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ZONE - The Forbidden Halls of Clan Dimmlundar


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#41 Burger Warrior

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:22 PM

Welp.

 

Korvarl stared blankly at the enormous demon standing (well, laying down, strictly-speaking) between him and any chance he had at reclaiming his old honor and glory. He had expected impossible odds, but the kinds in bards’ tales that had a chance of being overcome. This, though? This was really impossible. Silvershield’s gaze flickered between the enormous lizard and his comparatively puny axe, a frown finally crossing his features. Yeah, I needed to pack something bigger.

 

"We have to leave, now. This thing... even a legion of your Templar would scarcely stand a chance" the elf said---the latter comment addressed mostly to Malvolio. "Forget the sword, let us just turn around and go, before it wakes up."

 

"We cannae, as much as I want tae," Agethar hissed back, for once in his life speaking quietly "we found out somethin' about th' nature o' this mission. The contract Agni had us sign...it has some sort o' power that'll force us tae git th' blasted thing, come hell or 'igh water."

 

Korvarl swore under his breath. “Damned hells, I should’ve seen tha’ comin’.” He grumbled into his beard.

 

The Templar, meanwhile, surprisingly suggested a retreat rather than a head-on assault. Korvarl was beginning to think he had the right idea, taking a step away from the demon - and, naturally, keeping close to Elnira the whole time. She’d get eaten last if they got caught, god-like demon lords bedamned.

 

-----

 

Percula stared in awe at the enormous creature - well, demon - curled up before them. It was… well, both incredible and terrifying to watch as it snoozed away, larger than anything she’d ever seen; and considering the sorts of perspective-bending shenanigans she’d gotten in before this point, that was really saying something. She was pretty sure none of these guys had confronted a giant while just a couple inches tall.

 

Granted, this was an entirely different situation, so that was something of a moot point.

 

“...Maaaaybe we should head back up and look for… I unno, something useful.” Percula whispered quietly - granted, mostly to Caiden because he was beside her. “Maybe something lying around could help us distract it?” Percula offered to the rest of the group, already beginning to make her way back up the stairs with her usual light tread. As long as they didn’t wake the demon up, they had time to figure out a plan or find something more useful than what they already had, right?

As she headed up, Saffron belatedly remembered the books Huo had grabbed. Maybe somebody in the party could read those… once they were safely far enough from the demon to not wake it up while they discussed that course of action.


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#42 Sareth

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:12 AM

"We need do, is to discuss this elsewhere."

 

Valya followed Malvolio and the others back up the stairs, taking the rear-guard position in case the demon awoke. She might not stand much of a chance against it, but it was a better chance than most of the others would.

 

“Maybe something lying around could help us distract it?”

 

"One or two of us could always distract it, try and lure it away from that room so the rest can grab the sword" she suggested grimly. "Long odds, though..."

 

Then she turned to Agethar. "What did you mean, before? How can a piece of paper force us to do anything? How do you know this?" she asked, somewhat forcefully. She did not like the idea of being manipulated against her will. And if it was true... well, if they made it out of here, Agni would be getting his precious sword---point first through his chest, the treacherous bastard.

 

***

 

“Maybe something lying around could help us distract it?”

 

"Like what?" Allya asked, a touch snappishly. "The only things we know about that demon are its name, Xiraloc, and the fact that it can apparently claim spirits, not just wicked souls---and those only from the writings, in blood, of a demon that must have been, by any objective standard, insane."

 

"What did you mean, before? How can a piece of paper force us to do anything? How do you know this?"

 

"There are Divine Contracts" she mused aloud. "But... No---it can't be. Those have to be consecrated with the blood of the bound, which that contract certainly wasn't."

 

After a moment's more thinking, she turned to Agethar: "And I would like to know that last part, myself."


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#43 Sephsekla

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

"What did you mean, before? How can a piece of paper force us to do anything? How do you know this?"

"There are Divine Contracts. But... No---it can't be. Those have to be consecrated with the blood of the bound, which that contract certainly wasn't. And I would like to know that last part, myself."

Elnira squeaked nervously. "That's a demon of Apophis. Why would they bind us into coming here to face it?"

One hand stroked a rather frightened Mr Whiskers.

------

"And I would like to know that last part, myself."

Garandros laughed humourlessly. It was an unpleasant sound.

"Ask the priest. Maybe he'd like to make friends with this one too."
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#44 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:09 PM

"Ask the priest. Maybe he'd like to make friends with this one too.

 

Malvolio stiffened at this, but kept walking. Agethar looked guilty, while Huo looked like he was about to beat Garandos senseless with his staff.

 

"What did you mean, before? How can a piece of paper force us to do anything? How do you know this?"

 

"...Someone told us." The venator said simply as the group finally reached a safe distance away from the demon.

 

Now that they were a safe distance away, the group could talk freely without a chance of waking up Xiraloc.

 

Huo seemed to relax...until the point of Malvolio's sword tickled his throat.

 

"That Venator said that you were making friends with demons," the Templar said, his voice deceitfully calm "care to elaborate?"

