Terra 7

An Analysis of Azure Fields
The Fall of CIREN: A New Perspective

It is a cold day as General Leanun Harius stares at the frozen waters surrounding his camp, he sits at the precipice of a decision – to move towards the south; long regarded as forbidden – or to winter his remaining army here. It is not an easy decision to make. Out in the woods, he knows that the eyes of the Truth lay upon him, but if they remain here – then their food supplies will dwindle and they – the entirety of CIREN – will turn on each other. The General sighs wearily, his overcoat shifting on a emaciated form, before returning to camp. This day will get worse, the sightings of Truthers in the surrounding hills has all but confirmed it.

We see here a General, a military leader and man from a long tradition of the same, contemplating his next move. Harius was a strong statesman and a brilliant military commander, but he lacked the two qualities that would’ve made for a better outcome. He wasn’t patient, and he wasn’t using any foresight.
Harius had proved himself well capable over the years and his victories in the field were talked of around the tables of noted individuals – he was a masterful tactician to them – but we on the outside know that he had many failings as well. His military prowess paled in comparison to McCaffrey’s, and his love of worldly pleasures had led him to many poor decisions. (See Herra Lumino) In this way, Harius had failed his duties before, but now – at this crucial point – it was his frail ability to foresee possible outcomes that would take him and others to doom.

For you see, the General knew one thing well, and that was war. His every viewpoint was shadowed by this specter; he knew of tactics, martial strategies, attrition, siege, covert operations, and a great deal of many others – but he knew little of faith and what it can drive men to do. Simply put, he underestimated the Truthers’ desire to please their beliefs and so – based on his own faithlessness – he assumed victory. And why not? These were mostly civilians who had lived off the fat of the Oligarchy for so long that they couldn’t even hunt for themselves. Harius had a trained military with many experienced soldiers and operatives – he even had CIREN agents that had turned up alive from the frays. From this perspective, Harius was correct in assuming he would win, because he should have, but we will see that his decisions alone did not inform this loss and the subsequent collapse of CIREN – in fact, history indicates that Harius had little to do with it – it was a face from the spotted past that caused this end – a face of a friend and cohort, someone who had pledged themselves to CIREN in total.

The General is interrupted in his quarters, which stink of distilled liquor and bad wine. He eyes the door for a few minutes, then allows entry with a word. His aide does not seem too pleased to interrupt his superior either, but quickly glances at the charts on the desk anyhow. Sprawled engagement locations written in blue pencil and shaded with red dot the charts, Harius’s neat writing near each one indicating elevation and various other battlefield conditions. The aide nods and speaks a few words – most of which Harius doesn’t hear, his attention is drawn to a shadow behind his door – a tall and lanky figure cut to the uniform it is wearing. The General waves the figure in and then dismisses his relieved aide, the cold travels in with the figure – a man who was thought lost and written as dead. The General pours two drinks and raises on in his hand. The tide of this battle has now turned – or so he thinks. Muroka Vanderkien sits across from him, his uniform spiffed and cut to fit as in the old days, Harius places the charts in front of Agent 0 and proceeds to discuss strategy for an engagement in Azure Fields, near the final remaining statue of Lysander the Falcon. Vanderkien is his old, jovial self and takes the offered drink with gusto, they sip and discuss late into the night, until the fires around the camp wear down.

Here we see the first fatal mistake of the campaign to reach the South, Harius doesn’t dwell on the thought or idea that this Muroka isn’t all it seems, he never stops to recall the Dark Man’s shape-shifting or the strange magic wielded by the Truth. He sees an old and valued friend, not a farce, the General sees what is most needed for him and never thinks twice about its inherent convenience. Once more, Harius’s inability to understand faith and all it can cause, is ironically on display in this scene. He has utmost faith that this is his long lost Agent, back from the dead. But Harius has forgotten one major thing in the annals of his world’s history.

The Human Imperium

But before we dive too deeply into this aspect of our world, let us first discuss the things that have led Harius to this point and what – ultimately – brings about the Battle of Azure Fields. To do so, we must first take a look at the victories and defeats of the last Commandant General of CIREN. Let us begin with his earliest fronts and how he joined the eponymous oligarchy that he would one day lead.

