Wednesday, 19 January 2005
The Apokolipz has Returned... Part Three
The silence was broken by the low tone of his voice rather then the whispers of death she remembered."Evening, m'lady Nanarie." His eyes refused to leave hers even as he greeted her with a deep bow. She didn't offer a greeting or a simple nod of her head. Her thoughts were too jumbled and chaotic to utter a sound. She took a step back and to the side, inviting him inside with a simple movement of her hand as she forced the lump from her throat.
The sweet smell of blood tickled her nose as he entered. She took in the scents. Halfling, Koada'dal, Feir'dal, Dwarves. She inhaled again. ...and Rivvel. The five scents lingered near his form. His eyes broke their gaze, "M'Lady" her silver brow raised as their eyes met once more. "my apologies, but..." She followed his eyes to the trail of fresh blood left by the hem of his midnight black robes.
As pleasing and intoxicating as the scents of the slain light lovers were, she couldn't help but be slightly amused at the mess. Word of these massacres had spread like a plague. She hadn't seen Apokolipz since her return to D'Orakaa's Keep but she knew, by the details of the handiwork done on these tortured souls and villages, that he still walked Norrath. Her mouth quirked, her head tilted and her eyes, half-caste, turned toward him. The arm that still held the door extended and pushed the door to a close. Her other hand released the tightly gripped dagger.
Silence again. Something was different about him. This wasn't the same man she confronted on her first visit to the Butchered Halfling. She began to crack her knuckles, one by one at first then again all at once. She crossed her arms over her chest and shifted her weight to her left leg. Her head canted curiously to the side as she watched him. Her silver eyebrows pinched in silent contemplation. A brief flash of bright red glazed her damaged eyes before dimming to the swirl of confusion, once again. "What do dos want? Why are dos here?" she finally managed in a soft quizzical tone.
The Apokolipz nodded at her response, following her lead and entering her house once again. His ice-blue eyes remained fixed on hers still, as he turned to her while she closed the door behind him. They stood there, in the short entrance hallway of her childhood home, together. The dust and debris that had littered this floor had obviously been cleaned. The dark wood and stone of the building had been polished as well. Even the decorations and furniture had been refinished. His mind absorbed the sights, though his eyes remained focused. Oddly, he was somewhat relieved by her reaction to his apparent visit, though his being there was not something he intended...
The sound of her knuckles cracking drew his attention, his eyes drifting down to her hands... And there, on her calloused hand, on that scarred finger, it rested; the thin band of silvery-white metal worn as a wedding ring, an extremely well cut diamond set within its top. The Apokolipz paused in mid sentence, mid thought, mid breath... stunned, her questions unheard.
---- He lay on his back in the darkened room, in her embrace. Her bright eyes glowing like stars mere inches from his face. His mind was overwhelmed by the haze of the moment; the heat of her body, the touch of her skin against him, the pleasing scent of lavender, smoke, and her
"Xas, ussta ssinssrigg, vel'drav udos phuul vellupala," she whispered to him in her sweet, soft voice...----
Yes, my love, when we are wed... the words that haunted him from the memory, stabbed into his chest like a glowing hot blade. Though he could no longer feel such pain, he had felt this. The memory was an instant, and he quickly turned to prevent her from seeing the effects it had. The Apokolipz could not have foreseen this... this emotion. The stabbing agony of loss and suffering within him. His mind reeled at such an unknown and foreign thing... but still... he had recollected it from somewhere...
----He fumbled with the incantation, his concentration slipping from so many grievous wounds. His blood flowed freely now, and the sharp scratching nails of bony fingertips raking his flesh only added more to it. A rusty blade sank into his thigh, his arm tried to fend away another attacker, all of which made it impossible for him to open the gateway, the portal only shimmering briefly before collapsing. His minion had crumbled not long ago, and now the full brunt of the Ultricles wandering dead was upon him. In a last act of desperation, he gripped his small parcels in his bloodied hand, wishing beyond hope that he would survive long enough... but, he knew he would not... As he sank to his knees, his legs seeming to give out under him as other skeletal hands clawed at his robes in an attempt to finish him off, his mind could only think of his one true love... Nanarie... The pain of his flesh faded as his heart felt as if it were ripping open within his chest... for he knew that he would never again lay his eyes upon her or ever feel her touch... and that she would feel the same... loss... agony... suffering... He screamed her name in that final breath, with all of his heart, before collapsing into eternal darkness...----
The necromancers body shuddered from the memory he had hoped he had buried during the months of carnage he had brought to the lands of Norrath... but, it seems, it was not enough, nor could it ever have been. He still kept his features turned from her, his back to her, in fact. Nanarie... his voice cracked, full of anguish. That ring you wear... it is a wedding band, yes...? He struggled to regain his composure, waves of choking heat rushing up into his face from his chest now, his eyes becoming glassy.
She watched him, waiting for an answer. He stood assertive, bold, and more regal than the laid back rebellious youth she remembered. Her eyes followed his again. This time he focused on her scarred hands as she continued to crack her knuckles out of habit. She stopped, her hands clasped together before her bad habit took over again. He said nothing. After what seemed like another eternity, she looked up to him. His eyes still locked on her calloused hands. He turned away from her rather quickly, an odd expression on his face. It was very rare to ever see anything other than an ice cold glare from him. But there it was. An emotion. In the brief moment she had before he turned, she saw his features twist in pain.
Still, he said nothing. Time seemed to stand still again as he remained motionless with his back to her. Then, with her eyes fixed on his form, she saw him shudder. "Nanarie..." His voice sounded pained. It cracked as if her name alone was agony for him to say. " That ring you wear... it is a wedding band, yes...? Her eyes fell to the Velium diamond wedding ring on her left hand, realizing what he had been entranced by.
She fingered her ring with her opposite hand. She had become used to wearing it. When he stared so intently at her fists she had not realized that was why. She merely thought the sound of her knuckles cracking annoyed him, as it did many others. She could hear in his voice that he was indeed different. The way he mentioned her ring, the way he looked at her, and how he held her gaze. He was indeed a different man. But how different? Her thoughts became less chaotic. Why had he come? What could he possibly have to say to her? There was no doubt in her mind that he would be cursing her very life for what she had done.
Even though she had given up on 'love', an emotion the average Teir'dal scoffed at, she had still decided to go through with her plans. To give Apok Vladdiks past. She had to prove to him that she had spoke truth. That she wasn't some young, naive jalil running after some random Jaluk for fun.
She slowly nodded in response before she spoke in a soft yet assertive tone. "X'as, it is, indeed, a wedding band usstan wear. Lord Vinlaael and usstan were wed naut too long ago." Her tone turned into her previous quizzical tone as her silver brows pinched. "Dos had nau idea, did dos?" She took a single step forward and stopped. She stood there a moment then asked her initial questions again. Her swirling, blood red eyes narrowed, slowed and dimmed as she focused on the back of the necromancer. "What do dos want? Why are dos here?"
She mentally acknowledged the dagger at her back. This visit alone seemed odd. She knew he had been here before. His smell had lingered for days after each visit. She only suspected that the shambles she found her front entryway in was his doing. So why was he here now. Why did he choose to knock? She had observed the Apokolipz during her time at House D'Orakaa. She knew his capabilities. She knew his destructiveness. Nanarie stood mentally prepared.
Karn sensing her uneasiness, came wobbling down the stairs and straight to her. Placing itself between her and the Apokolipz, in a guarding stance. A glowing red orb flashed in it's fist. The glowing green sockets eye the Necromancer warily. It's dingy skull turned back to it's mistress as if waiting for her word of action. She just shook her head, her long white locks swaying with that slight movement.
His mind still fought to control his emotions, so new to him yet so old.
"What do dos want? Why are dos here?"
Her words were insistent. The sound of bone clattering across the floor told him of her minions arrival, yet only his subconscious noted it. He turned then, to face her, his face flushed, his eyes full of emotion. The Apokolipz took note of the skeleton only to step so that he could see her clearly, as if it were a post or something else not worth his attention.
You think I came here to fight you? his pained voice asked incredulously. He stepped closer to her, her minion moving aside, oddly. I did naut know dos would even be here. I came only to check on our... your house. He now stood mere feet from her, his expression and tone in sync; pain and sorrow, soft and caring...
The candlelight flickered gently, providing its dim light to the short hallway. The dancing shadows played across her features. Her crimson eyes sparkled briefly in their locked gaze, her features eased, her silvery hair gleaming in the shadowy light...
----Together they lay, as they had done so many nights, warmly content to lay in each others arms. His eyes were half-caste, briefly awakening to ensure himself that the moment existed, that she was there. Her head pressed onto his bare chest in slumber, the scent of her silver hair filled each breath he took, her soft breathing warming his skin all the more, caressing him. His arms, which were wrapped around her, holding her to him, squeezed her tighter, and her own slumbering embrace returned the squeeze. Their entwined legs even seemed to lock together while they had slept, completing the puzzle, the subconscious need to feel each other so near. His heart ached for her in that moment, his hazed mind not wanting to disturb her sweet dreams, yet wanting her to awaken, just so he could gaze upon her face and look into those eyes once more before drifting back to sleep. Hours seemed to pass for him in this moment, but truly only minutes, before he felt the light tickling of her eyelashes, as her eyes slowly blinked... He smiled warmly to himself, knowing.
Have dos been awake all of this time, my love...? he whispered the question lovingly, sleepily, a half grin on his features.
She purred her affirmation. ...mmhmm... He felt her cheek grow into a smile against him. Usstan did naut want to wake dos... she purred again, her soft voice like honey to his senses.
His grin grew from her response, the loving ache from his heart flowing over his body in a rushing wave of tingling heat. She stirred slightly, as if noticing the change, her legs tightening their embrace on his. Her head slowly turned, her face rose, her half-caste eyes gazing lovingly up at his; twin stars of crystal white twinkling in the shadowed darkness surrounded by the silvery clouds of her hair...----
Yes, another haunting memory filled with lost emotions that only brought him more pain and sadness. His gaze upon her was now softer, longing, absolutely uncommon for such a creature, sparkling with life and a flood of emotions never seen there before... not as the Apokolipz. The shadow play on her features so vividly reminded him of that night, of so many nights...
He stepped closer to her, his hand raising to mere inches of her face, his eyes glassy from never seen grief. Softly, tenderly, he whispered to her, his words like the echo of lost dreams. ...in this light, your eyes... are like stars... shining in the night of your face... and your hair... like silvery clouds in the full moonlight...
He turned to face her. His eyes were strange, full of sorrow. His face seemed flushed. He took a step to the side as he glanced at the bony minion before him.