 

Those who had seen him get angry in the Temple thought that the Priest would roast the skin off Malvolio's bones, instead, however, he came clean:

 

"Me and several other explored a Temple while searching for information. Inside we found a demon, who gave us information about Dainslief in exchange for freedom, which we did not give it. It also told us about the soul-binding nature of the contract Agni had us sign."

 

It was hard to tell which was redder: Xiraloc, or the Templar's face.

 

"Are you completely insane?!" he said, almost choking on his words as he spat them out "Do you have any idea what that thing could have-!"

 

"Calm down!" Agethar said, knocking the Templar's blade aside as he stepped between the two men "There's no need fer us tae kill each other, especially when we 'ave a giant snake demon that would happily do th' job fer us."

 

Huo and Malvolio seemed to calm down at this, though both kept eyes on each other.

 

"I do have something that could potentially help us," Huo said as he held out the two books from the Temple "we found these while searching the Temple. One of the Venators - ah, I'm sorry, I don't know your name - said that one book was written in Dwarven, and the other in Demonic. Does anyone here know how to read either one?"



#45 Sareth

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

"Ask the priest. Maybe he'd like to make friends with this one too."

 

"Me and several other explored a Temple while searching for information. Inside we found a demon, who gave us information about Dainslief in exchange for freedom, which we did not give it. It also told us about the soul-binding nature of the contract Agni had us sign."

 

"At least you have not completely taken leave of your senses" Allya said dryly. A demon's word could not be trusted, but... she could not think of any way for it to gain by lying to them about the nature of the contract.

 

She wondered... if it could sense such a binding, perhaps she could, too. Closing her eyes, she tuned out the angry conversation that followed the priest's words for a few moments; with her connection to the spirit world, seeking to see, if she could, whether any such binding truly lay upon her and her companions.

 

***

 

"...Someone told us."

 

Valya's eyes narrowed angrily at the venator's evasive and far-from-adequate answer.

 

"That Venator said that you were making friends with demons, care to elaborate?"

 

"Me and several other explored a Temple while searching for information. Inside we found a demon, who gave us information about Dainslief in exchange for freedom, which we did not give it. It also told us about the soul-binding nature of the contract Agni had us sign."

 

"The word of a demon" she spat. "And you believe it?"

 

"Are you completely insane?! Do you have any idea what that thing could have-!"

 

"Calm down! There's no need fer us tae kill each other, especially when we 'ave a giant snake demon that would happily do th' job fer us."

 

"Maybe not" Valya said darkly, suspicious that the priest---and apparently Agethar, too---would even listen to such an enemy. "But perhaps we should kill that demon you spoke with. Or did you take care of it already?"

 

***

 

When Allya opened her eyes again, following her brief connection to the spirit realm, she found the priest holding up a pair of old books.

 

"I do have something that could potentially help us, we found these while searching the Temple. One of the Venators - ah, I'm sorry, I don't know your name - said that one book was written in Dwarven, and the other in Demonic. Does anyone here know how to read either one?"

 

Immediately, she plucked the books from the man's hand, turning and offering the one with dwarven lettering to Korvarl.

 

Once the dwarf had taken the book, without a word she opened the demonic tome and began scanning through it in search of anything useful. Although her features were impassive as she read, all the while she was painfully aware of what suspicion might fall upon her for being able to comprehend its dark text. But they needed a solution to the problem of the demon below, and soon, or it wouldn't matter either way.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#46 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 06:32 PM

As Allya attempted to connect with her own soul and those around her, she realized... the demon was right. It was difficult to pinpoint such a thing as a binding on the soul, but she could all but sense a weight hanging on each and every one of them - except the odd, short elf girl ((Percula)) who had seemingly appeared mysteriously in their group. And there was something else also, lingering in the soul of that muscular Venator the elf was always lingering near ((Caiden)).

 

But whatever the case, it was undeniable: there was something affecting them. If it was specifically a binding, she couldn't be sure, but there was certainly something there.

 

---

 

The argument that took place happened so quickly that Caiden couldn't get a word in edgewise. So, instead, he stood with his hands on his hips, his eye glancing to each person in turn as they spoke.

 

Finally, Huo said as he held out the two books, "I do have something that could potentially help us. We found these while searching the Temple. One of the Venators - ah, I'm sorry, I don't know your name - said that one book was written in Dwarven, and the other in Demonic. Does anyone here know how to read either one?"

 

"Caiden Voros of Redfield," he offered simply.

 

Meanwhile, however, Korvarl and Allya took the book in Dwarven and the book in Demonic, respectively, each glancing through them...

 

Korvarl's was a bit lengthier, but he quickly figured out what the book was about...

Spoiler

 

As Allya knew well, Demonic was always difficult to read - but she had learned well how to understand it reasonably quickly...

Spoiler

 

 

((I'm feeling too lazy to bother with PMs, so instead, have spoilered sections for those actually capable of, and reading, the books.))