Leanun Noller Harius was born unto Karia Leann Jadiver and Oliver Klein Harius sometime in the later third part of the summer season known as Alijad in the common tongue. The year was most likely either 17812 or 17813 EA. There is debate that the man may have been born earlier and was merely kept – like so many other children born into the Famine Years – as a last resort to maintain a genetic line. It would appear that his parents were capable of sustaining a decent living at this point as it would be at least 16 years until CIREN would debut its new food creation processors and end world hunger entirely. Unfortunately, as all of us in this era know, the records kept during the surge in population were terrible and do little to aid posterity in unfolding that particular time. But I digress, as is my wont as a historian.

Leanun joined the New CIREN shortly after his 18th birthday, leaving behind his family and allies from those mean times – probably in hope of the bright future CIREN emphasized. It was here that we see the man begin to grow into the legend that would become a name lasting for centuries and eons after death.

The first records of Leanun’s military activity are likewise spotty and sometimes unverified, however; it seems that as a basic grunt, the someday General was involved in many clandestine operations – most of which ended terminally for CIREN’s many political opponents. The records indicate that his soldiering was above the normal expectations but in no true way exceptional. Earning a few ranks from various and sundry operations, Leanun became known as a harsh and brutal soldier, able to survive in extreme circumstances and outliving many other – and more talented – squad mates. Perhaps it was this which led to his first command, or perhaps it was the need for willing and decent tacticians as The Strife began in earnest, regardless of the cause, Leanun became a commissioned officer and led the 54th Infantry Battalion, historically called the Thoroughbreds, into fame and infamy.

Leanun looks over the remnants of the battlefield, surveying the corpses – both unknown and known – that lay with arms about each other. Shaking his head and wincing as his broken shoulder sets with a grind, he sips on a cup of tea slowly. The sucking noise aids in forgetting the sadistic pain as the young officer replays the horrid events of the last week in his mind. Two CIREN battalions had met as civil comrades and turned on each other over only a few policies. There had been a disastrous battle front enacted. CIREN men and women had died in mass. The Major (for that was his rank of record) is confused and broken. These were his comrades in arms, soldiers he had respected – and yet – after all was said and the oaths taken – now he stood bloody and victorious over their deaths. Leanun explains his thoughts to one of his petty officers in great earnestness, hoping for a word or thought that would set the world right once more. He does not receive such, the officer only stares at him in fear and servitude – now afraid of the man that would soon be called ‘Butcher’ and ‘thorough disgrace’ by the Council of the Arc.

The battle it seemed, though unfavored by the sitting council of the times, would encourage an older and more experienced officer to grab the reigns of The Strife in one hand and the remnants of the old SEREN Corp in the other, before smashing them together and leaving only dust. That man was known at the time as “The Terror” and his ensuing activities would cement that reputation for all time to follow.

The Terror holds the article to his eyes, reading about the skirmish in the Nulin Woods and the battalion leader now called a butcher by those he serves. His voice cracks into the air of his mansion, drawing a ageing beauty to his side. A hand slaps the paper with practiced force, and he speaks slowly and well. " It’s a travesty this. A young soldier brought low by those he seeks to preserve – those damned fools in the COA. It’s a terrible shame that they use the military like scapegoats in these times – especially when this blasted Strife is all by their hand." The woman nods her head, long and red curls draping from her shoulder down. She has seen him like this before, she knows that her husband’s blood will boil and froth over injustice. His years in the field of war have granted him immunity from true rage, but they have similarly given him a judicious mind. She knows he cannot tolerate such blatant political hatred and she likewise knows – with an aching pain in her breast – that he will leave her once more for the field. In this way, the world will shiver, for The Terror has been awakened from its slumber, and her wedded name will strike fear into all. The drums of true war are beating in her ears, sadness not far behind.
The Terror stands before the fireplace, a figure of lithe grace and power honed by years of war. His eyes track through the photos on the mantle and settle on the aged armor of his father kept in continuity. There is a smudge on the print, she notices, and moves to clean it. Her husband’s hand comes up to her left breast. He moves to the print and breathes onto the engraving, then slowly wipes it away. She turns her body into his hand and holds him close by the arm, head on his shoulder layered in scars, then speaks to him.

“I love you Randall McCaffrey, and don’t you ever doubt it.”

