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Private Chaos Reigns

Discussion in 'Horizon' started by Alarak, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Alarak

    Alarak Starcraft

    Posts:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Tal'darim Protoss
    Age:
    300
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil

    Chaos Reigns
    September 5th | Autumn, Year Five
    Veloce Visrin

    Oh yes, Amon despised him. That much was abundantly clear. How many times had he defied his so-called "God"? He challenged Amon's omnipotence, turned His followers against Him, and made them see the truth. It was fair, then, that He should have His revenge. The petty Xel'naga did so, no doubt, by ordering for the Highlord's imprisonment. To secure this, Amon used an intriguing tactic; shadowy black tendrils that emanated with Void power, saturated with energy. With all the confidence and determination of the Tal'darim, Alarak attempted to draw upon this power to bolster his own to ensure his freedom, but to no avail. It was impermeable, made of something impossibly stronger than the Void itself.

    From one world to another he was pulled, as though through a portal. It was instantaneous, not even giving the Highlord a chance to call upon his supplicants. Alarak had to at least credit Amon for that. If a God was good for nothing but His swift portals, was He truly worthy of being a God? Alarak knew he could best the fallen Xel'naga in both military strategy and the persuasion of his people. At times, the line between Highlord and deity was blurred, giving him the chance at momentary ascendance. But here, wherever he had landed, was the complete opposite of that. As he looked around, Alarak was almost amused. Amon had imprisoned him in a desert? Anyone with a shred of sense knew that his homeworld of Slayn was far more inhospitable, with its toxic gasses and constant eruptions, than any desert with growing vegetation could be, no matter how sparse. "You'll have to do better than that, I'm afraid," Alarak quipped aloud. Yet to his mild confusion, the whispers of Amon seemed too distant to hear.

    "Indulge me, Amon! Or have you finally given up? Dropped me in a world you think I cannot escape from, so that you can feel some sense of fulfillment on your throne?" Alarak chuckled and brushed stray granules of sand from his armour. "Absolutely pathetic. You shall know my wrath soon enough." The Highlord procured a cloud of psionic energy below him, upon which he levitated in order to keep his feet from burning. It allowed him to move almost effortlessly across the sand, as he searched for anywhere to gain a foothold. It wasn't long before his gaze focused in the distance to primitive buildings that he had only seen on a few occasions in his lifetime. Ignominious Terran huts. He felt second-hand embarrassment at how poorly constructed they were. He did admire their determination, however. Terrans greatly lacked the intelligence needed to survive most hostile environments, and he could see by the way these people lived, they were no different.

    Alarak took his time examining the homestead, if it could have been called that. It was constructed almost solely of brick, and possessed one small farm which grew malformed gnarls for crops. What caught his eye, however, was the presence of a well. If there was water, there was no doubt more life nearby. As he was listening for a source to the water, the sound of a door opening and closing forced him to turn his attention behind him. He unsheathed his psionic blades, their blood-red glow illuminating his armour.

    "What are you doin'? Ya' want my crops? My water? Well ya' can't have em! Neither of em!" The man was clearly disgruntled by the disturbance, and wanted to protect everything he had.

    "I'm afraid there's been a misunderstanding. I care little of your petty possessions. I do, however, require the exact location to the source of this water."

    The farmer was completely unfazed by the stranger's otherworldly appearance, and continued to hold his ground. "The water comes from the 'falls an hour's trek away. Ya' won't make it, not in that," he said, testing his luck by poking the Highlord's suit almost mockingly. "But if ya' leaves it wit' me, I'll keep it nice and safe..."

    Alarak sighed heavily, growing impatient. "I don't have time for this, Terran. You will remove your hands from me and tell me where to find this source, or else you shall be punished by death." Though it sounded extreme, it was the general way about things as a Highlord. Death outside of the sacred Rite of Rak'shir was humiliating to the Tal'darim, and they would rather obey in an instant than die as traitors to the Chain of Ascension and everything it stood for.

    Unfortunately for the farmer, he seemed dead-set on attaining the suit of unknown material. "I'm 'fraid that's a secret."