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#47 Burger Warrior

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 02:49 AM

Both Korvarl and Percula let out sighs of relief - one more reserved than the other while doing so - and as the pixie moved off to one side to watch the goings-on and keep Caiden company, the dwarf took Huo’s book without question.

 

If this tome held the knowledge they needed to defeat such a monster as the demon below them, there simply wasn’t time to waste. Silvershield flipped page after page, admittedly a little incautious with the old book as he scanned line after line for previous learning. A smile actually worked its way through his beard as he did, however; indeed, this book seemed to be the answer to all of their problems.

 

Granted, Korvarl had never been a terrifically strong advocate of the gods, but if there was any time they’d listen to him, it was now. A plan rapidly formed in his mind as he tried to memorize the pattern that made up the summoning circle required for both parts of it. Finally, he closed the book with cautious but hearty enthusiasm.

 

“I dunnae where y’got this from, ol’ man, bu’ it’s got what we need.” The dwarf grinned, turning to the group. “Th’ tricks in summonin’ circles; we c’n summon celestials, an’ they c’n do the fightin’ for us ‘gainst tha’ monster. Grant’d, if that doesn’t kill it, it might jus’ distract it enough t’make a circle ‘round the big demon and send it righ’ back t’the ‘ells it came from.”

“So, did anybody pick up chalk?”

 

-----

 

Perkula, meanwhile, watched the group read and discuss their options, glancing between them and Caiden. “...Sooo, I guess we’re gonna end up fighting big snakey down there, huh?” She mused, glancing at his expression.

 

“Whiiich means we’re gonna have to go ‘all out’, right?” The pixie suggested with a gentle nudge of her elbow into his arm. She would have gone for his ribs, but there was a little too much bicep in the way. “I swoop in and save the day and you… do your thing?” Saffron prodded him jokingly, giving Caid an encouraging smile.

 

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#48 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:24 AM

"Caiden Voros of Redfield.​"

 

"Pleasure to meet you, sir," Huo said, bowing politeley "I am Huo Shiye of the East."

 

I dunnae where y’got this from, ol’ man, bu’ it’s got what we need. Th’ tricks in summonin’ circles; we c’n summon celestials, an’ they c’n do the fightin’ for us ‘gainst tha’ monster. Grant’d, if that doesn’t kill it, it might jus’ distract it enough t’make a circle ‘round the big demon and send it righ’ back t’the ‘ells it came from.”

 

"A battle between the servants of Good and Evil?" the Priest asked, raising an eyebrow "That's something I didn't think I would happen on this trip."



#49 Sareth

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 03:28 PM

Allya was fascinated by the tome. The knowledge it contained... her mother would have killed for such secrets, a thought that gave her pause. While an incredible find, and potentially the solution to their problem, it also carried immense risk. But, if there was no other way...

 

“I dunnae where y’got this from, ol’ man, bu’ it’s got what we need. Th’ tricks in summonin’ circles; we c’n summon celestials, an’ they c’n do the fightin’ for us ‘gainst tha’ monster. Grant’d, if that doesn’t kill it, it might jus’ distract it enough t’make a circle ‘round the big demon and send it righ’ back t’the ‘ells it came from.”
 

Her brows furrowed in interest as she turned to look at the dwarf. Celestials? She had not even considered the demons' divine counterparts, knowing almost nothing about them.

“So, did anybody pick up chalk?”

 

"No need" she said to Korvarl. "If what that book says is true, we could re-purpose the summoning circle trapping the demon at the temple. After dealing with it, of course."

 

It seemed the perfect plan, though she had some reservations. While she knew people oft summoned demons when seeking the aid of some greater power, she had never heard of anyone successfully doing so with a celestial---nor had there been any mentions of such in her mother's comprehensive collection of notes. There had to be a reason for it. Perhaps the Gods' servants, like the Gods themselves, preferred to remain more aloof from the affairs of mortals than did their wicked counterparts...

 

But despite its flaws, if it did work the dwarf's option was far better than the one she had---which, even if successful, was liable to cost them dearly... and if unsuccessful, would increase their troubles exponentially. Better, then, to try the divine route first. If it failed, there was always the other way...

 

"Let us head to the temple" she suggested.

 

***

 

“I dunnae where y’got this from, ol’ man, bu’ it’s got what we need. Th’ tricks in summonin’ circles; we c’n summon celestials, an’ they c’n do the fightin’ for us ‘gainst tha’ monster. Grant’d, if that doesn’t kill it, it might jus’ distract it enough t’make a circle ‘round the big demon and send it righ’ back t’the ‘ells it came from.”

 

Valya grunted unhappily. The thought of asking someone to fight on her behalf---even a servant of the Gods---irked her. Still, it wasn't as if there were many other options available to deal with such a monstrosity.

 

"A battle between the servants of Good and Evil? That's something I didn't think I would happen on this trip."

 

"It will probably be quite a sight" she said, feeling a touch better at the thought of getting to witness such a contest. "Pity for you" she said to the blind priest.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#50 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:50 PM

"Pleasure to meet you, sir," Huo said, bowing politeley "I am Huo Shiye of the East."