View
The WAR: Part 1

The sounds of screaming came from down the hall, their lingering whispers echoed in his ears. But they weren’t his own. He saw the ghosts come from their bodies sometimes, wander around the triage ward -hollow eyed and confused – until they dissipated into the…whatever that came next. His nurse, a constantly grumpy man of about 30, sat off to the side reading a girly magazine. This time the woman had a passing resemblance to Armadiis, he chuckled at that – inwardly anyway. His bound mouth, gauzed where teeth had been broken from the gums, didn’t allow for him to speak. From time to time, his tongue would drift to the empty meat that once held his chompers, sticking into the holes that remained. One good eye roved beneath his brow, the other awaiting a genuine CIREN augment. Maybe it would be a yellow eye – like Cayce’s.

He watched his nurse look furtively around, then leave the room. His hand had been massaging his junk and there was little doubt of his purpose. This was the worst time, stuck in a triage ward with ghosts lingering, and all alone as well. The ghosts seemed to avoid places with the living – as if some vestige of their former humanity made them sense the electricity of the life. Their AURA you might say, apparently the thing that biotics descends from. He had loads of time to contemplate the things Armadiis had said in those last days in the desert. Her lips moving in the way that drove him crazy with lust, her hair – much longer now – sweeping over the values of her face, her blind eyes roving madly with their strange and enamoring pupils clouded, the tattoos of her genes, circling her eyes like permanent eyeshadow – she would be dead by now; an exotic beauty snuffed out by the astral will. He kept the last images of his love there, where even the Darkman couldn’t reach, in the place of silence.

Though his abilities had grown massively during their journey to the Gods’ Woods, the Darkman would appear occasionally – whether real or an illusion, and dance about the dying fields in his mind. His hands would pick gray flowers and make macabre wreaths out of them, holding them to him in a mockery of love. That grim smile, wonderful in its own way, plastered to his lips. It hadn’t happened for a while now, and for that he was glad. Semnen – Tet had often said “Get your mind right and your soul might follow.” And now, how true that felt. Though he still couldn’t see the face of the Anazii priest for what he had done, there were wise words that came from those thin, humorless lips.

The nurse returned, a look of post-coitus highly evident in his eyes, and began to examine the instruments. He checked the blood pressure, EKG monitors, and the lobe shift. After the basics, he went to the computer in the corner and plugged his hand into the wire. After a few moments, an intrusion space was found and an incursion began. These were always painful – but CIREN cared little for the discomfort, after all, what he had seen was worth his death to discover.

It began. The sharp feeling of being underwater – perhaps floating in your own brain juices – followed by the feeling of your fingernails shattering. The last part was the worst though – an indescribable feeling of digital pain, brought on by the machine’s very nature. The worst over, the incursion solidified. There stood the nurse, dirty scrubs now clean, in the darkening field of flowers that spread out like a virus. His hair was perfect, even when a wind was summoned. The nurse placed a hand into the gray field, fingers splayed like pincers, and drew some dead flowers up.

“It’s curious how you choose to show this as a field, even when they are dying. I know I’ve asked you before, but why a field of flowers?” The digital nurses mouth turned up in a grimace, “And why so gray?” He took a flower in his grip and began to pluck the petals, letting them float with the breeze. The petals spent, he dropped the bleeding stem and moved to the edge of the field. There was always a darkness there, keeping these incursions from getting too far, but today the blackness seemed less intense. The nurse placed a flattened palm on the glass like visage.

“I see we are getting weaker now, good. The Ultedine seems to be just the key. “ His gaze turned to the field, “Or are you pretending again?” He sniffed a little and stooped down to touch the ground. His fingers danced like the Darkman’s boots, tracing indistinct patterns there. Each one felt like being tickled and prodded at once. Sometimes electric like foreplay, sometimes sharp like a needle. The nurse sat at the rim of the field, pulled out a digital pad, and began to ask questions.

“ You have visited the Gods’ Woods with the outlaw Camuss Airau, a place forbidden by CIREN and the Watchers of the Path, for this you have been arrested. Commandant General Leanun Harius will grant you leniency in the event that you share the knowledge of your time there….You know the rest.”

The nurse shifted his jacket off, aligned his elbows against the darkness and sighed.

“ This day marks the fortyith time we’ve done this, boy. I’m sure the Commandant is growing impatient. Do you realize what this knowledge could mean to the war? Perhaps even a defeat of that Truth rabble. So, knowing all this, why do you resist? Surely you realize the value of this information – after all – you’ve been to a place where no memorable person has gone in almost seven-thousand years, what did you see? Was it terrors and horrors beyond the scope of your existence? Maybe legends you never believed to be real?”

