit their weakness.

The snow-filled orb glistened in the storm as swirling winds lifted it from the scales to spiral towards the Queen. She lifted her slender hands to meet it, and as it fell gently into her outstretched palms, the Queen felt its dark chill pulling at the faint warmth of her lifeblood. Her fragile mortal hands grew weak with its touch, a sting coursing through her body. But her grip only tightened; it felt like home. The wave culminated into a throbbing ache encircling her head. The Queen’s crown enclosed upon her, twisting and shifting to incorporate two obsidian horns that grew like tendrils towards the chaotic sky. In front of her, a doorway to familiar mountains stretched open, revealing crisp white snow broken only by the occasional strong pine. With a sigh, Queen Icarahael dropped her shoulders.

She was exhausted.

The sun seemed to smile at her through the window. To welcome her back into a world full of small treasures, fresh glowing snow, and crisp smelling sunrises. Yet Icarahael’s feet were uncertain as she trod gently through the portal’s boundaries. The light dusting that rested upon the grass plumed upwards around her boots as they sunk into the fresh earth. Unlike before, her footprints were followed by the sweeping grooves of two leaf-like tails. At first, they dragged carelessly behind her, but soon they lifted just enough to avoid mangling the vibrant flame-colored flowers barely peeking their heads from the frozen drifts.

Icarahael’s nose flared as the northern air filled her lungs; her lips broadened and teeth bared in what could almost seem like a smile.

She would return soon to her search; to Gaendriel. After that... she would not forget the cowardice of the powers that hid behind their unwitting soldiers.

But for now, as she stretched her limbs to catch the wind’s breath, Queen Icarahael was content just to stand under the sun’s warmth.



Drakons have called the mountains home for millenia; they thrive in its embrace, its blustering winds which catch their wings and carry them on. But occasionally, there comes a storm so tumultuous that the flight of manticores and drakons alike proves impossible. Even those born of the ice are forced to bow to its fury.

As the tempest crept towards the mountain’s summit, it carried with it the roar of its queen.


Post #: 42
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