Terra 7

The Meeting
(nine months before the Battle at Azure Fields)

“You’re Jack Cayce, aren’t you?” but it wasn’t a question – more a statement of fact – while Camuss’s eyes watched. He smirked at the robed man before him, noting the detailed trim of wreathing flowers that flowed along the garment.
Cayce was old now – age lines creasing his forehead, laugh lines folding his face. One good eye roved beneath the black hood, the other milky white against the darkness the hood made. The poet’s hair frayed out and about, peeking from beneath the hood like reluctant snakes. Camuss lowered his gun, pulling the hammer down. Cayce watched with a curious eye, a small grin beginning to split his lips. Camuss dropped the gun into his pocket, the long white coat trailed around him as a strong gust howled through the city. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it in defiance to the cold, snowy city around them.
“You’re the Dark Man’s right hand – or so you figure – doing his bidding like the ferris monkeys the Vanderer’s kept.” Camuss pulled on the cigarette, drawing in the smoke and then blowing it out, “So far all I’ve gotten from you is a terrifically bad smell – it reminds me of…”
Cayce’s soft, authoritative voice interrupted.
“I’m sure you’ve had your very own share of shit to deal with…”
Camuss finished his sentence fluidly, “it reminds me of the Vandross.”
He cast a mean, baleful eye at the one-eyed poet.
“Interrupt me again, you one-eyed bag of crap, and I’ll pull your tongue into a knot.” No euphemisms, nothing sardonic in those words could hide his meaning.
Cayce watched the man in front of him, noting the crazed glaze over his pupils, and the gaunt cheeks that spoke of malnutrition.
Camuss was thinner now than he had ever been – even as a child – looking like a straw scarecrow haloed by the snows’ white, smoky haze. Billows of heated air from beneath the city trailed his coat about like a great bird’s wings – adding to his vulpine posture in a disturbing way. His hair had grown down to the point of his chin and swept against the hollows of his cheeks like the blackness from which the rift monsters came. With his grungy, unkempt skin and dirty clothing, the man looked like less of a warrior and more of a beggar. Those eyes though, if Cayce had ever seen such eyes in his life, it could only have been in some drug’s embrace.
Camuss pitched forward towards his kill and crammed the vrabbif into his canvas sack. The hot blood from the animal steamed on the snow, soaking through the layers towards the buried ground. Camuss wiped some off of his hand onto a sleeve that hung out the side of an old car that had crashed into the brick around the old mall area. He cast a glance towards Cayce with those hauntingly green -blue – and crazily clear – eyes.
“Don’t think that your celebrity has been forgotten,” He readjusted the sack on his shoulder. “And don’t think it will save you.”
Jack put his hands up and backed away while bowing his head. His blind eye glowed like a pearl on black velvet looking at Camuss. He bowed low to the floor in defense, sweeping the snowy concrete with a hand in a gesture of supplication.
“Sure, sure…no problem.” Cayce smirked, “Hope I didn’t interrupt you?”
Camuss regarded Cayce with a look. He felt a strange chill race along his legs – as if a door had been opened at crotch height – while the poet watched patiently. Camuss ran his hand back along his skull – matting his hair down. The poet remained prostrated, waiting for some signal.
One of those boisterous howls bit into the air causing Camuss to start like the vrabbif he had slaughtered. He waited for Cayce to do the same and was horrified when the man just looked at the sky contentedly.
Another howl issued from the city, followed by another and another, until there was a veritable chorus of them cutting through the wind. As if brought on by the remnants of those people, snowfall began floating down around the dying city – causing the capital to take on a white grin as it faced its own slowing breath.