The nurse waited, but only for a moment, before pulling a cigarette – or a digital one anyhow – and lighting it. The smoke tendrils caught in the wind and blew trails against the darkness. The nurse watched them attentively for a few seconds, before returning to his query.

“ What did you see? The Watchers want to know, and this resistance is pointless in every way. If the Ultedine doesn’t work, we’ll find something else. We can replace your teeth, your eye, and your missing arm with great ease – but only if you give us the knowledge you possess. Luzzil, we’ll even find you a hot chick to bang! Or multiple ones. All their good for anyways…”

The drug did seem to be working, and that was bad. The image of Armadiis was all to much to resist, and so – like everything that became that way – it manifested itself.

She walked from the darkness, nude except for a strange haze between the thighs and into the field of flowers. Her path through them gave life. The gray turned to a bouquet of color as she passed by, running like rivulets across it all. The nurse raised a eyebrow.

“Well, that’s some honey right there. Damn son, is this a memory or did you and this beauty get down and dirty? Fuck man, if so, good on you.”

It made him mad to hear that man use such disrespect for even this mere fragment of the woman he adored. The image’s hair became fiery like an inferno, her eyes turned all black with a small white pupil at the center, her teeth elongated in sabers. The image became the vision of the dark Armadiis, and walked slowly towards the nurse, who scrambled up in surprise. To his credit, instead of fleeing, he began to examine this image from all sides. His feet trod the beautiful flowers which sprung up again in abject defiance. The figure of Armadiis grabbed him by the neck after a few moments of the examination and dragged him to the wall of darkness.

Lanou finally spoke back, after forty times, the gift was too hard to contain. His voice resounded like the king’s pronunciations in those old Herman plays.

You wish to know what I know, but the fathomless depths of your brain could barely comprehend. Camuss even had a hard time, and his mind leans towards my own. There in the darkness awaits your answers, the ones you can report back, the things I’ve seen…past the rift to the unknown – worlds unbalanced and ashes so white you’d believe them to be stars. The giants that stride in that land – forgotten by our ancestors for reason insurmountable, and the creatures that lurk throughout that strange country. There, you see the frozen pyramids, there you see the forgotten cities, and there you see the edge of our world. Herman traveled there once, to meet with those termed Others, the true masters of all reality, and close a pact that has been broken. There my friends die before me in ways befitting no life, and there – at last – you will find the Darkman and his hands placed on strings you don’t know how to understand.”

Lanou appeared in the field, formed as perfectly as birth itself. His hands shook slightly, but the fury was at bay. He wore an old band shirt and jeans as were his custom. His eyes both worked and his hair hung like cascades around his head. The nurse choked. Lanou moved towards them both, placing his hand on Armadiis’ shoulder, returning her to the woman he had loved. She must have gained a passing figment of the woman she represented, for her lips met his and he did not resist.

The nurse watched while gurgling for breath, eyes wide and limbs strewn. The two finished their kiss and Lanou turned his blue eyes onto his tormentor. He crouched down, hands at his knees, and looked into the nurse’s face.

“What is your name, you who wishes to take this odyssey?”

The nurse hesitated, hands kneading the dirt, before swallowing a reply. Lanou repeated the question, and this time received an answer.

“My name is Jonas…Jonas Dervelin. Please, I didn’t do anything, I’m just an employee! We thought you were brain dead, maybe even a veggie. I don’t know what to say! Please, its my duty!”

The man held his hands before him, covering his face, which turned into his shoulder. Lanou huffed and dressed Armadiis’ doppelganger. He waited until the man removed his hands, so that his fearful eyes shown. Lanou spoke to him while tending to the flowers of his mind.

You wish to take this journey with me, to see what I saw?” The nurse…err…Jonas nodded.
There are things there, in that forbidden place, that will change you. Do you understand?” he received another nod, “ Then know you will suffer, since I suffered there, you will watch the things that torment me, and see the reasons I cut my own tongue out the first time – before you bastards regrew it. I will share these things, but with you, no other.”