    No more needed to be said, for the Terran had wasted his time like a fool, even after he had been warned. Alarak pulled the man towards him effortlessly with psionic energy and plunged his blade into the other's throat. Despite the man being of trivial difficulty to him, there was still a rush that went through him whenever he got the kill. He had also gotten all the information that was required for him to find the source of the well, though he doubted the distance. By "falls", he assumed that the worthless flesh-being meant waterfalls, though he couldn't quite fathom how a waterfall could exist within the desert climate. Nonetheless, he continued onwards towards the horizon.


     
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  2. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    198
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    (ooc: Hello! I have sent you a PM.)

    Whenever someone died, there was a distinct sound their soul made as it left the body. In the vast majority of cases, it was a gentle sort of sound, like heaving a sigh at the end of a long day, a final fermata that lingered at the edge of hearing until the soul finished dissipating into the ether.

    The exception to that was violent death. A soul that didn't want to let go of the life that once belonged to it didn't make such peaceful sounds. No, it screamed, a chilling echo that dug deep into one's senses and lingered for minutes after the soul finally faded.

    Veloce hadn't expected to hear that sound out here in the desert. Generally, it wasn't something she expected to hear at all—but there it was, a forlorn and frantic cry drifting from over the horizon, impossible to mistake for anything else. She stiffened, turning her head around to look out across the sands. Nothing was there that she could see. No smoke, no plume of dust, no obvious signs of the violence that had surely resulted in this poor soul's dying wail. And she didn't like it one little bit.

    "Is something wrong?"

    Jaswinder's face was a picture of confusion. The rest of him crouched over the pattern he was busy tracing into the sand, a circle composed of arcane script Veloce didn't recognize, the runes glowing dully from residual magic left by the tip of his staff. He was a fellow mage of the guild, some kind of shaman who'd spent his whole life practicing his art in the emptiness of his native world's great deserts. The bustling crowds of Pandora's towns didn't suit him, and he claimed even the rich greenery of the fields and forests here stifled his craft. To get the most out of his magic, he wanted to be surrounded by scarcity and desolation. To be close to death.

    Maybe not quite this close, though. Veloce kept her expression neutral as she glanced back. "Not really. Just heard a noise."

    Jaswinder's confusion morphed into concern. He stood up, sand and dust tumbling from the hem of his airy robes. "I didn't hear anything. Is it the sandworms? I'll come with you, let me just summon up my-"

    "It's fine, I can take a look. And you'll ruin your ritual if you leave it half-done, right? I'll be back soon."

    "But-"

    Whatever argument he wanted to make didn't matter, because Veloce had already teleported away, a pale wash of light melting her form into the surrounding heat haze.

    ------​

    There was a small farm in the distance, and a crumpled body turning the packed dirt beneath it a wet, dark shade of red. Another figure was traveling away from the scene, and from their decidedly unconcerned pace, Veloce could only assume they didn't exactly mourn the dead man's passing. As for whether or not they were responsible for the deed... Well, she had a guess, but she wasn't about to pass judgment without first hearing what they had to say.

    Even so, Veloce chose prudence, moving in only close enough that the stranger would be able to hear her calling out. Until she got a better idea of why they were just casually leaving a murdered man behind, she wanted the buffer of generous distance between them.

    "Hey. What happened here?"

    There was nothing accusatory in her tone, not yet. Veloce's hand did rest on the hilt of the two swords belted at her waist though, and there was an anticipatory caution in the way she stood, staring evenly at the stranger's broad back.
     
    #2 Veloce Visrin, Oct 1, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  3. Alarak

    Alarak Starcraft

    Posts:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Tal'darim Protoss
    Age:
    300
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil


    It would have been impossible for Alarak to know of the conversation that transpired between the two beings, so incredibly far away from where the altercation was taking place. Despite being a race that relied heavily on conjoining minds with allies to fight and to communicate, the range of Protoss "signals", as one might call them, were relatively short range. Instead, each consciousness chained to one another, all channeling into that of their leader so he alone would be able to fight with the strength of an entire army.