There was nothing but caved-in houses for miles and one or two buses with the dead milling from them like ants. Camuss dragged Cayce along with him, grasping the man’s arm with a fierce grip that crunched the fabric into rivulets. The snow tangled in their hair froze to snowflakes from the sky, making Cayce’s already wild hair stick up even under his hood. The blood on Camuss’s fingers burned – a welcome reminder of warmth in the frozen day. The poet’s one good eye rolled back and forth – sweeping the street with a practiced ease – that made even the ex-Agent uncomfortable. They walked in stubborn silence, with a very slow and methodical gait, across streets that had been full of bustling people; through convenience stores raided to bare shelves, and around gas pumps slick with melted snow and lathered in ice.
The sky slowly turned to a crimson–cream color that melted away the clouds. Cayce suddenly pulled at Camuss’s grip and dug his bare heels into the snow. His bulk surprised Camuss briefly, but then the surprise was gone. He dragged Cayce forward like a lion, his eyes mean. Cayce resisted for a moment, then found himself propelled forward into the man’s waiting arms.
With a dull – almost bored – expression passing across his face, Camuss slapped him in the mouth.
“You talk; you say anything I don’t like, this is what will happen.”
He raised his hand above the poet’s head, watching the one-eyed man’s face carefully, eyes looking – almost daring – that familiar smirk. Cayce’s eye registered nothing really – not even a hint of emotion – but it was milky: like lucid glass.
It was a long while in the cold city before they reached Camuss’s current home. He had dragged Cayce across long bridges frozen over with ice and crowded with battered vehicles, through ravaged tunnels still stinking of the dead, and around destroyed sewer mains that jutted from the snow like steel icicles. They walked in relative silence – their padding footfalls bouncing off the soft snow.
It wasn’t just cold, but a saddening chill – one that could halt your heart with its feelings of snuggling , relentless winter. The snowfall had stopped currently, but the clouds lining the night sky promised more. It allowed Camuss a glimpse of the street.
An old fire hydrant lay on its side while a thin stream of ice rose from its base like a sharpened flagpole. Somebody had beaten the thing apart with a pipe or wrench, but for what reason was beyond the two men. Its icy innards glistened softly in the last rays of day while its shell hung awkwardly to the side.
Cayce’s good eyes soaked in the environs, noting two fences, a cage, and a steel circle in the middle. The cage was empty and yet made the poet’s spine curl backwards at its sight. Cayce smirked,
“Well…That hasn’t happened for a while.”
Camuss made an annoyed sound and turned to the poet.
“Shut it.”
The poet quickly nodded assent.
Camuss moved cautiously away from Cayce, melting into the dark against the alley wall. The one-eyed writer remained stock still with a slow shadow playing across his face. In the deep shadow, about two inches away, he could hear Camuss’s light, methodic breathing. The air slowly pulsed with firelight, perhaps cast from the sky, and a strange echoing noise cracked in and out of existence for a few seconds. The poet remained rooted, his dark hood and cloak making him into some kind of surreal boogie man. The ex-Agent lingered in the shadows, watching, waiting – but for what?- Cayce pondered. And then, just a suddenly as the previous noise, came one of those stunningly mournful cries. It ended swiftly – choking out of existence somewhat violently – which seemed to impregnate the air with a light – almost fluffy – weight.
For a long time there was nothing to do but wait: and wait they did. Camuss calmly stood flat against the wall, while Cayce stood like a shadow in the dying day.
“ I smell your blood Agent, and I’m coming to take it from you!”
The voice – which seemed incredibly human and benevolent – was accompanied by a quick but padded sound – someone running – and the voice was quite familiar. Camuss sucked his breath in as Vanderkien had taught, crouching low against the sewer cover and under the shade of an arching banner strung across the towering buildings above. He stuck one hand out of the shadow, motioning for Cayce to hide. The poet dashed into the clearing, eyeing the cage, and opted to through himself into the snow bank instead. The wind died suddenly – as if the forces about to collide were gods of legend – and the footfalls sounded heavy in the silence.
“I come for the Dark One, Agent…his emissary to you; your blood is needed to reform That Which Went Away…we need you to die so we can rebirth the God of Truth!”
