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 Post subject: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm

This is the tale of a man within a vast world and ancient world. His tale is one of grand ascension and rising above the laws of mortality, the acceptance of a new purpose held only in the eyes of gods, the creation of a new world he alone can make for himself and others in which to provide an everlasting salvation within life can endlessly thrive, and the destruction of his humanity.

This is the tale of Lord Gavin and the rising of his realm.

If you wish to comment about this story, please do so here:

Chapter 1:
“Haunt Of The Raven”

Dusk began its fall upon Terra Viridis as the sky burned amber over the enclosed, forested sanctum. The buds of the Dawn Blow Flowers folded back in on themselves in the vanishing light and subtle presence of crickets and fire flies began to awaken in the still, humid air. Flickering lights of the early stars broke though the burning sky with their glimmering shine in wake of the clear night to follow. The distant howl of a mountain wolf echoed and the day became still and quiet.

Tranquility then was broken by two young boys tearing through the forest. The lighted sound of their laughter echoed in the pervading silence as one chased the other. Rounding a bend, they came to rest as one slapped the base of a large oak tree. “I WIN!” screamed the young boy as the other stumbled in and head butted the tree. A raven crowed and burst from the canopy in the sudden tremor.

The young man helped the other up as they were both overcome by fitful laughter. “Are you alright, Draven?”

Shaking and rubbing his head, the young boy named Draven continued his laughter as he turned towards the other. “I’m fine, Saviour. I’m fine.” Getting a handle on his footing, Draven recovered quickly and stood besides his other. “Don’t tell mother about that, alright?”

Giggling childishly, Saviour said “If we did, she might never let us back out here again.” Placing an arm on his younger brother’s shoulder, he motioned him back and added “Now come along. She’ll want us back before dark.”

Draven nodded, though disappointed the day was now coming to a close. Glancing downward, his eye caught a sparkle from something behind the brush. Intrigued, he left his brother’s side to venture off a short distance. “Did you find something?” asked Saviour as he followed after him. Draven nodded as he bent down and looked closely at the ground. Saviour took a knee besides him and looked in awe at what they had discovered.

Growing out of the earth was a small, emerald crystal, spike upward towards the fading light. Despite the amber tint from the sunlight, the crystal seemed to radiate in green brilliance and splendour. It was a brilliant stone that even appeared to have been treated by a diamond cuter. “Lucky you, Draven. You’ve found us an emerald. This will surely be worth something back home.”

Draven looked at his brother in dismay. “Do we have to sell it? I’d rather keep it.”

Saviour looked at Draven and then back to the small crystal. “Well, we’ll see what mother and father have to say.” Saviour then grabbed hold of the small stone to pull it from the ground. However, it proved to be rooted quite firmly in place. “Wow, give me a hand, Draven.” His brother nodded and went around behind his brother to help him pull him back. The boys struggled a moment longer before the crystal broke out of the ground and they landed on top one another. Taking a moment to laugh, Saviour looked at the emerald in triumph. “Well, that was easy.”

--- --- ---

Breaking through the thickened brim of the forest, the young boys came into a clearing and a small house. They burst through the door and ran through the house towards the kitchen where they found their mother tending to their dinners. Draven ran up and hugged the leg of the slender figure as she smiled warmly down upon the two of them. “Welcome back, boys.” Turning a moment to Saviour, she added “Any bit longer and I would have been worried.”

Saviour smiled and said, “Well, perhaps this can brighten you from your worries, mother.” He then presented her with the emerald they had found within the forest.

Her eyes brightened in astonishment as she asked, “Where did you find that?”

“Draven found it. It was somewhere out in the forest. Not too far, but a ways from town.” Their mother took the stone in her hand as she looked deeply into it. “Do you think it could be worth anything good?”

She paused a moment to consider. “Perhaps. It’s rather small, but it’s very nice. I’ll ask your father, he will know better than I.”
“Is father back yet?” asked Draven.

She patted his head and said, “Not yet, but he’ll be here soon. I was about to go out and collect some wood for the stove. Saviour, would you do that for me?” He nodded and took Draven long with him outside.

She watched them from the window. Saviour went around the side of the house towards to wood stack as Draven ran off towards into the woods. It was his favourite place to be and he’d spend every minute he could there, though she had told him not to without his brother. She sighed and tried to convince herself that nothing would happen. She turned her attention back to the small emerald they had returned with. It had been years since anyone had been known to find crystals in Terra Viridis, at least outside the mines, but even those had been closed long ago. Though they were highly valued, the recent appearance of certain dangers in the underground had made it impossible to mine safely. She smiled in the faint reflection of her face in the stone as she ran a hand through her long, brown hair.

The door opened as she heard the heavy footsteps of her husband walk towards her, accompanied by Saviour’s voice. His deep laughter besides the sound of his son’s was heart warming in the cooling air. Saviour came first and went straight for the stove to load in the wood, soon followed by his father. Gavin walked confidently in as he undid his gauntlet and placed them delicately on the table beside him. She came to him and wrapped her arms around his waist, smiling back to his own. “A quiet day for you, I hope?”

Gavin turned his eyes to her and laughed quietly. “Indeed, pleasant and quiet. Nothing to worry yourself over”. She proceeded to hug him tightly and him the same.

“All done, mother.” Said Saviour as he piled the last of the logs in and lit the stove for her.

“Thank you, Saviour. Would you go find your brother then? He’s gone back out into the forest again.” Saviour nodded and left to do as she asked. Turning her attention back to her husband, she said “Now you, sir, need to go take that armour off of yourself. Especially before you scuff up my floors.”

“Yes mother.” She scowled disapprovingly at him. Gavin had adopted the light joke from his sons. They all found it quite amusing, save for her.

“That’s Kathrina to you, now upstairs.” Gavin laughed quietly and smiled as he watched Kathrina return to preparing their dinner. She glanced a moment back at him and teased him with a smile of her own. She had been an astounding find for him as his wife. Ever since they had been young, they had been close friends. It surprised no one that their friendship blossomed into romance. They had been married happily for several years now, with their two sons, Draven and Saviour. Saviour was twelve now and Draven was approaching eight, with his birthday within the next week.

Gavin made his way upstairs to his small armoury and began to lengthy task of removing his armour. Thankfully, his job could easily provide for his family. He was positioned as one of the elite watchmen of the Chapel, who guard over their kingdom. Business never normally entailed dealing with criminals, thankfully, but any dangerous wildlife that could cause issues for their means of life. To purge evil from the world was the ideal concept of the chapel monarchs, insisting it would ensure a proper means of life for the people. For all the years of his life, they had certainly ensured such a result from their efforts. Kathrina had to worry about him from time to time, but thankfully his experience had done him well in keeping him, and his colleges, alive through the worst.

Upon finally finishing his task, he locked up the door behind him and emerged in his more casual wear. Descending the stairs, he finished tugging at his shirt cuffs and rounded about to return to aid Kathrina. However, before he was able to do so, Saviour grabbed him by his shirt. Gavin turned to see that Draven wasn’t with him. “Where’s your brother?” he asked.

Saviour frowned and shook his head. “I don’t know. I can’t find him. Could you help me? If he’s gone hiding in the forest, he’s never going to come out for me.”

Gavin looked back down the hall towards the kitchen and then back to his son. “Alright, let’s be quick so we don’t worry your mother.” Saviour nodded and led Gavin quietly out the front door.

The sky was finally falling dark and light was scarce. It was no wonder why Saviour had come for Gavin’s aid. Once they were a short ways into the forest, Gavin called out Draven’s name. The moments passed without a reply. The skin along Gavin’s neck began to crawl in anxiety and worry. Taking Saviour’s shoulder, he began to lead him deeper into the woods. “I looked around best I could. I really have no idea where he could have run off to.” said Saviour. Gavin nodded and hushed his son as he listened intently to the pervading silence. Thankfully, tracking was something he had been trained in for his services to the monarchs. Sadly, without a barring to start with, he could only hope to stumble across one.

A flutter of ravens in the canopy overhead startled them both as they rounded a large tree base. As the noise faded, Gavin continued deeper into the woods. Finally, he had come far enough to clearly hear the sound of the river that cut through the forest. He wasn’t going to be able to hear much of anything now. His heart thudded heavily against his chest. As much as he loved his son, he would not stand for it if this was a joke of some kind.

“Come along, we should head back. Draven would never have gone this far out for any reason.” Saviour nodded in silence as he rounded about along Gavin’s side. Eyeing Saviour, Gavin gave him a light hug with his arm to try and ease his worries. Draven and Saviour were very tight brothers, despite their age difference. Saviour took pride in looking after his younger brother. Gavin could understand why he was just as worried as he was himself now.

With the sounds of the river fading away behind them, Gavin heard the sharp, distant call of more ravens. Not uncommon, but they had been the only things his son and him had heard at all the while they had been in the woods. For that reason, it was unnerving. As the neared the bird’s haunting calls, it became clear to him by the bird’s energy that were feeding. As they emerged from a small brush, Gavin found the flock aggressively fighting over a downed animal. Saviour pinched his nose at the smell as he observed the frenzy.

Before they passed by, Gavin took a glance back at the birds. He had always understood people’s belief in the raven symbolizing death and ill intent. They were aggressive hunters and scavengers, black and night with a voice that was far from pleasant. Still, he had always wanted a chance to tame one since he was younger, just to prove to others that evil is only a matter of perception, that all beings see the world different, and to not simply judge such harsh ideas upon other living beings. Sadly, since he was raised by the chapel followers, they never allowed him to have such a thing for a pet. Even if it was tame.

Before he took his eyes away, they fell upon a select few ravens feeding on something in the trees nearby. They were plucking away at what looked to be the intestines of the animal. Gavin stopped abruptly then and Saviour looked up to him. “Stay here a moment, but don’t disappear. Understood?” Saviour nodded to him and Gavin took off towards the birds.

Gavin shouted and swung his arms about, causing the ravens to scatter into the trees. Still, they did not leave as they were far from finished with their meal. When the last bird left, Gavin took in the grisly sight of what they had been feeding on.

It was covered in fresh blood with its ribcage pulled open, leaving large chunks of meat and innards spilling out around the body. Gavin knew of a few creatures capable of such a thing, but certainly none common to this area, especially being so far from the Boundary Mountains. Looking around, Gavin saw that much of its organ had not only been ripped out but thrown about the area, as if the creature that had killed it had only that intention in mind. It was clear that either the murderous creature was ill or something abnormal.

As he neared the carcass, he could feel Saviour’s eyes on him along with all of the ravens. His heart beat fiercely in his ears as he his eyes began to sting from the stench and the sight of it all.

Gavin fell to his knees before the dead body of his son, Draven.



Last edited by LordGavin on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 2:
“Sightless Prey”

The morning sun disappeared behind the thickening veil of clouds as the sky cast its gloom upon the horizon. The air was moist with the smell of fresh dew and the air was chillingly still. Behind Gavin stood the towering shape of the chapel of Sanctus Fas, climbing ever onward into salvation.

Before him lay the vast courtyard of the beloved dead. The memorial grounds for those whose time had passed on Terra Viridis. Not far from him, Gavin could see the shape of the yard’s caretaker, filling in a six-foot hole.

Gavin knew far too well what that particular tombstone said. “Draven MacLean. 8th Age. May the creator bless your soul.” He had instructed the caretaker to engrave that onto his marker. It had been hard to hold back his tears when he said those words, but the caretaker was far from inhuman and understood his grief. He had, after all, had to bury his own parents years back.

“I didn’t cry when my parents passed away.” the caretaker had said to him. “They had lived long and fulfilling lives and I was preparing for their time. Had it been any other way, I too would have grieved such like this.”

Feeling the tears return, Gavin wiped his sore eyes for the hundredth time. It had broken the hearts of Saviour and Kathrina to learn of Draven’s fate. Especially Saviour, for he had seen Draven’s body. Gavin meant no disrespect to his fallen son, but he had told Kathrina and Saviour not to show for the burial. They were in no condition to be in public yet. For their safety, he asked them to take up residence for a time with Kathrina’s parents closer to the chapel and village center. Gavin no longer trusted the sanctity the forest had once provided them.

A tear fell across his cheek as Gavin’s head fell downwards.

A hand gripped his shoulder in silence and Gavin quickly wiped his eyes again. Looking up, he met the steady eyes of his friend, Draven Brandt. Immediately the memories of the past rushed through his conscience of the time of Kathrina’s second birth. When she had entered labour, Draven had been there to help shuttle her to the chapel. When closing in on the village main, their coach was attacked by wolves. Since Gavin was unable to leave Kathrina’s side, Draven jumped from the carriage and took on the pack of beasts. He had nothing but the hand knife he always kept on person. In the early morning, Draven walked into the chapel a riddled mess, but smiling and alive with spirit. “Sixteen.” was all he said, though Gavin had counted twelve at the time. Gavin was relieved for his good friend and was eternally grateful for his actions. It was then Kathrina and him decided to name their son after Draven.

Draven offered him a weak smile in hopes to comfort him. He knew seeing him at this time wouldn’t be much to help Gavin’s spirits. “Are you holding up alright?” asked Draven. Gavin nodded in silence. “Did you get the message from the followers?” Gavin nodded again, but remained silent still. Draven’s smile faded. “Perhaps I’ve come too soon?”

Gavin shook his head. “No, no. What is it they want us for?”

Draven lightly gestured towards the stack of coffins near the caretaker’s quarters. There was a stack of about a dozen or so all over the place. “Those are all full and, from what I understand, they were all similar deaths. Four more have been discovered this morning just the same.”

Gavin’s hair stood on end. “Do they have any idea of what could have done this?”

Draven shook his head. “No one has found any traces of the killer, or killers. The chapel knows better than to stay quiet in such an event. They’re organising guard rounds throughout the area to locate the cause.”

Gavin remembered back to the night his son had died. Saviour had told him he heard nothing and he himself had also heard nothing, save for the ravens when they found Draven’s body. The death had been violent beyond belief, but for having been so silent, the creature must have been intelligent as well. There were creatures capable of killing in such a graphic fashion, but not to do so silently. Especially here. Gavin was as lost in ideas as everyone else was.

“Does the order require us, or can we simply leave to do our round?” asked Gavin.

Draven thought a moment. “They didn’t say so, but I’ve found a few other experienced Watchmen to join us in our round. I’d doubt the order would have need to instruct us further. We’re ready to go, I take it you’re armed?”

Gavin nodded. Though his black cloak covered most of his body, under it he was ready for service. The cloak was a traditional uniform the order granted to its Watchmen. Each one though was trained in a different form of combat. Draven was a very large build and normally wore his cloak open, exposing his armour and array of short-blades. His main weapon, the long sword, was always at the ready by his side. Gavin, on the other hand, kept his cloak closed around him, hiding his lighter plating. A keen eye would notice his cloak would never flap in the wind, for specially sown throughout it, and the sleeves, was an array of small hand-scythes. His main weapon was an impressively large, reaping-scythe. No one could figure out where he hid such a thing on his person, but fewer knew how he was trained in its use to begin with.

Gavin had grown up under the roof of the chapel. However, before he was taken into training to become a Watchman, he had worked during the growing season on a farm, specifically for a farmer named Horace. His traditional crop was wheat and he had taught Gavin how to properly use a scythe for the harvest. Horace also allowed Gavin to take in the crops by himself, as it turned out the main buyer for distributing crops throughout the area was Kathrina’s parents. Horace knew better then to impede on their limited time together and would allow him the day off once the delivery was made. When Gavin made his turn towards the order, Horace had vouched for him to be trained with the reaping-scythe. “I wouldn’t know a better thing for the boy, if you ask me. Certainly you can watch him next harvest if you need proof he knows how to use it, but that would be a great waste of your time if you ask me.” The order had been hesitant to allow it, as there were few familiar with the weapon. Finally, they agreed to train Gavin in its use. To the day, he remains the one Watchman in the order trained and granted allowance of a reaping-scythe.

Draven nodded in return. “Then we should be off.”

--- --- ---

The day rode on as the men wandered throughout the untamed forest. The calming sound of the breeze rustling through the leaves and branches above complimented the subtle chipping of the song birds nesting within them. The sun was high, but only shadows were cast down on them from the thick canopy. Five men strong, they had been performing their round throughout this end of the village boundary on foot to save their horses the trouble of walking over the twisted lumps of roots snaking through the ground. That and they wanted to be ready in case of an ambush.

Gavin marched along near Draven, who had his hand resting upon the hilt of his sheathed sword. Some of the others did the same with their hands on their weapons, if they weren’t already drawn. Gavin held his arms under his cloak with two hand-scythes in his grip.

There had been little talk to one another since they had entered the woods. Up until then, they had shared stories of some of the loved ones lost. Baxter, the young man armed with a crossbow, had his mother killed the night before when she had been returning from the coastal docks. Another had been Jake, who was the older Watchman with a morning-star, lost both his grandchildren. They had been playing out in the woods, similar to Gavin’s son. They hadn’t found the remains until early in the morning. The others had either lost friends or had been lucky enough to be spared loss from the tragedies.

Harold nearly tripped over a root which caused everyone to halt in tension. He apologized and they all took a calming breath. “Perhaps some lunch would do us all good.” stated Draven. The others agreed and they cleared a spot to sit. Turning with their backs to one another, they sat in a tight circle and pulled out a few small pieces of food. Gavin was a bit relieved for the moment to be able to try and settle his stomach. He still hadn’t been able to accept what had happened yet.

Baxter spoke up then, saying “How far do you think we’ve gone?”

People looked around at one another for a moment before Jake said, “I’d say a good ways north-west from the western border. We’ve still got a good ways until we reach the north end, but we should make it before the day’s end.” The others agreed, but in all regards it was only speculation. Without being able to see the Boundary Mountains, or even the sun, no one could be sure. For the next little bit, everyone fell quiet again, eating and listening to the sounds about. Once they were satisfied, they gathered themselves and took off once again, continuing north-west via Draven’s compass.

They traveled onward for an hour or so until the men stumbled across a corpse.

Luckily, this time it wasn’t a human. It was an elk, probably of mid-age. The men gathered around it, some inspected it while the others turned to survey the woods around them. Gavin was one of them that knelt down to inspect the body. The creature was dead, but not mutilated like some of the people had been. Its neck had been broken and stabbed in several placed with its jugular crushed inward, all signs that the animal had been bitten strongly on the neck. Along its font legs were claw marks, leaving deep gashes in its thighs and ankles. Otherwise, there was no other visible wound.

“How long has it been dead for?” asked Harold.

Baxter was with Gavin inspecting the corpse. “Not too long ago. At most a half-hour, it’s too hard to tell.”

“Can you tell what killed it?” asked Draven.

Gavin stepped back a moment and looked about the ground. There weren’t signs of a struggle, so the elk had died quickly and, most likely, by surprise. The ground was torn up a bit, but there were footprints around its body, pointing towards a creature with bird-like feet with two toes, most likely four-limbs, and with a talon on each toe. The stance was wider that the elk’s, but not by much, so whatever it was couldn’t have been much larger then it. Gavin inspected some of the torn ground, noticing visible dryness in the newly exposed earth.

“Whatever it is, it left quickly and recently.” said Gavin. Everyone immediately went on edge. They all knew what that could mean. Everyone drew their weapons and continued cautiously onward. Whatever had killed the animal could still be close.

As they walked, Draven asked again “Do you know what it was?”

Gavin shook his head. “It’s a large creature with bird-like feet, a wide stance, talons, and it has a powerful jaw capable of crippling the animal in one bite. The only thing I could think of is a Wyvern, but that would have to of been a Wyvern-pup and those don’t normally hunt at such a young age. Besides, Wyverns typically have three toes and we would have heard something if it had died so recently. Wyverns are anything but quiet.”

“And rarely seen beyond the mountains.” added Draven. Gavin nodded in agreement. Whatever it was could be the creature they were looking for, but without having found a similar killing, they couldn’t tell. However, if it was the same creature, they would have to do whatever it would take to bring it down.

Just then, they heard something run off through the brush behind them. Everyone jumped around with weapons in hand, but nothing was there. “Do you think it’s gone back?” asked Baxter. No one answered aloud, but lowered their stances and walked quietly back towards the downed elk, fanning out as they did.

When they finally returned, they could see the elk had been partly eaten in places. Blood laced the ground and the fresh stench of death hung in the air. The quickest thing that was noticed by the men was the large, strange mound of earth alongside the elk. It certainly hadn’t been there before. Gavin looked over toward Baxter and motioned quietly to him. He nodded back to him and lifted his pre-cocked crossbow. He took aim at the mound and shot a bolt into it.