You think I came here to fight you? His voice was full of anguish. He slowly approached her. Her minion, stepping aside yet still wary as it's glowing sockets followed his short path. I did naut know dos would even be here. I came only to check on our... your house. Her face turned from inquisitive to surprise. Our house? This was Apokolipz standing before her. Yet, it was Vladdik speaking, it was Vladdik she saw in his eyes. His presence here, in their old home... it all left her speechless.
The candlelight cast orange hues and dark shadows across his face. He seemed to pause in that moment as his ice blue eyes remained locked on her deep crimson ones. As if for a moment, he wasn't there. Then his features became much softer. A look totally unnatural for the Apokolipz. He seemed so much less like Death in this moment. He kept looking at her in that strange, longing and painful way.
This wasn't making any sense to her. What was really going on here? What is uk up to? Her hands flexed and tightened at her sides. Her jaw clenched. Here she stood, confused, upset and pained at what was going on with the man in front of her. All the while wondering if this was a trick or some scheme to test her. Vladdik was dead. He died a long time ago. Or, so she had thought. Could this really be ukta?
Slowly, he stepped closer. His eyes glassy as they reflected the faint candlelight. His hand reaching toward her face. His voice a tender whisper all to familiar too her.
*~* Everything was quiet. The entire city seemed to be in slumber. Nanarie sat on the cool stone of her windowsill, garbed in her nightgown and ebon cloak. Her legs dangling over the outside ledge, swinging childishly about. Her crystal eyes taking in the handsome Tier'dal floating just outside her window.
Every few moments of rare silence, their eyes would lock in what seemed to be an eternity. His scarlet eyes told her so much when he said so little. Their eyes seemed to say what their mouths dared not to. Her long delicate fingers toyed with the bronze handle of the candleholder. The flame danced, casting dark shadows and golden hues on both their faces.
He hovered closer to her in that very moment. His voice was a tender whisper as he inched closer. ...in this light, your eyes... are like stars... shining in the night of your face..." His hand began to rise toward her. Her eyes entranced by his. Every bit of her ached for his touch. "and your hair... like silvery clouds in the full moonlight... *~*
The present echoed the words of the past. The Apokolipz's voice spoke in tandem with Vladdik's. She could feel his hand drawing closer to her face. She could feel the same surging emotions of that night so many years ago. Her crimson orbs were slowly refocusing on the reality before her. The scarlet eyes she was lost in just seconds before slowly faded to a crystal blue. Her mind cleared just enough for a rational thought. As his hand inched closer and closer to her dark face, her wide blood red eyes slowly narrowed and pulsated from their usual deep and dark to a boiling brightness. The Knightess took a measured step back. Her left hand glided almost uncertainly through her long stark white hair. "What is going on...?" Her voice was a broken whisper. She had almost let the emotions of that memory take over.
She had done everything in her power to put Vladdik and what they had, who she was, her entire past, behind her. She was married to Vinlaael, their House Enforcer, at that time. A man who was in so many ways similar to herself. Now, after all this time, the Apokolipz comes here, of all places, like this? Why now? Why naut when usstan had first returned? It wasn't too long before her return that she slipped the elixir into his wine. Why had uk waited?
She reached over to the small table she had unknowingly placed the candle on and wrapped her fingers around its base. She turned her face from him. Her old, buried emotions becoming so strong that it pained her to be that close to him. Every bit of what she felt became vivid as she took those few difficult steps to pass him and enter the main room. Her hands clenching, her knuckles cracking and her neck rotating and popping in her internal war. " ...since when have dos spoke the words of udossta elders?"
For a moment, she was the Nanarie of his past soft, innocent the girl who loved him In a blink, she was gone. The girl became the woman. Her eyes hardened as she stepped away from his touch, as if she would wilt from it like so many of Lights creations have now. Her gaze drifted from him. What is going on ? Her mind still seemed trying to grasp for an explanation, for the words did not seemed directed at him.
He lowered his hand and his gaze, looking to the candles flame as she reached for it. As she turned to him, candle in hand, their eyes met again. The ache, the pain, were as visible in her eyes as they must have been in his own expression, so much so that she seemed to turn from it, as she did from his touch.
She cannot bear my touch, even the sight of me, he thought to himself. But why should she..? After all I have done The Apokolipz turned to watch her walk slowly away, into the living room. Her retreat helped his own mind to clear, somewhat. Since his domination over the spirits he collected, his emotions had resurfaced. Hundreds of lifetimes, hundreds of rebirths, yet the strongest emotions came from Vladdik.
since when have dos spoke the words of udossta elders?
Yes, he had, but never had the Apokolipz spoken such words in all of his incarnations. The mingling of minds, it seems, has had other side effects
His footsteps sounded unheard, as he followed her into the room. His eyes watched her back, the muscles shifting under her light armor, muscles developed over years of slaying with the blade. Up close, personal and it was personal for her. Parts of him respected her as she was now admired her yet, another part only felt remorse for having caused it.
A fresh trail of blood from the bottom hem of his clothing remained in his passing as he approached her again, this time he remained a few feet away, not wanting to force her retreat again. He sighed slightly, his overwhelming affections in check for now. We are meeting, again, yet for the first time, you and I, he explained, his tone soft, yet factual. His statement was in answer to her spoken thought. He watched her closely, yet his mind took in the room.
The plush couch, end tables, portraits, and knickknacks were all cleaned and restored since his last visit to this place. Even the dead rat had been removed. The fireplace glowed softly from the remains of burning wood; hot coals and ash supplying heat to the room against the ever-present chill of Neriaks underworld. Between the glow of the coals and the candlelight in her hand, there was more than enough illumination to the room for their TeirDal sight.
She paused at his words, evidently contemplating. The necromancer took it as his queue to continue. As with my feelings towards you, those words are also for you and you alone. She looked back at him, over her shoulder, her eyes glowing from the light of the fireplace, adding flame to their crimson depths. You deserve the truth, Nanarie, but, rather than ask questions that only gain a piece to the puzzle, would you rather I explain everything, from the beginning? His words held more meaning than they said, and the way he said them stressed it; there was a great deal more to it all more than she could ever guess
Wednesday, 29 December 2004
The Apokolipz has Returned... Part Two
The house remained dark, the only light was what danced on the top of the melting stick of wax in her gloved hand. The flickering light of the tall candle danced about her plain face.
She had been here for hours... countless hours. A dark, quiet and familiar place to think. Her initial intent when she first started revisiting this old home after her return to the Keep, was to find clues to her lineage. Clues to who her father was. Slowly, in that small quest, the shack returned to its old self. Everything had become just as it was from her childhood, from the drapes to the furniture.
Her gloved fingers wrapped around the candlestick. Wax melting and cooling on the leather. She had spent hours in her mother's room this night. Searching and cleaning. Hoping to find something to lead her to who he was. Frustrated at coming up empty handed. So, she wandered her room, looking for nothing in particular, just entertaining her thoughts as she wandered. Looking through drawers, examining old odds and ends to her past. Even her old vanity table had cause to put a halt in her step. Now, restored to its beautiful onyx luster, no longer covered and dulled by the blanket of dust that once inhabited this house. She pulled the old cushioned seat out and sat. Her own blood red eyes staring back at her. Her face remained plain and without her old youthful beauty. She set the candle in a bronze holder on her vanity and removed her black leather gloves to reveal badly scarred knuckles. She unbound the ponytail and watched with a visible annoyance as her hair fell down her back. She reluctantly picked up the old comb and ran it through her hair. What do jalil find so enjoyable about such tasks, she thought as the comb got caught repeatedly in tangles and knots. What did usstan find enjoyable about this? Time passed quickly, as again, thoughts of who she was and who she had become took over. Absentmindedly she set the comb aside and took in her own reflection. Her once unkempt ivory hair, constantly pulled away from her face, now lay silky, thick and beautiful over her shoulders. around her plain face and down her midnight blue tunic. For a moment, brief and breathtaking she saw the Lady she had been, looking back at her.
One loud pound sounded, jolting her from her old reflection. She shook her head in disapproval. This is naut ussa, she thought to herself. Then came a second. ~THUMP~ and she turned quickly, one ivory brow raised. She rose and with a swift movement she swiped the candle by its bronze holder. Her chainmail greaves ringing in her quick strides down the stairs. ~THUMP~ a third pound. She reached to the small of her back lifting the waist length hem of her midnight blue tunic and wrapped her fingers around the hilt of her dagger. It wasn't often that she had visitors, especially here. Vinlaael wasn't likely to come here. She wasn't expecting to see him until much later, and away from here, that was certain. Perhaps, he had a change of plans.
The door slowly opened, her left hand still grasping the hilt of her dagger. Her eyes found the dark form of a male and all time seemed to stop. Every muscle in her body ceased in movement. Her hand paused, the dagger half-drawn from her waistband. Shock and confusion decorated her face. Her eyes the very shade of dry blood began to swirl with various shades of red. He was familiar, yet not so familiar. His looks had changed. Instead of his once usual unkempt hair, falling in matted tresses along his emotionless face. He was now well groomed. His hair combed neatly away from his face and he even donned the dark robes of his trade. All this taken in within moments. She forced herself to blink, thinking that what she saw before her was nothing more than the tricks of her mind. If it wasn't for his bone white hair, if it had remained its true shade of ebony after his 'rebirth' , she would have truly thought Vladdik stood before her.
For two beings to be as entwined as they, the Apokolipz had only ever spoken to Nanarie once before, odd as that may seem. The woman who now stood before him seemed as different from the one he had met before as he knew he must seem to her. Her eyes, raging seas of blood during their last conversation so many months ago, now were filled with confusion; even the shades of red within swirled, not knowing which emotion to show. Everything about her seemed more like the Nanarie from his now familiar past and less like the knight of darkness he, the Apokolipz, had met.
The moment seemed to last an eternity.
As they stood and stared at each other, unblinking, his mind lost itself in her presence. Nanarie. She who followed him to House DOrakaa in search of her lost love, only to find a shell of the man she once knew. But now, here he was, finally face to face with her, with no distractions, no interruptions from the spirits of the damned and all he could do was think of how beautiful she was
A memory flitted through his mind in an instant, and, just as quickly, it was gone.
----'...ssshe sservess Innoruuk...' the whispers had told him long ago.
The Apokolipz had raised an eye at that. "You said she was a deceiver, setting a trap for me?" he questioned in a hushed, coarse whisper of his own.
'...yesss, her trap is her heart, her heart deceivess you both...'----
It was a split second, but enough to snap him out of the odd haze he was in. His icy eyes blinked, ending the trance for them both. For the first time since his rebirth, the Apokolipz felt his heart thumping, his skin flushed. Nanarie also blinked, as if she were caught in the same distortion. Their eyes remained locked. Fire and ice.