Lanou pulled on some flowers, making them tower over the field like sentries. His hands caressed the body of Armadiis his mind had afforded, and somewhere, behind the darkness, a part of him met her in the way of love. The focus though, was Jonas. Lanou sat in the field for a while, enjoying the silence while Jonas sat to the side, back against the darkness, fumbling with his pad. A distant beeping – probably from the waking world – echoed for a moment before he quashed it. He finished behind the curtain with the Armadiis figment, and now came back to this one state, eyes burning with tears of joy and sorrow. He turned those eyes to the nurse and their soulful glaze made the man stir.

This nightmare unfolds before my eyes, and I won’t resist it any longer. She is dead, Camuss is dead, I should be dead, The White Dove has failed, felled by the Priest who held it for millenia, and the Darkman’s machinations are stirring in the darkest echoes of existence. This is his plan – it always has been – to fell the creator of all things, his own father, and to extinguish the celestial plane for all time. The man wishes to kill the angels, mortalize them, and take away that which makes them divine. He is not alone, and this battle you speak of – in worlds unaccounted for – will ring the triumph of the schemer, the eternal flame, the last Archon – Genesuis Felin Azraeli. This journey will require courage, and so, with all this known, do you still wish to see?”

Jonas nodded silently, his face contorted. Lanou nodded.

“ Then we begin.”

The images crossed the fathomable planes, swirling like creatures of celestial call. Things once colorful turned stark monochrome, things once monochrome turned brilliant. The Darkness fell away and they were in an ancient temple, of architecture beyond consideration. Ivy hung like a fountain across golden stones and metals of brilliant hue. The statues lined the walls, holding weapons of ancient make, that complemented their noble visages. Semen-tet crossed the path of view, his stature proud, his walk hurried. He carried with him a short scabbard, blue hands gripped tightly around. The priest stopped, his all black eyes looked into the shadows around, and then he moved once more. The view followed him, or rather, Lanou had followed.

In the great room, a hall of feasting and honor, Savra the Exile sat at the massive oaken table, his armor glinting. He turned his gaze up when Tet entered the hall, wisdom and honesty showing there. The big Zetharin stood slowly, his smile breaking through the fur of his muzzle.

“My good friend, what may I do for you?” The cold wind blew into the room ruffling his fur beneath the armor. The priest returned an equally as jovial grin.

“I thought we might go for a stroll, the air isn’t as venomous as the desert usually has, so I thought the master of the prophecy and the one to fulfill it might walk and discuss the creator’s vision.”

Savra opened his arms in a suggestion of a hug. He took a sip from the imbedded water supply of his armor. “Why the fuck not, this is getting tiresome,” His mighty feline hand gestured at the various maps and stones on the desk – battle plans – Jonas suddenly knew – before curling into their place inside his paw – a strange evolution of normal feline claw anatomy. Tet motioned to the sword, “Do you mind, my friend?” Savra shook his head, grin still apparent. “Of course not, that sword is always welcome near me…after all, its seen me through the worst of my life – all five-hundred years of it.” The warriors eyes fell to his arms where patterns traced old battles. His gaze, yellow and ancient, was ages away for a moment, and then back to the place of his body. He motioned for the priest to hand him the sword, “I trust the modifications weren’t too difficult? I’d hate to give a gift of this caliber without it being right.”

The priest stared down at the scabbard. His gaze solemn. Hands tightening on the haft. He looked up finally, lips thin. “It is done, just as you wanted.” The priest knew what he held – fate.

Savra gestured with an open hand. Tet placed the scabbard there. The wood and platinum inlay looked more regal than before – as if some latent energy stirred there. The warrior brought the sword to his eye, expertise shining in the pupil. With quick movements, the length twisted and flashed. The bite of steel resounded as the blade ejected momentarily. Savra’s other hand flew up and grabbed the hilt. The length of the weapon slowly came from the scabbard, its blade sheer and blue even in the darkness. The big Zetharin beamed after a few moments, canines drawing back his muzzle.

“A wonder! Brilliant, my friend, simply brilliant. Do you think this gift will suffice? “ Savra turned his gaze, now solemn, onto the priest. Those dark eyes questioned, scars settling. The priest looked at the blade, pupils narrowing in his skull. The wind ruffled his clothing, the billowy garb danced for a moment. The desert wind felt cold. The sky above seemed to weep. Rain began, rain…in a desert.