 

Caiden gave a respectful nod, before Huo conversed with Korvarl instead... and Percula spoke next. “...Sooo, I guess we’re gonna end up fighting big snakey down there, huh?” She mused, glancing at his expression.

 

The Venator returned her glance, looking the same as he always did... although Percula could read some definite hesitance in his eyes about the idea of fighting the demon.

 

“Whiiich means we’re gonna have to go ‘all out’, right?” The pixie suggested with a gentle nudge of her elbow into his arm. She would have gone for his ribs, but there was a little too much bicep in the way. “I swoop in and save the day and you… do your thing?” Saffron prodded him jokingly, giving Caid an encouraging smile.

 

Caiden just grunted at first, but eventually he nodded. "Not sure how everyone will take it," he said quietly. "But... I've fought one demon with it already. Might as well make it two."

 

---

 

By Allya's suggestion, and since they had nowhere else to go at this point, the group headed back to the temple in which Huo and the others had conversed with the demon. Approaching that same, absurdly high-ceilinged room, they found the demon still standing there, arms crossed, waiting in silence...

 

And, instantly, Elnira, Allya, and Malvolio recognized what kind of demon this was: a demon of Betrayal. Far from a powerful one of its kind, but a demon of Betrayal nonetheless.

 

The abomination turned the red, glowing pits that were its eyes to Huo as everyone entered. "You return," said the aberration, glancing over everyone else present. "You and your companions, I take it. Did you find what you searched for? May I have some form - any form - of release from this circle?"


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#51 Sareth

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:42 PM

Allya's eyes narrowed slightly at the sight of the demon, instantly recognizing it as one of Orcus' followers. "That is a demon of Betrayal" she whispered to the others. "Be very careful believing anything it says" she cautioned.

 

"You return. You and your companions, I take it. Did you find what you searched for? May I have some form - any form - of release from this circle?"

 

"Perhaps..." she said, taking a couple steps forward to address the demon---staying well away from the edges of the summoning circle. She actually grinned, slightly, thinking of the scribbled note in the demonic tome, which she still carried, tucked into the crook of her arm. If it was true, it just might be the one thing which would guarantee an honest answer from the being before them... and the researcher in her, the part that took after her mother, really wanted to see if it worked.

 

"But first, Betrayer: VERNOX ZIRALA ACH YUSTAROSH ANGRA-MAINYU!" she declared, her tongue snapping out the harsh, alien syllables. She waited a moment to gauge the demon's reaction before speaking again.

 

"I want to know two things. What is your true desire, and intent? And what do you know about the demon Xiraloc?"

 

***

 

Valya growled in frustration as the elf approached the demon and began speaking, some of it in a language she did not understand. They should just dispose of the thing and be done with it, especially as they apparently couldn't trust a word it said---not that she needed some elf to tell her that.

 

"I want to know two things. What is your true desire, and intent? And what do you know about the demon Xiraloc?"

 

"Answer, demon" Valya snarled threateningly. "Or I shall release your head from your shoulders." Although, probably, she would do so either way.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#52 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:49 PM

The demon resumed its silence, arms crossed, as it watched Allya take a few steps forward - though she stayed well away from the edges of the runic circle. The demon seemed to note this, as it slightly narrowed its blazing red eyes.

 

"But first, Betrayer: VERNOX ZIRALA ACH YUSTAROSH ANGRA-MAINYU!" she declared, her tongue snapping out the harsh, alien syllables. She waited a moment to gauge the demon's reaction before speaking again.

 

Allya didn't have to wait long. The demon's eyes went wide almost the moment she started the phrase, and he was all but cowering by the time she finished. He hissed under his breath, in Demonic that only she understood, "Ahriman! Where... how--!?"

 

"I want to know two things. What is your true desire, and intent? And what do you know about the demon Xiraloc?"

 

"Answer, demon" Valya snarled threateningly. "Or I shall release your head from your shoulders."

 

The demon all but ignored Valya, his gaze held fast to Allya, as if she were the only person in the room - at least, until a half-strangled yell escaped Caiden's throat.

 

The demon hardly seemed concerned - if anything, he was more concerned with not answering Allya until he could be sure he had her full attention once more. The fear in his eyes was unmistakable.

 

But they turned to see the Venator, standing near the back of the room, collapse on his hands and knees. He growled in pain, writhing on all fours briefly as if trying to resist something that pulled at his soul - even as his body began to change.

 

Great spikes suddenly tore through his flesh and armor alike, his already sizable form grew still a little larger and caused more of his armor and clothing to break - he groaned, somehow managing to swallow a scream, as he clawed at the floor and mutated still further, long tendrils bursting through his forearms... ((see Caiden's spoilered description for more details))

 

The entire time, Percula could do nothing but watch. Try as she might to have him stop, she could do nothing - her power over Caiden's curse seemed to be, at least temporarily, forfeit.

 

When it was finally over, Caiden stayed where he was for a moment longer before he surged to his feet again, chest heaving, his breath sounding like the panting of an angry beast. But he looked at Percula briefly, bewilderment all too apparent in his one eye, before he quickly returned his attention to everyone else.