The spirits remained silent.
Evening, mLady Nanarie, he greeted her, his voice smooth, his tone low. He bowed slightly to her, courtly even, his eyes remaining fixed on hers. He did not weild the ancient staff and shield he usually carried; they were still put away in one of his many magical containers. He only wore the rich midnight black robes and charcoal gray cloak that have now become familiar to him.
Her expression was still a mixture of shock and disbelief, her jaw slack, silvery strands of light enveloping that dark, heart-shaped face. Though the muscles of her profession were easily visible along her jaw, his eyes still saw the soft beauty of her.
With the doors edge still in hand, she stepped back, away from the door and off to the side, gesturing for him to enter yet remaining silent. Her mind seemed to be visibly ticking now, thoughts filtering through her too fast to grasp them.
The Apokolipz took one step through the doorway, the sound of wet dragging entering his ears. For the first time since she had opened the door, he took his gaze from her to look towards his feet and the fresh blood that emanated from the bottom hem of his robes and cloak. His ice blue eyes rose again to gaze upon Nanaries angelic features. MLady, he spoke courtly and clear, my apologies, but and his eyes moved for her to look.
Sunday, 19 December 2004
The Apokolipz has Returned...
For many weeks, months, the Apokolipz had been missing from the eyes of his Housemates. During this time, some of them had heard the stories of bloodshed that filtered throughout Neriak. Guards, assassins, even one of the Lodges masters had been accosted, yet would claim nothing. Most of Neriaks dwellers did not make the connection; in fact, only few really would. And then, there were the horrors found throughout Norrath. Grizzly massacres of flesh and blood where once dwelled small villages and communities of the light-lovers, random victims of death who were unfortunate enough to fall into the notice of Innoruuks Chosen. The Karanas, Greater Feydark, Firiona Vie, Butcherblock, Misty Thicket... all felt the chaotic wrath of Death... all left as ashes and stains on the earth, examples to those who would think themselves safe in their light dwelling world...
The Apokolipz drifted in and out of his subconscious, his keen mind filtering through all of his newfound memories, searching them for any information he may have missed. The King and Queen assassinated his parents, he knew that. The assassins soul spoke much of it after his death, and Ambassador Rylan wisely explained all he knew rather than die to the hands of the Apokolipz. It seemed that Vladdiks parents had both stumbled upon a plot, one that would rip apart the already unstable factions that ruled the city. A plot that even the Apokolipz almost finished.
His father was an officer in the Indigo Brotherhood; his mother was a necromancer in the Lodge of the Dead. These two organizations have never gotten along well for one major reason: the King of Neriak, Naythox Thex, is leader of the Indigo Brotherhood and the Queen, Cristianos Thex, rules the Lodge of the Dead... they are constantly trying to have each other assassinated so that the other would have total control of the city. Vladdiks parents stumbled across one of these assassination attempts. Oddly, it was not by one or the other, but by the ruler of the cleric guild, Perrir Zexus, who was supposedly sworn and loyal to the King and also tied to the Queen through religion. This was during the time that Innoruuk had turned from the TeirDal and created another race on a distant shore. The Arch Priest knew that the King and Queen were part of the problem.
Vladdik's mother decided to warn the Queen, and his father warned the King. Each, the King and Queen, decided to prepare for the assassination attempt, but not to stop it from affecting the other, so the Queen protected herself but not the King and visa-versa. After the attempt totally failed, only the King, Queen, and Arch Priest Perrir Zexus knew about the attempts... well, and Vladdik's parents. Considering that they found out about it, from some means yet unknown, then they were somehow deemed a threat to the political system of Neriak, for they knew of a failed power struggle by the supposedly neutral priests of Innoruuk. In the aftermath, all seemed unchanged in Neriak's hierarchy of the 3 guilds, and the power is still publicly divided equally between the King and Queen, but Vladdik's parents were assassinated, their existence wiped from the records... and Vladdik's memory wiped of his past, threat neutralized... until now.
This information alone could cause a third faction to spring up in the political system of Neriak and possibly bring about Neriak's downfall through civil war, especially with the trolls living within the city looking for any weakness to prey upon within the political system of Neriak...
The Apokolipz also knew that these events were related to his rebirth. It was no mere coincidence that the son of these two was also the Chosen One, one whose heart had been tainted by True Love. That was why the assassins let Vladdik live, in fact, ordered to let him live. The child of those who were most loyal, tainted by the feelings he had felt for... her...
The necromancer had awoken days before, finally rising from his slumber. The carnage of the past months had served several purposes. The deaths of the betrayers, the light-lovers, and the weak were only a part of it. An outlet of his wrath, fury, rage, and Hate was another. But, there was also another reason... The Apokolipz had learned many things from his newfound memories... yes, indeed...
He had left his quarters, which he had remained cloistered the past few days, and used one of the Keeps many portals to enter Neriak, all the while leaving a fresh trail of blood in his wake. The blood seemed to come from the bottom hem of his midnight black robes and of his charcoal gray cloak, blood, that if tasted, would have been noted to contain a mixture of five races: dwarven, halfling, human, and that of the wood and high elves
And so this trail picked up again on the other side of the portal in Neriak, within the dark recesses of one of the many alleys in Neriaks Third Gate district. From there, the Apokolipz strode through the once grand city of the TeirDal, seeking another portal of his House. As he walked, those who crossed his path averted their gazes and stepped aside or simply ran from his dark form. Death walked the streets of Neriak once again, and the souls of the damned followed him.
But, as he strode through the familiar streets of his births, his mind remembered visions of their creation. Memories not of Vladdik but of the many incarnations of the Apokolipz. His essence, his life-force, had existed for eons, nearly as long as the TeirDal race itself. The Apokolipz was not just a TeirDal... he knew that now. He knew everything his many lives knew, each of which with their own rebirth... but this was the first time he had known it all.
His determined stride paused and his head turned to the side to better focus on what had caught his attention. Coldly, his ice-blue eyes looked up to the window, her window, an action he had done dozens of times before. This time, there was no flashback, no heart aching memory from the life of Vladdik. It was Nanaries old house, and it had changed yet again. The front door, which he, himself, had left in shambles, had been replaced, the once grimy and cracked windows had also been repaired and cleaned, and the top window, her window, now showed the dim light of some sort inside, possibly from a candle. The light seemed to move as he watched, as though carried, so the necromancer knew that someone was within, possibly a new occupant or some petty burglar, but, more than likely, it was her, the woman he owed for giving him back all of the Apokolipzs lost knowledge...
Of all of the beings on Norrath, the TeirDal were his brethren. They were of His blood and therefore in His grace. Some were betrayers and would die for their actions, that much was a given, but most would follow the Will of Innoruuk. Of all of the TeirDal, there was one to whom he, the Apokolipz, now owed everything...
In a flitter of darkness and shadow, the Apokolipz stood at her door, a trail of fresh blood behind. With slow determination, he rapped upon the darkwood portal; three loud thumps, as slow as his heartbeat.....
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 5:39 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 December 2004 7:08 AM EST
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Tuesday, 14 December 2004
The TeirDals corpselike eyes opened unusually wide. He had drifted off again. The spirits were restless, their chorus of overlapping whispers reminiscent of the sound of the waters waves along the beach of the Oasis. His newfound clarity deciphered their words instantly; they wanted him to awaken... so, now he was awake.
His quarters were empty, the door was still locked, the windows were barred with their metal shutters closed and also locked. Yes, he was within the Houses Keep, the Keep of the DOrakaa family. He didnt remember coming here, however; nor did he remember how long he had been here. His mind was wide-awake and his senses were clear. He sat in his only chair, a large-backed and elaborately carved darkwood chair with plush red padded velvet, his fingers gripping the skull-carved handholds. Only the hunger within him betrayed that time had passed, but how long?
The whispers in his mind did little to explain.
...you sshould not think ssuch thoughtss...
His composure was once again his own and now scowled to the darkness. The light from the fireplace illuminated the shadows enough to give it a dancing form; something that gave some sort of physical embodiment to the spirits that constantly plagued the necromancer. His gaze went to the fireplace and the skeletal minion that stood near it. His servant had obviously kept the fire going, even though what little heat it gave off was not required.
It was only a dream, spirits, came the powerful voice in low, dangerous tones. The whisperings poured on. I would never make such an attack against the throne, his cold eyes glanced to the shadows again, though, they would deserve it. His thin lips twisted his gaunt face into an devilish grin, as the spirits shouted into his mind. They have become weak, senile, and paranoid in their age. For centuries they have plotted against each other more than against our true enemies. The whisperings quieted; the necromancer began to make sense. Innoruuk has turned from them for they no longer do His bidding. His smug gaze drifted about the room, making sure to catch as many of the spirits as he could in his sights. They do not deserve to be warned about what they choose to ignore. They will die, just not by my doing, rest assured.
A log in the fireplace popped, snapping and sending sparks. With the sparks came ash and soot, leftovers from the continuous feeding. The necromancer had been here a long time, it seemed.
Without a command, the skeletal warrior moved into the next room to retrieve some food for his Master; smoked wood elf, a delicacy in most areas... well, among the dark races. It also retrieved some of the necromancers personal stock of Minotaurs Hero Brew, which the TeirDal himself had made months ago.
Remember one thing, spirits, the necromancer warned before he began to eat. The whisperings went silent. I am Innoruuks chosen. I am the Apokolipz.
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 10:29 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 December 2004 10:31 PM EST
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Saturday, 13 November 2004
Pain has come to this world...
((Heart full of Hell... room... to... burn...))
A skeletal figure steps forth from the magical darkness, its eerie green glowing eyes scanning the elaborate and lush room as the twin blades of flame in its ancient, bony hands burst to life. Light from the flames glints off of the ancient undead warriors plated armor in the darkness of the room. It takes two steps forward, its eyes, orbs of green within the hollow recesses of its skull, scanning continuously for signs of an enemy.
The dark, shrouded form of the Apokolipz now follows, stepping forth from the magical darkness, wisps of it clinging to his inky black robes and charcoal-gray cloak. His own ancient shield glinting in the firelight, he reaches up to pull back the hood of his cloak from his head. An elegant adamantium circlet held the locks of flowing bone-white hair back behind his ears. Cold, corpselike, ice-blue eyes glanced around the room, searching for signs of life.
((Heart full of something... unclean... dreadful to know...))
...they have failed the Father... the spirits whispered into the necromancers mind.
Rune covered leather creaks, as the Apokolipz grips his metal-pronged staff tighter. Soft footsteps take him closer to the magically locked, darkwood door, leaving a trail of wet blood from the hems of his cloak and robes in his wake.