A face peered into the alley then, peeking around the side like in a childhood game. Eyes glistened madly in the dying day, teeth –what weren’t missing – gleaming with the color of moonlight turned crimson. The face was snarled to one side – maybe by fire, maybe by nature – which leant it a quality of human pity that offset the circumstances. Arms dangled like whips on either side – mutated by rift travel into semi-tentacle arms – while chitinous folds overlaid parts that should have been flesh.
Camuss was reminded of a movie he had watched once with Devon: laughing together at the absurdity of the premise, before spending a night in the joys of flesh. The men and women in that film had been consumed and transformed by a creature with pincers, that then created zombie-like servants…
The idea seemed far less absurd now.
The man-beast, whatever you wish to call it, moved down the alley like a predator from the jungles up north. It fixed its gaze on the shadows momentarily, peering into them with eyes that mirrored that inkiness, before fixating on the steaming canvas bag.
“No one hides from the Man of Truth! Your blood and marrow shall make the altar for the Way of Truth to pass into history!”
Camuss dropped prone then, on the ground behind where it had passed, hands splayed out above his head. He prepared his mind, watching his own movements and predicting the other’s moves as best he could. A hard task that – for he had never encountered a creature such as this in any capacity, and therefore was unaware of its capabilities. Bemusedly; he compared it to sparring with Vanderkien, and that seemed to click in his mind.
After a few more playthroughs, he slowly rose from the ground, hands shaking slightly in anticipation.
This man, you see, lived for the fight – for the blood and battle, the clash of sinew against his fist – the feel of flesh on his blade. Camuss was trained to kill, and few were more excellent at it than he. His brain moved like a train in the heat of battle – one car after the other – unloading terrible wrath against his foes. The sweeping – almost martial – way of moving flowed from him like steam from a kettle…
As natural as a babbling brook in the woods.
Fingers crooked in a claw, he started towards the creature ahead. Each step was placed as carefully as a pen draws a line – for this was his art. He could see the ribbons of cloth over the bug-like skin welled into a knot at the shoulder. His eyes sought the weakest parts like a computer. The spine was uncovered – still very much human – and a perfect target to rip and maim. He began to move like a hungry wraith targeting a particularly plump soul.
Cayce’s voice resounded in the air before he could move. The one-eyed poet moved from the snow with a lean that spoke to innate power. On his tongue were words that meant nothing to this world, but seemed to have sway over this monster. The creature bent backwards with a snarl that sounded like no human ever could. Cayce moved forward, hands to his heart, speaking the foreign words. He cast a glance into the shadows at Camuss – who heard a voice through his mind.
This one is mine, Agent. See the power invested in my prophet, see him bring the forces of fate to my will. Bear witness to the majesty that the Truth bestows, and the grace which grants death to the unbespoken.
Cayce cast his hand out again, breathlessly whispering, and the creature’s spine snapped in a way that no device of writing can describe. Cayce cast his hand to the side, and the bottom part of the thing’s spinal column ripped through muscle and splattered into the brick wall shattering and spewing marrow sideways. The creature screamed into the air – crying for its Father – as its upper torso crashed like a steel weight into its lower abdomen, crushing all things that rested there. Its legs gave out quickly, while its organs dragged into its ankle bones. The creature sputtered its own intestine from its throat, biting down in agony and spilling foul smelling stains to the ground.
Cayce looked up from the kill, his good eye watching the sky contentedly. Camuss moved over to the gurgling mass, which still managed to croak his name in a defiant gasp. He reached down and pulled the intestine until it popped like an inflated balloon, watching the glimmer of life fade into the thing’s skull. His eyes cast towards Cayce, and there, in those pools Camuss felt a terror that he couldn’t quell. Cayce looked at him then, that familiar smirk lining his tired face.
“Well Camuss, What do you think of that? Seems I do have some power after all!”
The ex-Agent’s spine retreated into itself. Cayce stood there with bloodless hands and robes – while the monster lay dead at his feet in the snow. Camuss shook inwardly – and then a voice spoke to his mind once more. He was sure now that Cayce wasn’t the speaker.
How do you prefer this to go, Agent? Now listen to my every fucking word….