At that moment, the silence was shattered. A squealing, hissing cry echoed out as the mound visibly transformed. A large creature rolled onto its side and thrashed about, crying madly in pain. Baxter had shot the creature in one of its thighs. Everyone hesitated as the beast’s colour cycled in random patterns before settling on a rich, golden green. It was a large, lizard-like creature about the size of an average man. It couched over almost on its front legs, which were smaller than its back ones. Its tail was longer than the rest of its body, curling up above it and rolling the tip into a spiral. Its eyes were bright yellow and its teeth were savagely large for its small, lipless head.

The men stepped out of the brush and surrounded the creature. It spun around, facing each of them, hissing and screeching at them as it bared its large teeth and sharpened claws at them. They closed the circle in on it and Baxter waited for the creature to sit long enough for him to get a second shot at its head. Its tail hung poised over its body, swaying to balance itself while it rapidly spun about at each of them in turn.

A moment later and Baxter took his shot, clipping the creature by the nose. It suddenly cried again, but this time it dropped to all fours and leapt blindingly fast at Jake. The man was caught off guard and was tackled nearly off his feet. The sound of bone hitting metal echoed out as the creature bit at his neck-guard. Quickly, Draven slashed at the creature’s side and knocked it off Jake, leaving a rather large gash in its side. The creature slowed, but continued its frenzied attack as it lunged at Gavin. With two hand-scythes in his grip, he jammed them into the creature’s breast. It gurgled as it clawed in vain at Gavin’s armour, nicking his face here and there, but finally stiffened and coughed up a clot of blood. Pushing the beast off his blades, it fell to the ground and stumbled about a moment longer before Jake clubbed it in the side of the head. It collapsed instantly to the ground with its jaw broken and a few of its teeth littering the forest floor.

Everyone didn’t know what to say. They simply stood staring at the strange creature, awe-struck for the moment. No one had ever seen a beast like this before. Its ability to hide itself through colour change was unique to anything they had ever seen or heard of before. Finally, the men talked among each other for a moment, trying to figure out if this was indeed the creature they had been looking for. Some believed it could have been, but Gavin didn’t think so. This thing fit every bill for what they were searching for, but it wasn’t in any way strong enough to pry open a ribcage. Not even that of a child’s.

“Are the rest of you content in bringing this to the order?” asked Draven. They nodded and gathered up the carcass of the mysterious creature, tying it up best they could. They would need to take turns carrying it back to the chapel. Hopefully, they would find a carriage or some horses to help quicken their return.

The tension relaxed a bit among the men as they hauled the thing back through the woods. Still, each of them grew ever-more worried at the frightful idea that there was suddenly a lot more to be worried about than what they had known earlier that day.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:27 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 3:
“Sullen Hope”

A chilling air fell over Terra Viridis as night overtook the sky’s amber sunset, sided by a tranquil quiet broken only by the bark of the occasional dog running through the nearly barren streets. Starlight flickered in a playful dance in accompaniment of the candles glowing calmly in the windows of the homes nearby. A few travelers and merchants wondered among the village center passing the Watchmen by, going about their ways home, if not to the bars. However, they couldn’t help but stare at the men’s catch as they went.

The occasional passerby would acknowledge them with a smile or greeting. Certainly, they were aware of the order’s current business with the recent killings and the sight of them riding along on their acquired horses with the dead beast in ropes seemed a settling sight for them, despite the graphic condition of the body. The men rode along silently at a trot, their hoods covering their faces. If their catch didn’t prove to fix the issue at hand, they’d best not be known for that failure.

Rounding the bend, they came along the grand entrance to the chapel. A guard in the tower above spotted them and signalled to others bellow to open the gates. The low, creeping groan of the iron gates reopening echoed lastingly into the distance before swallowing the men within its walls. As they dismounted, more guards came to collect their horses and take them to the stable. One of the captains then appeared before them, saluting as was proper. “What business brings you here?” he asked. They all turned and gestured to Draven, who then lugged the dead creature on the ground before the captain. He stood there speechless a moment. “Is... that the...”

Jake held up his hand to silence the captain. “We’d like to speak with the counsel. Are they still here?”

The captain looked up to Jake and nodded. “Of course. They’re all present and accounted for. You’ll find them about their business within their usual quarters. Shall I escort you?”

The men looked at one another before Draven said “Well, it would be nice if someone else carried this for a change.” The captain nodded and called aside a handful of guards to do just that. Once they’d hauled up the carcass, they all strolled in through the chapel doors.

It first opened up to a massive gathering hall. The ceiling was spectacularly high, lined with marvellous glass panes. In the daylight, they would cast brilliant spectacles down upon the walls and floors below. Accompanying the grand architecture of the stone-carved building were many pieces of art ranging mainly from painting and sculpture, all depicting grand scenes from the Creator’s Text. Upon the farthest wall hung a preaching stand, as this was where massive gatherings were held. For that reason, this hall was capable of holding more than half of the village’s population.

It took some time to make their way to the other end of the room. Finally, they exited out to a large stairwell that climbed up to the living courters. These hallways weren’t nearly as decorated as the grand hall, but few even used these quarters. Gavin lead the group down the snaking hallways, passing the occasional standings of guards. After all, he was one of the few to have ever been raised within the chapel walls and knew the place like the back of his hand. He did, however, slow his pace a bit for the guards struggling with carrying the creature behind them.

He didn’t want to slow though. He wanted the matter settled now. If this was the creature they were looking for, than it would save him and the rest of the Sanctus Fas a great deal of trouble and unrest. He didn’t lust for the revenge of his fallen son, but he didn’t want to leave the sin to prosper in his absence. However, he, and certainly the others, feared the idea of this strange creature not being the intended target. There loomed a great danger if that was the case.

Finally, they reached the door leading into the council chamber. Remembering his place, Gavin forcefully knocked on the large, wooden door. “Come in.” came a voice and Gavin pushed open the doors for the others. The council chamber was a suitable room of standing, adorn with elegant displays to rival the Grand Hall. Centering the room was a long table and in spots along the walls were fireplaces ablaze and warm. They saw one man tending to a fire as others soon strolled down from side stairwells, which lead to their personal offices.

The man tending the fire was Minister Charles Brenton, whose job was to keep order over many major businesses and activities around the estate. The others entering from the stairs were Ministers Bruce Vanderiet, Sofia Nanes, and Gillian Kingston, who much like Charles also ran parts of the estate. Bruce was a familiar face to the Watchmen, as he was mainly the one in charge of handling their businesses. Each of the councillors smiled to the men and welcomed them, shaking their hands firmly in turn. They were, of course, proud of the work the Watchmen provided.

Entering last was Director Iden Zeile, who was the elected head of the order. He was a tall, bald, imposing man of business with confidence even reflecting in his walk. He was wearing the usual attire of his position, which was a high-collared, formal jacket of red and white. He was a man in his fifties, but his unique, golden eyes gave him an ageless appeal. Gavin had never known another Director in his life, which could say much for Iden’s ability to run his position.

Iden lightly bowed his head to the Watchmen and then dropped to their knees to return it. “What business brings you here?” asked Iden. The guards then stepped forward to drop the body of the creature before the council members. Each of them stared in surprise at their prize.

“What is that?” asked Gillian.

Bruce approached the creature to get a closer inspection. “Very strange, I haven’t seen something like this before. Is this a wingless Wyvern? Where did you find it?”

“We killed it a ways north-east of the estate in the forest.” said Jake. “It had been feeding on an elk at the time. The creature is an ambusher, capable of blending its body to the world around it. Very fast as well, but traits like that do not point it towards being a Wyvern.”

Bruce stared at Jake and the other Watchmen. “Blend it’s body? This creature can... disappear?” The men nodded. Bruce looked astounded. “Well then, I have no knowledge of a creature like this.”

Sofia turned toward to Iden. “Director, what do you think?”

Iden strolled closer to the creature, thinking carefully of what to say. “I believe there are records of skeletal remains of such a creature held within the archives. If I recall, they discovered remains of such ‘extinct’ creature in the mines, back when they were rich with crystals.”

Gavin recalled the mines. They had been a valuable source of trade, back when they were teeming with crystals. The variety and splendour they found under the earth there helped boost Terra Viridis into a powerful nation. Gavin had been young when the veins within the mines had gone dead and as much as they invested in further excavation to find a new one, there had been no success. Due to the cost it took to continue the searching over the lesser value in trade from other developed methods, they were forced to close the business and open into new alternatives, such as the farm where Gavin had first worked.

“So this creature could have been the last of its kind, having survived all this time? Seems rather unlikely, but I wouldn’t trust the idea as we would have discovered them sooner if there were more, don’t you believe?” asked Bruce. Iden nodded.

“Well, if the creature was indeed quick and an ambusher, then it’s safe to say that this was what attacked the civilians last night.” said Gillian.

The Watchmen looked at one another, catching the attention of the council members. “You have something else to suggest?” said Iden.

No one spoke for a moment until Harold came forward to say “Well... Director and Ministers... We don’t disagree that it’s a possibility, but some of the reported killings entail grotesque killings, where the victim was ripped open and disembowelled. This creature intended to feed on its prey and wasn’t strong enough to perform such an act.”

The room grew quiet once more as everyone once again thought of the fearful possibility. It was Gillian that put it bluntly, saying “So you suggest there’s something worse than this still out there?” The Watchmen nodded.

“Creator, help us...” whispered Sofia.

“None of that!” said Iden. “Now that we are aware that there could possibly be a being of ancient times involved, we’ll have men assigned to review the findings of the mines. Hopefully, we’ll be able to identify something that better describes our killer. Until then, we’ll continue to enforce the Watchmen upon the borders to keep any possible threat away from our people.” Everyone nodded to the Director’s words. “Hopefully, our fears prove us wrong, or this killer never appears to us again. If not, then we’ll hunt it down until it’s sent back to the Keeper’s hands.” Iden gestured to the Watchmen. “Well done, men. You’ve performed admirably. Certainly this wasn’t an easy catch, but we’ll have to ask you to continue your rounds with the others until the threat is resolved.”

The Watchmen each took a knee and bowed. “Yes, Director.”

--- --- ---

Their business concluded for the night, Gavin and Draven wondered away from the chapel together. The evening had grown even colder than before and having warmed up inside the chapel didn’t help. Still, they at least didn’t have far to go before they were home.

“So you’re staying with Kathrina’s parents now?” asked Draven.

Gavin nodded. “With the attack having been so close to home, I wouldn’t trust our safety there. Not until this was over.” Draven agreed. “How about you and Alicia?”

Draven smiled “Fine, as always. She’s already talking about stealing me away to the coast for our anniversary. I believe I’ll have time due come the summer.” Gavin smiled and nodded. Alicia was to Draven as Kathrina was to himself. They completed each other. Draven had been a good friend of Gavin’s since their training in the order had began years ago. The women had also grown close through their friendship and Gavin couldn’t imagine Draven with a better wife. Since they didn’t have children, she was employed as a healer to the Watchmen. She proclaimed if Draven got himself into bad trouble that she wouldn’t spare him any pain relievers for the stitches. If there was anything Draven didn’t want, it was his wife angry with something sharp in hand. The images of last time she had done so to him brought a smile to Gavin’s face. Alicia claimed she had never heard such language from Draven before.

“I think she’ll get her wish. If anything, pray she’ll be nice to you if you can’t.” replied Gavin.

Draven sighed. “Well, certainly not until this is over.” Gavin nodded again. “Do you think it’s possible? That there’s...” His words trailed off.

“We can hope, Draven. If not, let’s hope no one else needs to die.”

Draven sighted a street and turned away “I’ll find you in the morning. Wish Kathrina good night for me.” Gavin thanked him and parted ways. It was then he realised just how quiet it was that night. Looking up, he saw the shadowed forms of a raven couple rooting on a roof edging. Suddenly, he remembered back to the previous night in the forest, where the raven had been feasting on Draven’s body. Gavin’s sudden likeness towards the birds had been shattered then and he saw little hope to rekindle it. At least, not while he still grieved for the loss of his son.

Turning down another street, Gavin came upon the large house of Kathrina’s parents. It was certainly a lot more than his home with her, but then again her parents were well-off. He smiled up to the shape he saw in the window. There was no doubt that it was Kathrina waiting for him. He hoped he hadn’t worried her too much. Either way, he knew well enough he would need to spend some time comforting her again that night. The Creator knew he too wanted her comfort as well.

Knocking on the door, Gavin was answered by one of the servants. He quickly recognised Gavin and allowed him entrance. Moments later, Kathrina can down and threw her arms around him. They stood there for the moment, embracing each other in silence. Gavin felt a tear return to his eyes as he buried his face into her neck.

She looked into his eyes then and said “Are you alright?”

Gavin nodded. “We had an eventful day, but I’m fine.”
Quickly, Kathrina noticed the cuts on Gavin’s face. “Did you... Did you find it?”

Gavin shook his head. “We could have. We’re not sure though. Either way, we’ll see in time. Until then, I’m expected to keep up with the rounds.” Kathrina nodded and returned to hugging him. “Is Saviour in bed?” he asked.

He felt her nod against him. “Yes, and so are my parents. I couldn’t fall asleep until I knew you were home.”

Gavin hugged her tightly. “I am now. Let me get this armour off myself. Go get yourself ready for bed and I’ll be up there for you shortly.” She nodded again, but refused to release him. He wouldn’t rush her. He’d wait until she was done.

When she was, she lightly scampered back up to her room. Gavin then left to find the servant again to aid him in removing his armour. He suddenly felt very emotional all of a sudden, after having returned to Kathrina. It seemed it would take a great deal of time for them to get over their tragedy. Still, he was proud of how well she was doing now. Proud she was still there to comfort him in return.

“Father!” came a small voice as Gavin felt someone grab him from the side. Turning about, he saw Saviour in his night-wear burying his face against him. Gavin smiles and returned his hug.

“What’s the matter?” asked Gavin.

Saviour shook his head. “Nothing father, I’m just glad you’re back. I was startled awake by a bird hitting the window. I was looking for mother.”

Gavin smiled warmly to Saviour to try and each his freight. “Don’t worry. You’re fine, as am I. Though I don’t think your mother would appreciate you out of bed at this hour.”

Saviour nodded solemnly. “Father... did you find it?”

Gavin had prayed Saviour wouldn’t have asked. He wanted ever so much to tell him there was nothing to worry about, but he couldn’t bear lying to his son. He took a deep breath before saying “We think so, Saviour. We’ll know later if we have.”
Saviour nodded. “What was it?”

“We don’t know. That’s the problem.”

Saviour was quiet for a moment then. Gavin couldn’t imagine how he must have felt right then. He then looked up into Gavin’s eyes then and asked. “Was it scary?”

Gavin nodded. “I’m glad you didn’t have to see it.” Gavin realized though he was doing as his son asked, he probably wasn’t settling him very well. Gavin stood up and motioned Saviour to his room. “Come along, I’ll tuck you back into bed.” Saviour smiled weakly and hugged Gavin’s side once more as the two of them disappeared into the quiet sanctuary.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 4:
“Wild Wrath”

Shadows cowered in the corners of the pale moonlight as they contorted into malevolent shapes. The hollow void seemed endless within the dimly lit hallway as the subtle approach of footsteps came ever so closer.

Saviour continued to hold his father’s side until they entered within the confines of his bedroom. Once there, he scurried into his bed and pulled the covers over himself as Gavin went about to tuck him in. Gavin smiled reassuringly at him and said “Now, get yourself some rest. I won’t be around tomorrow, so please be there for your mother.”

Saviour nodded, but then a look of concern entered his eyes. “Father, look.” he said, pointing across the room.

Turning about, Gavin saw the darkened shape of a raven sitting just outside Saviour’s window, staring intently inside at them. Annoyed with the creature, Gavin came up and rapped his knuckles forcefully against the window to startle the bird away. Surprisingly, the bird remained on its perch. Aggravated, Gavin opened the window and swung his fist at the bird, causing it to leap off and fly away, cawing as it went.

Gavin sighed and returned to his son. “Good night, Saviour.” he said, trying his best to look comforting for him. Saviour buried himself in his pillow as Gavin quietly left the room. Turning back down the dark hallway, Gavin found his mind barraged by the odd behaviour of the raven. Again, he recalled their belief as the omens of death, taken from their innate sense to follow dying pray. Their blatant appearances since the attacks began were terribly unsettling for him. He took a deep breath and ran his hands through his short hair. It was then he realized he still had his armour on. He sighed as he left to attend to that, as Kathrina wouldn’t appreciate sleeping next him while clad in iron.

--- --- ---

When Gavin finally made it up to Kathrina’s room, it was far later than he would have hoped. Still, he had enough time to get some well deserved rest. Her room was elegant, yet simple, defined with a sense of beauty and wonder in each detail, much like the woman that resided inside. Gavin entered quietly in his simple, leather under-armour. He would still need to find his night-wear before he could sleep.

He was surprised to see Kathrina by her mirror-stand, fiddling with something in her hand. He walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her softly against himself. She turned around in his grasp and returned his hug, nearly on the verge of tears.

Gavin lightly took up her hand to see what she had. It was a beautiful emerald shard, but still reasonably large and well cut. It was of wonderful quality too, making it easily capable of great value. Gavin found himself momentarily speechless. “Where did you get this?” he asked in wonder.

Kathrina took a quick, settling breath. “Draven and Saviour found this in the woods the day... yesterday before you came home.” She then buried he face against his chest and wept quietly. Gavin soothed her best he could, taking the stone from her hand and placing it on the stand next to them.

“They found it in the forest? Behind our house?” asked Gavin.

Kathrina nodded against him. “I-I’m sorry... it’s just...” Gavin shushed her once more and gave her another hug. Kathrina continued to cry softly, returning his hug once more, but with renewed strength. “They were such wonder boys... The two of them.” She said quietly.

“We still have Saviour, Kathrina. Hold onto that.” said Gavin, reassuringly. Though in a way, he agreed with her. The two of them had always been inseparable. It wouldn’t be easy imagining Saviour without his brother and it would take a great deal of time to move on. Taking his eyes off Kathrina for a moment, he settled them on the emerald. If crystals were once more appearing on Terra Viridis, that would mean there was a chance for a great and prosperous time for its people. However, he saw little importance for it now, especially when compared to the attacks. Still, its timely appearance intrigued him.

Gavin returned his attention to Kathrina. With his hand, he softly raised her face to his and gave her a tender kiss. It was something he needed from her at that time, as he was certain she did as well. She still clung to him with an intensive need for comfort. Breaking from her, he wiped the last of the tears from her face and smiled warmly. “Please, for your sake and mine, go to bed. I’ll be there for you in a moment.”

Kathrina smiled weakly back, before stealing one more kiss from him. “Thank the Creator I still have you, Gavin.”

Gavin nodded. “As to you, my love.”

--- --- ---

It was around mid-morning by the time Gavin had gotten back to his house. Though he had slept well, he still couldn’t shake the need to further rest himself. At least he had had a filling breakfast before setting out, but it hadn’t taken much effect yet.
Before he had left, he had wished Kathrina well and asked Saviour more about where he and his brother had found the crystal. “By the tree, father. The one we always raced each other too.” He had whispered to him.

Gavin smiled then as he eyed Kathrina and whispered back “The one further out than you mother allows?” Saviour nodded. It had been a great help to have known that, as it would probably have taken Gavin much longer of found the spot otherwise.
Gavin had also found Draven on his way out, telling him to come along. Draven didn’t have the faintest idea what was going on and Gavin hadn’t explained to him at the time why, but he told Draven to tell the other Watchmen to continue their round and that they’d rejoin them tomorrow. Draven, though reluctant, agreed and told him he wouldn’t be far behind.

Gavin had made short work of the journey to his house on a horse he had picked up at a stable along the way. It was common for there to be many stables stationed throughout Viridis, as to allow the Watchmen a proper means for transportation. It was slightly comforting to see the familiar sight of his home once again, but with it being nearly alone within the distant, forest-bordering countryside, it also made it look rather foreboding. Gavin tied his horse up at the stand out front and went up and through the front door. Luckily, the door had remained locked, which meant nothing had come by since they had left.

As he walked through the house, it looked exactly the way it had before. Eerily quiet, but that was to be expected. He wondering into the main room and sat himself down, leaning back his armchair and closing his eyes. He had to wait a while longer for Draven to arrive and until then he’d catch up on some more rest.