...Innoruuk hass given the TeirDal one lasst chance... They spoke His Will; they did His bidding; they now served the Apokolipz.
((Fair in the mirror... hard on the soul...))
The necromancer held his staff in his shield hand and raised his free hand to touch his gloved palm to the glyph-covered door. The runes along it flared briefly before fading out completely.
The Apokolipz grinned, the near translucent skin of his face visibly showing the muscles twisting underneath with the expression. The engraved, darkwood door opened quietly in the late night silence, revealing the lavish and rich bedchambers beyond.
((They should have known it from birth...))
Dark, shrouded forms of undead specters retreated before the Apokolipz, bowing their heads low as they did. They disappeared into the dark stone walls or through the black marble floor, as the necromancer approached the huge, elaborate bed.
The ancient TeirDal who lay on his stomach, deep in restful slumber, opened his eyes in alarm too late. A flaming blade stabbed through his spine, pinning him to the bed. As his flesh and blood sizzled, smoke began to rise from the plush down bed beneath him. The dark elf gurgled in surprised pain.
Beside him, an aged female TeirDal quickly sat up and into the other awaiting blade of magical flame that impaled her through her chest. She gasped out her own cry of pain and collapsed back onto the bed.
The Apokolipz grinned and leaned in so that his whisper could be heard by their dying ears. You have failed the Father of Hate repeatedly over the centuries. Now, Lord Innoruuk has given our people one last chance before we will be lost to Him forever... He spoke clear and callous. Do not fuck up.
As King Naythox Thex and Queen Cristianos Thex died, their souls were pulled to their own magically created soulstones held elsewhere for their resurrections, which would come soon, protected and preserved, as was already known by the Apokolipz. The Hand of Innoruuk had done his Fathers bidding; the failures have been given their ultimatum.
((Pain had come to this world...))
With Knowledge Comes Power... Part Five
Ambassador Rylan sat amongst the hustle and bustle of the Maidens Fancy during its prime hours of the evening, though this evening was a bit different. The Ambassador had arrived after the Apokolipz had left earlier. The place had recovered from the slaughter that took place hours earlier, and was now resuming its festivities in the upper areas; the downstairs areas were still being cleaned. The Ambassador sat and listened to Ratraz, the troll bouncer for the upstairs, tell him the tale over a few rounds of ale, all the while, Rylan took mental note of the details. Obviously, he was hearing it all from a troll, who himself heard pieces from a vomiting ogre, a hysterical stripper, the shadow knight guardsmen, who didnt say much, and those patrons that fled early on in the event. Once Ratraz had concluded his telling, Rylan sat back, contemplating. Lost in thought, he failed to notice the change in the bouncers demeanor.
Ratraz stood, his eyes narrowing. Its him, he whispered under his breath, taking a step back.
Ambassador Rylan... came the voice from the doorway, full of cold malice.
Royal Emissary Rylan, Ratraz corrected, and then the troll cowered before the gaze, moving behind the bar.
Indeed... Calm to the point of threatening.
Rylan turned in his seat to view the speaker. The Ambassador was obviously dressed in wealthy, noble attire, and, as a man of fine taste and fashion, he knew rich clothing when he saw it. The man before him, though shrouded in wisps of living shadow that seemed to cling to him with its tendrils, was dressed in very expensive threads and valuable jewelry, not to mention they were of obviously magical nature. Only the fact that Rylan was such a pompous ass allowed his mind to absorb the other mans attire before falling victim to his eyes.
Ice blue, almost clear, orbs of dancing death looked at him with both vacancy and wanton violence, like the distant look of a total killer, looking into his soul and only seeing another useless victim, another corpse waiting to fall. They promised death... eventually. A lifetime living in Neriak among the insane noblemen could not possibly prepare him for that unflinching, soul-bearing gaze. In the span of seconds, he felt like a claustrophobic child in the fit of panic from being locked in a footlocker.
The Apokolipz stepped to the Ambassador, leaving another trail of fresh blood on the floor of the tavern room as he walked in. Behind the necromancer came his ever-present minion, his skeletal warrior slave, twin blades of flaming steel in its bony hands. The undead scanned the taproom as it walked, stopping beside its master.
Yes, assured the necromancer, addressing Rylan, I am here for you...
'...the King and Queen ordered it...'
'...he workss for the King...'
The room was silent, pierced only by the sound of a mug falling and shattering on the floor, which brought the skeleton warriors attention.
Surprisingly, Ratraz spoke up from behind the bar. Cant kill im, bud. Hez got protekshun, the troll warned.
The skeletal warior immediately rushed Ratraz, leaping over the bar, flaming swords swinging. The Apokolipz ignored it and focused still on the Ambassador. I know you work for King Naythox Thex in some capacity, worm. I want information. Screams followed by meaty thuds and sizzling blood sounded in the background, accompanied by more screams as people fled the Maidens Fancy once more. The necromancer never wavered, his voice low, and the Ambassador never flinched, hearing every word. I know you know things I want to know. At the very least, you know who knows. Now, I will ask this one question, and you will answer it. If you lie to me at all, either in the answer or in your knowledge of the answer, you will die a slow and painful death, followed by an eternity of spiritual torment from which you will never be released...
Ambassador Rylan gulped once, his crimson eyes wide, and nodded for the Apokolipz to continue, meanwhile soiling himself...
With Knowledge Comes Power... Part Four
~~The young Teir'Dal boy awoke during the middle of the night to the sounds of battle within his home. He jumped as the sound of a battlecry rang out, his father's voice. Scrabbling under his covers, he slipped off his bed opposite the door to his room. The air became thick with magical incantations, his mother's voice. Someone screamed in pain, the sounds of metal weapons striking eachother rang out, his father cursed repeatedly. "Attacking, mistress," came the hollow sound of his mother's undead minion.
The boy grabbed for the dagger tucked under his matress, its handle visible. A woman screamed in pain, his mother's voice. Dagger in hand, the boy rushed for his door.
"...in the name of the King and the Queen..." A stranger's voice from the din of battle.
More screams of pain from unknown sources and more sounds of metal striking metal. He heard a window shattering and the sounds of furniture crashing. At the door to his room now, he could hear every grunt and curse and pained gasp as the battle continued. Quietly, he opened his door, greeted by yet another enraged shriek from his mother. His feet padding softly as he went, he moved down the short, shadowed hallway towards the combat.
A dark form flew through the air, thrown by someone unseen, and crashed through a table and its contents. An animated skeleton could be seen attacking another cloaked form. Another scream of pain sounded from his mother, and the skeleton collapsed, whisps of dark magic escaping... his father flew into a rage.
The boy was now at the end of the hallway, looking into the shambled room. Broken furniture was strewn about, the huge curtained window was now a large hole surrounded by jagged glass, broken glass from various tidbits, dinnerware, and the window was all over the floor. His father stood over the fallen form of his mother, fending off three dark forms, his back to the wall. Sprays of blood were everywhere from the combat that had been taking place and four other bodies lay bleeding here and there. His father weilded two ancient magical blades against his assailants and he was bleeding from many minor wounds, though his skin seemed pale for a Teir'Dal... assassins, his father was poisoned.
As his father faced off once more, the boy dropped his own dagger and rolled across the floor by one of the corpses, snagging up one of the fallen weapons of the assassins. Another assassin fell to his father's blades, but he looked dangerously close to dying. The boy rolled again, dagger in hand, to the only table left whole in the room. In a blink of Teir'Dal agility, the boy was on the table and leaping through the air at one of the two remaining assassins, dagger poised to strike.
His father feinted to the opposite side of one of his assailants, exposing the assassin's back to the boy's blade, which sunk in deep to the hilt between ribs under the man's shoulder blade with the weight of the boy behind it. The other assassin leapt back like a cat, facing off to both his prey and the new attacker, the boy.
His father sank to his knees with a groan. The boy, who now stood over a corpse, looked to him and could now see the blood that drenched his father's legs from unseen wounds; blood that covered the floor beneath him, mingling with that of his mother's, forming one dark pool.
The boy ripped the dagger from the back of the corpse under him and turned to face off with the wounded assassin that still stood.
The darkly cloaked figure chuckled slightly, taking another step back. "...the job is done..." he whispered to the child. "...stay your ground, Vladdik, my orders were very specific..." The assassin suddenly sprang backwards to the windowsill, still facing the boy, his yellow eyes glinted in what light their was. "...to attack you would only bring my own death..." And with that final whisper, he leapt backwards into the darkness outside, disappearing from view, three stories up.~~
The Apokolipz held the dying Teir'Dal by the throat. The room was in shambles from the battle and subsequent beatings he had given the man. The necromancer's cold, ice-blue gaze stared with death down into the dying man's yellow eyes, who lay beneath him. Grinning evilly, his thin lips twisting his gaunt features, the Apokolipz listened to the older assassin's labored breaths for a while before whispering, "You should have told me, assassin..." Now his grip tightened on the man's throat, cutting off his air. "Death is the last thing you needed to worry about." He kept his grip on the man's throat untill he was sure the aged assassin was dead. Releasing his hold on the man, who fell to the floor with a dull thud, the Apokolipz stood over him, still looking down at the corpse. "...now, your soul is mine..."
'...Nanarie sseeked your ansswerss...' came the whisper of the newest spirit bound to the Apokolipz by death.
The Apokolipz turned and left, the hem of his inky black robe and dark grey cloak dragging through the pools of blood on the floor from the dead assassin, leaving a fresh trail out... which followed the same trail of blood he had left coming in...
Thursday, 21 October 2004
With Knowledge Comes Power... Part Three
An hour later, the Apokolipz strode confidently into the Lodge of the Dead, his cold gaze of rage and hate staring before him, his skeletal minion close on his heels. Darkness and death seemed to cling to him and a trail of fresh blood was left in his wake from the hem of his rich black robes and flowing grey cloak.
None stood in his way, not the undead guardians of this place or the students or teachers, as he made his way through the winding halls and up the many stairs to an almost hidden area of the Lodge. Screams of the many experiments sounded in his ears as he passed, but he did not truly hear them. The spirits whispered into his mind, but he did not hear them either. He had his goal firmly set, to visit the first creature he remembered from his past, the TeirDal who greeted him after his rebirth
Talorial DEstalians pained scream echoed through the third floor of the Lodge of the Dead, going unnoticed among the other tortured screams that were a constant occurrence in this place. The necromancer was strapped into one of his own torture racks, his limbs being stretched beyond their normal reach by the contraption. His ears, eyes, and nose had trickles of blood flowing from them, due to the previous tortures he had endured.
A skeletal warrior worked the wheel mechanism of the rack, turning it slowly and forcing another anguished scream from the necromancers lips.