“It is a gift worthy to come from your hand. The creator left us, but you have come to herald the return. I need to know though…” The priest sank to his meditation bench, hands folding into his robes. He bowed his head, ponytail falling at his neck. “Why this man? What do you see there? I’ve waited twelve-thousand years for this moment, to give you the sword of the Feld’ran, our last great project…”

Tet brought his head up to face the meditation sphere, it’s light accenting angular planes. Even his all-black eyes took up the sheen. Nostrils inflamed, his chest rose.

“This is not the way things were told, YOU are supposed to be the one to do this. YOU are who I’ve waited for…The White Dove Prophecy was true after all – and now you offer to throw it at some man that you’ve only known for a few months, I just cannot…” Savra put a paw in the air, the priest halted. The warrior put the blade into its scabbard, securing the hilt with a strap. Savra’s muzzle turned to the sky. For a moment, there was weariness there – the fires of myriad battles, the memories of the dying and bleeding – before composure asserted itself.

“You are surprised. I know, I am too. This was supposed to be my legacy – a journey into the things made and lost. I never knew this destiny – but I was born according to it – parameters set before my time, there to inform my own life.” The warrior’s eyes glinted as the moon caught them. His fur seemed to shuffle in the wind. All at once, the things that made him the mighty exile of reputation fell, and the philosopher emerged.

“ But those parameters have changed now. I am tired of this, “ His traced traced a scar, “I am tired of the wars. Blood no longer pleases me, seeing the last light of the soul no longer provides victory. I am old, and if not physically so, I am old in here.” His paw pointed to his brain.

The wind trailed off, leaving nothing behind. There was a peace there for seconds, as the two stood and thought. No more images came after. The silence reigned over all. Savra spoke to it.

“ Those parameters no longer exist, I would argue. I am still the one chosen for this – so much as you have proved – but I know nothing of this world or this malice you call the Darkman. The names spoken in these halls – wretched from the lips of those with hatred – mean little to me. I have no context.”

Savra joined Semnen-Tet at the meditation bench, allowing the sphere to trace his graying fur. The sword in its scabbard sat between his paws, held gingerly. The Zetharin sighed, his nose twitching with the thousands of scents around.

“So now I grant this weapon – the weapon of all people, all existences forever and after, to one who holds that hatred but sees through clear eyes. One who can meld the needs of their world with the needs of the ones long gone. I still remain a champion, my great brother, but there are few battles left within my heart. Our prisoner – guest if you will – must follow through where I cannot. And you,” The wisdom left in the one good eye sparked, “You must aid the one I have chosen.”

Semnen-Tet sat for a moment longer, fighting something inside – dark and motivating. His eyes snapped open as he nodded understanding. His hands gestured for the weapon of the Feld’ran – the blade of The Archon. Savra placed it there, eye still open and watched. The priest’s hands explored the weapon he had birthed, felt its weight, felt its life. One hand of the great warrior reached out from within his paw and undid the strap.

“Look at the thing which your life has guarded – you are the keeper of your race’s last gasp. Here, you see what has been told. I shall not wield it, but the one I’ve chosen will – there is fire in his heart that matches this blade – that fire must be used – fanned to its utmost.”

Semnen- Tet stood. The wind picked up again and the desert chill came back. Savra sat in silent meditation – fully at peace. Tet drew the sword to its length, examining the blade. His face puckered, thin lips down at the corners, eyes watery. A weapon of such simple beauty – honed by his craft, birthed by the fate of things. He cast a glance at Savra the Just, exile of his world – killer of thousands in a war not his own.

And then, the priest swung the sword and claimed the champion’s head.

“So much for twelve-thousand years, my great brother.”

The champion’s blood splattered on the hilt, leaving liquid in the engraved word ‘Muroka’

The image of Lanou confronted Jonas, eyes seeking.

“Are you uncomfortable?”

Jonas nodded – this invasive visage was unlike anything he had seen or done. The recall was perfect – even the winds felt ripe with moisture. The boy before him – tow headed and clear eyed – watched carefully.

“Not a visage – an actual memory. I followed them, that is what I saw. That sword was meant for your Sarenestri, Vanderkien, or at least the man who had pretended to be him. The outlaw you speak of, Camuss, knew that he could take it for himself. His theft of a blade built for the so-called salvation of existences, set the events in motion. The horrors that followed only built as the time went by…we buried Savra in the inner catacomb of the temple…it was hard.”