As he thought about the spot Saviour had told him about, Gavin also recalled the times he had raced his sons to that very tree. It had been quite some time since they had last done it, but each time they raced Gavin would weave through the forest, off and on the path. It was his way of entertaining his sons, but also to slow himself down while they took the shorter route. In the end, he’d always make the end a close finish and let them win, sometimes. He’d never let them win every race, or else it wouldn’t have stayed fun for them.

It startled him when Draven called out his name. Gavin sat up quickly as his friend rounded the corner into the room. Gavin returned his smile and rose to his feet. “Hello again.” he said.

Draven nodded. “Now, what business did we have here?”

Gavin took a breath and said, “It’s hopefully nothing, but I’m curious about something out in the woods.” Draven eyed Gavin with interest. “My sons found an emerald the day Draven died.”

Draven looked more than surprised by the news. “Really? In the forest? That’s certainly odd, but why did you want to come?”

Gavin shrugged and motioned for Draven to follow as they left back out the front door. “Crystals have been scarce in Terra Viridis since the mines closed all those years ago. Crystals take a great deal of time to form, or at least longer than that. With the appearance of ancient creatures once found in the mines, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a connection.”

Draven nodded in agreement as the two of them made their way into the forest. “What do you believe? That the crystals appeared when the creatures did?”

Gavin nodded. “Perhaps it can lead us somewhere important, but I’m unsure.” Just then, Gavin remembered another thought. “Draven, did they figure out yet what those creatures were yet?”

Draven nodded. “Yes, but only of the one we found. It’s called a ‘Reptail’ and is believed to be a species of creature similar to wingless Wyverns, though not directly related. They were right about them being ancient creature though, as no one has seen a live one before. They were believed to have died out before humans populated Viridis. They’re still looking through the archives for one that better suits our killer.”

Gavin shook his head. “I don’t think anything they’ll find will properly prepare us. Though, it would still be nice and it’s all they can do for now.” Draven agreed. There was very little you could tell from a creature from its skeletal remains, at least when you needed to kill it.

Finally, the two of them came to the clearing Gavin was looking for. It was nothing different from any other spot in the forest, but Gavin knew better. The tree Saviour spoke of was very tall compared to the others around it, so perhaps that was why his sons liked it. For whatever reason, he didn’t question it, though Kathrina argued it was too far from home to be running away to.
“Saviour told me they found the crystal nearby here. Help me look around for exactly where that was.” Draven nodded and took off oppositely from him. As Gavin wandered about the small clearing, it felt almost like walking in a dream. One that you remember so fondly of, but wished could have lasted forever. Unfortunately, he found himself stuck in a waking nightmare, dreading a place that had once brought joys in his life. To believe such a meaningful spot within his heart had been defiled by creatures the Keeper would be proud of was sickening, let alone disturbing.

It hadn’t taken long before Draven called back to him. Gavin turned about to see him a short distance off the path, couching in the brush. “There’s lots, come take a look.” he added. Even on his way over, Gavin began to see the shimming lights from the crystals dancing through the foliage. Under Draven lay a large patch teeming with sharpened emeralds. They looked like they had been cut by a jewel crafter by the way they had formed into pyramidal shapes. They were even larger than the one Gavin’s sons had brought back with them.

“Saviour didn’t tell me there had been this many of them.” said Gavin. Draven didn’t know how react either. What lay before them could make them quite a tidy sum, but where had it come from to begin with? Crystals had never been found outside the Boundary Mountains before, let alone this close to civilization.

Draven looked back up to Gavin. “Well, what else did you hope to find from this?” Before Gavin could reply, they both jumped to the sound of ravens calling overhead. Quickly, the skin along Gavin’s neck began to crawl and his heart began to heave inside his chest. He told himself not to worry, that it was just the damned birds again, but he couldn’t shake the feeling this time. Looking up, he saw one of the birds roosting in the darkness of the treetops above them, staring down with green eyes reflected from the emeralds.

“We should leave.”

Suddenly, the canopy exploded downward onto them as darkness fell over their vision. Gavin lost all sight of Draven as he found himself spinning through the air and crashing into the ground. Gathering his wits, he looked back over for Draven, seeing him a distance off down the trail. Back towards the crystals loamed a large, blackened shape cowering in the brush.
What had been in the trees was no simple raven.

Quickly, Gavin pulled his scythe out from his cloak as he heard Draven drawn his long sword. The shadowed creature glared back at them with frenzied eyes to match the emeralds at its feet. Before either of the men could make a move, their ear erupted at the deafening sound of the beast howl. Gavin’s ears run as his vision blurred and he fell to his knees. Moments later, he looked over to see Draven blindly diving in at the beast. With a heavy thud accompanied by the ring of steel, Draven was knocked back once more.

The trees above the beast shook as it climbed up into the cover overhead. Moments passed as Gavin and Draven watched the beast leap from tree to tree with amazing grace and speed. Gavin pulled a hand-scythe from his sleeve, and with careful aim, threw it into the trees at the creatures. He heard the metal ring out as the beast bellowed again before dropping from the trees, the ground thundering when its feet hit.

The beast was almost double the size of the men, when it stood up straight. Resembling the form of a wolf, it was a massively built, four-limbed beast covered in black, spiny hairs all over its darkened, thick skin. On the ends of its fingers and toes were short, but frightening, black claws and its gleaming teeth were larger than those of the Reptail, and far more menacing. Gavin noticed a large wound going from the creatures chin up along and across its snout. It’s unearthly blood glowed brightly yellow under the shadowing treetops.

The creature growled and snared, baring its teeth in all their size at the two men around it. Finally, it dropped to all fours and took off towards Gavin. Quickly, Gavin pulled out another hand-scythe and threw it at the beast, only to have the creature jump inhumanly high into the air. Stunned at the moment, Gavin couldn’t pull his reaping-scythe up in time as he felt the beast crash down upon him. The world spun once more as the beast reared up to beat him into the ground with its massive fists.

Just then, the creature cried out and rolled off of Gavin. Draven grabbed Gavin and pulled him to his feet. Giving his head a quick shake, Gavin could see Draven’s long sword sticking out of the beast’s back. It appeared to hardly care though, as the creature stepped forth to swing again with its huge claws. Gavin ducked under it and jammed his scythe into its chest. Unfortunately, he didn’t break through its rib cage and the scythe veered off, cleaving a large chunk of its skin off. Draven got around and ripped his sword from the creatures back, but still the beast continued its heated assault as if the wounds it was taking were little more than scratches.

As the beast turned to Draven and came at him again, Gavin took a wide swing towards its face. However, one of the beast’s arms blocked his blow as Draven was back-handed into the air. The beast turned to Gavin and drove it’s fist down upon him, barely missing him, but digging its massive fist into the ground. Knocked off his feet by the tremor, Gavin stumbled and fell as Draven regained his footing from the previous blow. The beast ripped its hand out of the ground and grabbed Gavin by his ankle. A moment later, he was thrown through the air and stuck the base of a tree off in the brush. Dazed, he tried to force himself to his feet, but his body refused to act quickly. He heard Draven cry out in pain as he too was battered off into the brush a distance away. Gavin didn’t see him get up and the beast turned to face him. Gavin scrambled in a daze and fell as the beast brought its fist down on him once more. Gavin hadn’t seen the blow hit and feared one of his legs had been crushed.

The beast cried out in a new tone. Turning about, Gavin saw that the beast had missed him and punched the small growth of emeralds they had found. The beast stumbled back, bellowing in pain as it pulled its mangled hand from the crystal mass, pulling shards up with it that were jammed into the exposed bones of it knuckles. Its entire hand was drenched in florescent blood. Gavin took his chance then, and with his scythe in hand, he lunged at the beast preparing to drive the blade into its stomach. However, the beast turned about and fell to the ground, causing his blow to miss. The creature clawed quickly at the ground and pulled itself to its feet before taking off into the forest.

Gavin gasped for air in relief as he heard the creature’s calls fade quickly away in the distance. As he stood, he felt a sharp pain spike through his shoulder. Quickly, he tucked his scythe back under his cloak and limped lightly over towards where Draven lay. He appeared alright, but he was staring blankly out at the world with his armour plating, much like Gavin’s, battered terribly. They would certainly suffer burses after this, if not any broken bones.

“Draven... Draven... Wake up! Come on, wake up!” Draven blinked several times as his eyes focused on Gavin’s. “Draven, say something! Are you alright?”

Draven groaned and slowly rose to a sitting position. “I’ll live. Is it dead?”

Gavin shook his head. “It ran off, but it’s badly wounded. We’ll have to return for it later. We’re in no way capable to bringing it down without more help.”

Draven nodded. “Well... I think we found our killer.”

Before he could reply, Gavin winched at the sound of ravens overhead. Looking up at the canopy, he saw many of the birds perched in the overhead branches looking down upon them with deathly eyes. It seemed the entire world fell silent then, save for the racing beat of his heart thundering inside his ears. The birds appeared to hear it as well and were patently waiting. Waiting for it to cease.

“Dear Creator, what has become of this world?”



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 5:
“Weathered Spirit”

The day had lived on, growing gradually darker until it broke into a heavy storm. The once warm air was now suddenly cold and dense with the falling rain. Thunder rumbled from over the distant mountains, faintly breaking the almost tranquil melody of raindrops striking the earth. The window flashed as lightning came down off the boundary accompanied by a more present and startling roar.

Their journey back to Sanctus Fas hadn’t been pleasant. Though taking their horses had shortened its length, every bruised or broken part of their body burned with a fierce, undying pain. Draven had to slow their ride at times because of the intense pain he felt in his chest, which most likely meant some of his ribs were broken. Gavin applauded his efforts to resist the pain as much as he had, as he knew well enough the pain from such an injury. As for himself, he had to ask Draven to guide his horse for him. His head was in so much pain that he couldn’t concentrate enough to remember where he was going at times.

Immediately, the chapel guards took them into the ward to be taken care of. Or at least, that’s what Draven had told him as Gavin had black-out then. He had woken up a short time afterwards in one of the ward’s beds, lying down with Draven in a bed beside his. Glancing about the large room, he could see many other identical beds set-up to accompany many more wounded, if necessary. The windows along the walls were massive, but allowed patients to look out at a beautiful view of the village surrounding the chapel. Adorning the rest of the room was art displaying the wonder of the Creator, as if sharing his healing touch among all those to bear witness. Gavin and Draven seemed to be the only ones in need of that, at the moment.

Gavin groaned upon awakening again, but dared not move lest he was to suddenly pass-out again. Draven also lay still in his bed, but for his own obvious reasons. “Are you alright?” asked Draven. “You gave me a bit of a startle when you fell from your horse back there.”

Gavin looked up to a blurred and dancing ceiling, feeling like throwing-up but restraining himself from it. “I... fell from my horse? Didn’t know that.” Gavin groaned again, moving his hands to cover his face. “My head is killing me...” he said, quietly.

Draven nodded. “That was a rather nasty blow you took. Hard to believe it was the tree that did that to you and not the beast.”

Gavin nodded lightly in return. “You had your full share of it as well. Do you know if there’s anything else broken in you?”

Draven shook his head. “Not that I can tell you. Certainly, I’ve got bruises and what-not, like you do, but I think nothing else to be greatly concerned with. You on the other hand seemed to have a concussion.” Gavin agreed with that. He was glad it hadn’t been any worse, or that he had blacked-out back there with Draven, with the beast still rampant.

They then turned to the subtle sound of the door opening at the far wall. Unsurprisingly, it was Alicia that entered, clothed in her white and golden, healer’s uniform. It was common for some healer, like herself, to also be garbed in a cloak similar to the Watchmen. As for reasons like Gavin had, there were normally many pockets sown throughout it to house their medicines and remedies. Alicia was a gorgeous, slender woman, much like Kathrina. Her long, dark hair oddly complimented her white attire. She came to the men with a quickened pace, directing a withheld smile to them.

“Afternoon, gorgeous.” said Draven, slyly.

“Afternoon, boys.” replied Alicia. She sat herself on a stool between their beds and glanced back and forth at them, continuing to withhold her smile. “What happened to you this time?”

Draven and Gavin glanced at one another in silence for a moment. Gavin lightly gestured with his hand towards Alicia, and Draven began to say “Well, it was big.”

“Really big.” added Gavin.

“Oh yes, terrible big. Strong too.”

“Yes, very strong.”

“Did we mention it was big?”

“Yes, but it was just so big.”

“Yes, very big. Kind of hairy too.”

“Oh, so hairy. Violent too.”

“Yes, very violent. Strong too. Did we mention it was strong?”

Alicia covered her mouth for a moment, undoubtedly hiding her growing smile. The men smiled lightly in return and laughed. Moments later, Draven regretted it as his hand jumped to his chest. Alicia turned towards Draven, finally revealing her smile to them. “Well then, where is this big, scary monster?”

There was silent a moment longer before Gavin said “Did we mention it was big?”

Alicia rolled her eyes. “Obviously, you let it get away from you.”

“It was big, alright? We almost had it.” replied Gavin.

Alicia finally laughed quietly. She was used to their childish behaviour towards her whenever they came into the ward. Though it wasn’t too often, whenever one or both of them were injured in the line of duty, she would come forward to tend to them. Neither of them liked coming to the ward and especially didn’t like sharing stories of how they let someone or something get the better of them. Alicia did enjoy their bantering, but she didn’t approve of them having allowed harm to come to themselves. Especially Draven.

Alicia turned first to Draven who, much like Gavin, had had his armour plating removed. She gently pulled up his shirt and inspected his large chest bruises. “Tell me when it hurts.” She said as he lightly poked along his body until she had found the spots where his ribs were broken. Gavin tried not to laugh, as it was obvious Alicia was angry with him for this and was poking him rather sharply whenever she found the right spots.

She then began digging though her cloak, removing a handful of materials. Most the men didn’t know what much of her supplies were, though she certainly did. “Here.” she said as she handed Draven a small bundle of herbs. “Chew on that and it’ll help dull the pain.”

“Doesn’t hurt that much.” Said Draven, under his breath.

Alicia scowled at him as she placed her hands on her hips. “Oh, I’m sorry. Would you rather just lie there while I continue to poke around at your broken ribs?”

Draven smiled and Alicia blushed as she found herself doing the same. “Very well. If I must.” said Draven as he stuffed the herbs into his mouth. Gavin noticed him slightly gag on them for a moment and laughed quietly. He knew well enough how vile those pain-killing herbs tasted.

As Alicia went to work, applying different materials about the bruises on Draven’s body, she asked “So boys, what was it really that you got yourselves into?”

Draven lightly motioned towards Gavin, as his mouth was full with the herbs. “We don’t know, actually. But we’re certain it’s the beast the Order’s been looking for.”

Alicia nodded. “Where did you find it?”

“Out behind my house.” said Gavin.

Alicia paused and turned for a moment to look at Gavin. “That’s unsettling.”

Gavin nodded. “It was a large beast, about double our size, and strong enough to dent our armour plating with its fists. It looked like much like a wolf actually, but it didn’t appear to have a tail and it could stand on its back legs.” Gavin shook his head as his headache returned for a moment. “We really don’t know what it was, but we don’t need word of such a creature spreading around, alright?”

Alicia nodded as she begun to wrap bandages over the medicine on Draven’s ribs. “Well, I guess I can’t be too upset with you both then if you weren’t prepared for... whatever it was. Though I’m sure Kathrina won’t be happy to hear about it, as usual.” Gavin nodded. He knew well enough Kathrina’s worries for him in his duties. He thanked the Creator he had blessed her with a strong heart to endure it sometimes. “If I may, Gavin, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. I’m sure this monster will be stopped before such a thing can happen again.”

“Thank you, Alicia.”

She then finished tying the ends of Draven’s bandages up and said “Now, you stay put like you are. It’ll take a couple days for that medicine to do its work, and your ribs will still be weak for a time afterwards. Don’t make me do that all over again, or else I won’t spare you any herbs for it.” Draven said something through a muffled voice. She took it as a thank you, but Gavin suspected otherwise.

Alicia then turned to Gavin and began to tend to his concussion. She made him a small drink out of grounded herbs similar to the ones she had given Draven, though much stronger with additional medicine included. Gavin found it terribly disgusting, but shot it down quickly to save him the most from it. Afterwards, Alicia also began to tend to the bruises on Gavin’s body as well.
Gavin quickly began to feel the effects of the medicine as his head pain dulled greatly, but he also struggled to remain awake. Alicia eyed him and said “What I gave you will make you sleep, but it’ll do you a lot of good to do so. Don’t keep yourself awake on my behalf, Gavin.” Gavin weakly nodded as he fell back into a deep, soundless rest.

--- --- ---

It was quite late when Gavin awoke. Looking about, he saw Draven was standing by the large window, looking out into the evening moonlight. The sky had cleared up wonderfully and the stars sparkled in glorious slender beside the full, radiant moon. It was eerily quiet then, in a calm, serene way. The only sound was the occasional, soft sound of footsteps wondering up and down the neighbouring hallways.

Gavin slowly lifted himself from his bed and wondered over to join Draven. Draven glanced back at him as he came, smiling as he said “Hey, what are you doing awake? You should be asleep at this time of night.”

Gavin laughed quietly. “I could ask you the same thing. Alicia’s won’t forgive you for wondering about in your condition.” The men laughed together for a moment, following into a short, quiet pause. “Doesn’t it hurt still?”

Draven shrugged slightly “The herbs are still working for me, so it isn’t that bad.” Turning back to the window, he sighed before adding “I just couldn’t sleep was all, don’t know why.”

“I could name a few reasons, at least for myself.” Draven nodded. “Does Kathrina know I’m here?”

“Yes, Alicia took the time to do so. She reassured her that you’d be alright. You should be better come the morning, so long as you get enough rest.” Draven smiled and added “Lucky you.”

Gavin laughed again quietly. The men then continued looking out at the village bellow, humbled in its beauty. The subtle sway and rustling of the trees surrounding the chapel ground seems to shimmer like crystal themselves against the frozen, unearthly moonlight. Clouds rolled lightly in the distant sky, weaving themselves among Boundary Mountains. The faint flickering, orange glow from the few still lit homes and windows abound the land granted a warm peace in the quiet tranquility of the evening. A night of perfect rest for the world, broken then only by a sole raven casting it shadow down upon it.

Gavin turned and nodded to Draven, saying “Well, I best get my rest. You should too, so don’t go staying up all night.” Draven smiled and wished him good night. Slowly, Gavin tucked himself under the shabby sheets of the ward bed, wrapping his cold feet together to ease himself from their noticeable numbing. As his mind fogged over with the remnants of another faint headache, he found a new pain within in chest then: A longing to spend the night in Kathrina’s arms. He cursed at himself quietly then for having robbed himself of the chance to do so now. As much as she must have needed him then, and fretted over his injuries, he found himself only regretting and aching to ease her weathered spirit.

As he faded into an unconscious slumber, so did his own worries as his soul found a short and much needed peace that night.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 6:
“Nightly Wake”

He awakened from his late slumber to the blinding light of the late morning sun. Rustling quietly, he roused himself slowly from his bed and stretched his back. As his eyes finally awoke with the rest of his body, he found Draven sitting over a small platter of food, eating quietly away beside him. Gavin smiled to him and he return likewise. “Morning.” began Draven. “I take it you slept well?”

Gavin nodded. “Yeah, I feel much better.” Eyeing a green apple, Gavin grabbed it and began eating into it. Between bites, he asked “How are you? Better yourself?”

Draven smiled “Yeah, it still hurts, but I’ll be back up to strength in a day or so.” Taking a quick swig of fruit juice, Draven added “Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. I only woke up a bit before you anyway.”

Gavin nodded. For the most part, the men ate in quiet then. After everything that had been happening to them, they found it rather pleasant to have a moment’s peace, away from the events that had fallen over their homeland. Still, Gavin couldn’t shake the need to return to Kathrina. He dreaded the thought of her grief for him and he longed to hold her again. He couldn’t understand why he missed her so much, but in the turmoil of the last few days it felt as if time with her was slipping through his fingers. That feeling alone was what drove his need more than anything else.

They were nearly done with their fill of breakfast when the door to the ward opened. They had expected Alicia to return, but she was also accompanied by Minister Bruce. Quickly, he had the men’s attention. Alicia greeted them and went to work quietly, changing the bandaged on Draven’s chest and reapplying medicine to them. Gavin a Draven bid the minister good morning and he returned it likewise. “Morning, gentlemen. I take it you’re recoveries are coming alone quickly?”

“Of course.” said Draven. Smiling, he added “Alicia would have it no other way.” She blushed, but remained quiet still.