Cease, came the command from the shadowed corner of the room. The skeleton locked the wheel in place and released its grip on it. Slowly, the necromancers scream became pained panting and gasps for air as his body adjusted to the new setting. Tell me what I wish to know, Talorial, ordered a malicious voice from the darkness.
The ancient TeirDal strapped into the rack whimpered slightly.
'...he hass grown weak with age...'
'...hiss ussefulnesss iss growing sstagnant...'
From the darkness stepped forth a living shadow, which slowly formed into a grey-cloaked and black-robed individual. The Apokolipz stepped closer to his one-time mentor, the hem of his cloak and robe sliding through the fresh blood on the floor. He stepped to the rack and leaned down to whisper to his victim. I so detest physical torture, old one. And, as you know, my minion will never tire; we can do this for months, if need be. His cold eyes watched the elderly necromancers face as he spoke. Only the Lodges pupils ever come to this area of the Lodge. Do you think anyone will notice their disappearance? Yes, the Apokolipz was prepared to do whatever it took now. I know you helped to perform the ceremony necessary to create the chosen one, a.k.a. me. I know that the chosen ones were prophesized in the ancient tomes you hid among your personal libraries. He smirked. Yes, I found that. He straightened himself and walked to the doorway, looking out into the larger torture room beyond, which was currently occupied by two screaming halflings and a paladin of Marr. After a moment, he returned to his victim. No, I would much prefer to torture your spirit, he leaned down to the elderly teacher. As you well know.
Talorials expression became more pained. I... cannot tell...
The Apokolipz chuckled darkly. Of course you can. Am I not the chosen one? Am I not Innoruuks Hand of Death? He leaned within inches of the tortured necromancers ear and whispered, Am I not doing Innoruuks Will, even now?
Talorial whimpered slightly, his mind trying to reason through his pain to retrieve an answer. ...yes, he answered eventually.
The Apokolipz stood straight again. Then tell me what I wish to know.
Through much whimpering and pained sobbing, Talorial answered him, every few words he paused to cry or sob some more. A great many things did he tell his torturer, until the Apokolipz was satisfied, which took hours more. Afterwards, he was released, helped off the rack by the skeletal minion, and left to rest in a corner of the room. It was obvious to him that the Apokolipz had grown powerful over the many seasons that had passed since he had last seen him, and, even though he now lay in a crumpled, whimpering heap on the floor, he knew that the Apokolipz is the chosen one of Innoruuk.
With Knowledge Comes Power... Part Two
It had been days since the skeletal warrior had moved from its post, and no one dared to disturb it. Its glowing green eyes stared down the short hallway and into the dancing room of the Maidens Fancy, and its twin flaming swords were enough to dissuade anyone from investigating it. The undead guardian even drove off one of the shadow knight guards common in Neriaks Third Gate, who immediately warned everyone else to leave it be for the moment.
But, he returned, and this time, he had reinforcements. Four of the Third Gate shadow knights moved into the Maidens Fancy, weapons drawn. The patrons and staff members of the establishment immediately giving them plenty of space. They moved down into the dancing room below, forming their own path. As they went for the back hallway, Spice, the ogre bouncer, stepped up to them, blocking their path.
Wuteva joo wanna do, joo dun wanna be messin wit dat, she told them outright, motioning towards the skeleton warrior visible down the short hallway. Weez dinnint call joo heer, an weez dun want no trubble.
The guardsmans red eyes glared at the ogre through the slits of his helmet. Step aside, ogre, he commanded, raising his sword threateningly.
Spice only shrugged. Dis yer fooner fewner dis yer ded-day, iffen joo wan it, she told him, stepping out of their way. Her meaty hand came up deftly to grab Mare as she screamed.
Noo! the scantily clad dancer shouted. Dont disturb him! You mustnt! Hell kill you all! She sobbed and wept and screamed something incoherent.
As the patrons quickly fled up the stairs, one of the guardsmen looked to the one who had spoken, who was also the original shadow knight from earlier that night. Who exactly is in there? he asked.
The others only shrugged.
Datz da Appokkalips, Spice stated flatly, her black eyes grinning evilly.
The Apokolipz?! blurted one of the other shadow knights, his voice louder and obviously worried by the name.
The first scoffed. I dont care if it is King Thex himself; no one attacks the shadow guards of the Third Gate and gets away with it! And, with that, he charged into the hallway, reading his weapon for a swing.
'...rise, the Apokolipz...'
Attacking, master. The skeletal warrior, who returned the charge and met him halfway, stopped him at the entrance to the hall. One of its flaming swords quickly rose to block the oncoming long sword, while its other flaming blade backswept under the guards raised arm, slashing into the armors underarm weak spot.
As the knight screamed in pain, his three comrades ran in to assist him against the undead warrior, but, due to the skeletons positioning in the thin hall, only two could actively attack it. Both swung, none connected.
'...the time has come...'
The skeletal warrior kicked the first back, bringing up its weapons to block the oncoming blades, its body obviously moving in ways no living creature could. It pushed up their blades and slammed a shoulder into the helmet of the guard on the right, stunning him momentarily. It then slapped the thirds blade aside, slashing at his exposed wrist with its other flaming weapon.
The last guard rushed in through an opening created by the screaming guardsmen, his weapon slashing into the undead guardian, glancing off the skeletons arm, notching it.
The skeleton swiveled, one weapon sweeping around and into the newest assailants exposed side, while its other weapon stabbed up under the helmet of the stunned shadow knight, puncturing his throat, sending out a spray of blood.
Spice, who still held the screaming TeirDal dancer behind her and out of harms way, began to chuckle evilly, as most ogres do when witnessing violent bloodshed. Suddenly, her mirth ceased, her black eyes widened, and her gaping maw of a smile slacked as her mouth opened.
Mares door opened.
One of the guardsmen, who was cradling his injured wrist, raised his offhand to the undead warrior, a flood of black energy instantly formed around his hand and reached out to envelope the skeleton before him, causing its bones to crack and split.
Another, whose weapon arm was clenched to his bleeding side, switched his weapon to his off hand in time to block an incoming swipe of one of the skeletons flaming blades.
The original assailant was bleeding in gushes, his crippled weapon arm also clenched to his side, blood rushing from his armpit, was now sitting in one of the many empty chairs, trying futilely to stop the bleeding.
The last shadow knight only lay in a gurgling heap on the freshly wetted floor.
Who... DARES?! came the powerful voice from the opened doorway. A lone TeirDal stepped into the other end of the hallway, rich black robes and grey cloak enshrouded an glinging shadows. He held a metal-pronged staff in one of his runed leather covered hands, and a thick glowing shield in the other. Bone white hair flowed back over his shoulders, an intricate ebony circlet keeping it in place. His eyes, cold, ice-blue, and full of malice, glared at the battle taking place.
'...yesss... you are our'ss sstill...'
The shadow knights froze; the skeletal minion took a final swipe into one of them before stepping back. All was quiet, even Mare had grown silent.
Calming down, master.
The necromancer stepped closer to the dancing room, his deadly gaze glancing from knight to knight, inspecting the damage his minion had done. Who dares attack my minion while I rested? One of the knights was obviously dead, two of the others crawled away from the necromancer who approached.
Thick words of necromantic magic were spoken by the dark necromancer creating a black aura that enveloped his skeletal guardian, its cracked bones sealing and becoming whole once more, the damage done to it evidently healed. He returned his attention to the two knights cowering before him. Who?! he shouted at them.
The two knights continued to crawl on their backs to the stairs that led up, obviously not interested in any part of a fight. Each left their own trail of blood, one more than the other.
The necromancer stepped out into the dancing room, his cold eyes focusing on the ogre woman, Spice. Who...? he grumbled at her.
The ogre pointed to the knight who sat nearby, chuckling as she did, knowing that she was about to witness something that she would rarely see in her lifetime. Dat wun.
Slowly, the TeirDal necromancer turned his unblinking gaze to the shadow knight guardsman who sat, still trying to stop the flow of blood that hemorrhaged from his underarm. The guards helmet rose, as his own red eyes met that gaze, and he froze, like a lone halfling under the attack of an ogre warlord.
'...ssmell the blood...'
'...Hate shall guide you...'
The necromancer stepped closer to the table, the hem of his robes brushing through pools of fresh blood on the floor. His enraged gaze stayed on the knight, his staff making a thudding sound as it came to rest, and his skeletal minion steeping beside him, malevolently.
Spice, being an ogre, had obviously witnessed some disgusting, cruel, and evil acts in her time among her own race and among the TeirDal, but what she had seen this night caused her to unwillingly vomit on the spot and haunted her dreams for many years to come.
"I am the Apokolipz..."
With Knowledge Comes Power... Part One
The Apokolipz strode into the tavern, as he had done on so many nights. It had been several days since he had visited, mostly due to preoccupation of his free time being taken up by Lady Eire. He went to his usual table, which seemed to still go empty, even though he had not sat there recently. It had been almost exactly two weeks since he had sat there, talking to Nimotah and Ejhin, and most of that time had been spent around either Nimotah while hunting or Eire in a more relaxed manner, if ever there was such a thing for the necromancer. He sat down in his old chair, his back to the wall, the shadows of the overhead stairwell enveloping him, his mind drifting on recent memories of the past week.
Ahem, came the loud sound of Brakk, the minotaur, clearing his throat. The brute, having gotten the necromancers attention, placed a dark bottle of elven blood wine on the table before turning to leave the Apokolipz to his thoughts.
Cold, empty eyes watched the large humanoid walk back to the bar, and then focused on the bottle. Uncorking it, he raised the bottle to his lips. It had been a few days since he drank of his favorite wine, and his large gulps showed it.
and then the darkness came.
~Memories flowed through his mind, but not his own past deeds and experiences no, they were his memories... from birth to childhood was a split second blur of memory, the images and thoughts bombarding the necromancers mind.~
The Apokolipz gasped, his cold eyes wide.
...GET UP... The spirits commanded.
The necromancer rose to his feet, the half drank bottle of elven blood wine falling to the floor as he rose.
...WALK TO THE DOOR...
The necromancer subconsciously followed the orders given by the spirits, like an automaton, walking to the door of the tavern and walking through it. Seeing as most of the patrons usually gave him plenty of space and most refused to look him in the eyes, no one seemed to notice his shocked expression.
His eyes did not see what was before him; if they did, it did not register in his mind. His mind only saw the flood of images and thoughts that returned to him in the space of breaths.
~More memories poured into his mind, now of Vladdiks childhood to adolescence. Too fast to grasp now, his mind seemed to only acknowledge that it was happening.~
The Apokolipz staggered in mid step.
...CALL YOUR MINION...