A sudden tear fell from the witch’s eye, tracing over the black tattoos of her kind. Her white hair was bodily in the winds. Semnen-Tet had fled with the sword and as Camuss stood there, pissed off and more, a rumble echoed in the sky. Camuss swore to the corpse that he would “Take the bastard out” and “Slit him from top to groin” Savra’s headless corpse spoke not. The head had been adorned with his helmet and waited to receive the body in their stone tomb.

Camuss shook his head, his black hair lost in the night behind the fire. Stars shone through its strands before settling. Armadiis couldn’t contain the tears now,and they made her face shine. Lanou brought a hand to her face – a motion watched jealously by the ex-Agent – and wiped the tears away. ‘Gentleness in despair’, that’s what the Darkman had said all those months before in the hills.

The body was observed and ranted over until midnight – as was the Zetharin custom – and then each mourning person came forth to receive a ribbon of the warrior’s flesh. They ate these and drank blood from an open vein. This was the burial of a king, and a fitting end for the last of their race. Perhaps there were other Zetharins out there, but Savra the Exile – once called the Just, was now among the many that had gone long ages ago.

Camuss fumed. He crunched his fists in fury – but it wasn’t for the dead – it was just his nature. Perhaps a small specter of the “Goodness” that Savra had seen in his broken frame. The former Agent pledged vengeance – and none to see that night would doubt him.

A sudden sound broke this visage, the call of the lobe transistor outside. The outside, in the room where the broken form of this boy lay in a bed, feet chained and teeth gone. Both men looked at each other, and Jonas nodded understanding. He gathered his things, and waited for the incursion to end. Lanou stood by, hands in his pockets.

“I’ll be seeing you again, Jonas. They won’t let this lie will they?” Jonas looked down at his pad to see the time.

“Of course not. The Commandant is insistent. These memories could give us a way to beat the Truth.”
An electronic sound bounced out again, and Lanou shook his head in disappointment.

“You can’t ‘beat’ reality, Jonas. The Darkman is RIGHT. The things he speaks – the things he’s done – it’s all for real. It is the Truth – just like he says.”

The boy took his hands from the pockets, holding them out. His eyes met Jonas’ own.

“You let those out there know these things. This war is pointless. There is no way to win, the choices were made ages ago before you. Save as many as you can, it’s all you can do.”

The beeping grew constant and Jonas woke to the triage ward. He wasn’t alone in the room though, and allowed his eyes to clear. Two CIREN guards stood near the bathroom, guns slung under their arms. They wore white armor – even more clean than the bandages used in this place – special forces, the elite. A rude noise issued from the bathroom – a fart. The guards exchanged a look. A voice swore about toilet paper and the noise of the faucet cut in and then out. The curtain was pulled back by a gloved artificial hand. The guards stood to attention. And a familiar face greeted him as they saluted.

Harius spoke to Jonas with a kind way, “I see we’ve made contact finally. Good job. I was ready to go about 30 more times there.” The Commandant General winked, “It seems the Watchers have done their work well – this….umm, Ultedine – seems to be doing the trick. I’m hoping this guy’s brain will end up like clay in our hands.”
Harius tweaked his long mustache. Jonas stood straight in front of the man.

“Geez boy, I’m not a boogey man. This is your place of work, not mine. I’m lost in all this, “ His hands motioned around, “junk. Even the lights mean nothing to me.”

Harius turned to the guards and dismissed them with a half-hearted wave. He sat at the chair behind the lobe transistor, eyes scanning the interface. He grinned slightly, bafflement evident on his features. There was no understanding in his eyes. He gestured at the device,

“It’s all fucking Tressian to me, man. This is your thing – I’m just here to justify the expense – those Watchers are some money-pinching bastards.”

Harius shifted in the chair, hands coming to his chin while clasped.

“So what have you learned, my friend, and when do you plan to go back in?”

The commandant-general stood up and clasped a hand to Jonas’ shoulder. His blue eyes shown with the cunning of an animal.

“Scratch all of that, I plan on keeping these sessions going for a while. There must be a chink in the Darkman’s armor somewhere. Drill this boy, offer him whatever he wishes – I don’t care if he wants a Tressian dick grafted – this is the gold mine, people will know this for ages to come. Don’t you agree?”

Jonas could only nod, but somewhere – deep inside – he heard Lanou’s words and knew the truth.

View
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….

View
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…”

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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?
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Story

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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