 

And he muttered simply in a low growl, "Shit."

 

The demon of Betrayal, however, looked as if he could hardly contain his joy. And, at last, he answered. "My true desire is to be free. I care not if I am let loose upon this realm or if I am banished back to the Underworld," he said, all but grinning from ear to ear. "I was not lying about this.

 

"My true intent is to have each of you betray one another, one by one. It seems my work is taking care of itself. As for Xiraloc, I know much. I will answer whatever questions you may have... though it seems you may have more important matters to attend to."


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#53 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:38 AM

The group made its way back through the keep and all the way back to the Temple. The Demon - a Demon of Betrayal, it turned out - was still waiting there for him. Not like it had a choice anyways...

 

 "You return, You and your companions, I take it. Did you find what you searched for? May I have some form - any form - of release from this circle?"

 

"Yes, we have returned," Huo said, earning a sharp look from Malvolio "We have not obtained the sword yet, as another one of your kind blocks the way to it."

 

"Perhaps...But first, Betrayer: VERNOX ZIRALA ACH YUSTAROSH ANGRA-MAINYU! I want to know two things. What is your true desire, and intent? And what do you know about the demon Xiraloc?"

 

"Answer, demon. Or I shall release your head from your shoulders.

 

"Not if I kill it first." The Templar said as he hefted his axe and moved towards the circle, though from the look on his face, it was unclear who was going lose their head: Huo, Allya, or the Demon. Agethar brought up the rear, axes ready, though Maugrimm looked like he would rather be anywhere else.

 

Then, all hell broke loose.

 

Caiden underwent a rapid transformation into some sort of mutated, demonic looking creature. Malvolio's eyes widened in surprised, while Agethar almost fell over himself as his dog bolted past the creature and out of the temple, howling all the while. Huo was the only one besides Percula who wasn't surprised.

 

"Shit."

 

"Shit indeed, Caiden Voros!" the Templar barked as he holstered his axe and drew his sword instead "Would you mind explaining what the hell you're supposed to be?"

 

If the Venator expected some sort of support from Agethar, he was to be greatly dissapointed. The Northern Venator looked like he was in shock, fear shone on his face like sweat.

 

"My true desire is to be free. I care not if I am let loose upon this realm or if I am banished back to the Underworld, I was not lying about this. My true intent is to have each of you betray one another, one by one. It seems my work is taking care of itself. As for Xiraloc, I know much. I will answer whatever questions you may have... though it seems you may have more important matters to attend to."

 

Huo turned to the Demon, no emotion evident in his face, but the room began to warm rapidly as he said coldly "Speak your peace, demon, and then maybe we'll considered banishing your back to your home instead of leaving you to rot."

 

 

 

 



#54 Burger Warrior

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:08 PM

"A battle between the servants of Good and Evil?" the Priest asked, raising an eyebrow. "That's something I didn't think I would happen on this trip."

 

Korvarl chuckled. “You an’ me both, ol’ man, but I ain’t complainin’.”

 

"No need" Alya replied to Korvarl’s call for chalk. "If what that book says is true, we could re-purpose the summoning circle trapping the demon at the temple. After dealing with it, of course."

 

“Roight. Still, if we’re gonna try the same trick to send tha’ big ol’ reptile t’hell, we’re gonna need a lotta chalk.” He pointed out as the group began to head to the temple.

 

-----

 

Caiden just grunted at Percula at first, but eventually he nodded. "Not sure how everyone will take it," he said quietly. "But... I've fought one demon with it already. Might as well make it two."

 

Saffron grinned. “Well, if you’re fighting a demon, I don’t think anyone sane’s gonna attack you.” She offered, before thinking it over for a moment. “Aaat least until after the demon’s gone.”

 

-----

 

“VERNOX ZIRALA ACH YUSTAROSH ANGRA-MAINYU!”

 

Korvarl flinched as Alya spoke - nay, practically shouted - something particularly demonic-sounding. He was about to ask her what in the hells she was up to when he noticed firsthand how the massive demon before them cowered. Profane knowledge or not, whatever she’d said was undoubtedly very effective.

 

At more than just that, too, for better or worse.

 

One of their number - the enormous Venator Caiden - collapsed with a grunt… and, before their very eyes, began to change. Silvershield swore, going for his axe as he glanced at Alya. “What in the hells didya do, elf?!” He demanded, moving between Voros and Elnira, shield ready but not raised. For all he knew, she’d just… cursed him or something, if not on purpose than by accident somehow. There was a reason you didn’t shout random phrases in demonic. At least, not around other people.

 

If the sight of Caiden transforming hadn’t been so traumatic, Korvarl might have realized the Venator’s reaction did not quite align with his train of thought. However, between his split attention and watching a man turn into a demonic monstrosity was more than enough to throw Silvershield’s senses off, leaving him with little to do but brace for an attack and pray Voros hadn’t lost himself to… whatever the hell this was.

 

------

 

"Shit."