The necromancer leaned on his staff. ...come... his whispered voice beckoned. His eyes were still wide, though downcast.
A skeletal warrior rushed from the nearby alleyway, twin flaming longswords in bony hands. It immediately searched for an assailant.
...SOMEWHERE SAFE... Even though the Apokolipz was mentally incapacitated, the spirits strived to keep him safe, though they had to focus and scream for his mind to follow their commands.
...take me somewhere safe... the necromancer whispered to his undead slave, who thrust one sword into its ribcage to free a skeletal hand and took its master under one arm, leading him through Neriak. During the journey, the undead guardian slew fourteen rats, drove off three children, and even made one of the city guards back away, who immediately opened Neriaks Third Gates for them to pass.
Meanwhile, the memories continued to invade the necromancer, causing him to groan in discomfort, oblivious to his surroundings. Everything, every minute detail of every moment of Vladdiks life, and subsequent death, flashed through the Apokolipzs mind, from the moment of his birth to the last dying breath he gasped laying in the Ultricle.
His undead minion deposited his master on Mares bed in the Maidens Fancy, down in a back room of the basement. It then turned to face the TeirDal stripper.
Mare stepped back, her hands raised in a show of weakness. No problems here. Let him sleep it off just fine, she said in defense, stepping backwards out of her room.
Spice, the ogre bouncer woman who kept an eye on the dancers was also in the short hallway. Her meaty hand grasped Mare by the shoulder and pulled her quickly back behind her. Mare was their prized dancer, shed be damned if she let something happen to her. Leeve im be, gurly, she told the frail girl.
Mares puppy eyes looked up to the ogres. He needs help, she stated, almost whimpering.
The skeletal warrior stepped through the doorway, closing it behind it. Then, it removed the flaming sword from its ribcage and turned to face the ogre, both swords raised, but it did not advance.
Spice pushed the girl back into the danceroom, her black eyes looking back over her shoulder at the skeletal guardian. Himz needz rest, gurly. Meez notz gunna git joo or meez kilt ova dis, jus leeve himz beez fer now.
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 10:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 October 2004 10:30 AM EDT
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The passing of time in the Butchered Halfling
((The Butshered Halfling forum of House D'Orakaa holds many threads that pertain to the Apokolipz, as some of you know, so, here are some links in their correct order of timeline. A game for the Cheshire Cat and the Crimson Lady and Wrong Table both take place during The Ice Queen and Death's Scythe, the first one having a direct effect on the Apokolipz, which will become obvious in my next posts here. Hope you enjoy them as much as the authors did writing them ~smiles~))
Friday, 24 September 2004
((This part of the Story of Apokolipz takes place at the House D'Orakaa, within the Butchered Halfling, a magically protected tavern run by the House... a place where spells could not be cast and those who dared to attack another with weapons were cursed, all by the magical glyphs and runes covering the building. This is where the Apokolipz sat and waited, Brooding...))
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
A lone figure walked the quiet streets on Neriaks Foreign Quarter. Shadows visibly clung to him, like a living entity. It was night in Neriak, which meant the sun was up in the world outside the underground city. Most of the denizens slept or crept about in the shadows now. Well, unless the shadows crept about you, that is.
The dull thud of the apparently insane old mans walking staff announced his coming, and as he would near, the faint murmurings of his one-sided, whispered conversations could be heard
...tell me, spirits... what does it mean...? came the soft hissing question to no one.
His skeletal minion kept up with his languid pace, its eerie greed glowing eyes searching for any sign of a threat or trouble, the ancient Blood tempered weapons in its hands gleaming in the soft glows from the various magical symbols of warding scattered throughout most of Neriak.
The necromancer moved deeper into Neriak as he continued his ramblings. ...why would she leave these lying about...? ...for me to find...?
...forget her... the spirits urged in whispers only his ears and mind could hear.
...forget...?! came his harsh hiss. His pace ceased and he stopped, his angry glare focusing on nothingness a stone wall... ...forget that the note and gown were in my... his memories...? ...forget that there are no records of my birth or my family...? ...forget that she holds the answers I seek...?! His rage was peaking.
His ears and mind become bombarded by the cacophony of chaotic whisperings, hissing at his anger, his words, his thoughts...
He flinched from it, his eyes closing tightly in concentration, forcibly willing them from his mind to no avail. After several moments, he regained enough of his composure to continue his trek. ...I will not forget, spirits...
Hours later, after making his way into the Keep of House DOrakaa, The Apokolipz sat alone in his chambers. A single candle with age-old wax, the only light source for the room, an ornate goblet of half drank wine, and the unfolded note were all on the writing table before him. As the candle slowly burned down, the necromancer studied the note intently. His cold eyes searched the words, not for their meaning, but the words themselves. He retrieved another piece of parchment, one that he had recently written, and compared it to the note he had found at what his... Vladdiks memories told him was Nanaries old house... the handwriting was the same...
The Apokolipz sighed. "...if the dreams are true... then why was she there...? His whisper was unemotional and cold... calculating. ...why did she leave the gown and note behind...? ...for me to find...?
---The young TeirDal made his way through the Foreign Quarter of Neriak, slipping through the bustling crowd of traders, humanoids, and other various evil visitors, his slight frame and stature going almost unnoticed by the larger races. He hurried into the troll and ogre areas, his mind set on his goal. He hopped down to a rooftop of the troll built building known as Shiny Tingz, darted along the top to the front of the establishment, and hopped down lithely to the street below, his movement catching the glance of a local ogre guard. Turning to the front door, the young man entered, the wooden door opening easily, despite its poor workmanship.
Canarie, the troll woman who owned and ran the shop, spied him as he walked in. She was obviously busy dealing with another patron, so he made his way to the display counter and visually inspected some of her other wares. After a few minutes, she came over.
Joo gut da munney? she asked in typical trollish accent.
Depends are they done?
The troll woman moved behind the display counter and leaned down to unlock and open a drawer. After a couple of thumping noises, she brought out a small, black box and placed it on the counter for him to inspect. Ya, dey dun, jus lyk joo wuntz. Da guy jus dropt demz off yestaday.
His red eyes widened and his hands moved for the box. And the inscriptions ? His fingers opened the box, revealing the two midnight gold wedding bands within. He got the inscription from Nanarie, right? He picked out the smaller band, not wanting to ruin the surprise his love had planned in her personal message to him.
Ya, joo lewk, joo see.
He turned the intricately carved and elegant ring over in his fingers, reading the tiny writing along the inside of the band.
To Nanarie, my True Love forever.---
The Apokolipz blinked.
His eyes watered from having been open for too long. As his mind refocused, the dreamlike memory flitting away, the whisperings of the spirits screaming in his ears, his eyes cleared and stared coldly at the ring in his rune-gloved fingers. Midnight gold, intricate and elegant, too small for even his thin fingers to wear...
It was 'her' ring, the one he got for her, the one she gave the night she first met the Apokolipz...
The inscription proved it...
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 5:21 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 September 2004 9:13 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 15 September 2004
In Search of Answers...
The Apokolipz had wandered aimlessly around Neriak and Nektulos Forest for days, his mind plagued with the memories that still haunted him; the memories of another man, Vladdik. To others, he seemd an aging old necromancer, befuddled and lost in converstions within his own insanity. Every so often, he would pause midstep, his cold stare growing blank, only to blink several minutes later and continue walking, scowling at his skeletal servant. His clothing and hygene abviously suffered from this state of mind, his hair becomming matted and worn, his leather and metal armor dirty with filth and dried blood from whatever poor soul crossed his path, saying the wrong thing. For, even though his mind was clouded, he was still... The Apokolipz.
Krizin J`Narus's red eyes spied the shadowed form, as it approached down the tunnels in Neriak's Third Gate. At first, the well trained guard took nothing more than basic note of it, content to continue his rounds and keep any treehuggers out of the depths of Neriak. But, as the form grew closer, his Teir'Dal eyes noted the shadowy whips that clung to the form, and his internal alarms went off. Yes, he knew the necromancer well enough, after seeing him for several days now. Well enough to move out of his path.
The Apokolipz strode by the shadowknight guard, his cold ice blue stare fixed before him, an expression of determination rarely seen on his gaunt features as of late. His bone white hair hanging from his head hung in matted knots over parts of his face and down his back. The claws extending from his off hand flickered in the dim lighting of nearby magical glyphs of warding on the cave walls, the metal pronged walking staff thumping solidly with each step he took. The metal-scaled leggings and magical leathers he wore were crusted with grime and blood. A short distance behind followed his undead minion, a servant of darkness, old and rusted weapons in its boney grip; it glared at the guard briefly as they passed with its green glowing orbs, which lay in empty sockets.
Krizen only nodded to the necromancer, having had to clean up the remains of the last poor soul to cross him only the night before. This time, though, he knew that the aged necromancer had a purpose.
As the Apokolipz stormed through the gates, he took a different turn. Rather than heading to the Lodge of the Dead, his usual destination in this area of the city, he went in the opposite direction, his path bringing him through the door to the rogues' guild, the Ebon Mask. As he walked through the halls, he was approached by a young rogue.
"Well, wha' 'ave we 'ere?" came the boy's voice as he slipped from the shadows to block the necromancer's path. "Ya look like one o' us, but..." his eyes fell on the skeletal guard following behind, "..you aint, is ya?"
The Apokolipz stopped, his cold stare peircing through the young rogue through the veil of matted hair. His minion immediately stepped up to attack, but paused at a slight motion from its Master. "...move, boy.." came the whispered voice from his thin lips.
The young footpad backed against the wall, leaving the hallway open to pass. The look in his eyes showing all the Apokolipz needed to know.
The necromancer continued past, heading into the inner sanctem of the Mask's stronghold. Within the shadowed meeting hall, several other rogues, assassins, and spies were visible. One motioned to him, and turned to enter a side room as the Apokolipz followed.
The skeletal slave closed the door. The necromancer stood there, shadows clinging to his armor, his cold gaze staring into the master assassin before him.
"Eolorn J`Axx, at dosst service," the elder rogue master introduced himself. His clean cut looks and slick attitude added a sly edge to his ettquette.
The Apokolipz nodded.
Eolorn's red eyes shifted slightly. He had dealt with all types in his line of work. That this necromancer was here meant he had bussiness, and he fit the discription of the man seeking his audience last night. After a moment of silence, he pressed the issue. "So, dos doerrus ulu ussa lac'nau..?" his question open ended.
The Apokolipz didn't respond; he didn't even acknoledge the question.
Remembering what his servant had told him of the man, Eolorn shook his head slightly, and dropped ettequette. "What xun dos want?"
The Apokolipz blinked, his ice blue eyes watering. His whispered voice answered through thin lips, the muscles under the thin skin of his face visibly moving, "...I have come to hire your guild for a job..." The sound was a hiss.