The minister nodded. “Good, good. I’m hoping you two can be of service then.” Gavin and Draven looked at one another a moment, before the minister went on. “You see, we received word the other day that a new vein of crystals has been discovered within the Aduro River, close to the Aestus Sea shoreline.”

“Crystals?” said Gavin in surprise.
The minister nodded again. “It’s an extraordinary find really. Apparently the crystals are even surface side, making our job of harvesting them much easier. However, the Aduro River is a large source of fish this time of year, as is it also a main source of fresh water. We have no intention of digging down below the river’s surface to mine all the crystal, nor should anyone. Thankfully, the crystal vein was found above the fishery grounds and is open for the taking. The Order has invested in many men to begin the harvest, as well as a few individuals that have purchased mining claims.”

“What do you need us for then?” asked Draven.

“What we need you for is to provide a presence of the Watchmen to the people and the workers while this all continues. A few reports have come in of men disappearing and we won’t have thieves springing to the chance to take what valuables they can. There is already some men stationed down there and I’d like you to join them for a time, until order is secured and your wounds have healed. By then, you’ll return here.”

The men nodded, before Gavin asked “What about the beast? Surely you know we’ve found it.”

“Yes.” said the minister. “I was informed of your findings. We’ve launched a large search for the beast with every intention of bringing it down. From your descriptions, the archives have pulled up yet another ancient animal, known as a ‘Ravager’. With that in mind, we will need every man we can spare for the hunt. When the mining is properly underway and you’re in good condition, you will return from the coast and be instilled with the other Watchmen to join the hunt, if still needed.”

The minister paused for a moment, before adding “Oh, due to the nature of this event, you will be escorting Minister Charles to the coast. With his hand in financial aspects of the estate, he wishes to be present while business goes about the mining. No harm must come to him while he heads to the Order’s Residence in Aestus City. He will be ready to leave by noon, and so should you two.”

Draven had felt Alicia go tense throughout the entire talk. She disapproved of sending the men out, or at least Draven, until they were fully healed from before. Still, she had no say in the matter, much like the men. “Yes, Minister Bruce.” said the men together. As the minister nodded and bid them well, he left quietly through the ward. Once gone, Alicia finished patching up Draven’s chest as he stole a quick kiss from her. He smiled to her, but she didn’t seem fond of the idea right then.

“I wish the Order wasn’t so excited for the crystal finding.” said Alicia. “Or at least didn’t demand ward patients to attend their excavation. I’d have you two stay here for another two days at least before I’d let you out and about again.”

Gavin and Draven gave her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry about us.” said Gavin. “I’m fine enough, and I’m sure Draven can tough out another day while his ribs mend. Besides, we shouldn’t have to get as involved in this as we could. Once the Watchmen are there, things should go along fine and quietly. Just please, be sure to tell Kathrina what we’re up to.”
Alicia nodded. “I will.”

“And don’t worry, Alicia.” said Draven, reassuringly. “I’ll be just fine. I promise.”

She rolled her eyes to Draven and hugged him lightly. “I’ll never believe you, but I can’t keep you two here anyway. Be careful, both of you.” Gathering her things, she disappeared then, leaving the two men once again alone.

During the whole event, Gavin felt as if a stake had been slowly punched into his chest. With this, he wouldn’t be able to return to Kathrina for days. It was the last thing he needed. For a change, he thought he could spend the day with her, comforting her and himself in a day where these things didn’t have to matter to them. Where they could appreciate their lives together and love for one another. He cursed his work sometimes, but in this time of need, he cursed them even more-so. At least she would have some sanctity in mind knowing he wasn’t going into anything dangerous. That much he appreciated as well. Still, he would not spare a moment longer for what he could get with her once her returned.

“Well, noon’s close at hand.” said Gavin. “Might as well suit up ahead of time.”

--- --- ---

The ride there had gone by uneventfully for the most part, though they still had a ways to go. Gavin and Draven rod alongside Minister Charles, each of them clad in armaments. Charles’ armour though was quite light and more decorative over protective. Gavin and Draven’s suits were far from that. They had long since left the borders of the Sanctus Fas and had been slowly riding along the farmland roads for most of the time. Occasionally, the trail would pass through a thin forest, but otherwise it was the openness of the fields.

The fields were breathtakingly large, taking up much of the inhabited and farmed lands on Terra Viridis. The rolling, grand expansion of tall grass and small, secluded homes reminded Gavin a lot of his own home area. It was no wonder why he had been drawn out there to the peace and quiet of the forest borders. He had, after all, grown up for part of his life out on the fields, working in the farms. It was a sort of exclusion from the grander world that seemed to fit nicely into people’s lives, and the land of Terra Viridis.

As the nightly winds ran lightly though his hair, Gavin took in a deep breath to unnerve himself from the slight chill in the air. They hadn’t spoken much during their ride, but Minister Charles had been more then friendly towards them in their small talk. He was a well respected man, like the rest of the ministers of the Order. He was at least doing, in what way he could then, showing his appreciation to the Watchmen.

“Gavin.” said the Minister, catching is his attention quickly. “I recall you have history out here in the farmlands, am I correct?”

Gavin nodded. “Yes, I was employed for a few years as a worker on one of the farms. It’s where I first learned how to use the reaping-scythe, among other things.”

The Minister nodded. “Believe it or not, but I grew up in much a similar way. My family too owned a farm, which had been our way of life for years. Luckily enough, I was granted the chance to be educated for a higher position, and worked my way up to being minister.” Looking about, he smiled in the radiant light of the full moon overhead. “It’s a way of life I’d never regret returning to though, and I most likely will when I retire from my position. Though, that’s years and years away.”
“I understand, Minister. Thank you.” said Gavin in appreciation.

At that moment, the horses before the snort and slow in their walk. The men coaxed their horses along, but they continued to react in a nervous fashion. The hairs on Gavin’s neck began to stand on end as his own nerves began to flare up in concern. He looked about to see the nature of the horse’s worry and spotted a blackened cloud of ravens rise into the air with fury off in the distant forest. “Draven.” said Gavin and he motioned towards the murder of birds. “Do you think you can handle riding a bit fast for now?”

Draven nodded and kicked his horse to a canter. The others followed suit, keeping their eye on the ever-growing, ominous cloud. An angry wind picked up as the blackness fly overhead them, darkening them in the shadow of the murder. The maddened shrieks of the birds drove panic in the horses, causing them to jump into a fast gallop. Draven cried out in pain, as his hand jumped to his chest. Moments later, he collapsed from his horse and hit the ground the hard, rolling in excruciating pain. Gavin pulled the reins on his horse, demanding it to calm himself in the fury of the birds. Dismounting, he saw the horrific scene of the birds casting themselves downward from the sky to begin attacking his fallen comrade.

Dashing through the swarm, Gavin pulled out a pair of hand-scythe and slashed at the birds that came into his reach. The noise was deafening and it quickly became difficult to see clearly in the blackened moonlight. Finally, he came upon Draven’s who was, in fits of pain, slashing away at the ravens with his knife.

Or at least, they had believed they were ravens.

Their leathery wings flapped in aggravation as their teeth and talons clawed away at Draven’s armour. Turning their small, blank eyes upon Gavin, they took to the air and began to swarm him as well. They were Night Wings: The aggressive night hunters from the underground. Slashing at the air in vain, Gavin battered the small bats away from him. Quickly, he grabbed Draven and pulled him to his feet. They had to escape the relentless swarm and return to the minister, as there was no telling if he had escaped the swarm.

At that moment, the air hung still as a deepened scream sounded from above. Gavin felt himself knocked aside and Draven roared out in pain. Gathering himself quickly, he turned about to see a ghastly sight. Crouching over Draven hung a massive Night Wing.

The creature certainly resembled the Night Wings, at least. It was a blackened bat, much like the others, but this one retained claws along its large wings. Its eyes pierced through the darkened swarm with their luminescent, emerald shine. It’s very body, among shimmering, blackened hair, was partially laced with emeralds that had grown onto its body. Even the very edge of its wings was raked with several sharpened, crystal spines. Baring its large fangs, it cried out as it began to reap its crystallized claws down on Draven’s armour.

Draven jammed his knife several times into the creature’s chest and limbs. Finally, it backed off him as Gavin came at it with his hand-scythes. Sweeping through the air, one of his blades sliced through one of its wings, breaking one of the bones inside it. The creature fell back and pulled its wounded wing against its body. Before Gavin could continue his assault, he was battered back by the Night Wings in intensive retort. Stumbling back, the creature regained its composure and came for him with its jaw open wide. Gavin blindly swung his scythes at the air before him, and felt one come to a stop in the creature’s shoulder and other in the side of its jaw.

The air rippled in an unearthly cry as Gavin felt something wet splatter against his face. The beast clawed at Gavin, driving its talons across his armour and knocking him to the ground. He heard his hand-scythes fall out of the creature’s body as the Night Wings came down upon him. Gavin screamed in panic as he swung his arms blindly at the intense swarm around him. He heard his fists collide with several of the flying rodents accompanied by the sound of their body’s shattered on impact. The noise pervaded his senses, driving all other stimulation from his body. He lost all knowledge in the panic and fought only to free himself from the nightly wake.

In that moment, his prayers were answered as the swarm suddenly lifted. The Night Wings fled up into the sky and dove back into the forest of which they came. Catching his breath from the event, he quickly looked about for the large Night Wing, but failed to sight it. Its golden blood lay heavily speckled over his body, remaining as the only signs the creature had even existed.
Gavin slowly stumbled onto his feet as his ears rung out in constant noise. Draven too was slowly rising, holding his chest in great discomfort. Gavin lent him a hand and helped him walk towards his horse, which thankfully hadn’t run off far during the attack. Silently, they mounted up and rode off towards the distant shape of Minister Charles.

Among the ringing in his ears, so did echo to haunting call of the raven.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 7:
“Savage Depths”

Gavin collapsed onto his bed and allowed his body to go limp. His senses dulled in the longing moonlight as he closed his eyes for a moment, breathing slowly and deeply. As he did, the edge over his body dispelled, allowing himself to calm his shaken spirit and recollect his being. After having arrived in Aestus City, Gavin and Draven had escorted Minister Charles to the Order’s residence, following up with their own. Luckily, they had been nice enough to organise separate rooms for the men in an Inn not far from where they had taken the minister to.

Pulling himself up, Gavin slowly began to pull his armour off so he could get what little rest he could before being required for tomorrow. As he did, he began to notice how badly damaged his armour had been in the event earlier. Before leaving, the Order had granted Gavin and Draven refurbished armour, but after the encounter with the Night Wings, almost every inch of his armour was riddled with scratch and claw markings. Pulling the last few layers of his suit off, he made his way into the washroom and gave his face a few splashes of cool water. Noticing a dull pain in his face, he looked up into the mirror and notices that his armour wasn’t the only thing that had been terribly clawed at in the attack.

Quietly, he dried his face and fell back into bed. As he did, he lazily turned and gazed back at the full luminescence of the moon, softly glowing down upon his rest. As he stared upon its clear brilliance, his heart turned back in his suffering need to Kathrina. He sighed as he turned his back to the moonlight and curled the sheets around himself. How he missed her soft embrace, her warm and comforting hold, her gentle and beautiful eyes.

As his mind poured over sullen memories of her, he silently fell into a slumber.

--- --- ---

Nothing prepared him for the sight that now lay before him. As Gavin and Draven walked into the mining station along the Aduro River, they found the river teeming with wealth. The brilliant blue water itself now glowed with a radiate emerald shine from the crystal beneath its waters. Some had grown so large that they sprouted from the water and climbed into the air. Up and down the river for a great length, the crystals thrived; as did the miners abound in their duty.

It had thankfully been late enough in the morning before Gavin and Draven were required to be present for their rounds, as neither of them felt like they had gotten themselves enough sleep the night before. Having suited up, they met up with the other few Watchmen that had also been assigned to the area before heading out. Introductions had remained light among them.

The Aduro River flowed out towards the sea and, though ending close to Aestus City and its docks, climbed its way up apart from the farmlands and entered into the small forests around its borders. Along the river’s side now stood a rather shabby looking set up for treating and handling the mined stones for sales. Men clad in heavy, water resistant cloth trudged in and out of the river carrying a variety of tools to help them carve away and the crystals within. All of the men were tied down by safety lines, as the river wasn’t easy to stand in from its strong flow, especially for areas where the water could surpass their waists.

As Gavin and Draven walked lightly through the operation, they noticed an assortment of men and women made up the workers. Most were older than them, but there was also some of their youth among the teams as well. They all gave the men a moment’s notice as they continued with their work. Gavin understood the discomfort of people when the Watchmen stood over them, but they knew well enough that the Watchmen were only there to ensure their protection as they worked.

Gavin felt Draven tap him on the shoulder. With a nod, Draven quietly turned and left to take his round elsewhere. Now on his own, Gavin continued along the river side with his eyes taking in everyone he passed. For the most part, there was little to be concerned with, or at least nothing that concerned the Watchmen specifically. Occasionally, he would pass by another Watchman or take to the other side of the river via a simple, makeshift bridge. The droning sound of the river thrashing away constantly, accompanied by the occasional shouts among the workers, was all there was to listen to as he went about his way, slowly walking and watching.

As his mind wandered, he thought back to the river he had neared with Saviour when they had gone searching for his other son, Draven. Gavin hadn’t actually seen the river, but with the emerald growth nearby it in the woods, he wondered if, much like the Aduro River here, it had growth rich with crystal. Taking a moment, he noticed again that the only crystals that were being found here were emeralds, which were high in quality as well, just like the ones he had found behind his home. Not that Gavin felt much of a need to worry for their sudden appearance, but their timing was all that disturbed him. The appearance of strange and ancient creatures was of greater concern, but both of these alien elements of Terra Viridis had seemed to of appeared together. Gavin saw no connection between them and didn’t suspect he’d find one at all, but certainly he wasn’t the only one finding the coincidence of it unnerving.

With the day going on, most of the workers began to take their break for lunch, but some still worked on in the river’s wake. With everyone gathered together more-so, it made his job easier as he could keep an eye on most of them without needing to roam. The other Watchmen thought the same as they too returned, some to take their break as well. Draven found Gavin among the crowds and greeted him again from their long stay. “An easy morning for you, I take it?” he asked.

Gavin smiled lightly. “Yes, at least it was that, though a bit dull as well. How are you doing?”

“I’m better than before.” said Draven. “Seems my ribs have mended enough to spare me the pain of moving. I’m glad Alicia’s as good at her job as she is. Otherwise, it’s been a quiet morning for me as well.”

Gavin nodded and took a seat with Draven. It may not have been hard work, but the men still didn’t enjoy standing all day. Draven lay back against a tree as Gavin stretched his back for a moment. “Can I ask you something?” asked Draven. Gavin nodded as Draven took a moment to gather his words. “I spent some time talking to one of the other Watchmen today, by the name of William. We didn’t talk much, but he mentioned to me that they had located one of the workers this morning, or rather one of them that had disappeared.”

“Was he alright?” asked Gavin.

Draven shook his head. “He was... skinned to the bone. Some of the bones had washed up along the river a ways down in the fishery grounds.”

Gavin stared with widened eyes for a moment. “Skinned to the bone? Were they sure it was one of the workers?”

Draven nodded. “Large parts of the worker’s attire were also found among the bones.”

Gavin took a deep breath as he pinched his brow. “There’s nothing capable of that here along, or in, the river.” Draven nodded, his concerns matching Gavin’s. “How many men have disappeared since the operation started?”

Draven thought to himself for a moment. “Not many. Somewhere around a handful of men, but certainly they all met with the same fate, if nothing else is at play here.”

As some of the workers and Watchmen began to return to their jobs, Gavin and Draven sat a moment long to watch them disperse. Finally, the dull roar of the crowds faded into the rolling thunder of the Aduro River once more and Gavin turned his eyes upward for a moment. The sun hung high in the sky, shining sharp, darkened shadows upon them from the canopy overhead. Occasionally, he’d see the faint shapes of birds fluttering in the winds above as the trees rustled softly in harmony to their tranquility. How Terra Viridis could hold such beauty in these strange and dangerous times, he wouldn’t know. At least he had that to be grateful for.

Suddenly, the remaining crowd of workers turned towards the river in quickened speed. The sounds of panicked shouts echoed up from the water’s thunder and Watchmen were seen quickly gathering. Gavin and Draven shot to their feet and rushed towards the river. Upon reaching it, they found several workers within the raging water pulling themselves frantically from the water. Others grabbed the ends of their safety ropes and began to haul them as quickly as possible. Gavin grabbed a nearby worker, demanding to know what was happening.

Before he could answer, one of the water-bound workers screamed out as the water came alive around him. Water foamed up in mix of blood as he gagged on his own screams. His line snapped as he was pulled under the water and thrown downstream in the act of heated murder. Quickly, they pulled one of the workers from the water as another, closer to the shore, was also attacked. Gavin dashed down and helped pull the suffering man from the water. Screaming, the man clawed at the ground and hauled himself ashore. His legs, as were other parts of his body, were missing great portions of flesh, but that wasn’t the thing that shocked everyone. Quickly, the Watchmen broke into the expanding circle to see what was happening. The man screamed and rolled along the ground in his own blood, trying to shake off his attackers.

Several creatures were holding themselves to the man’s flesh. Their long, scaled bodies resembled something similar to eels over fish, but they shared fins and gills alike. They’re darkened uppers bodies and lightened underside blended perfectly to the water, save for being broken by luminescent green spots that covered several parts of their long bodies. As one was thrown from the man’s leg, it thrashed with renewed aggravation, snapping hideously large teeth at the air, crying in a gurgled hiss.

Quickly, the Watchmen, including Gavin and Draven, grabbed at the thrashing tails of the fish and divided their bodies in half. Quickly, they released the man and died, leaving only a putrid stench hanging in the air above them. Gavin turned back quickly to the wounded man, but saw that he now lay still and quiet.

Before they could turn to any of the other men still being pulled from the water, the river before them exploded with the creatures, launching themselves in frenzied nature out at the people close to the river’s edge. One of the fish smacked into Gavin’s chest as it fell to the ground and clamped a painfully sharp hold on his ankle. Crying out, he dropped to the ground and cut the beast open, severing its head as he did so. Draven too had been attacked and had dealt with his attacker in a similar fashion. Some of the other Watchmen were dealing with some of the workers that had been injured in the suddenly attack as the command was given then to clear everyone from the river. Within a heartbeat, everyone was pulled back to the mining shelter, leaving those few left behind to the water’s fury.

--- --- ---

As the panic died out, medical attention was quickly turned towards anyone still alive and injured. The ground was laced with a rich, darkened blood from several of the mortally wounded. A quick count had been done, finding far more dead than injured and with close to ten men having died.

As the workers went about tending to the business of those needing aid, the Watchmen stood between them and the river. Gavin had witnessed, upon fleeing the water’s edge with everyone a short while ago, the creatures leap from the river once more to grab the remains of the man that had died after being pulled from the water. Ever since, the water had ceased to turn safe again. The darkened shapes of the creature’s bodies could still be noticed swimming among the emeralds in the raging waters. Word had been sent to Minister Charles that the operation was now called off due to the danger it posed to the workers. Certainly, he wouldn’t be pleased to hear that, but more likely will be shocked by the nature of why. Word had also been sent back to the chapel for both Minister Bruce and Director Iden.

Gavin then noticed one of the Watchmen lazily throw a small stone into the river. As the stone hit the water, close to fifty dark shadows rushed out towards it only to scatter and hide once more. Gavin would never dare chance the waters again so soon, but now felt like never setting foot in the stuff again. He then turned to find one of the heads of the mining operation from the Order had gathered some of the Watchmen and went to join them.

The man informed them that the area was being black-listed for people’s safety. They had just received word from the fisheries downstream that these creatures had also swarmed their sites, taking ever fish from their farms. Gavin understood that, as it would explain why the attacks this far upstream had been so minor and unnoticed until now. They had been feeding on easier prey closer to the ocean’s mouth. The head then informed those that were directed to stay stationed throughout the operation to move down to the fisheries and aid in whatever way they could, as workers there had been attacked and the facilities were also being abandoned. Those Watchmen he spoke of agreed and left to do as they were told.

Gavin found Draven in the group and took a moment to look back over at miners, who were tending to their business of packing their things for leave. “Are you alright?” asked Draven, catching Gavin by surprise. “You just... don’t seem well.”

Gavin shook his head. “I’m fine, but I’m done with things here.” Draven agreed. With what they had been through the last several days, it seemed now that death itself had been following them in their wake. They were done as far as they were concerned and found no other reason to stay any longer.