 

That pretty much summed it up, yeah. Percula had done her best to restrain the curse, but there was nothing for it. After Alya said… whatever she’d said, Saffron had lost all control over Caiden’s mutations, and now they were in a far worse situation than she’d bothered to think about. Worse still thanks to there being an actual Templar just a few feet away, as well as that damned demon goading everyone.

 

"My true intent is to have each of you betray one another, one by one. It seems my work is taking care of itself. As for Xiraloc, I know much. I will answer whatever questions you may have... though it seems you may have more important matters to attend to."

 

Percula desperately wanted to reply, but getting between everyone else and Caiden took a significantly higher priority. The small, elven figure did little to block anything from reaching the demon physically, though, so the pixie turned to her voice and emotional ploy to prevent Caid from getting shot full of crossbow bolts.

 

“W-wait!” Saffron called for everyone’s attention. “Look, I know this looks bad, but by all the gods I swear he’s okay! Caid isn’t a threat to you or your enemy!”

 

Granted, knowing humans, Percula had a feeling someone was going to shoot - or charge screaming into melee - regardless of what she said. The temperature around her dropped quite noticeably as she anticipated such action; and hoped that Huo wouldn’t start slinging fireballs. She hadn’t gotten the hang of blocking that kind of thing.


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#55 Sareth

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:06 PM

"Ahriman! Where... how--!?"

 

Allya grinned wider in satisfaction at the demon's reaction. However, her elation was short-lived, as a commotion behind her drew her attention, and she witnessed the Venator, Caiden, suddenly transform.

 

While not as surprised as the others, having sensed something---which, in hindsight, reminded her a little of her brother---from the monster hunter, she was still paralyzed for an instant in surprise. His changes were beyond anything she could have predicted.

 

“What in the hells didya do, elf?!”

 

"Compelled the truth" she said simply, a hint of awe in her voice as she realized just how great was the power of the words she had spoken.

 

"Would you mind explaining what the hell you're supposed to be?"

 

"He's demonic... but also at least partly human" Allya offered. She was having some difficulty figuring out the former part; from the mishmash of features, she could only label him as being of the phlegmatic morphology, but that still left the question of which kind. ... Fear, perhaps? Still, he did not feel like any demon-kin she had ever met---although that was, admittedly, not a large sample.

 

"My true intent is to have each of you betray one another, one by one. It seems my work is taking care of itself. As for Xiraloc, I know much. I will answer whatever questions you may have... though it seems you may have more important matters to attend to."

 

She cast a brief angry glare at the gloating demon, before turning back to the building catastrophe.

 

“W-wait! Look, I know this looks bad, but by all the gods I swear he’s okay! Caid isn’t a threat to you or your enemy!”

 

"Then I would like to hear it from him" she replied to the strange little elf. She then turned back to the others: "The spell I cast compels anything demonic to reveal the truth. So he should not be capable of lying" she continued, hoping to calm the situation.

 

***

 

Valya was far from calm.

 

Hardly had the elf spoken those strange words, than the large, eyepatch-ed venator collapsed, changing into some sort of monster.

 

“What in the hells didya do, elf?!”

 

"... The spell I cast compels anything demonic to reveal the truth. So he should not be capable of lying."

 

Her eyes snapped back onto the elf, so calm, so seemingly knowledgeable, and anger and suspicion flared within her---and then snapped.

 

She took a couple quick steps and then grabbed the dark-haired elf by the throat, easily lifting the smaller woman off the ground with one hand. "And what about you?" she snarled. "Are you lying? Did you do this!?"

 

***

 

Allya however, could scarcely breathe, much less reply, given the strength of the grip about her neck.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#56 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:32 PM

"He's demonic... but also at least partly human."

 

"The only human thing about him now is that illusion he had." the Templar said, glaring at the new abomination that stood before them.

 

“W-wait! Look, I know this looks bad, but by all the gods I swear he’s okay! Caid isn’t a threat to you or your enemy!”

 

"Then I would like to hear it from him. The spell I cast compels anything demonic to reveal the truth. So he should not be capable of lying"

 

"This had better be good, Voros," Malvolio said as he looked warily at the Venator "I'd hate to end the career of a man of your repute like this." 

 

Of course, it was then that Valya decided to strangle probably the only person that could send the demon back to the underworld.

 

"And what about you? Are you lying? Did you do this!?"

 

"For the love of the gods, you aren't going to get an answer out of her by doing that!" Malvolio snapped, taking his gaze off of Caiden and focusing on the barbarian woman instead "put her down before you break the neck of the only person that can get rid of the Demon of Betrayal!"

 

Agethar and Huo said nothing, though it looked like the would come to the elf's aid if the larger woman didn't listen to reason.



#57 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:39 PM

Caiden stood his ground as nearly everyone turned to face him. He couldn't help but feel cornered - the tendrils in his arms lashed from the tension as his one eye darted between everyone, trying to compensate for his blind side now that he had so many people to keep an eye on. It was hard to keep track of everyone as they practically talked all at once...

"Would you mind explaining what the hell you're supposed to be?"