What's Happened, and What's Happening
The end of a Regime

The man stood in the shadow, his face outlined in its strange tranquility. Those glaring red eyes seemed rose in color, calm-full of acceptance.
" I am the Man, the walker of these between planes."
He cast his hand across the masses, the bandages wrapped around it flailed with the wind. Snow powdered the podium, his black coat glistened slickly. The Man cast his whitened hair into the wind, stroking it away from his forehead carelessly.
In front of the podium, where once great speeches had been proclaimed, the masses gathered in the snow, huddling for the warmth of the man before him, the heat he radiated like a living sun. To them, he was the proclaimer of faith, the answer-man…a Prophet. In his own mind, he knew that there wasn’t such a thing, but the thought was entertaining…sometimes he almost believed his own lies.
" I am the one that the Feld’ran saw fit to speak. The last one alive; truly alive with the faith. You hopefuls," He turned a smile towards the crowd, his face full of patronage. The high, aquiline cheeks were flush with the cold and exertion.
" We do the work of God! We do the bidding of those that would believe. We lead them! Our brothers, sisters, their children…we are the sword of the Lord, the piercing strike of faith."
Those that don’t believe as us, must be given the chance…the chance to redeem their souls. Those that take from us!"
He put the stump of his left hand into the air, two fingers flexing on an otherwise mangled appendage, “Must be willing to give to us! Those that deny, must be given the answer.”
He lowered his gaze, watching the blood puddle from his bandaged limbs. The wrappings wouldn’t stay on. They had tried everything, but the sword wounds tracing his limbs bled like a stuck vrabbif on its period. The bastard had come out of nowhere, frothing at the mouth, eyes clear and stark with madness. The growth of beard did nothing to obscure the vulpine appearance…hunched, vulturous shoulders lean with hard living…muscles strung beneath wasted skin. The cry though, the utter of sanity, from his lips…that was what chilled him- more than the snow or the cold would ever achieve. The parched, cracked lips gave birth to the sullen words of fact. “I am your end.”
He brought his face up, staring into the crowds. He raised both arms high above his head. The amassed voices chattered with excitement. “I bring you one, Lord, one who spits at your name and denies you. One whose chance is nigh, one whose mind must be enlightened or perish.” His words tumbled out like sweets, he relished every syllable,
" Bring forth Camuss Airau." The name brought joy into his chest, or perhaps it was the knowledge of what came next.

Camuss was dragged into the circle, clean shaven now…a preparation no doubt for his ‘duty.’ These cocksuckers actually thought he would praise their lies. He spit on the ground, using the last of his saliva. The Dark Man looked down on him, like a cat with a pinned bird. The sun caught his eyes, causing the red tinge to become like smoke in the air as it wafted all around. The smile behind those eyes was evident, it may as well be plastered across the porcelain skin. Those eyes spoke volumes into the morning air. One mangled hand rose in benevolence.

