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  #201  
Unread 9th of May, 2010, 00:49
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Janice impacted with Yavan's arm, doubling over the blade grasped there. She seemed to weigh nothing, an ephemeral object with none of the gravity that should accompany of the act he was taking part of, the murder. Yavan’s amber sight catch the girl’s eyes, an unfathomable, unreadable green. And she floated to the ground, soundless within the moment, leaving the bard’s hand stained with the crimson of his crime.

Thud


Outside the unseen wolves relaunch their song, a chorus of howls that build from all around them, weaving together into a single voice that hints at meaning just beyond the reach of their ken. Upon the floor the girl writhed, limbs and head beating against the marble floor in an irregular rhythm. Not a rattle of death, but something else. The pulse of life that should not exist, life that was an affront against all nature, beating out, growing louder.

Thud-Thud


The sound buffered the bards, shaking them from their feet. It echoed within the depths of their minds, rising from hidden desires and forgotten memories.

Thud-Thud


It rose from deep within the ground below them, shaking the heart of the world.

Thud Thud-Thud


But as the dissymphonic beat grew, the song of the wolves caught it, binding the within their harmony, absorbing it until it was trapped.

The childemon upon the floor looked at them, body arched upwards to an impossible angle. It moved, clad within the form of a small child, but at the edge of sight something larger, something that frayed upon their minds. The creature contorted until only head and toes were upon the floor, and in the shade beneath it squirmed something that sight refused to perceive.

The air grew hot and a light sprung from the childemon, not a light that brought illumination, but one that deepened and strengthened the shadows, which blinded all who saw it. In the corners of the room paper curled and began to tendril smoke from their edges. The creature looked from first one of the bards, then to the other, and under the gaze their blood grew hot.

Then, it spoke with a voice from beyond hope, beyond despair, raw emotions whipping them.

“Beg it of me.”

At the last, the Spectral Wolf moved, sitting until this moment silent and forgotten besides the window. It leapt across the room and impacted with the childemon as the light stripped the last of the sight from the bards.

And then, there was nothing.

Rina and Yavan sat alone in the strained silence, the freezing night air gusting in through the broken window. The pallor of peace that hung over the village, even in this remote corner deep within the forest, was gone, leaving behind an ill-defined awkward absence. Upon the floor was the body of their night’s deeds, demon or girl no longer, simply a corpse laid out on red stone.

It was over.
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  #202  
Unread 13th of May, 2010, 06:07
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Rina drops to her knees on the hard floor, the pain not penetrating the shock which has suddenly overcome her. Before her lies a broken mortal shell, unfit to house any spirit - malevolent or otherwise. Had it been Janice lying there - in peace and repose - instead of this bare, decrepit husk she might feel some sense of relief.

There had been no other way - the suffering Janice endured had to be ended, the twisted hold of the demon must be broken. To be human was to know the price of change - the fear that came with the new and unknown, the guilt that came of abandoning something familiar and trusted. For a chance at saving Janice, they had taken away the security - however terrible - this town had known. She could deny neither the good nor ill of what had happened or what would come next. She was numb, filled with emotion so great it removed her ability to feel anything.

There had been no other way, but that did not diminish at all the enormity of their actions.

Of her actions.

"Set and Iakchos and Biate," her face is blank, the tears refusing to flow, "what have we done?"
  #203  
Unread 17th of May, 2010, 06:23
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“Our hands were forced,” he says. “There was no other way.”

These are the words are those spoken by those that are neither innocent nor guilty, neither red-handed nor clean. They are words spoken by those that have borne the terrible price of carrying guilt after an accident, and they are the words uttered by those that have done what they must when the time demanded it. But they are not good words. They do not inspire. They do not comfort. They do not even ring true. They exist. They are of debatable veracity.

There could have been another way, of course. There is often the hidden path that is shrouded by thick branches and shadows. Rina and Yavan and Calliste had elected the way of acceptance. They could have instead simply let the town be and allowed them to continue to live with their evil bargain. In the minds of those that lived here the needs of the many outweighed those of the few. In the minds of the bards, this was an evil that could no longer be suffered.

It is with some irony that these three are self-appointed paragons of justice. They act with no authority, with little morality, and willingly disrupt, and likely kill, those that they do not know or care for. It will be easy for them. There will be cold nights huddled together in their winter garb, but they have food and supplies, and no home to worry about. They have no possessions but which they can carry on their backs. They have no livestock to feed. They have no children to care for.

What had they done, indeed.

“Come,” he says, “the spell will be broken soon and we must be away from here. Let us collect Calliste and our belongings and make haste. The south awaits.”
  #204  
Unread 25th of May, 2010, 21:55
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Fleeing the cemetery and the looming shadow of events enacted on those grounds, Rina and Yavan made their way back to the village, unsure of what they would find. Creeping towards the bounds of the township, one change was obvious. It was as freezing as any true winter's night. With further cautious investigation they discovered people, milling about at random, seemingly dazed and paying the pair no mind.

They found Calliste sitting near the body of the temple priest, gathering her and their gear, fleeing into the wilderness before any of the village folk could gain the wits to stop them. It was only later that they drew the tale of what had happened from their companion.

Upon her return to the Village, Cal found the inhabitance gathered around the remains of the temple, unsure and divided as to what to do as the temple priest tried to rally them to send hunting parties after the bards. Revealing herself, Calliste and the priest had battled with words to sway the crowd, until in the end, out of desperation the man had drawn a knife attacked her. In her own defense, she had been forced to slay him.

The journey back to civilization was cold and difficult, but safe. On their second night in the forest the group were awoken by the now familiar sound of wolves. Similar to their encounter just a few days ago, the howls were at first individual and distant before drawing closer and more numerous. As they grew nearer, Yavan woke the others.

The minutes inched past while chorus of sound rose, an eerie cry of unseen creatures. The song washed over them from all sides as half seen shadows moved at the edge of the flickering campfire light, a symphony beautiful in its singular inhuman way. The harmony seemed to hint at meaning, an attempt to convey some message the companions could not understand. Then it fell silent.

They never encountered the wolves again.
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