Quietly, they mounted their horses and began their ride back to home. Their moods and spirits hung low in the vibrant sunlight, foreshadowed by the ominous clouds looming over the horizon to further darken their day.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 8:
“Eyes Of A Dream”

As the evening went on, the rare marvel of fire flies taking their late flight unfolded around the men, surrounding them in a serene marvel of unearthly tranquility. The moon hung high and full that night, casting its cool light down upon the warm, scattering lights fluttering abound in the breeze. The open, grassy fields of the farmlands continued to stretch out far beyond the men as they slowly rode for home.

Gavin and Draven had made good time of their leave from Aestus City. It would be late, but they’d at least be home soon enough, as that’s all they really cared about at that time. They had been quiet for most of the ride as well, in a way recovering from the events of earlier. Gavin thanked the Creator they hadn’t been injured in the attack, but they hadn’t been of any real help protecting or saving the workers from the beasts dwelling within the Aduro River. The bitter taste for repentance still hung in his mouth.

He took a deep breath then, trying to rid himself of the dreading emotions weighing over him. Draven looked no better as he rode in stride beside him, also lost in whatever thought had consumed him. Continuing his own train of thought, Gavin forced his mind from lamenting over the shadows of the past and focused on his dear wife, Kathrina. He smiled slightly to himself as he longed to hold her, as he had never been consumed with such lust for her before. Equally, he desired to be comforted and to comfort her in return. Her eyes captured him in a state no other woman could, a dream-like state where nothing mattered but her happiness aside his own.

Gavin didn’t pay attention to much then and even wondered if he had fallen asleep upon his horse. He heard Draven’s voice and turned his attention towards him. “Pardon?” asked Gavin.

“Are you alright?” asked Draven. “You still don’t look well.”

Gavin shook his head. “I’m fine, like I said before. I’m tired and a lot has happened that has been rather... unsettling.”

Draven agreed. “Giant, crystallized Night Wings... frenzied river dwellers... could they all really be ancient creatures? Where are they coming from and... how?”

“The better question is how we’re going to keep ourselves safe from all of them.”

Draven found nothing to say to that. It was true, as no one seemed to know anything about these creatures or how to keep them at bay. Certainly, it was a concern to keep their people safe, but now these creatures were affecting people’s ability to farm. The fisheries near the mouth of the Aduro River were a major source of food as well as for trade for Aestus City. Those river dwellers seemed frightfully dangerous, as well as numerous. Gavin had no idea how they would begin to go about dealing with this new threat.

At that moment, the sharp cry of the raven echoed through the air. In response, the distant trees fluttered alight as if shaking in their roots to the omen of darker times yet to come.

--- --- ---

Startled awake, darkness pervaded her vision for a moment. Senses on edge, she lifted her head in the pale moonlight, turning her ear towards the subtle noise. Kathrina waited a moment, but it never returned. Soothing her panicked heart, she laid herself upon her soft bed once more, forcing her troubled eyes closed. Still, her hands rolled themselves tightly into her sheets in agonizing tension.

She was no stranger to sleeping through nights alone, where Gavin would be away on duty for the Order. Still, in the heart-breaking tragedy of them having lost their youngest son, she had a terrible need for him, alongside an awful discomfort within her chest. At times, she would find sudden grief overwhelming her and her mind with collapse under the painful weight of it all. She longed for Gavin in a way she couldn’t understand, but knowing he was all there was to heal her aching spirit.

She thought back to the early days, when the two of them had been only friends. They had been young, nearly in their teenage years, but their bond in friendship had been something special, even since then. With age, they grew closer and shared wonderful, heart-felt times together. Rapidly, she recalled many of them at that moment, settling her mind upon one in particular, which was the glorious moment he had asked to marry her. He had taken her to a very special spot that day, which actually lay out in the forest behind their home. He took her hand and kneeled before her, saying “Please Kathrina, the Creator himself could not have blessed me with such a wonderful friend. I can only see myself living on in this world aside with you. Please, will you be my wife?” He then gave her the crystal ring she wore with pride to the day. A smile crept onto her face as she found comfort in the recollection of one of the happiest times of her life.

In her ease, she nearly missed it as the subtle noise returned. Suddenly, it occurred to her why she had been abruptly awakened by it, as it was the sound of heavy footsteps down the hall. The door to her room opened quietly and she jumped up once more to see who it was. Sighing, she saw the darkened shape of her father, Richard Cayden, enter her room. He smiled warmly to her and sat next to her on her bed. “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

Kathrina shook her head. “No father, I’ve been having trouble sleeping of late. It wasn’t your fault.”

Richard wrapped an arm around Kathrina and gave her a strong hug. She smiled as his sharp, short beard tickled at the side of her neck lightly. He never did completely shave his beard off, except for very special occasions for his wife, Marcia. “I couldn’t sleep either. I was just up check in on you and your son, making sure all was well. Thought that would help tire me.”

Kathrina nodded, but she knew better than to believe him at that. He had been worried for her and her family since they had taken them in. He, much like Gavin, were terribly protective of the ones they loved and had always had trouble resting when unsettled by something. “I’m alright father. Thank you.” she said as she hugged him tightly.

He smiled to her then as he released her and rose to his feet. “Alright then.” he said. “I won’t keep you awake then.” Moving towards the door, he added “Good night, Kathrina.”

As he disappeared through the door, Richard found himself in the familiar darkness of his home once more. His heart still unsettled, he began to make his way back towards his study, hoping that maybe turning the pages of a good book could ease his spirit. Along his way, he heard someone else up and about, just down the stair. Curious, he made his way towards it, following the sound to a dim light within the storage room beneath the stairs. Coming about the corner, he found Gavin removing his armour plating.

Richard smiled as Gavin met his eyes. “I didn’t know you were home.” said Richard.

Gavin lightly laughed. “I didn’t know you were up. Sorry if I woke you. I tried to be as quiet as I could.”

Richard waved his apology aside. “No need to worry, I was already up myself. What are you doing back so soon? You said you’d be gone for a few days or so.”

Pulling off some of his torso plating, Gavin said “Something came up. The mining along the river has been shut down, along with the entire Aduro River being black listed from civilian presence.”

Richard took the news with surprise and concern. “What happened?”

Gavin sighed as he finished removing all but his leather under-armour. “I’d rather not say, but it’s simply not safe to go there. The Order will surely learn of this tomorrow and have me reassigned to the hunting party. Whether it’s tomorrow or the next day is all I have to guess at.”

Richard nodded. “Fair enough.” Pausing for a moment, Richard recalled something then. “By the way Gavin, did you realize your son has adopted a pet?”

Gavin stopped his movements for a moment. “No, when did that happen?”

Richard smiled. “I haven’t the faintest clue, but your son has spent a great deal of his time taming a raven. I have no problems with it, so long as the bird doesn’t get loose in the house, but I still can’t figure out how he was able to tame the bird to begin with.”

Gavin’s heart rattled for a moment. A mixture of emotions coursed through him, but a sense of happiness bubbled up through it all. He smiled with slight pride as he asked “Entertaining. Has he named the bird yet?”

Richard nodded. “I believe he’s named it Atra. I wouldn’t know the meaning behind such a name, though.”

Gavin smiled, as he knew the meaning behind the name. Saviour had been, ever since he was young, capable of bonding with so many people. It was one reason he had been so close with his brother, Draven. Perhaps this new companion of his would help ease the loss of his brother somewhat. He knew Saviour would be excited to show him Atra come the morning.

Richard rose then and said “I’ll best be off.” Turning back before leaving, he added “And Gavin, please take care of Kathrina. She’s been rather upset in your absence.” Gavin nodded and promised he would as Richard disappeared into the darkness.

Taken a moment longer to tidying his armour, he silently snuffed the small candle flickering away inside the small room and allowed the darkness to fall over him as he too disappeared.

--- --- ---

Gavin entered Kathrina’s room as quietly as he could, as not to wake her from her slumber. Turning his back to her, he began to pull his leather under-armour off and dress himself in his nightwear. The air inside the house was terrible cold, and he found goose-bumps trailing over his body as he quickly changed.

Moments after finishing, he heard a subtle noise behind him. Turning about, he was instantly caught in a tight embrace by Kathrina. She clung to him in a crushing hug, nearly pushing him off his feet. She said something then, but her voice was completely muffled because of the way she buried her face into his chest. Gavin smiled and returned her hug, quietly soothing her to quiet her voice. It was then he felt the light, cool stings of tears staining his shirt. In a way, he was surprised to find some were his own.

Before he could say another word, she lifted her head and gave him a strong, passionate kiss. She must have found him absolutely freezing, as her body was so comfortingly warm compared to his own. Still, she pushed her body in stronger, digging her lips roughly against his. When she finally broke away, she returned to hugging him tightly. “Thank the Creator you’re here.” said Kathrina. “I love you so much, Gavin.”

Gavin ran a hand through her hair and kissed her forehead. “And I missed you so, my love.” They stood then, holding each other, for what seemed like the longest time. Gavin felt his heart race alongside hers in the growing lust that swelled up from inside him. He took in the warmth from her body as he turned her head once more up towards his and kissed her softly. She pushed strongly against him once more and he bound his hand tightly around her, refusing to let go.

After a good amount of time had passed, they finally found their way back to the bed, where they curled up inside the cold sheets, continuing to hold each other tightly. Gavin was amazed by her constant warm as he wrapped his arms around her. She kissed lightly at his neck as she snuggled herself against him. Gavin felt his cheeks burn as he closed his eyes, quietly nestling his head against to cool, soft pillow. “Thank you for coming back, Gavin.” said Kathrina in a near whisper.

Gavin smiled and gazed into her enchanting eyes, losing himself in the familiar dream he had grown to know and love. Her emerald eyes sparkled in renewed life and happiness, enough so to bring out his emotions in a colourful and wondrous array, some which he felt for no one else in the entire world. Nothing could ever match the perfection of her eyes, which to him made her transcend to something far greater than Creator could have made himself.

“I love you, Kathrina.” He said to her. “Thank you for always being there for me.”

She smiled beautifully to him then as she lay her head down beside his. Closing his eyes once more, he felt one last light kiss upon his nose. Opening his eyes, he saw her looking at him with a playful smile. The two of them laughed quietly as their spirits mended in the passion their shared together that late evening.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 9:
“Infernal Tempest”

With sunlight climbing high in the late day, Sanctus Fas could be seen going about its business, bustling with merchant and civilians traveling which way and that. The wind blew softly through the rustling trees outlaid on the street sides, scattering vibrant shadows across the neighbouring buildings and the populous. With the world so alive, Gavin found it finally impossible to resist his need to join in as well. Slowly, he rose from his bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Stretching his back, he rolled his shoulders and forced his sense awake as well.

Moments before he stood, he was once again pulled back into bed by a firm and persuasive grasp. He smiled as Kathrina pulled herself on top of him once more, wrapped up in the bed sheets and smiling to him without a care in the world. Her hands lightly trailed along his torso as she caught him with her enchanting, dream-like gaze again. “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked, playfully.

Gavin laughed quietly as he bent in to kiss her cheek. Quickly, she moved to catch his lips with hers as they held each other for a moment. “I have to check into the Order, Kathrina. If I’m lucky, they won’t have anything for me to do today and I can return to spend the day with you and Saviour.”

Kathrina sighed as she continued to smile, refusing to release him. “Why must you go? Can’t you forget about the Order for this one day and stay with me?” eyeing him again, she added “I’m sure you’d enjoy being bed with me more than marching off all stuffed up in armour.”

Gavin smiled. “Nothing would make me happier, Kathrina. I promise, I’ll return as soon as I can. I don’t want to spend another moment away from you than I must.” Before he made his attempt to leave again, she pounced on him and kissed him with firmer intent. Unable to move himself, Gavin wrapped his arms tightly around her.

The Order would have to wait for a while longer.

--- --- ---

Weaving his way through the crowds, Gavin made quick time through the village as he headed for the chapel. Kathrina had already made him late enough as it was. The Order demanded services within a timely fashion, not to mention he had told Draven to wait for him within the Grand Hall. He would have most likely arrived and been collected for redirection long ago.

As he entered through the chapel gates and made his way into the Grand Hall, he found no sign of Draven. He sighed as he made his way across the massive room and up the stairs towards the Minister’s Offices. On his way, passing many stationed guards, he made his momentary welcomes to them and wished them well with their day. Upon finally reaching his destination, he rapped lightly on the doors and was bidden entrance.

As he entered the room, he found Draven standing before Minister Bruce within the main room. Gavin nodded to them both as he came to stand beside his friend. “I’m sorry I’m late. Family matters.” excused Gavin.

“Don’t worry.” said Draven, quietly. “Same here.” Gavin caught Draven smiling out of the corner of his eyes as he found himself smiling then as well.

Minister Bruce took a deep breath then as he said “Very well, to business then?” The men nodded. “Good. I received word this morning about the Aduro mining operation and I understand why you would have returned. We’ve prepared the area for black listing and moved on to our concerns with the fisheries.” Bruce paused a moment then as he thought through his next few words. “The fish described in the report seem to suit another species of ancient creatures known as Dwellers. It had been believed, from their body’s shape, they dwelled within deep waters.” Sighing, he added “Obviously, that was a poor judgement on our half.”

“The hunting party for the Ravager has long since departed, so I don’t expect to resign you there today.” Gavin smiled then, hearing exactly what he’d been hoping for. Moments later, his hopes sank. “However, there is a minor duty that can be given to you two for today.”

“Along with the report from the Aduro River, we also received a rather vague report of livestock disappearing from a farm not too far into the grasslands. It’s rather far from the forest where we suspect the Ravager is, and without any further details we don’t believe this is anything to be greatly concerned with. We’d appreciate you make your presence there and help sort what you can for the family.”

The men nodded. “That can be done.” said Draven. Gavin agreed, though reluctantly. Within the short time then, they were informed of where to head and the name of the family they were to meet with. Afterwards, Minister Bruce bid them farewell and they left the offices.

As the men walked down the hall towards the chapel entrance again, Gavin asked “I don’t mean to be pushy, but can we try and deal with this as quickly as we can? Kathrina would dearly like to have me for some time today, as would I for her.”

Draven laughed quietly. “I have no problem with that, my friend. Alicia’s wanted to have me back for some time as well, it appears.”

--- --- ---

The wide open lands of the farm stretched for quiet some distance. As then rode upon their horses, the cut around the fields and made their stop at the Haber family’s residence. Their home was small and simple, but in a way similar to Gavin’s and perfect for their needs. Not far from the house was a large barn, which was most likely where they kept their livestock. Dismounting from their horses, they made their way up to the door and knocked firmly on it.

A woman answered them. She was a simple woman of age, appearing to be in her fifties. She was garbed in a plain attire, though well maintained from the timely use she had gotten from it. She seemed frightfully surprised by the men, and said “Oh, my apologies. I didn’t know you would be arriving so soon. Please, excuse me while I go get my husband.” She left through the door then and past the men, heading out into the fields. Wandering back down, she appeared a short time later with the man they assumed was her husband. He was dressed up in farming attire and had a hoe slung over his shoulder. His rough face was partially hidden under a wide-brimmed hat as he approached the men, trudging along in large, leather boots.

“Thank you, Julie.” said the man. “Go on and head on back inside. I’ll take care of this.” The woman smiled to them before disappearing back into the house behind them. Once she was away, the man pulled the hoe from his shoulder and leaned against it as he stood before Gavin and Draven. “My name’s Kurt, Kurt Haber. I take it you men are here to help with our little problem?” They nodded. “Good.” said Kurt as he began to lead them towards the barn.

“I didn’t hear anything when it happened, but my wife and daughter did. They were back in the house when it came. It did a number to one of the walls inside the barn and made off with one of our cattle.” Gavin and Draven looked at one another. This was news to them, but they stayed quiet.

As they came into the barn, the heavy scent of hay and animal hit them like a wall. It was rather unpleasant, but thankfully became unnoticeable soon enough. Looking about, the barn appeared to be two stories high, with the second mainly open to the ground. Lots of stuff could be seen piled and hung along every part of the barn. The animals, ranging mainly from chicken and cattle, were pinned up in their stalls along the ground floor. As they went deeper inside, they saw what they came for. One of the stalls where one of the cows had been was completely trashed. Its walls, including the main wall that was a part of the barn’s side, was splintered and broken. Large chucks of woods lay teetering on the edge of falling to the ground alongside the darkened residue of dried blood.

Gavin and Draven stared in awe at the massive hole in the side of the barn. It was larger than them, which didn’t bode well for their spirits. Kurt nodded to the men then and said “Well, I haven’t much more for you then. I wish you men the best of luck with whatever you can do about it.” He then left them to return to the fields, leaving Gavin and Draven alone inside the barn.
Or at least, they thought they were alone. Hearing a subtle noise in the floor above, Gavin turned to see a young girl moving several bags along into new piles. “Hello.” greeted Gavin, catching her attention quickly. “I take it you’re his daughter?”

She nodded. “Yes, my name’s Mandy.” she said quietly. She was garbed in similar wear like her mother, and though bore a close resemblance to her, her face looked rougher, much like her father. Otherwise, her long, blonde hair was the only other feature they could make out of her from there, which was tied back in a simple braid.

“We understand you know something about what happened here.” said Gavin. “Can you tell us anything about it?”

She shook her head. “No. Not really. We just heard it break into the barn. All we saw was a big animal run off with one of the cattle, making for the forest. We don’t know what it was. I’m sorry.”

Gavin and Draven nodded and thanked her for her words. She smiled weakly and returned to her duties. Gavin and Draven strolled quietly for a moment, examining the wreckage of the broken stall. They were both thinking the same thing, and that was that this had been either the Ravager or something worse. “Well, where do you want to start?” asked Draven.

Gavin looked out through the large hole in the barn wall, eyeing the forest further off in the distance. “Let’s make a round through the forest, just to make sure if it is the beast the Order wants.” Draven nodded and the two of them walked out through the gaping hole and out into the fields, heading for the woods.

--- --- ---

It didn’t take long before they found it. After all, they were able to smell it within minutes of wondering inside. Lying upon the forest ground was the hollow carcass of the cattle that had been taken from the barn. Several parts of it were missing, some having been thrown about the area. Almost every scrap of meat had been raked from its bones and, in dreadful fashion, the ribcage had been pried open. Gavin and Draven looked at one another as Draven said “It’s the Ravager, that’s for certain. There’s nothing we can do about it though. We should leave and send word back to the Order. The hunting party’s looking in the wrong place.”

Gavin agreed and they quickly turned to head back towards the farm. They didn’t want to risk another encounter with the beast, or at least not unless it was still weakened from their last fight. Even still, they didn’t want to risk it. It could prove to be a deadly mistake.

As they broke out of the foliage and came back into the fields, they began to wander off towards the tall, distant shape of the barn. From there, they could take their horses and give word to the Order about their finding before calling it a day. Though the news wasn’t good, Gavin at least looked forward to being able to be with his lovely wife and son again. He smiled at the thought of how happy they would be to spend time with him after so long.

Nearing the barn, Gavin stubbed his armoured foot on something and nearly tripped. Looking back, he caught the shimmer of something unnaturally green in the grass. Turning back, he bent down to see that it was a small emerald he had hit, growing sharply out of the ground. Draven noticed Gavin had stopped and came back to see his finding. “More?” asked Draven in astonishment.

Gavin nodded. “Where are these stones coming from?”

Suddenly, the barn erupted in a heavy boom as the sound of shattering wood splintered through the air. A faint scream was heard in accompaniment of a deafening roar that rocked the air violently. Gavin and Draven jumped to their feet and quickly made for the barn. The Ravager had returned.

Rounding the barn, they found a new hole punched through its walls. Jumping inside, they were met with the sight of the Ravager, standing hunched in the middle of the barn, animals screaming and calling all around it as another cow, its neck broken, hung in its massive grip. As the beast turned, it revealed a new feature the men hadn’t seen on it before. Emerald sprouted from the creature’s body, mainly from its right side with its right arm being heavily covered with them. Golden blood constantly trickled from each of the crystal spikes on its body. Its face still retained the scar Gavin had given it before.

In that moment, when the beast saw them, it paused and dropped the dead cow to the ground. Its eyes alit in a fierce, golden glow as it bellowed again in rekindled rage. Dropping to all fours, it lunged out at the men, flying through the air. Quickly, Draven grabbed Gavin and threw him to the ground as he too joined him. The beast’s claws racked the air above them as it tumbled and smashed through the barn and landed outside.