“Camuss Airau.” the pause was coldly calculated for the onlookers, " Do you swear fealty to the Lord above, his agents the Feld’ran, and us, the instruments of his faith?" The smile-that-wasn’t-there seemed to grow in intensity ‘Go on, give me a reason…please?’ He spat again, a little ribbon of blood drew its way through the snow.
" Go Fuck your God." The bastard, The Man feigned surprise, casting a head towards his followers and shaking it with fake remorse. “You see? There are still those that deny…we must bring them the light.” Camuss could almost hear the gloating ‘got you finally didn’t I? you’ve lost this world and all you cared for
“Camuss Airau, In an effort to let you see the Lord’s work, I offer this; a duel, you and I…sword to sword. let the winner be decided by God.” The Man reached down and unshackled his hands…if it weren’t for the guards holding rifles to his temples, he would taken the man’s throat, digging into the neck, seeking his voice box.
" Do you accept?" The liar offered his hand, not the mangled one, in a friendly, benevolent gesture. Camuss thought about the cold steel on his face, then gripped the hand with all his strength, pulling himself up carefully. once he was positioned near the Dark Man’s head, he heard a whisper from behind smiling eyes. ‘Die to serve me, loved one.’
Genesuu gestured to the ring formed from an old marble pane. Two people down there brought out a box and his sword, the sword he had been given by the old spirits, the steady pale hand in the lake. That same sword was coated with dried blood, ribbons of flesh from his foe still stuck off of it like curing jerky. Camuss knelt before his sword. The box wasn’t opened until the two of them; looking for all the world like a shepherd leading a lamb to slaughter, walked down the gangway into the ring.
He immediately went for his blade, guards took up their arms and his body was traced in a spider web of laser sights. Genesuu held up his palm and the lasers dispersed. The Dark Man opened up the box on the marble. His sword was some kind of saber, engraved with runes and in pristine condition. The pommel spoke to ages past, a skull of some long forgotten creature that complemented the tightly bound, black leather wrap trimmed with expert craftsmanship. He flicked the saber, letting the sun catch its channel.
" This is the end of your life, but don’t be concerned…our final home is in a graveyard… to be trod on by those to come after." Camuss said nothing, letting the spirits commune with his soul. He raised his blade from the ground, drawing close to the man before him. The Dark Man did the same, his gait one of assured victory. Camuss lashed out first, swinging wildly and missing. The other man slashed upward, also missing. Camuss brought a fist, gripping the pommel, into the other man’s brow. a satisfying crack issued from beneath the matted hair. Genesuu stumbled away, holding his hand to an eye socket. his sword lowered until the tip traced lines in the snow. When he finally brought his hand away, the Dark Man’s eye was substantially redder than normal. Camuss licked his lips, then lunged. Genesuu reeled back again, the sword catching his sleeve, rending the bandages afresh, letting loose new blood from the stitched mass underneath. The other man threw a forward thrust, which Camuss managed to avoid by twisting his battered carcass. He grabbed the sword blade, watching the surprise register in Genesuu’s maroon eyes, before ramming the hilt into his gut with a juicy thump. ’ Suck it, you bastard….suck your own dick.’
A smile blossomed on the porcelain features, and the smell of…burning!? He looked down to see Genesuu’s other fist light with flame…blue flame. ‘Too close, love…’ The fist punched a hole in his chest, catching his flesh on fire and cracking what few ribs remained unbowed. Camuss fell backwards, his feet buckling from trauma. His legs were boneless, splayed out on the marble like sticks.
Genesuu crowed his victory as Camuss brought a hand to his chest, feeling broken skin and his own, nearly open, ribcage. He left it there, feeling his waning heart thump ever faster. The Dark Man spoke something about Feld’ran and God…proclaiming lies to the masses. It was lost on him, his body began to shut down. He looked up into the sun as Genesuu pressed the flat of his saber against his forehead. There was some murmur from above and the saber blade reeled back.
It came down in a flash, aimed at his neck. He moved quickly, taking the blow in his shoulder, where the blade bit into the top of his battered ribs. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck…. Quickly, he did what the spirits had mentioned; calming his mind and zeroing out all traces of the physical. Genesuu was still there, a swirling and pulsing mass of veins and heat. Camuss felt an energy in his head, his eyes bulging until he closed them. Blood dribbled down his cheeks, salty in his mouth…the only bond to the reality he wasn’t occupying. The power surged into his heart, tearing across his organs like dancing arc lightning. And then he was back, Genesuu’s sword being pulled from his flesh, the sucking of his own fat and sinew resounding in his ears. The scream of his death hurtling towards him. Camuss rolled onto his back placing both hands out to catch the blade in his shoulder. His fingers screeched while he cried out with vehemence.