"He's demonic... but also at least partly human" Allya offered. But before he could retort defensively to that, or retort at all, Malvolio threw in another accusation.

 

"The only human thing about him now is that illusion he had."

 

That prompted an almost reflexive growl to rumble in Caiden's throat, but again, before he could answer, Percula suddenly stepped out. “W-wait! Look, I know this looks bad, but by all the gods I swear he’s okay! Caid isn’t a threat to you or your enemy!”

 

"Then I would like to hear it from him" said Allya. She then turned back to the others: "The spell I cast compels anything demonic to reveal the truth. So he should not be capable of lying."

 

"This had better be good, Voros," Malvolio said as he looked warily at the Venator "I'd hate to end the career of a man of your repute like this."

 

"Maybe if anyone would give me five damn seconds..." Caiden started, halfway through his teeth - all the canines of which were now very long and sharp.

 

And then Valya suddenly grabbed Allya by the throat. Caiden growled again at the sudden violence of it, but only for a second. The demon of Betrayal, however, was fighting a smile.

"And what about you? Are you lying? Did you do this!?"

"For the love of the gods, you aren't going to get an answer out of her by doing that!" Malvolio snapped, taking his gaze off of Caiden and focusing on the barbarian woman instead "put her down before you break the neck of the only person that can get rid of the Demon of Betrayal!"

 

"Everyone, STOP!" Caiden roared - and roar he did, his voice halfway breaking into a terrible, demonic sound that sent chills up even Valya's spine. He paused after that, if only for half a second, and Percula could all but sense the waves of I didn't mean to do that radiating off him, even if they were imperceptible to everyone else, who saw only a demonic monstrosity that was apparently deeply frustrated and trying not to show it. Caiden's cool - at least outwardly - returned in about half a second, and he looked as stony as ever... even in his new form.

 

He turned to Valya and said, "This isn't her fault." His eye darted around at everyone else who glared at him as he quickly went on, "I'm not demonic... or at least I'm not supposed to be. I'm human. But I was cursed. It's taken years, and I've been trying to fight it, but it's been mutating me. And now..." he shook his head. "All that matters is I'm in control. I'm not a threat, and I'm sure as hell not a demon. I'm on your side."

 

Huo, howver, turned to the demon of Betrayal. "Speak your peace, demon, and then maybe we'll considered banishing your back to your home instead of leaving you to rot."

 

"I have spoken already. I know that Xiraloc wishes to gather as much power as he can to defy the demon lords. They would be very... very angry about this. The politics of demons are ever-changing, and thus no other creatures truly take note - even the gods themselves care little for the endless in-fighting of us demons and our masters. But the archdemons... it is a primary concern.

 

"How Xiraloc plans to defy the demon lords, I do not know. That is something you would be better asking him, if he simply does not kill you for wasting his time... But he may be grateful to the one who awoke him after all these ages, even if his wakening is inevitable. As for what else I know of Xiraloc: he hoards treasures, not unlike a great wyrm, and he is an unstoppable power to mere mortals such as yourselves. Even that... gluttonous... mutation even I cannot properly identify," he gestured toward Caiden, "would not stand a chance, alone or with the rest of you."


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#58 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 10:11 AM

"Everyone, STOP!"

 

Malvolio did not flinch at the Venator's roaring. If the man was trying to prove that he was human, he was doing a poor job.

 

Agethar, on the other hand, almost jumped out of his skin.

 

"This isn't her fault. I'm not demonic... or at least I'm not supposed to be. I'm human. But I was cursed. It's taken years, and I've been trying to fight it, but it's been mutating me. And now...All that matters is I'm in control. I'm not a threat, and I'm sure as hell not a demon. I'm on your side."

 

"You'd better be," the Templar said darkly as he sheathed his sword "if there were more Templars here, I'd take you in for questioning about your curse. However, since I'm the only one, I have no choice but to take your word for it."

 

"Well, I believe ye." Agethar said, looking at the mutated venator apprehensively, reminded for a moment about Tom Drake and his curse.

 

Malvolio snorted and said "I suggest that you renew whatever illusion that hid your curse from us: the next people to see you probably won't be as forgiving as us."

 

---

 

"I have spoken already. I know that Xiraloc wishes to gather as much power as he can to defy the demon lords. They would be very... very angry about this. The politics of demons are ever-changing, and thus no other creatures truly take note - even the gods themselves care little for the endless in-fighting of us demons and our masters. But the archdemons... it is a primary concern. How Xiraloc plans to defy the demon lords, I do not know. That is something you would be better asking him, if he simply does not kill you for wasting his time... But he may be grateful to the one who awoke him after all these ages, even if his wakening is inevitable. As for what else I know of Xiraloc: he hoards treasures, not unlike a great wyrm, and he is an unstoppable power to mere mortals such as yourselves. Even that... gluttonous... mutation even I cannot properly identify would not stand a chance, alone or with the rest of you."

 

Huo glanced at Allya - who hopefully had been dropped by by Valya by now - and said "Come, let's get rid of this thing. I'd don't know much about such things, but I should be able to help you send it back to the underworld."