    Alarak was, however, able to detect foreign energies that might be perceived as magic. It was only after the slaughtered man's corpse was left behind that a weak spark came to his attention, at the very edge of his mind. Rogue energy often flowed in and around planets in a manner that could have almost been described as whimsical; if this were the case, Alarak would have ignored it entirely. Yet, there was something so sudden about it that the Highlord knew it was deliberate. He stopped in his tracks, straining to listen behind him out of instinct. The sand muffled every sound, save the occasional cries from winged creatures that circled overhead.

    When the voice called out behind him, Alarak was quick to turn, blades unsheathed and at the ready. When he saw that it was merely a female Terran, he was only amused. Another flash of psionic energy and the weapons were gone as quickly as they appeared.
    "I thought the brain of your species was larger than that, Terran." Though the lower half of his face was covered by heavy armour, it was clear that there were no muscles moving there. Instead, his voice penetrated the mind, intrusive and mocking.

    "Just in case you are unable to comprehend the loss of human life, I quickly did away with the one lying over there. He challenged me to a duel by Tal'darim standards, and unfortunately for him, he didn't quite have the skill." Alarak inspected his suit in a nonchalant manner, no doubt checking for any bloodstains that sullied it. "I do hope that he wasn't a friend of yours." It was evident that he hoped for precisely nothing. In fact, he couldn't have cared less about the fate of the man's acquaintances.


     
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  4. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    198
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Veloce's eyes drifted sideways to the crumpled body. There were no signs of struggle. A row of little potted plants by the door still sat undisturbed, arranged in a perfectly even line. The dusty ground and sparse vegetation of the surrounding area looked whole and clean, almost peaceful under the balmy gaze of the afternoon. Yes, she imagined the duel must've been a very short one. No, she didn't believe the stranger's story to be true in the least.

    Dealing with a casual murder ranked pretty far down on the list of things she'd wanted to do today. Dealing with a casual murder committed by... whatever this person was? That ranked even further down. Seriously, what even was he? 'Tal'darim'? Far from human, to be sure—Veloce almost would've cast him closer to the side of 'creature' if not for his clear intelligence and haughty manner. A being that commanded power—his words dropped directly into her mind instead of coming from his mouth, and there had been a crackle of some magic or energy back there, spikes of red erupting briefly from his wrists around the bulky plates. The dark metal covered him from his neck nearly down to his feet, but he moved about easily despite what had to be a considerable weight, and in uncomfortable weather.

    Weapons, armor, and cold confidence. Whatever else he might be, he was also a warrior. A killer.

    What to do about this, then? Veloce wasn't law enforcement; most of the time she didn't even leave the Mages' Guild tower unless it was for a contract or a favor. And the stranger was correct—the dead man wasn't a friend of hers. She owed his spirit precisely nothing, and she had no real desire to avenge him out of some misguided sense of moral duty. Especially since, if this encounter came to blows, she wasn't so sure she'd be able to win.

    Still... casual murder. The town of Horizon was close by. She couldn't very well just let him waltz in there to duel more people. Veloce shifted with a sigh, already ruing what she knew she would have to do. She tried to keep her tone even, but a hint of annoyance seeped into her words despite her best efforts.

    "No, I didn't know him. But that's beside the point. I'm pretty sure Pandoran law frowns on duels to the death—you can't just go around killing people because they challenged your honor. Is that really what you're going to tell the authorities when they find out about this? 'I won a duel'?"
     
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  5. Alarak

    Alarak Starcraft

    Posts:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Race:
    Tal'darim Protoss
    Age:
    300
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil

    "You're lucky that Terrans amuse me for the most part. When I'm not crushing their pathetic hopes, they usually bend to my will and become both a convenient and disposable ally." Not once did Alarak try to accommodate to the lesser being's intelligence, nor did he supply explanations to his verbiage. Every creature in the galaxy should have been aware of the existence of the strongest tribe of Protoss, especially after a victorious attack against their very God. Unless Amon had a sense of humour, which meant that he would rather Alarak waste away suffering fools rather than any sort of physical torture.