“Gavin!” shouted Draven. “Find the girl! Get her out of here!” Gavin looked from Draven to the Ravager and saw it recollect itself, dashing back towards them. Draven drew his long sword and awaited the beast as Gavin dashed for the ladder to the upper floor. The beast blew through the barn wall once more, causing the building the creak with strain. Draven swung out at the beast, slapping his sword across its emerald hide, doing nothing. Gavin scrambled up the ladder as fast as he could. The beast turned towards him and swatted the lower half of the ladder away, nearly shaking Gavin from his holding.

Draven slashed at the beast again, digging a large chuck out of the beasts un-armoured half. As it returned to him and began to lash out with its emerald claws, Gavin climbed onto the upper floor. Draven slashed at the beast, sparking his sword off its claws. Unnoticed, the hay along the barn floor caught alight and began to burn. All the animals pushed at their pen’s doors until they finally gave way and they fled out at Draven and the Ravager. The beast, knocked about by the cattle, slashed out at them, killing a few of the animals in its violent retort.

The fire quickly spread and began to crawl along the barn floor and up its walls. Draven ducked under another swing as the beast smashed through a support pillar, causing the weakened barn to groan and lean. Draven aimed to strike, but was batted aside by the creature’s crystallized hand. Gavin heard the sound of metal sheering as Draven screamed out.

Gavin looked about the upper floor for Mandy, but found no sight of her. Looking back over at the fight below, Draven staggered in the consuming fire with his breast-plating stripped from his torso. The Ravager aimed for the kill, but Gavin pulled one of his hand-scythes out from his cloaks and quickly threw it out towards the beast, cleaving it in the side of the head. As the blade bounced off, so did the creature’s ear and it bellowed in pain. Draven ran in and stabbed his sword straight through the Ravager’s stomach, piercing the blade through its back. The beast screamed a deafening cry and spun around, ripping the sword from Draven’s hand. Golden blood flowed from its wound as it stumbled about, coughing even more blood up as it continued to scream.

Gavin turned back and dashed about the upper floor in search of Mandy. The smoke from the fire was making the air thick and difficult to breath. Holding part of his cloak over his mouth, he finally found Mandy, who was cowering in terrible fear. Pushing a few of the bags around her aside, she snapped out of shock and screamed, grabbing at them. “No! Don’t let them burn!”

Gavin took her reaction with surprise, but when he inspected the bags, he understood why. They were bags of fertilizer which, from what he knew, were highly explosive and sensitive to fire. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw Draven wrestle his long sword from the Ravager’s stomach. “Draven!” called out Gavin, catching his attention. “Take cover!”

Draven ran as Gavin stepped towards the edge of the floor and lugged the bag down at the beast. It clawed the bag as it fell, spilling the contents all over itself and the ground. As the fire hit the fertilizer, it flared up in an instant inferno, consuming the beast in a heated blaze. It screamed out loudly and Gavin felt his ears ring from the noise. Careful to keep his footing as he recollected his senses, he grabbed another bag and threw it down at the creature again. This time, the bag collided with the beast and a rippling explosion blasted through the barn. Fire flared up everywhere as the bottom of the barn caught alight. In panic, Gavin rushed down the edge of the upper floor, looking for Draven.

Finally, as the smoke thinned, he found Draven hanging from a net that hung over the edge of the upper floor. His cloak was on fire, as was the net he hung to. He was trying to climb the net to reach Gavin, but struggled as the net spun around. Gavin grabbed at the net to try and stabilize it. “Hold on!” he shouted. Moments later, Mandy came to Gavin’s side to try and help Draven as well.

Suddenly, the blackened shape of the Ravager lunged out of the fire and caught Draven in its grasp. Draven screamed as its emerald claw racked into his un-armoured back. Gavin glared at the beast and quickly pulled out another hand-scythe, casting it down towards it. He heard it strike the beast in the face with a sickening thud. The creature gurgled as it stumbled back into the fire, before collapsing to the ground.

Draven hung by one hand from the net as he screamed in pain, tears streaming from his face. His body was terribly knotted in the net now, leaving Gavin and Mandy to haul him up. The smoke grew thick as everyone began to choke and gasp for air. As they hauled the burning part of the net upwards, Mandy was force to stop since her hands weren’t protected, leaving Gavin to save Draven alone. The net began to split under the strain and heat of the fire it began to snap. “Hold on Draven! Hold on!” screamed Gavin.

Suddenly, a support pillar bellow gave way in the fire and the barn rocked violently. Gavin stumbled forward and lost his grip on the net, causing Draven to fall. The net snapped apart under his weight and Draven fell screaming and tangled into the fires below. “Draven!” screamed Gavin.

However, he found himself within moments falling into the fire himself as the floor beneath him and Mandy gave way. With a sharp crack, they continued to fall deeper into the ground. His head hit something sharply and darkness flooded his vision. With his senses lost, he rolled to a stop on the suddenly cold ground and fell unconscious, muttering Draven’s name.

--- --- ---

The dim light pieced his blackened vision as he awoke. Light and shadow pervaded his senses and his body slowly recovered. Soon, shapes emerged from the light and he found himself in an underground room beneath the barn. Slowly rising, he found Mandy lying unconscious still nearby him. She wore the blackened marks of the fire, but she was still breathing. He collected her in his arms and then began to climb the small staircase out of the basement.

Poking his head above, he was met by the smouldering scent of the previous inferno. The barn was gone, with little of its structure remaining. Gavin saw the animals that had survived out in the fields, not far where the barn stood. Among them were Julie and Kurt, who were holding each other, undoubtedly in grief. Among them were several Watchman, surveying the area.

As Gavin walked through the warm ashes, he saw the large, charred carcass of the Ravager. Despite most of its flesh being completely burned away, most of its bones remained. The crystals that had been in its body shimmered in their brilliance, still growing themselves out of the creature’s skeleton. Gavin saw the creature’s shattered skull aside his hand-scythe lying on the ground among the shards. He left it there, not wanting to near the creature again.

He then saw the partial remains of a warped suit of armour, charred black from the fire. Within it lay the faint remains of a human skeleton sown among heavy piles of ash. Gavin felt grief take his heart as tears began to stream from his eyes. He fell to his knees with Mandy in his arms, staring at the dead body of his former friend. His former brother in bond.

The Watchmen came to him then, shaking him by the shoulder to try and get his attention. Gavin didn’t hear them. All he could take in was that Draven was dead. His invincible comrade, his side in duty to the Creator, and his best friend now lay dead. Dead because of him. Dead because he didn’t save him in time.

“Are you alright?” said one of the Watchmen.

Gavin shook his head and silently handed them Mandy. He rose without another word, turned his back, and walked away. In the grip of trauma, he didn’t make it far before he fell to his knees again and cried, beating his fist into the charred ground, cursing the Keeper for having taken Draven so soon. Gavin dreaded knowing he would have to tell Alicia of her loss. To be the one to break her heart by telling her the love of her life was little more that nothing now.

Gavin screamed in agony as he fell into the crushing hands of sorrow.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 10:
“Unjust Ruin”

The pervading haunt of Draven’s final cries beat themselves into Gavin’s conscience, like a stake being forever punched into his head. The pain of loss reached a peak similar to that of his son’s death, and in a way was far worse having witnessed it at hand. He walked quietly and alone though space he lost care for, his hood drawn up over his head and his fist clutching a small pouch. Within it held a small collection of Draven’s ashes, still warm from the fire as if to remind him of the painful burn his spirit had suffered in his death.

He did know where he was though. He was walking through the chapel village, heading for home. Clutching the pouch in dread, he knew well enough that he would have to go to Alicia that day and tell her of the tragedy. He could only hope that by then his own heart could take the pain of such a burden.

Rounding the corner, he broke away from the heavy, crowded streets and came upon the large estate of his in-laws. He rapped lightly on the door and was answered by a servant, who bid him entry. Finding his way into his storage room, the servant offered to help Gavin remove his armour, which he thanked him for as it was never an easy task.

Finding his way back into the main hall, dressed in his casual attire, he ran into Richard, who greeted him with a smile. “Gavin, my boy. What are you doing back so soon?”

Gavin nodded in return to his greeting. “My services are done for the day. I was hoping Kathrina or Saviour were here.”

Richard shook his head. “No, the women are out at the market for now. Saviour, however, is up in his room. My best bet is he’s playing with that raven of his.”

Gavin smiled. “I should go see him then.” With that, Richard bid him well and returned to his business. Gavin climbed the stairs and found his way along into Saviour’s room. Quietly, he entered, finding Savour with his raven, Atra, perched on his arm.

“Father!” said Saviour. As he came to hug Gavin, Atra leapt from Saviour’s arm and fluttered softly down upon the window ledge. Gavin held his son closely for a moment, smiling warmly in return. “Father, you’re home. Why are you home so early?”

“I’m done for the day.” replied Gavin. “I felt that you should show me this new pet of yours. I know so little about him.”

Saviour nodded and turns back to Atra. The raven softly called to the men as it flew back to Saviour, landing once again upon his arm. “He’s the raven you cased away from the window that night, remember? He came back and I decided to give him something to feed on to keep him quiet.” He shrugged then and said “I guess he took a likely to me than.”

Gavin’s smile grew. “He’s a lovely bird. Have you trained him at all?”

Saviour shook his head. “No, he doesn’t seem to enjoy learning from me, though I can release him and he’ll still return after a time. That much he can do, at least.”

Gavin nodded and held his hand out to the bird, seeing if it would be comfortable to perch on him. Sadly, the raven simply looked at his hand, unmoved from Saviour’s. Gavin wasn’t too surprised. “Well, I’m certainly glad this has worked out for you like it has.”

Suddenly, the bird shot up into the air and screeched. Quickly, it bounded about the room as Gavin and Saviour fell away from the suddenly maddened bird. Soon enough, it made a break for the open door and began flying throughout the house. Saviour took off after the bird, trying to catch it. Gavin tried to keep up with them both, but he soon lost them within the winding halls.

At that moment, an ominous groan thundered through the house. Gavin stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes searching all about for the source of the unsettling noise. Silence pervaded until he heard an echoing fracture from outside the walls. The house rumbled in terrible discomfort as Gavin felt the floor shift beneath his feet. The faint cry of people screaming outside became drowned within the sudden turbulent noise of the house breaking from its foundation.

He felt his panic rising as the earthquake roared to life around him.

He heard the shouts of voices downstairs. Richard was most likely rushing all his servants from the house. Gavin stumbled into a wall as he fought against the shifting heights, pushing his way down the hall. “Saviour!” he cried. “Saviour! Where are you!?”

Rounding corner after corner, he found no signs of his son. He called his name again in vain against the ensuing chaos around himself. A servant rushed past him in the flight of panic when suddenly the house leaned violently, knocking them into the walls. Gavin felt the house’s weight tipping onward. He was running out of time.

Suddenly, he heard Atra’s haunting call pierce the deafening noise. With renewed hope, he rushed headlong forward and into Richard’s office. The room was in shambles with furniture everywhere, books and shelves flattened along the floor, and papers littering every corner that could be found. Staring skyward, Gavin saw the blackened shadow of Atra, fluttering in amongst the arches along the tall ceiling.

With a sudden lurch, the large windows shattered inward towards Gavin. Covering his eyes, he deflected most of the glass as he made his way into the room. Quickly, he began to rip through the debris along the floor, shouting his son’s name over and over again. “Saviour! Saviour!” he cried, stricken between calls by his tears. His heart beat droned in his ears like a clock, quickly ticking away his last few seconds. The noise faded completely alongside the screams outside as his heart drowned it all out in accompanied of the screeching raven overhead. He found himself screaming louder and louder for his son, but couldn’t even hear his own voice anymore.

Throwing shelves aside, his heart fractured along with the earth as he found no sign of Saviour.

Suddenly, the floor splintered and the house began to give way. His eyes darted to one of the shattered windows. Atra flew from the ceiling and dived out through the open void, escaping to the safety of the clear skies. Gavin found little choice remained for him as he too found himself flying out the window after the bird.

With a sudden shock, he tasted green as he landed in the brush of a tree. Unable to catch himself, he tumbled and rolled from its branches and fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Dazed for a moment, he shook his head and found himself in the corner of the garden before the house. Quickly on his feet, he dashed away as the walls gave way and the house collapsed within seconds of his escape.

Among the trembling rage of the earth, Gavin saw the ruins of many other homes that had collapsed as well. More began to fall as he found Richard with his servants standing a safe distance away from the chaos. Gavin grabbed at Richards collar as if he were to blame for his grief and shouted “Where’s my son!?”

Richard took Gavin’s shoulder and shook his head. “I didn’t see him. I thought he was with you.” Before Gavin could realise what he was doing, he saw his fist fly through the air and strike Richard’s face, knocking him to the ground. As the servants fell to Richard’s side, Gavin ran back to the ruins of their home. Grappling at anything he could lift, he threw debris aside. Digging in a frenzy, he found himself suddenly consumed with rage over any other emotion. Frustration boiled up from inside his depths with every piece he cast aside, finding nothing but more ruin to taunt his search with.

Hearing the familiar call a short ways away, he say Atra perched within the piles of debris, pecking at where he stood. Gavin madly dashed to the bird and ripped apart at the spot. Atra jumped into the sky above as Gavin pried piece by piece at the pile until he finally reaching what he sought.

Anger and frustration evaporated into the downward spiralling of sorrow as he found Saviour lying dead under it all. His body was destroyed from the waist down and his head laced in blood from the fractured running through his skull.

Gavin fell to his knees as silence struck him down. Gingerly, he tucked his hand under Saviour’s bloody cheek, turning his head towards him. His eyes were cloudy in death, staring openly at the world he once belonged within. As he felt the crimson fluids of his life cover his hand, Gavin felt tears fall from his eyes upon the carcass beneath him. His chest collapsed as the wind was knocked from his lungs by the sudden stench of death that crawled like a plague from Saviour’s body. Gavin’s face fell into his hands, running blood into his reddening eyes. The sting it granted him was but a faint annoyance compared to the tragedy that lay before him. Try all he did, he could not save himself the sight of Saviour’s death. Forever more would those ghastly eyes look up into his and forever more would he grieve for failing to save his son.

When grief began to lift, he realised the earth no longer trembled. He heard a white noise of people fighting over their sorrow and their panic in the aftermath of the catastrophe from the loss of their once joyful lives. Amongst their cries, he heard the familiar call of the raven, close by him. Opening his eyes, he saw Atra perched over Saviour’s body. As he looked into the marvel of the blackened bird, he saw the true face of death staring blankly back into his eyes. His spirit felt penetrated by the bird’s gaze for the moment and his loss suddenly felt complete.

Atra then looked back down at Saviour and began to peck out his eyes.

With suddenly rage, Gavin screamed and punched the bird, sending it flying into the air. He saw the bird crumble as it hit the ground, if not simply stunned from his blow it lay dead with Saviour among the ruins. His rage expelled upon the poor animal, grief retook him once more and as his tears mixed with the fresh blood over his face.

In the fit of his agony, the world around him transformed. His life would no longer to be anything more but a torturous fight for survival.

--- --- ---

Clad in his armour, Gavin watched people file into the chapel. It lay as the only suitable means of shelter for the village, or for anyone they knew of now. Nearly every home had been destroyed in the earthquake, leaving thousands homeless. Several Watchmen had been dispatched to send messages to any estate, offer shelter and protection in the crisis. Gavin himself knew he would be one among them.

Reports came in of emeralds lacing the lands now, having broken the surface during the quake. In the lightened aftershocks to follow, he would see more begin to wiggle their way up from the ground. Aside that, several reports of attacks from strange creatures, new and old, began to come in as well. Watchmen that returned from their rounds to find any more survivors sometimes came back greatly wounded from their encounters. Some didn’t even return at all.

Director Iden had done nothing short of everything he could for the people. He removed every member of the guard and the Watchmen to protect them. He knew better than to grant himself any more protection than he could provide in this darkening time and he was true to his word. Even the ministers chose to remain unprotected, as they knew well from Iden’s example that the people were in greater need of it.

Gavin wore a face of emotionless restraint as he fought back the madness deep within him. He looked upon the faces of the survivors, praying to find the one of his wife.

Suddenly, he heard his name. Catching a brief glance, he found Kathrina making her way through the crowds towards him. She tightly wrapped her arms around him as she kissed fitfully at his neck. He felt subtle tears fall along his cheek as he whispered his thanks to the Creator that she was safe.

“Oh Gavin, thank the Creator you’re alright.” said Kathrina. “I was so frightened from it all. I prayed you would be alright.”

“As did I, my love.” replied Gavin.

She looked up at him then with eyes yet freed from worry. “Where’s my father? Where’s Saviour? Did you find them?”

Gavin found himself unable to speak for a moment, bracing himself for the words to follow. Taking a deep breath, he said “Yes Kathrina. You’re father is fine and safely inside. Saviour...”

Gavin choked on his words as shock began overtook Kathrina’s body. “No...” she muttered. “Gavin please, tell me he’s alright.”
Gavin shook his head as his grief returned. “I’m so sorry Kathrina.”

She looked at him with eyes much like his own: Brilliant, green, and tear stricken. She collapsed into his arms, wailing in sorrow, and cursing the Keeper for his deeds. Gavin held her tightly as he fought to comfort her, but he legs gave way as she fell to the ground before him. Crying her name, he caught her as she fell into depression.

A couple other Watchmen came to Gavin’s side and asked if he needed a medic. He told them to send for one as he tried to calm Kathrina, but she rolled from side to side, fighting him in her fit. She screamed senselessly and everyone around couldn’t help but stare.

As Gavin fought to comfort her, Alicia came to his side. “Quick, help me bring her inside.” she said as she helped Gavin lift her. Guiding him, they took his stricken wife up into a private room above the Grand Hall. Laying her down upon the soft bed within the confines of the dark stall, Kathrina continued to scream and fight them. Pushing her down, Alicia pressed something into the side of Kathrina’s neck and she quickly fell into a limp sleep.

Alicia tucked the medicine back into her cloak as she turned back to Gavin. “She’s just historical from grief. She’ll be fine in time, but I’ll watch over her personally to make sure she recovers quickly.”

Gavin found some comfort in her words. “Thank you.” he whispered.

She eyed his hurt-filled eyes and asked “What caused this?”

“Saviour’s dead.” replied Gavin.

Alicia’s jaw dropped as she came to his side, giving him a light hug for comfort. “I’m so sorry Gavin. Dear Creator, no wonder the two of you are so upset.”

The two of them then kneeled down beside Kathrina as Gavin began to stroke her head softly with his armoured hand. Only just as his spirits began to lift did Alicia, unknowingly, bring the world crashing down upon him.

“Gavin, where’s Draven?” she asked.

Gavin’s head fell. His fingers began to look for the small pouch of Draven’s ashes inside his cloak. He found nothing, but remembered it had been in his old armour, which no lay under his in-law’s house. He found himself unable to look at her as he said “He’s dead as well.”

He didn’t know what happened then as he stared at Kathrina. Before he knew it, his face rocked aside with a swift slap of Alicia’s hand. He looked back to see her face a torrent of rage and despair. As tears began to fall from her eyes, she screamed and hit his face again with more force.

“No!” she screamed. “No, he’s not! Don’t you dare tell me he’s simply dead! Don’t you dare!” she slapped him once more before burying her face against him, weeping uncontrollably. Gavin held her, despite the burning pain in his face. She cried much like Kathrina had shortly before, but after a time regained her senses.

Sniffling back sobs, she dared look back up at him again to say “I’m sorry Gavin... How did... How did he die?” Gavin refused to speak, but she pushed him for an answer. “Please Gavin. Please.”

He took a deep breath before he began. “Earlier this morning, we took a round by a farm that had been attacked last night. While we were there, the Ravager returned to lay waste to us. Draven fought it off while I tried to save the farmer’s daughter inside the barn.” Taking another deep breath, he steadied his voice while he continued. “There was a fire inside the ban. Draven tried to climb to safety but... I couldn’t pull him up. I’m so sorry Alicia. I’m so sorry.”

Gavin was once more overwhelmed with grief, but he found no relief in tears. He had no more to spend. Alicia sobbed quietly and hugged him tightly. “I... I know you tried Gavin. I know you better than that. Don’t blame yourself for his death. Please don’t. For me, if anything, please.”

Gavin couldn’t strip his heart of the blame he felt for his failure. For Draven and Saviour, he simply couldn’t accept he had done all there was. However, for her case, he lied and said “If you wish, Alicia.”