 



#59 Sareth

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 01:41 PM

"For the love of the gods, you aren't going to get an answer out of her by doing that! Put her down before you break the neck of the only person that can get rid of the Demon of Betrayal!"

 

Valya, realizing the excessive strength of her grasp, was about to loosen her grip---though not release the elf entirely---when suddenly the transformed venator let out a roar that sent a momentary chill up her spine.

 

"Everyone, STOP! This isn't her fault. I'm not demonic... or at least I'm not supposed to be. I'm human. But I was cursed. It's taken years, and I've been trying to fight it, but it's been mutating me. And now... All that matters is I'm in control. I'm not a threat, and I'm sure as hell not a demon. I'm on your side."

 

Her eyes narrowed in suspicion for a moment, but... Caiden's story struck a chord with something deep down inside her. If it was true---and according to the elf, now proven innocent, it had to be---then they were not too different... an amusing thing, given his calling. "Very well then" she said simply, giving the venator a nod.

 

Then she released the elf, and was even polite enough to lower her back into contact with the ground before doing so. "Sorry" she said flatly, without a hint of shame or embarrassment.

 

***

 

'Perhaps next time you could wait for the answer before choking people' Allya thought angrily in response to the northerner's scant apology, though she did not actually say it---partly out of a desire not to risk antagonizing the woman again, and partly because her lungs were too busy sucking in air to get so much as a word out. She gave a neutral nod of acknowledgement instead.

 

"I have spoken already. I know that Xiraloc wishes to gather as much power as he can to defy the demon lords. They would be very... very angry about this. The politics of demons are ever-changing, and thus no other creatures truly take note - even the gods themselves care little for the endless in-fighting of us demons and our masters. But the archdemons... it is a primary concern. How Xiraloc plans to defy the demon lords, I do not know. That is something you would be better asking him, if he simply does not kill you for wasting his time... But he may be grateful to the one who awoke him after all these ages, even if his wakening is inevitable. As for what else I know of Xiraloc: he hoards treasures, not unlike a great wyrm, and he is an unstoppable power to mere mortals such as yourselves. Even that... gluttonous... mutation even I cannot properly identify would not stand a chance, alone or with the rest of you."

 

She filed the information away; it made an interesting combination with that which she had gotten from the tome. Still, they would try the dwarf's plan first.

 

"Come, let's get rid of this thing. I'd don't know much about such things, but I should be able to help you send it back to the underworld."

 

She reflexively nodded in reply, before remembering that the man was blind, and responding aloud with a slightly raspy "Right."

 

She then turned back to the demon. "Thank you for the information. Now farewell, and may we never meet again" she said, politely but coldly. Without another word she then began the ritual to banish the demon of Betrayal back to the Underworld.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#60 Burger Warrior

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:23 AM

Percula had been expecting violence… but she hadn’t been expecting violence against anyone other than Caiden. It seemed the group trusted him far more than the elf who could speak fluent demonic.

 

Then again, that did make perfect sense.

 

Granted, enough people targeted Caid with threats to leave Saffron bristling protectively, and it was all she could do to stop herself from simply sealing herself and him in a bubble of frost for a quiet moment of safe isolation. But that wouldn’t help, would it? It’ll only make us look more guilty…

 

"Everyone, STOP!" Caiden roared - and roar he did, his voice halfway breaking into a terrible, demonic sound that sent chills up even Percula’s spine. He paused after that, if only for half a second, and Percula could all but sense the waves of ‘I didn't mean to do that’ radiating off him, even if they were imperceptible to everyone else, who saw only a demonic monstrosity that was apparently deeply frustrated and trying not to show it. Caiden's cool - at least outwardly - returned in about half a second, and he looked as stony as ever... even in his new form.

 

At least after that, Caid’s explanation seemed to get most people on their side; more people than Percula had expected, really. Granted, there was a distinct exception...

 

Malvolio, the Templar, snorted and said "I suggest that you renew whatever illusion that hid your curse from us: the next people to see you probably won't be as forgiving as us."

 

Saffron frowned. “That’s gonna be a bit, thanks to someone shouting in demon.” She grumbled, glancing sideways at Allya. She wasn’t exactly angry at the elf - it seemed to have badly affected the actually bad demon - but… still. Some warning would have been nice.

 

That’s stupid. She didn’t know before, and she couldn’t have. It’s Malvolio who’s being an ass.

 

Allya was busy banishing the demon anyway, leaving the rest of them to hang around rather awkwardly. Percula took a deep breath.

 

“On the bright side… we have another little edge on the big demon, right?” She offered quietly, glancing from one party member to the next. The temperature around her was far more normal than before as the pixie tried to relax. “Think of it like that, guys.” Saffron chimed, trying to inject a higher spirit into the tense atmosphere.

 

-----

 

Korvarl, meanwhile, stayed reserved and uneasy. Maybe when the demon’s - well… the real demon, I guess - is gone, it’ll be a little easier to think. He thought to himself, staying quiet.


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