    But to accept that this had been done by Amon also meant that the fallen Xel'Naga was not defeated, and that He still had the power to do as He wished to the Highlord. Amon had fallen before him, a writhing mass of Void energy, the key to his eternal power. He only needed to find his way back to Slawn, and the rest of the pieces would fall into place...

    It was then that the pitiful human's questions invaded his pensiveness. With a furrowed brow, his glowing red eyes met with those of the stranger. "If he was unknown to you, then I fail to see why you're concerning yourself in this matter. Are your lifespans not short enough that you have to waste them with pointless empathy? Save your breath, Terran." Alarak was tempted to challenge her as he did his foe whom he had conquered, but instead sent a blast of psi energy, chaotic in nature, in her direction in an attempt to put space between them.

    It soon became clear that he had no intention to fight, unless she showed hostility or questioned his authority. Perhaps this one was smarter than he had first assumed; anyone who was wise enough to be wary around him gave him the respect that a superior would have for a subordinate. That is to say, not much, but a degree of professionalism was maintained. "I am not oblivious to the rites and rituals of your own kind, and I know that they are not shared with mine. Terrans are relatively passive by nature - a pity, really - and it may even be seen as barbaric in the eyes of a primitive species such as your own. I don't fault you for that, the consequences of your upbringing haven't even been fully realised in you yet."

    Alarak passed his gaze over the girl once more. Protoss aged quite unlike those of her kind, so he was unable to tell precisely how much experience she had. Her size didn't help much either; in his full suit of armour, the Highlord towered over her. "I don't think that the duels will always go unevenly matched. I prefer to spend my time on a worthy opponent; it gives me more satisfaction. In any case, I know that you are not defenseless. What is it that you call that? Energy? Power? Magic, perhaps?" Whatever she had used would hardly have been enough to protect her from the weakest creatures on Slayn. Even the Terrans were equipped with armour and weapons that greatly augmented their ability to fight and survive against the strongest beasts that had yet been discovered. To see this one, clad in hardly anything by comparison, made Alarak wonder just how weak the creatures were on whatever planet he was on.


     
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  6. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    198
    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Magic or energy, whatever it was, it screamed through the space between them in a sudden crimson haze, churning up the dust and sand. Veloce bounded sideways to land in a crouch, avoiding the attack with little trouble due in part that it was a very frontal assault, and thereby provided plenty of time for her to react. Still, her skin prickled with warning as the twisted air tunneled past her, and she turned her gaze from it back to the Tal'darim with surprised anger, one hand wrapped fully around the hilt of a sword.

    The attack didn't continue, though. He went on speaking, expressing disdain for this world's laws, and especially disdain for her 'kind', as he kept on pointing out. It was a distinction he brought up again and again; he was firm in making sure neither of them forgot there was a great difference between their races—a great vertical distance, going by his tone. Clearly he took immense pride in whatever civilization had birthed him. If all of his kind were as dismissively violent and rude as he was, then Veloce hoped the higher powers of Pandora never decided to throw a few more of them into this dimensional cage to keep him company.

    His next questions flattened her brow with disbelief. Was he trying to say she might be a worthy opponent? Did he want to duel or not? That blast of sinister energy back there had been as good as a declaration of intent, but there wasn't anything particularly murderous about his aura. It rather felt more like he was a large cat toying with a mouse.

    "It's magic," Veloce replied, warily rising her feet. "I'm from the Mages' Guild. We're not pledged to any of Pandora's towns, but we respect their laws all the same. So should you, if you plan on having any sort of peace while you're here. This place is too small to go around causing trouble in willy-nilly, and it certainly doesn't care about the rules and procedures of your old world."

    She still hadn't let go of her weapon. She wasn't even sure if she should be preparing a spell or not, in case the stranger decided to trade his pointed words for those crackling wrist blades he'd flashed earlier. Veloce also had to wonder if Jaswinder had finished with his ritual yet, and was now waiting for her to come back. If she stalled long enough, he might go looking and find her out here. Against this Tal'darim of unknown power, she couldn't decide if having her fellow mage around would be a boon or just uselessly endanger both their lives, instead of just hers.