Genesuu’s blade glowed white then blue. The Dark Man’s brows rose quizzically, his mouth worked in surprise. Too late. The blade burst, casting shards into each combatant, but most of them directly into the Dark Man’s face.
The Man reeled back in horror, his bleached locks dyed with spraying blood. The fluid gushed from between his fingers. He tipped forward and back, his wet hair slapping his back and the ground alternatively. Camuss grinned, slumping backwards along an almost -broken spine.
“I fucking win, where’s your God now?” he whispered to the screaming figure.
Genesuu glared through a hole in his fingers, blood stained his teeth as he grinned back.
" God’s dead, I am all that is."
They locked eyes, both mesmerized by the insinuations in those glares. The followers rushed forwards clambering over the sides of the ring, flocking to their master’s side. The sun beat down as they turned on him, the snow starting to glisten with day. Two of them, once people he had helped protect, raised the sights to his forehead. He closed his eyes, a grin still stuck on his face. Seconds later, he was splattered with liquid and meat. Two reports issued into the sky. opening his eyes slowly he saw HER, the witch, holding a steaming gun. She wore a ragged CIREN uniform with insignia torn from it. " Harius is alive! Camuss! Harius has done away with the rebels, we are united against these fucks." She dropped as two bullets hit the snow, crouching swiftly and returning fire. Still yelling over the fire, " We have a camp! Azure Fields…we need you there. We are going to end this!
He watched through crimson haze as the CIREN clad Remnants and soldiers dispersed the men and women of the Truth. Two burly men pulled him gingerly onto a makeshift stretcher. He cast his glance about, fading in and out. Armadiis put her hand on his, running her nimble fingers across his tattered ones. The stretcher moved slowly, eventually reaching the outskirts of the city that the Truth had survived in for so long. He felt another hand grip his; the strength was firm, but inexperienced. Lanou… Finally another grip caught his attention, one strong and tight. He opened his eyes. Vanderkien stared back. " You truly are my best student, but you have shit tons still to learn." This was said with a wry grin while the whitened eye, a blind pupil, roved aimlessly. “Lots to learn, but that last thing…you’ve got to teach me that
Vanderkien left, and Armadiis returned. He reached at her hair, watching those sightless eyes focus on him. He knew she was seeing what he had for that brief moment, but she saw it all the time. He pulled her face close to his, took a quick kiss, then whispered…" Azure Fields. Azure Fields….this ends before the God’s Woods…just like Semnen said…" He pulled himself up, groaning as his back protested, until he was face-to-face with her. “His blood shall turn the Fields crimson. his seed will litter the ground. Take me there.”
As the party receded over the hills, taking some prisoners with them, leaving their footprints to be dusted by the wind, Genesuu looked out from the forest as his followers wrapped and tended to his face. He spoke in a low, vibrating roar, " We will meet CIREN at the fields…and vanquish the rot that they represent…Airau will watch me tear down his allies, and bemoan his loves’ fate." He watched the stretcher crest a hill then move out of sight. Turning his head back to the huddled masses, he allowed his eyes to flare as he spit shards of his own sword, “Followers…God has given me a resolution…eat and sleep…for tomorrow we make for Azure Fields…”

Ciren story
  • Skye and agent 117 were sent on a mission to destroy a rebel camp. With them were two other agents,
    Needles and Trigger (Skye’s nicknames for them).
  • Trigger went back to get some backup, and Needles detonated a bomb for us.
  • found Needle’s father in cave system after fighting a huge creature. he is creepy, and might be a little insane.
  • Found the lost second city? and map of Terra 7 with weird symbols painted on it.
  • found a computer in the tomb and anazi
  • semnen-theh: name of the computer, about 8500 years old.
  • A.V. =
  • the truth follows the people into darkness
  • two people in a prophecy, dark man being one?

For Each group there will be a separate adventure log. I would like each group to work on their own together; you are free to use bullet points or write it long hand, but this will be a group effort.

Thanks and Be Creative!


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