Yes, all kinds... Eolorn J'Axx nodded. "Alright, what job?" He was finally getting down to business. "Usstan need a list of details, who, what, where, when, and after looking into it, dorn decide whether to do it and reach you with ussta decision."
Several seconds later, the Apokolipz blinked again. "... I must find Nanarie..." he hissed, and then continued with whatever details he could provide, his speech steady and slow, as if done through concentrated effort. After the meeting was finished, he left the Ebon Mask's halls the same ay he entered, his steps determined and strong.
Several moments later, the Apokolipz stumbled into the private room of the Maiden's Fancey, obviously in some distress. Mare X`Lottl and Spice rushed to his side, but paused as the necromancer's undead servant rushed to his Master's aid. The necromancer leaned on the skeleton's frame and made his way to his usual chair in the corner, Mare following as Spice went to retrieve a bottle of elven blood wine kept specifically for this man.
"M'Lord," came Mare's worried voice, her silky tones wrought with worry. "Are you alright?" Her slight hands wrapped in worry against her tender bossom.
The Apokolipz only grunted in response, leaning onto the table.
The troll bouncer woman brought the bottle of wine to his table, placing it onto the table before him along with a clean wine glass.
The necromancer took hold of the already unstoppered bottle and drank deeply from it, forgoing the glass.
"Cummon, now, gurl," Spice commanded, speaking to Mare. "Leevz himz alone."
Thursday, 9 September 2004
Nanarie's Disappearance... Part Four
The smell of decaying flesh mixed with dust and smoke filled the dimly lit room. The dark stone walls were barely visible in the candlelight of the study. Stone writing tables and bookshelves were laden with ancient tomes of necromantic magics.
"Lor a ussa vel'drav F'sarn haska ulu dos!" (("Look at me when I'm talking to you!")) shouted the master necromancer, obviously upset that his pupil's attention kept drifting to the tomes of knowledge. The elder seemed to sigh, "Nindol ul'hyrr d'ssinssrigg wun dosst karliik orn p'obon dosst streea." (("This idea of love in your head will mark your death."))
The young man had heard this lecture before. Love and kindness were tools for those too ignorant to know what they want or too cowardly to do what is necessary to obtain it. It was written in the books, the Will of Innoruuk, but he had always viewed them as words, not ideals. Now, he knew what love was...
"Yaith ptau'al!" (("Pay attention!")) came another shout from the elder necromancer, snapping his pupil from his daydream. "Nindol draeval dos spend xuil nindel ligrr orn elgg dos!" ((This time you spend with that girl will destroy you!"))
He listened to the elder as he always did, the powerful voice becoming a blur of ranting, but he did not truly listen. How could he? Whenever the old Teir'Dal even mentioned the name of his true love, she was all he could think about. Her silver hair, her crystal white eyes, her soft, pliable skin, her musical laugh and childish giggle, even her smell. She was the reason he breathed, she was the one thing he looked forward to at any given moment she was not at his side. Obviously his masters did not truly know of what they spoke. Love was not a tool, not an object used to manipulate another object. Love was the true fiber of his life, the mere thought of it tugged at every nerve in his body. Love was Nanarie...
'...you musst leave...'
The Apokolipz opened his eyes. A dark red glass bottle lay on its side on the floor, partially under the bed. A soft hiss of air was drawn into his lungs, and he coughed slightly from the intake of dust. Reaching out slowly, he grasped the empty wine bottle. "...pet..." came his whispered call, and a commotion was heard as the skeletal minion that still stood in the room's doorway moved to its master's side and helped him off of the floor. Regaining his feet, his other hand went to his head, holding the silken gown that was Nanarie's, as his undead slave retrieved his staff from the floor. The necromancer blinked a few times, ignoring the whipers of the spirits. Yes. He was still in her room. He looked at the gown and then the empty bottle. Raising the bottle to his nose, he could smell the wine it once held, and then he tipped it upsidedown to pour out the last few drops... Fresh. The wine bottle had been opened recently. He placed the bottle on the bureau, and looked down at the opened drawer. It was empty, aside from a light film of dust, not the thick layer that covered almost everything else in the house. Looking closer, her could see that something had been in the drawer, due to the rectangular patch that was clean. His eyebrows pinched in thought at his new findings. "...yes, she has been here..." he whispered aloud. He turned to see his minion looking at something on the bed. He followed its eyeless gaze to see some sort of parchment sticking out from under one of the plump pillows. He sat on the soft bed, laying the gown beside him, and retrieved the parchment. The parchment still had a wetness to it, and it was crumpled, as if held in a person's hand too long... her hand. He could smell her sweat on it as he slowly opened it up so it could be read. Pausing, he looked around the room again, and his eyes then searched the bed he sat on. She must have slept here, not more than two days ago. His hand gently swept over the sheet, feeling for warmth, and then the pillow. There, he found a cold spot. His hand went over it again, and then lifted it from the bed to his face. Her scent was strong on it, intoxicating, and he touched it to his face.
Her words came back to him.
The necromancer opened his ice-blue eyes, which were once again cold and dead, replacing the pillow and retrieving the parchment. He folded the paper neatly in half and rose from the bed. His pet handed him his staff as he passed it, on his way to the door. His eyes were cold, his posture stiff. He went to the stairs and descended them with ease to the first floor. Moving towards the front door, he paused, his eyes locked onto another empty bottle, which was evidently discarded, tossed to the corner where it now lay. A moment's thought, and his eyes searched the room. Too many footsteps, his trail, his pet's, hers, he couldn't make out a specific path in them now. The rat's corpse still lay where his undead minion had left it near the fireplace...
Several moments passed until the Apokolipz blinked again, lost in thought once more. His gaze was lost and distant, even 'soft'. "...soon, my love.." he whispered distantly. Turning, he made his way towards the door again, stopping in the doorway among the remnants that still hung there. He placed the neatly folded parchment and the tattered silk gown into his magical pouch. "...soon..."
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 6:43 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 12 September 2004 6:42 AM EDT
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Saturday, 4 September 2004
Nanarie's Disappearance... Part Three
*The room was not how he remembered it, yet was also not how he expected it to be. The furniture was still all in place, from the dark wood bureau and small tables to the large and lavish bed, but everything was covered in the same thin layer of dust that covered everything else in the house... well, almost everything. It became quickly obvious that the dust had been disturbed recently. The light footsteps to and from the door and the almost rippling look to the dust around the bed itself. The necromancer slowly pulled the loose locks of bone-white hair that covered his face behind his ear, his ice-blue eyes searching the floor. Judging by the footsteps, whoever the visitor was had gone to the bureau and the closet at times, but mostly dealt with the bed...
The Apokolipz froze, his eyes staring at the bed. The covering blanket was clean of dust, as were the pillows and sheets; all of which were tussled and looked as if someone had recently slept there. But, that was not what had caught his attention. Laid out on the bed, as if tossed aside, was a gown of the deepest blue trimmed in silver...
--- The soft, melodic sound of childlike giggling greeted his ears. Smiling, he turned to his accomplice, who rounded the alley's corner and stopped beside him, catching her breath. Her face was lit up in the joy of the moment.
"Talinth udos inbal noamuth nina?" ((Think we have lost them?)) she asked through gasps of air. Her hands rested on her knees as she continued to catch her breath.
He continued smiling at her, catching his own wind. "Xas, nindyn waelen ilxas naut ragar ninta rath-suulen," ((Yes, those fools could not find their asses,)) he responded, causing them both to laugh harder. "Harven nina olplynen whol op'elgin dossta ssin'urn ofil'nisha, ussta ssinssrigg," ((Serves them thieves for stealing your beautiful clothes, my love,)) he added, handing her the small bundle of clothing he was carrying. Anyone who would break into an orphaned girl's house to steal her items deserved far worse than being covered by a bucket's worth of troll dung.
Nanarie's crystal white eyes lit up at the parcel, as she took it from his outstretched hands. Then, she let our a squeal of pleasure and pounced on him, embracing him in her arms. ---
*The Apokolipz staggered again, slightly. His eyes refocused and looked back to the gown laying on the bed. Slowly, he made his way towards it, his gaze never leaving. As he approached, his minion entered the room behind him.*
"Guard," came the command, and the skeletal slave stoped in its tracks, searching about for enemies to slay. The necromancer turned his attention back to the recently disturbed bed.
Now that he was closer, he could tell that someone had certainly slept in it recently, maybe a week ago at most. The impressions left and lack of dust validated this. The gown itself seemed different to him. Upon closer inspection, he could tell that the sleeves were ripped along the seams. "...odd..." he commented absently, and then he remembered the last time he saw Nanarie. Her physique seemed a lot more muscular than the phantom memories had led him to believe. HIs lips curved into a grin as he pictured the shadow knight trying to wear this gown, her muscled arms ripping the sleeves open.
'...thisss iss not where you musst be, Apokolipz..'
His grin disappeared, as he attepted to block out the whispered voices. What were they trying to hide from him? The Teir'Dal scowled to towards the direction he heard the last one come from, his eyes becoming cold and calous once again. "Shut up, spirits," he commanded them, and thier hissing whisperes became incoherant again.
Turning back to the gown, he gently lifted it from the bed in his runed gloved hands. As he did, his face became wistful... that smell... the one that had existed since he opened the door... she had been here...
Lost in thought, he lifted the gown to his face, burying himself in it, and took a deep breath...
--- He lay on his back in the darkened room, in her embrace. Her bright eyes glowing like stars mere inches from his face. His mind was overwhelmed by the moment; her scent, the touch of her skin against him, the heat of her body.
"Xas, ussta ssinssrigg, vel'drav udos phuul vellupala," she whispered to him in her sweet, soft voice...---
The Apokolipz collapsed, the image an echoing memory in his overly strained mind...
..."Yes, my love..." her words haunted him as he slipped unconscious. "...when we are wed..."
Friday, 13 August 2004
Nanarie's Disappearance... Part Two
*The Apokolipz slowly made his way through the cloak room and into the main living quarters of the abandoned house. In the darkness, his teir'dal eyes could easily see the room's layout; two doors, a boarded up window, and a few tables and chairs, which had fallen into disrepair over the years. Even though there were nicknacks and such laying about, it was obvious no one had been here for a very long time.
A slight scurry of small feet sounded in the silence from near the sheet-covered couch and the necromancers skeletal minion rushed in to slay the poor, unsuspecting rat.*
The Apokolipz smiled evily at his minion's actions. "Luckily, you didn't disturb anything else," he commented to the undead slave as it returned to his side. The skeleton's glowing green eyes only stared back him unemotionally. The Apokolipz gave it a smirk and went into the nearby hallway.