Within the enveloping darkness, the heavy shadow of remorse cast over them all as the moon rose once more that night, sickened by the green, lustrous ailment that poisoned their home.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 11:
“Shattered Faith”

Endless, was the haze. Endless, was the emerald sky gazing down upon the once wondrous nature, casting it into an unearthly land succumbed by the rule of the tyrannical beasts. Endless, was the screams and cries of rage and fear that echoed across the lands into the ears of the frightened and the tormented. Endless, was the suffering and the terror. Endless, had it been. Endless, it would be.

Ever since that tragic day, when the earthquake had ruined most of Terra Viridis, a green haze had fallen over all the land. Under the blanket of unearthly light, Gavin looked up into the sky with stricken eyes. The ambient glow of the sun behind the darkened clouds burned into his eyes with a spiteful distaste, as it glaring down upon him with its terrible magnificence. No one could find rest under its tainted presence.

Gavin tore his eyes away from the haunting overcast of the emerald daylight and forced them shut. Shuddering, he opened them lowly to the sight of a small grave beside him. Gavin stood alone in the middle of the chapel burial ground, open to the void of cold air the night had left the world within.

His spirit hung low, as many had, from the last few days. Messengers had returned baring word of several towns and cities being left in ruin and decay. For the few survivors that were found, thousands of people were also found dead. The attacks of the perilous beasts never seemed to end either, leaving those taking refuge inside the chapel constantly afraid for their lives.
One of the more sickening reports had come from the massagers sent to Aestus City. They said the city lay in ruins, flooded inland, and their docks destroyed. Apparently, a large, tentacled sea creature now nested in the ruins, slumbering over a large growth of eggs. Other such reports came in about Wyverns flying down of the mountains, infestations of large insects with blades for limbs, and darkness itself manifesting into ravenous forms.

It appeared that all of Terra Viridis had transformed into a perilous nightmare. One that wished for man, and all other means of life, to go fade into oblivion.

With the swirling thoughts of the tragedies unfolding around him, Gavin stood once more before his first. Taking a knee before the grave of his youngest son, he bowed his head and prayed. “Dear Creator, never has the Order, or my very being, ever challenged you in your ways before. We know well of your magnificence and we know the choices you make for our world are for your best interest.” A tear fell from his eye as he continued. “But the Keeper himself has sunk his talons into our world, taking for himself our joys and hopes of our mortal lives. Dear Creator, we must survive to do the work you intended us for: To spread the word and knowledge of peace and good throughout the hearts of men for generations to come. But... we cannot fight the hand of the Keeper alone.”

“Oh dear Creator, you must help us.”

The world fell silent then, with the only sound coming from the soft billowing of his cloak in the wind. Gavin felt his hopes fade away with the breeze along with his feeble prayers for a miracle. He feared the Creator wasn’t listening to him. He feared they had, somehow, lost his favour.

Suddenly, the quiet was broken by a soft crack. Quickly he turned about, seeing nothing among the gravestones. A raven called overhead as tension mounted over his body. He drew his hand-scythes and slowly walked back towards the chapel doors, looking attentively around himself as he went.

Another crack echoed, stronger this time. Looking back, he saw a gravestone fall over. The subtle noise of something strange echoed in the air then, driving the hairs on his neck on end. Another crack sounded, followed by another and another, joined with the rustling sound of the earth shifting around his feet. He heard distant cries of anguish tunnel into his mind as his vision blurred. The air fell icy over him as he found himself shivering with terrible fright. Feeling something at his ankle, he nearly tripped as he gazed down at what had caught him.

His foot lay in the grip of a skeletal hand.

Screaming, he slashed at the boney hand, shattering it to pieces. Quickly, the earth erupted before him as many of the graves opened up, spawning forth their dead. Skeletons from each grave, bones missing or not, pulled themselves from the earth all around him, hissing with unearthly voices at him as they gazed up with their hollow eyes. Suddenly, ghastly shapes of light poured forth from the earth in accompaniment of terribly wailing, filling the air with the sound of the damned.

Turning back towards the chapel, Gavin was suddenly tackled to the ground by a frenzied skeleton. Its deathly cry screamed into his ears as it brought its boney claws down on him. He felt it rake at his face as he finally threw it aside, shattering its spine with his hand-scythe. Again, another skeleton came at him, followed by another. Abandoning his hand-scythe, he drew out his reaping-scythe and hacked his way through the advancing horde.

He found himself transcend into a fury of rage. Still, he felt terror grip at his heart as he went about shattered the reanimated back to dust. They came at him with mindless rage with screams to match their intent. They told him to join them. They told him to suffer. They told him to die.

Screaming in a mixture of rage and fear, he batted the undead aside. He went numb in the cold air as he finally lost his senses, reaping through their skeletal bodies with no thought that these beings had once been human. Once been people, like himself but now corrupted by some sickening magic that plagued the world. He found no remorse for them. They would return to their Keeper without him.

Suddenly, the assault was over. The dead went quiet once more and he felt the painful sensation of the cold return to his body. He collapsed in exhaustion to his knees, gasping for air in between fits of tears. If he hadn’t before, he certainly now felt the abandonment of the Creator’s love.

Drawing his eyes up once more, his heart shattered in the sight of one last skeleton. It was a small skeleton, about the size of a child. It crawled along the ground, hissing in the damned voice of the dead, with its ribcage broken open.

“Draven?” whispered Gavin.

The skeleton neared him at then ran at him. It tackled lightly into his body and hissed as it raked at his armour with its claws. The being was too small and too weak to make it through his chest plating though, so turned towards Gavin’s face. Catching it by its wrist, Gavin held the skeleton still in his tightened grip. Though hopelessly restrained, the skeleton lashed out with its teeth, attempting to bite his face.

As Gavin stared into the hollow eye sockets of the creature, he began to see the familiar contours of its body. He was not mistaken. His son, even in death, had fallen to the new world.

Tears fell from his eyes as Gavin ripped the skeleton’s arms from its sockets. It cried in supposed pain as it fell to the ground, squirming like a fish out of water. Raising his foot, he brought it swiftly down on its skull, fracturing it. Still, it screamed at him, so he brought his foot down again and again, until its skull shattered into dust.

As the fragments of bones fell from the air, so did the ruminants of Gavin’s heart.

--- --- ---

Still numb and cold, Gavin lumbered quietly through the halls of the chapel. A small number of guards crossed his path, but mainly the he walked alone. He felt little comfort inside the holy walls of sullen belief as his head rolled along the wave of open despair. He fumbled with the shattered pieces of his heart inside himself, holding gingerly to the ruminants of his spirit, lest it fail him as well.

Kathrina had yet to recover from her depression, but considering all that was happening he could hardly find much to brighten her mood. Whenever he found her, if she wasn’t asleep, she was curled up in her bed, hugging the emerald of her sons tightly. Whenever Gavin appeared, she would drop the stone and latch herself to him. She always seemed to be in a daze, muttering about all sorts of grief quietly to herself. Gavin could hardly stand it to see her like that, but she appeared to be getting better in some way. All he needed was to be with her for a time, whatever state she lay in.

Quietly, he opened the door to her darkened room. She lay asleep within the flickering candlelight beside her, rolled up in her bed, unsurprisingly. Her delicate form looked as broken as he did then. He grieved for a moment deep within himself for her pain. He just wished he knew a way to bring her back from hopelessness.

He lightly sat beside her, next to her back, and laid a hand alongside her cheek. She was terribly cold, even compared to him. He worried that she might be falling ill in her state, which wouldn’t help her in the least. He leaned over her and kissed her cheek lightly before taking up her sheet and tucking them up around her.

Suddenly, panic rose inside him as he saw a darkened stain in her sheets. Throwing them aside, her rolled her over and gagged on the horrific sight before him.

Kathrina lay dead with the emerald shard she cradled protruding from her chest.

Gavin stumbled back in shock. He fell to the floor and began to choke on vomit. He rolled over, throwing up onto the floor. He felt his heart thunder against his chest, winding him with each beat. He trembled and collapsed to the floor, his eyes spinning and his mind broken.

“No...” he whispered. “No... No... No!” he screamed. “No! No! Oh dear creator, no! How!? Why!?”

Suddenly recoiling against the floor, Gavin screamed. The world came crashing in around him as tears streamed from his eyes. His voice became hoarse in his blood curdling cry as it echoed throughout the chapel and into the forsaken, eternal night.

Stumbling to his feet, Gavin made his way back over the Kathrina’s body. Numbly, he slid his hands under her cold, limp body and took her in his arms. Grief creased his face and his tears mixed with her blood as guards burst into the room. “What’s wrong?” asked one of the guards. “Are you alright?”

Gavin solemnly turned towards them, his dead wife in hand, and asked “Where are the ministers?”

“What?” asked the guard.

“Where are the ministers!?” roared Gavin.

The guards look taken away for a second, staring at Kathrina’s lifeless body. “Th-The ministers are in there offices. Are you sure you’re alright, sir? You look shaken.”

“Of course I’m not alright!” screamed Gavin as tears fell from his eyes again. “My wife is dead! How in the world can I be possibly alright with this!?” In the grip of grief, Gavin fell to his knees, clutching Kathrina to himself tightly. He could feel the sharp end of the emerald inside her spiking into his body as he did so.

Collecting himself, Gavin gathered the shattered remains of his life, stood once more, held his head high, and marched out of the room towards the ministers.

--- --- ---

Gavin burst loudly into the room, startling the ministers inside. He locked eyes with Bruce as he quickly jumped to his feet and came towards him. “What’s the meaning of this? Explain yourself!” demanded Bruce.

Gavin stared blankly into his eyes he effortlessly dropped Kathrina’s body onto the floor before him. Ministers were all around him then as Director Iden soon joined them. Gavin looked down at Kathrina with eyes as dead as she was, cold and unforgiving. He pulled in a shaky breath as he turned his anger towards the ministers and the director. “Do you see this!” he shouted. “Do you see what you’ve allowed to happen!?”

Bruce came forward and laid a hand on his Gavin’s shoulder. “Gavin, please understand, we played no part in her death. We couldn’t have done anything.”

“Couldn’t do anything!?” he screamed, knocking Bruce’s hand aside. “You and the Order have done nothing in the crisis. You sit here, deep within the confines of your precious chapel and dictate our lives for us! You send valiant men out on foolish endeavours to their doom! In all this, how was Kathrina to die before I was? Before I had the chance to die on one of your worthless assignments?”

Director Iden came forward then, stepping between Bruce and Gavin. “That is enough from you, Watchman!” he roared. In the fit of his sorrow, Gavin would have gladly slit the man’s throat. Still, he knew his place before the Director and cooled his rage for the moment. “My boy, these are dark times. Far greater than anything Terra Viridis has suffered from before. Many lives have already been lost, and many more will certainly die. What you think are foolish assignments by your superiors is everything we can do to protect those we can. We know the need is great, but people will still die.” Pausing for a moment, Iden added “I am no more proud of it than anyone else here, I assure you.”

Gavin wiped tears from his face as he began to protest. “I found he like this in her room. I dare not imagine she did this to herself. She would do no such thing! Not to me! Where was her protection when I was not there for her!?”

Iden coldly glared back at Gavin, suddenly snuffing the flames of his rage. Gavin felt a wave of foolishness wash over him as Iden said “I am not the Creator, Watchman. I cannot will he back to life. If she truly did take her own life, there is little we could have done to stop her. Believe me, had it been anything else, we would have protected her. Just like everyone else sheltered here.”

Gavin glared back at Iden as he turned to leave. “You did nothing for her, Director. What else is left for me now? These innocent people you speak of? If I am to survive this, I will have no life to go back to.” Pushing the doorway open, Gavin quietly sobbed as he finished with saying “I leave now to die. Protect me, if you wish, but I doubt you will. There are others more worth your time and effort than I.”

With that, Gavin disappeared through the door and flew down the hall. He heard the voice of Minister Bruce shouting at him to stop. Gavin didn’t even turn around to see him. He was through with the Order and its ways. He had finally lost everything and nothing they could do or say would bring it back.

As he came through the Great Hall, Alicia turned from tending to a wounded guard toward him. She stopped him in his stride and looked into his solemn face with worry. “Gavin, what’s wrong? What happened?”

The next thing she knew, she lay upon the chapel floor. Gavin had struck her across the face with his fist. Her jaw throbbed with pain as she gazed up in fright at him. His eyes burned with intensity hot enough to melt iron. “Kathrina is dead.” he said, hot tempered. Storming past her as she fell into tears, she cried out his name.

He didn’t stop. Pushing open the gates, he walked out on their world and left himself to the mercy of a nightmare.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 12:
“Relinquished Mortality”

His heart racing, the Glire, or rather “Giant Night Wing”, fell upon Gavin and snapped its jaws at his throat. Bracing the beast back, Gavin threw it off of him and into the violent storm of Night Wings above. Disappearing in the blackened storm of fluttering, chirping creatures, the Glire returned with a vengeance, driving in to tackle Gavin to the ground once more. Rolling to his feet, Gavin slashed his hand-scythe out at the stumbling creature, breaking through one of the bones in its crystallized wings.

The creature, instead of falling back in pain, suddenly lunged at Gavin, biting through his armour and into the flesh of his shoulder. He heard his collar bone snap as he screamed in pain before driving his hand-scythe up into the Glire’s gut. The creature screamed and released him as Gavin tore the blade out of beast’s body, allowing its insides to spill along the ground.

At that moment, the Night Wings fell upon him. They nicked at his wounded shoulder as he batted them aside, scrambling up the rocking trail of the pass. Blindly, he followed what open space he could until finally the beasts left him be, returning to feast upon the corpse of their fallen leader.

He felt his mind fade as blood oozed from his body. The pain of his shattered collar was terrible. Finally, after days or running, and days of fighting, he was going to be allowed to die.

Before long, exhaustion overtook him, yet his mind forced him to ignore such pitiful concerns and to continue his hunt for the Keeper’s followers. In that moment, he mustered up what strength he could and climbed up the steep, mountain trail. He wanted ever so much to die fighting against the monsters, against the night, but he was just one man on a foolish quest. He was but a bug fighting a raging tornado. In time, he knew he would die. It appeared now, that time had come.

He collapsed to a cliffside nearby him and gazed in a dull, desensitised state over his homeland. Even in the dreadful glow of the emerald light, it still retained its wondrous beauty. A form of distilled separation from the time of man, leaving behind to relics of true, natural perfection. Below him stretched for miles the lengths of darkened forests teeming with now hollow life. The radiant, green sky sparkled like the emeralds sprouting beneath it. It sickened him to see his home look so wonderful when all it invited to man was death.

Crawling to his feet, he fell back towards a small cavern. The darkness within it beckoned him to come inside and embrace the black of death. He felt it granting him the chance to finally die and end his suffering. Rekindling his strength once more, he stumbled into the cave and down into the cold tomb of the earth, hoping he would be lucky enough to have one of the violent cave dwellers finish him off quickly.

The intense blackness that pervaded the still and deathly airs of the cave were broken by the vibrate glow of the emeralds lining its walls. He felt himself transcend into a dream-like state of one he could not recognise, most likely from his loss of blood. He saw nothing but the green light before his eyes, sparkling with an enchanting splendour, calling him onward towards it. Deeper and deeper, he crawled into the earth, pinching painfully between the shrinking walls of the cavern, driving himself into absolute pits of isolation. He cared not to find his way back. He refused to return to the world above, as long as he lived.

Suddenly, the images of the past summer entered him mind. He remembered his vacation with Kathrina and the kids to Aestus City, where the frolicked in the cool waters and basked in the hot sun. The memory of his wife and children’s smiling faces brought tears to his eyes. His sons had come with him on swims far out into the sea to witness the gorgeous reefs along the shores of the Seascape Mountains, staring in wonder at the brilliant and colourful beauty of their world’s splendour beneath the waves. He could recall the soft touch of Kathrina’s hand as it had run down his back those nights, and her mystical eyes that cast him slowly off into a voyage of deep sleep. His broken heart ached now more than ever as he found bliss in the thought of joining them in the next life.

Suddenly feeling the stone give way beneath him, he fell into an empty space and rolled to a painful stop among a bed of crystals. His eyes were bleached by a sudden, piercing light. One that could only vaguely reminded him of the sun. It had been so long in his sorrowful state that he had almost no recollection of such a thing.

Opening his eyes painfully to the intense light, he gazed into the marvel of a giant, crystallized cavern. Emeralds of grand size grew like knifes from every surface inside the massive void, driving deeply into the earth and spiking their way up to the distant surface above. As his eyes finally adjusted to the vacant and hollow glow, his senses reawakened before a terrifying sight.
Slumbering before him was a god.

The creature was immense in its size. Fair more gigantic that anything that could be imagined. Wondering before it, he found that he could only match half the height of its teeth. It looked to be a Wyvern of blackened scales that would have disappearing in the consuming darkness, had its body not been laced with the familiar and unearthly, glowing emeralds. Its four massive wings folded around its serpentine body with its crystallized tail trailing off into the distance. Along its entire body were large, grievous wounds that opened a flow of golden blood from its body. Its barded wings were tattered as if riveted in a storm of blades and, between steady breaths of sleep, it twitched in what must have been excruciating pain.

Gazing upon the godly beast, Gavin felt a sense of insignificance. He felt powerless and unworthy of its presence. He felt its unrivalled supremacy above all life and it dominance as king of its realm. Recalling the ancient legends, he remembered stories of the wars between the Creator and the Keeper. In the chaos of their world’s creation, it was told beings of great power transcended from their un-bottled magic, brought to life from the very essence that leaked forth from their two fathers. Beings of such legends were believed to have been called back into their worlds of birth so they could, in a way, be chained, leaving the mortal world to thrive unaltered by their presence.

The great wyvern of crystal wings, for whom would bring forth a world of balance between life and death, was known by name as the Distortioner.

This being had been the source of all his suffering.

Renewed in realization, Gavin lost control of his rage once more. He was consumed completely with his lust to kill and stormed towards the beast, scythe in hand. He made his way towards it massive eye, planning to carve his way into its head from there. He cared not for its massive size. He cared not for its obvious power. He cared not for its legends of grandeur. He wanted only to break its immortality. He demanded it to finally die.

Before the god, he raised his blade in fury, only to caught in the open gaze of its wrath.

Suddenly, the Distortioner’s eye snapped open. A wall of raw power slammed into Gavin’s chest, knocking him to the ground. He felt his heart seize in stress under the pressure it exerted into the depths of his body. His muscles trembled against the immense weight that now crushed down upon him, fighting back at the terrible, invisible force. Stumbling to his feet once more, he picked up his blade again and slowly trudged back towards its open eye. Staring blankly back at him, the Distortioner’s eye was a marvel of perfected beauty in wondrous creation and a blackened consumption of life and death. Blood dripped from his mouth as he felt the tickling brush of the reaper’s hand upon his soul.

Raising his blade once more, he was cast back again by a stronger wall of power. He screamed in pain as a green magic crackled like lightning through his body. He spazzed against the crystallized floor for a time, withering in the agony of tremendous pain and suffering. Coughing up a rich, vibrant blood, he rolled to his side and climbed to his feet once more, muttering strange words under his gasping breath.

He felt then, in the fit of terribly pain, something alien working through his body. He felt something shift deep inside him, like the ties to his spirit breaking away under the magic’s strain. He felt his mind compulse under a throbbing blow of senselessness and loss. Lazily, he raised the scythe once more and aimed to strike.

Suddenly, he felt himself taken in the grip of the Distortioner’s power as he went still. He looked deep within the beast’s eye until he saw his faint reflection staring back at him. It was an image of a hollow and broken man. A violent and terrible human being, lost in the fit of depression and selfless destruction. His very spirit fractured then with the clear sight of what he had become in such a short time. This had all been a terrible mistake.

At that moment, he saw his eyes flash alight with green fire. Energy rippled through him as he felt power swell up from within his body, filling the open void within the depths of his spirit. Coupled with it all, the pain erupted into a cascade of violent magic that exploded like thunder from his being.

He threw his head back and screamed as he felt his humanity die and a new life awakened in its place.

--- --- ---

The welcoming blanket of darkness shrouded him as he awoke once more. In the distance, he heard the sound of strange voices calling for him. He imagined he had finally fallen and transcended into the next world, where his soul would finally fine rest among the ones of those he loved. Collecting his senses, he stared back into the bright, emerald cavern where he lay before the god he had challenged. He had not been fortunate enough to have been left to die.

The Distortioner did not sleep. Instead, it lay there before him, staring at him with curious eyes. Looking upon it, he found he could see a powerful magic burning from its wounds. Something he had not been able to see before. In calm, sudden understanding, he knew the beast suffered from immortal wounds, brought upon it by beings of godly standings like itself. It must have been slowly suffering for all eternity down here in the depths of the earth, unable to heal its wounds with its weakened power.

Even still, Gavin felt no compassion for the vile creature. This beast had been broken in a way much like he had, having lost the ability to live its life of old and forced to suffer in an endless nightmare of pain and loss. Only in the extent of its long suffering had its power been able to grow up through the earth, through the crystals that grew from its body, and retake what had been once its own. In doing so, it had ripped everything dear away from Gavin.

The voices returned now, more defined then before. Gavin turned back to see the faded shapes of spirits coming towards him from the darkened cracks of the earth. The spoke to him as the gathered around, falling on their knees beneath him and holding him close. They spoke to him as their “lord” and “saviour”, prayed he would grant them their need to serve him, and pleaded for him to accept them into his sheltering guidance. Gavin stared dumb-founded and terrified at the spirits that clung to him, confused beyond belief at what it was they meant.

The spirits whispered to him, pleading for him to save them from death and to guide them in the chaotic world. They bowed before him, calling him once more as their “lord”. Turning his gaze inward, he felt a strange and powerful magic growing deep within him. Looking at himself, he found his body clean of blood and his shoulder healed from its mortal wound. As he stared back at the Distortioner, he felt an odd connection to the being, and it was then he realised that it had granted him a new life with a fraction of its power.

Seeing the spirits before him, he wondered why the creature had chosen him. Why of all men did he get bestowed such power? Had it no choice, or had it truly found him worthy of such a role, in being this “lord” the new world sot. He looked inside himself, feeling no pain of lose for the life he had once possessed. Knowledge flowed slowly into his mind of the nature of his power, and the purpose that had been bestowed upon him.

He had prayed for death, but it became clear to him that he was now chosen to serve a higher cause than any human could imagine. He was now chained in the bond to the Distortioner and its dream: To create a world of balance between life and death, where all would co-exist together, for eternity. Pride was the last thing that came to mind as he learned of how he had become a slave to the beast’s desires. No sooner would he relish in the embrace of death, but such a thing had been stripped from his rights. He would be their lord, whether he liked it, or not.

Solemnly, he held his hand before the spirits. They raised their own and took hold on him as ethereal tears fell from their glowing eyes. He stared back with a hollow, emotionless gaze as he spoke. “Do not fret my dear spirits. Unlike the Creator, the Keeper, and their mortal instruments, I will not abandon you. I shall be your lord and grant you all the paradise you, and I, so deserve.”

Feeling something behind him, he turned back towards the Distortioner. The air fluttered subtly as the beast fell back into a deep slumber. It appeared to show confidence that Gavin would do serve it well. Glaring back at the sleeping tyrant, Gavin swore to spare none of the fate he now suffered under its rule.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 13:
“Grand Ascension”

Whispers of him spread quickly through the ears of the spirits. Promises grandeur followed in his wake, for under his hand they would be guided into purpose transcending god and man. To bask in the beauty of the transformed world, create order from chaos, grant meaning to their existence, it all touched the depths of their beings and flourished into something meaningful and just. They bowed before him as their lord and saviour.

The spirits fluttered through the darkened air with excitement as they lead him back to the surface. They told him how happy they were and how they too longed for his dream. He had told them little in return, other than he was pleased to bring them happiness in what way he could. They laughed like children from his simple, kind-hearted words. Perhaps some of those spirits were very well once children. The thought disturbed him.

He had spent what felt like days beneath the earth in the presence of the gathering spirits and his new, accursed god. He had grown quickly in his power, learning to control it to the extent of his current needs. Sharing the nature of their god, his hand would alter. Creating what would be by destroying what was. Still, his innovation sparked the illusion of creation with his magic, taking full advantage of his true capabilities, and intentions. In time, he would learn even more, but he saw himself never becoming a worthy leader as he stood for eternally before the dead; especially with what he had been released to perform.

It would truly test the limits of his remaining humanity.

Despite his crippling attempts to resist, he was unable to defy the Distortioner’s will. The god had reconstructed him from beyond the grave, binding his spirit back into a husk of material magic. In so doing, his very soul had been touched by the beast’s tainting, alternative powers. His loyalty to the god was blind, as was his hand that now performed to its vile bidding. Had he the chance, he would sooner end his own life, let alone kill the damned creature, then follow through with its evil ways, but such actions no longer belonged to him. He was a recreation of the Distortioner’s will on earth. A vessel of dark intent. The befallen lord of the dead and damned.

Breaking forth from the darkness of the cavern, he stood once more under the wonder of the emerald sunlight. He felt a tear fall weakly from his eye at the familiar sight, feeling the dreadful bonds of purpose weighing down his soul. He knew well enough there was no longer any need to grieve for his past losses, as he was about to lose far more than he could have ever believed possible.

The spirits whispered to him again as they clung to his body. They told him to not be afraid, that they would be there with him throughout it all. He would not be alone, never again from this day forth. He would never feel hopeless with his power, never feel unwanted with their love for him, and never need to fret with the truth behind his vision. His heart heaved in distress under their supportive words.

Regardless, he thanked the spirits then and told them he would not fail. He knew what must be done and knew, once it had come to be, this new world belonged to the Distortioner. Beckoning the shadows to fall around him, the ghastly shapes of the undead crawled forth from the cave behind him. Their numbers teeming in size, he descended the cliffside in stride with them, marching towards the dying heart of Terra Viridis.

With every step he took, the so did his own heart slowly die at the thought of what was to fall upon his homeland.

--- --- ---

The hollow shade of the fading fire burned to cinders within the small, dull fireplace, failing to drive out the cold of the night that had seeped into the minister’s offices. An unpleasant tension hung in the air over the ministers gathered around it, what few were still alive anyway. Among them sat Director Iden, turning over his hands in discomfort from the days that had passed.
The attacks upon the chapel had been growing more frequent and more deadly with each passing day. The numbers of remaining guards and Watchmen were dwindling, and people were beginning to starve with the chapel rations slowly running dry. Their time was short and there seemed little hope that any of them could continue to live there.

Iden had begun preparations to remove the remaining civilians from Terra Viridis to the main land. They had been successful in sending word across the seas to their shoreline trade partners, Acta Porte, and they said they would send a fleet over to aid in their extraction. Iden’s brow furrowed as he flustered himself no with the difficult task of escorting all the survivors to the coastlines. There were simply too many people and too few guards to keep them safe. He knew many would die, perhaps all of them. He was being forced to play with chance, and such nature of things did not bode well for him like that.

Among the few ministers with him then was Minister Bruce, who had assured him that the best preparations he could provide where being met. Bruce himself wore the many scars of battle from the past many days. Surrendering his immediate guard for the people, he had also gone the extra mile in becoming a protector as well. His face wore a painful scar now from an encounter with a Glire horde that had fallen upon him and his men once when they had gone out in search of food. Iden applauded his valiant efforts to aid him. He had been right to place such responsibility and faith in this man.

The cold air suddenly intensified around the minister then as the fire suddenly snuffed itself out, casting the gloom of emerald darkness upon their faces. A breeze kicked up their robes lightly then, driving the hairs along their necks on end. Iden rose to the sound of heavy, metal footsteps echoing towards them. Joined by the other ministers, they looked back into the blackness in search of the source. “Who goes there?” demanded Iden.

Darkness parted way with the being that strolled forth from the shadows. A brilliant, blackened robe emerged, laced with elegant designs to match the emerald jewels encrusted into its collar. The man walked tall and with purpose, but hung his head low under the shadows of his hood, hiding his face from them all. A feeling of unease hit them then sided with a sense of danger, masked by the appearance of high nobility. The man’s heavy walk came to a slow stop before them and his head rose to gaze out at them from the impenetrable darkness.

“Who are you? What do you want?” asked Iden.

The figure looked in turn to each of the remaining ministers, before settling it gaze upon Iden. “Director...” it said in low, yet hollow, voice. “It has been quite some time. You and your dying order seem to have seen better days.”

It was Minister Bruce that came forward then. “I know that voice... Gavin, is that you?”

The robed figure nodded. “Yes, minister. It is I.”

Bruce stepped forward, his eyes wide with shock and awe at what Gavin had become. It had been well over two weeks since he had last seen him. Seeing now the darkened shell of the human he once knew and had held such faith within nearly brought himself to tears. “Dear Creator... Gavin, what happened to you?”

Gavin looked back into Bruce’s eyes, seeing the stricken pain of his transformation riddled into the contours of his face. Gavin felt no different as he shared in his grief. “I did as I promised all of you, minister. I died, and what stands before you is all that became of me when I was brought back from the dead, all done so to serve a greater purpose.”

“Purpose? What purpose?” asked Bruce in confusion.

Gavin paused to regain control over himself. He was glad they could not see his face, as it nearly drove him to tears again to have to say “I have come to dissolve your Order.”

The ministers stepped back away from him. Iden pushed forth against Bruce, his face flushed with anger. “How dare you threaten the Order!?” roared Iden. “Have you truly lost your mind!?”

Gavin stared solemnly up at the Director. He had expected such, but the truth of such a matter was beyond horrible for him to comprehend himself, let alone perform. “Far from it, Director. I have not lost my mind. I have been... enslaved to enlightenment.”

“You see...” he went on. “I have come to expand the beauty and perfection in our changing world. I have done what the rest of you could not imagine. I have tamed this wild and chaotic new world. I have taken rule of its power by will of god and I stand before you with every intention of seeing its vision become a reality. I have no choice in this matter.”

“So you intend to kill us then?” questioned Bruce.

“No, Minister.” replied Gavin. “I am to enslave you and everyone else in this dying world.”

Bruce came forth towards Gavin and raised his sword. “I will not have it, you madman!” he roared out as he swiftly swung the blade down upon him. Moments before the sword connected with Gavin’s head, his hand came up and grasped the blade, freezing Bruce were he stood. With the subtle tightening of his wrist, Gavin broke the blade into pieces.

Suddenly, the room exploded in violent light. Deafening thunder roared through the room in accompaniment of Bruce’s moral cry. Sparks showed from his body as the bolt of green lightning struck him down. Within the instant, Bruce collapsed into a compulsive heap on the ground, only to go still as death moments later.

Gavin stood staring at the body of the former minister, and friend. Seeing as to recollect himself, he strolled forth towards the cowering remainders of the Order. Iden stood tall before Gavin, retaining the challenge and defiance in his eyes. “What have you become, Gavin?” asked Iden.

From under the darkness of his hood, Gavin’s eyes erupted in a green, flaming glow. They penetrated the shadows, leaving his face a mystery to the ministers, but driving fear into their hearts. The expression they bled would bring anyone to tears, had they known the pain they truly portrayed. “I have become something beyond human, Director.”

Suddenly, a terrifying sound echoed through the chapel then. Iden turned towards the doorway of the offices in sudden shock. He heard the sounds of screaming coming from the Grand Hall. Gavin suddenly burst into laughter then. His joyful, maddened cries echoed deeply into the conscience minds of his peers, leaving the numbing sense of hateful evil in its wake.

Calming himself, Gavin held his hand out towards the door and said smoothly then, “Go Director. Witness the end of your world.”
Iden and the ministers burst from the room and tore down the halls away from Gavin. Their hearts racing from the terrible ordeal, they rounded about and came upon the balcony that overlooked the Grand Hall.

The sight was beyond horrific.

The many large windows along the Grand Hall lay shattered along the hall floors as legions of skeletons poured forth through them, crawling along the walls like a deadly swarm of insects. Falling upon the civilians sheltered inside the room, the beasts began their frenzied destruction, ripping their bodies to shreds with their boney claws and sharpened teeth. Watchmen and guards became overwhelmed by the great numbers and were slowly murdered under piles of the undead. A hideous sound of ferial cries mixed with the haunting screams of the dying drove a painful image into the minister’s eyes as they witnessed the mass execution of their people.

Iden and the minister, no longer able to bear witness to the sight of it all, turned to escape from the balcony, only to be confronted by Gavin once more. He stared with cold intensity at them as he turned his attention to the murders below them. “In revelation, there is hardly any pleasant means to its end, isn’t there Director?” asked Gavin. “These people shall become the body of the new Order. The Lord’s Order, where I shall guide them into eternal paradise. Free from the greedy hands of the Creator and his fallen brother.”

Iden stood speechless to Gavin’s words, as did the rest of the ministers. Gavin strolled towards him then as he said “Does it pain you to witness such a thing, Director?” With rage gathering in his burning eyes, he added “Perhaps now you will finally understand the loss you and this pathetic Order cost me!” Swiftly, Gavin clamped his armoured hand around Iden’s throat and pulled him along the ground. Suddenly, he found his body thrust over the edge of the balcony. Iden grasped hold of Gavin’s hand and screamed in fear for his life as he stared into the heart of death beneath him.

“Look upon it, Director!” demanded Gavin. “Look upon it! This is the fall of your world and your Order. In its death, so does join the past lives of everyone that had thrived in it, including all those I had once known and loved. To belong in this new world, you and your people must accept the ultimate sacrifice: The abandonment of everything you hold dear in your mortal lives. Nothing of your hearts shall remain intact when it is over. Only then will you belong to my god.” Pausing for the moment, his rage flooded into sorrow as he added “I know the truth of such a fate, for I was the first to fall victim to it.”

Glaring with penetrating misery, Gavin stared into the terror radiating from Iden’s eyes as he spat out the words “You cannot escape it, Director. Now, you belong to it.”

With a flick of his wrist, Gavin released Iden. Toppling over the railing, Iden screamed as he fell head first down to the chaos below. With the sharp crack of his skull, he died, and soon enough along with the remnants of the old Order of Terra Viridis.



Last edited by LordGavin on Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Shadow Of The Eclipse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Lord Gavin's Realm
Chapter 14:
“Rein Of The Lord”

Within the confines of the palace throne room, Lord Gavin stood alone, staring through the massive window before him. Below him lay the distorted death of Terra Viridis, unworthy of its past name. Out of respect, he had renamed the land, titling it “The Realm”, for this was no place that belonged within the world. It was a staple of human deterioration under the might of the Distortioner and its will. When life entered this place, it would fall and become a part of it. Like a festering wound, this realm drained the life from the vibrant world, darkening it in the shadow of the eclipse.

His palace fell into that idea as well, for he had not built it. It had once been the chapel that crowned his homeland. Pained by its ruin, he had used his power to turn the elegant stone into blackened obsidian. All the relics of the Creator’s glory that had once lined the walls of this holy place had been destroyed and replaced with works reflecting the darkened guidance he gave the Realm and those that served him.

Much like how the Distortioner had called him back from the clutches of death, Gavin had done the same to all those that would serve him. The woman had been recalled to be his Ladies, as were the men who were to be his Followers. He granted his Ladies bonds to magic which they would grow to use in his name. Already they had used their powers to perfect their bodies, making them flawlessly beautiful to any mortal man. As for the Followers, they were trained in the art of deadly of combat and granted weapons salvaged from the Chapel’s armoury. With their magical arts limited, their weapons were imbued with powers to further enhance their strength. Donning blackened robes, they hid their faces out of respect for Gavin, knowing they must now represent the new Order that they served in its hollow and darkened faith. Such a choice had not come willingly to them.

Leading alongside him, Gavin had recalled Iden as his count. Granting him a blackened attire of his past uniform, Gavin condemned him to serve as his second over the new Order. Iden clearly recalled the events of past, since he had not suffered long in his time of death. Still, he was now bound to his duty, much like Lord Gavin. Despite his grudge against him for what he had done, he put his shattered pride aside and served him without question.

Gavin had also recalled his close friend, Draven, as his baron. Draven’s spirit had rotting for quite some time in death, and thus was quite destroyed, resembling nothing of the man he had once been. Draven’s body was blackened as night, burning with the same, vigorous fires that had consumed him. Outfitted in a complete, silver armoured suit and an emerald long sword, he commanded the Followers alongside the horde into battle, carrying the wave of their crusade into “perfect” the world.

Lastly, he had brought back his darling wife, Kathrina, as his mistress. She had suffered similar to Draven, losing some of her memories in her death. She did, however, recall enough to blindly love Gavin, despite being the monster he now was. In her bliss of ignorance, she failed to remember they had even been husband and wife. It pained him to withhold such wonderful memories from her, but he couldn’t bear her returning to the depths of depression. As the mistress, she controlled the Ladies, training them in their magic for the possibility of their need in the dawning war.

Recollecting his wondering mind, Gavin turned to the sound of his room doors opening behind him. Standing before him was the recalled shadow of Alicia, enslaved to him as one of his Ladies. “Yes, you wanted me?” she said with scorn.

Gavin turned back and glared at her with his burning green eyes. “Your lord wanted you, Alicia. Do not forget who I am to you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes, my lord, what do you want?”

Gavin growled under his breath. Alicia knew very well what he had brought upon the world. She understood his blind duty to the Distortioner, as she shared such a bond to him, but she refused to forgive him for condemning the innocent lives of everyone to suffer as he had. Gavin didn’t blame her for hating him, but he never allowed her any excuse to mock him.

Moments before he raised his hand to cripple her, she gave him an empty smile and said “Oh my lord, bless me with god’s duty to you.”

Had those not been the words he had wanted, in their false praise, he would have ignored them and cast her down then. Restraining his rage for another time, he nodded under the shadows of his hood. “Report to me. Where do our forces stand?”

She sighed lightly then, wondering why he even bothered to ask her such a thing. “The horde is closing in on the mainland coast. Within the next few hours, their assault will begin. I doubt they will fail. Acta Porte will not be prepared for such a butchering.”

Gavin nodded. “Good. Have the baron informed that he is to arrive in Acta Porte when the horde is finished there. He will be needed to guide them until the land is under my power.”

Alicia lowered her gaze as she said “Very well. I’ll go tell my monster of a husband what you need of him.”

Gavin’s heart stings fluttered in the heat of her words. “You know full well that I could not have recalled any more of him.”

She rolled her eyes again. “No, I suppose not. You are, after all, our lord and savior. Aren’t you? You would know.” As Alicia turned to leave, she opened the doorway to the throne room when Gavin called her name. Sighing, she turned back to him and said “Yes, Gavin?”

Suddenly, she was thrown through the open doors by a bolt of green lightning. She slammed into the floor on the other side, convulsing in violent pain. She screamed for a moment until she lost her breath. Seconds later, she gasped for air in between fits of pain.

She heard his voice clearly then as he roared back to her as the door shut forcefully behind her. “That’s Lord Gavin to you!”

--- --- ---

Dismounting from his stallion, General Franklin followed the captain throughout the ranks of solders at his sides. The alarms had risen out of nowhere that night, assembling the entire rank of Acta Porte’s army to duty. He himself had no idea why the alarm had been rung. “Captain, have the fleet ships to Terra Viridis returned?” asked the general.

The captain shook his head. “No sir. It’s something far more… You just need to see it sir.” Leading the general through the lines and lines of soldiers, they came upon the shoreline bordering the edge of Acta Porte. The night was calm and clear, as was best for their people. Whatever it was that had raised these men from their beds, the general would not stand for it.

Coming up to the water’s edge, the general stared out with shock and awe. The water, for many miles out, shone a bright, unearthly green. His gazed snapped back and forth, looking at the sheer size of it all. “What is all this?” asked the general.

“We have no idea, sir. We raised the alarm when we sent men in to investigate. They were pulled down under the water’s surface.”

The general tattered on the edge of confusion. He had never seen such a thing before. “Anything else to report?” The captain shook his head. Sighing, the general said “Well then, we might as well…”

At that moment, a strange sound roared to life over the ocean. Looking back up, the general saw the water bubble as if in a boil. Every mile of the green light churned a life as if the water was erupting like a violent volcano. Over the rims of the sky, the horizon darkened as green lightning thundered overhead. The air suddenly turned deathly cold as the sense of fear fell like a plague over the men. The entire army lowered their weapons, bracing for what was to occur.

None of them expected what they saw then.

Slowly, from the depths of the ocean, marched a legion of skeletons. Their bones radiated within the terrible, green light as they unfolded their lengthy limbs. Long, bladed talons slashed at the water as they crawled forth from its depths, hissing like angered serpents at the soldiers. Every one of the men shook with fear.

At that moment, the skeletons fell upon the men, driving the stake of death into their hearts as the beasts purged Acta Porte of its “imperfections”. That night, the emerald seeds were planted along their shorelines, and the green haze fell over the moon, spreading the touch of their lord into their fallen land.

And so began the rein of the lord.



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