*Cobwebs hung on the walls and from the ceiling, apparently also left unattented for a very long time. Faded paintings also hung on the walls, a testament to the long lifespans of his brethren. The floor was covered in a fine dust, which was only ever seen in areas of Neriak that have gone unused for many years; a reddish black dust caused by the minute shiftings of the earth and stone that the city was carved out of. The layer of dust seemed to have been diturbed mostly by small rodent feet, although there were faint traces of the soft steps of teir'dal feet. The hallway continued on ahead and into the dining room, but the necromancer moved towards the stairway winding up to the second floor, where the trail of footsteps led to and came from. Silently, he stepped onto the first step, his minion's bones clicking behind him as it followed it's master.*
----Quietly, the young teir'dal crept up the stairs, his hand running along the polished wooden railing as he went. He could hear the soft breathing of someone in the silence, coming from upstairs. As he stepped into the short upstairs hallway, his eyes darted to the closed door to his right, even though he knew that the "lady" of the house had left some time ago. Smiling to himself, he went to the door to his right, which was slightly ajar. Dim light poured through the opening, and, as he neared, he could tell that it came from an everburning candle on the bedside stand.
Reaching out, he slowly opened the door to allow him access to the bechambers, a waft of pleasant scents washing over him as he did so; lavender, smoke, and... her...
She lay in the large bed, under the silken sheets imported from... somewhere. Her skin radiated in the candlelight, her hair reflecting its light like fine strands of silver. He could see the gentle rise and fall of her breathing, her body curled up in her sleep. He looked to the envelope in his hand. Slowly, he made his way to her bedside, between the bed and the half-opened window, and slowly placed it on the bed beside her... just as she rolled towards him, her hand actually grasping the envelope before he released it. He froze, his gaze locked onto her lovely face as she slept peacefully. Gingerly, he released his hold on the envelope and stepped back towards the window, knowing full well that she would awaken any moment, yet his heart did not want to end the moment...----
*The Apokolipz staggered on the top step, kicking up a small cloud of dust from the floor. His eyes were closed tightly and his hand gripped the cracked and dried railing for support. His undead guardian moved as if to defend its master from some assailant, but it could detect none*
*The whispers began to drown out the memories in thier overlapping hissing, mostly incoherant. The Apokolipz only scowled in response, his cold eyes opening as slits. Slowly, he righted himself, his eyes drifting to the closed door to his left. Quietly, he stepped towards the door, his minion still searching for some unseen threat.
Reaching out, he slowly opened the aged door and it creaked loudly in protest, obviously in need of oil. His senses caught the ghostly scent of lavender and smoke... and her...*
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 11:27 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 4 September 2004 3:49 PM EDT
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Sunday, 8 August 2004
Nanarie's Disappearance... Part One
*Alone, the Apokolipz wanders the streets of the ever-dark Neriak, ever since 'her' disappearance. His mind plagued by lost memories and his ears filled with the whisperings of his dark god's emmesaries, the "spirits", the Apokolipz slowly paces about the city, pausing briefly when his surroundings spark an old memory. After days of such behavior, he eventually finds himself at an abandoned building, one that meant something to him at one time. The stones were dirty and unkept, the wood becoming decrepid from lack of tending, and the windows were either cracked, shattered, or too dirty to see through. The building's front door was boarded up to prevent children from entering.
This was once Nanarie's house*
'...you musst leave here, Apokolipz...'
The teir'dal necromancer scowled and waved away the unseen pest. The skeletal minion beside him raised its ancient weapons up, as if to fend off whatever displeased its master. Brushing a lock of bone-white hair out of his eyes, the Apokolipz stared at the upstairs window of the house, which overlooked the city streets. The window was whole, but had some sort of dirty film covering it, making it difficult to see through.
---- A warm light could be seen through the silken drapes hanging in the upstairs window. Gently, he tossed a small pebble up and it bounced off of the glass. Within moments, the beautiful young teir'dal's face appeared, her crystal white eyes looking down at him and her bright red lips curved up into a smile.
He motioned for her to come down and she nodded in answer, her face disappearing from the window. Quietly, he waited for her down in the streets. His hand absentmindedly played with his jet black hair as a city guard walked by.
The front door slowly opened, as Nanarie stepped through the doorway, wearing her ebony hooded cloak over her favorite gown of the deepest blue with silver trim. She closed the door quietly behind her and rushed to his side. He embraced her shapely form, and she kissed him softly.----
The Apokolipz blinked, his eyes watering in response. He could still feel the warmth of the embrace he remembered and smell the fragrant scent of her hair. The whisperings continued around him, warning him, threatening him, but he ignored thier words. He took three quick and determined steps towards the front door, his undead minion instantly unleashing on it in a flurry of sword swipes until the wooden obsticle no longer blocked its master's way. Without missing a step, the necromancer went into the abandoned house...
Posted by hero2/theapokolipz at 7:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 8 August 2004 7:12 PM EDT
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Saturday, 17 July 2004
Nanarie and Vladdik... Part Two
She had come into The Butchered Halfling for one reason ... to eat. Once she had caught sight of the emotionless Necromancer her focus became elsewhere. She had to take this rare opportunity to figure out what she could. He was distant, obviously oblivious to her and who she was and what they were in the past. She remembered her conversation with her trainer in the knights guild, so she knew he wasn't Vladdik any longer. But that meant nothing to her.
Time seemed to pass slowly as she watched the Apokolipz, as he is known now, study the ring. He didn't answer her or ask her any questions and her patience began to wear very thin. The usual sounds in the pub began to spark back to life and all eyes seemed to drift from them to other things.
Finally Apokolipz reached out and picked up the ring and his face changed from the lost look he had just moments before to the icy glare he seemed to wear daily. Then he uttered words that tore at her being.
..."I am the Apokolipz,.....My heart is a tool, nothing more."
Her face turned white, like a wave of ice glazed her skin, then in a matter of seconds her eyes went from deep dark blood red to a bright fiery boiling red. She lunged forward and stopped herself only a few inches from his stern face,her eyes burning into his, her chest heaving beneath her breastplate and her fists clenched tightly as they supported her weight on the table.
"A tool....dosst heart, a mere tool?" She held her gaze for a few moments, anger in her eyes and the table creaking beneath her fists. "Dos really believe that? Look in ussta eyes and tell dosst self that dos believe that... if dos can." Her voice was calm but her eyes were angry.
She took her eyes off the Apokolipz when she glanced upon his bowl of halfling eyes and realized her initial reason for this visit to their House pub. She glanced up to see Darmoe, Lord of the House D'Orakaa sitting some tables away, then glanced to the Barkeep who seemed to refrain from approaching the table. She let out a small chuckle and shook her head, lifting her weight from the table and sitting back into her seat.
She sat for a minute... letting the Apokolipz do what he does best.... be silent.... and stood to her feet, the chair scooting backward against the floor. She headed to the bar, her armor clanking as she walked, her mood in an understandable state of pure burning anger. Taking a seat at the bar, she ordered the house's best and strongest ale and whatever specialty they served to kill the hunger that was tearing at the inside of her stomach. She removed her gauntlets, placed them on the seat next to her, interlaced her fingers and turned her palms outward, cracking her knuckles in frustration. When that hadn't soothed her she began to pop each finger individually, one foot a constant tap on the floor. She turned to glance at Darmoe, acknowledging him with a respectful nod, trying to her best ability to not show him the anger and dismay burning within her .... and failing miserably, she knew.
Iuzz walks into the tavern. He sees his new friend Nanarie sitting at the bar. He walks up to her, trying not to bump anyone's table, as he makes his way across the room.
"Hay t'air Nanarie, wuts you be doin? Iuzz cums to eets ands drinks sum beers." With that he sits down beside the Knight and looks around the room. He waves to Apokoliz, and then to Darmoe. He then looks for the bar keep for a drink.
Coldly, the Apokolipz watches as Nanarie leaves his table and heads to the bar. She certainly seemed upset by his response, but what else did she expect of him? A warm embrace, a loving kiss, cooing words of compasion and elation at seeing her beautiful face once again? No, these things are not traits the Apokolipz possesses. And so, she leaves him, brewing in her misunderstanding.
'...ssshe sservess Innoruuk...' the whispers told him.
Apokolipz raised an eye at that. "You said she was a deceiver, setting a trap for me?" he questioned in a hushed whisper of his own.
'...yesss, her trap is her heart, her heart deceivess you both...' another spirit whispered.
The Apokolipz looked back to the woman, as she sat at the bar. Her blood red plate armor clinted in the firelight, except, of course, where the blood of her enemies was caked and dried. She seemed more muscled than his memories of her portrayed, yet still as beautiful. Iuzz, the large ogre he had known since his earliest memories after his rebirth, approached her. They both seemed intent on sustanence.
'...now ssshe sservess Innoruuk...'
'...her memoriess have made her sstrong...'
Yes, Apokolipz could see and feel the chaotic emotions of rage eminating from her. "What is Innoruuk's will in this, in her?" he whispered to the darkness.
'...her heart iss now Innoruuk's tool...'
"How so?" he asked, but he got no answer. 'Hate and rage are Innoruuk's Will,' he thought to himself. 'Nanarie's rage serves the Father of Hate. As long as I serve Innoruuk, Nanarie will as well.' The Apokolipz looked back towards her, the Teir'Dal from Vladdik's past.
Tuesday, 13 July 2004
In the Mind of the Apokolipz...
*The Apokolipz sits silent, his glassy eyes locked onto the ring before him, which gleamed in the light of the various candles, lanterns, and the firepit in the tavern. For several moments, he seems lost in his own thoughts... more than anyone could know or guess...*
--Images flash in his mind, brief memories of a past long forgotten. They are jumbled, a confusing wave of visions unlike any he could consciously remember.
His parents, one an officer in the Indigo Brotherhood and the other a member in the House of the Dead.
He was young, barely four by human standards, when they were murdered. And who was behind it remained lost in the past, locked in the mind of a child who couldn't possibly understand the political hands behind the scenes.--
*Nanarie sits at the table across from him, and the gazes of all look to them both in the brief silence; all of which goes unnoticed by the necromancer who only seems to focus on the ring...*
--Neriak, his home as long as he could remember. Fleeting memories of it as seen through the eyes of a child who only knows it as a place of safety, it's dark corners and deep earth scent comforting... and there was Nanarie, also as a child... his friend and playmate, they would run through the streets of Neriak creating childhood mischief in thier wake.
Nanarie, the girl he grew with as the years passed, when he was known as...Vladdik...--
*The patrons continue their conversations, the sounds of activity in the kitchen follow, and the shrill scream of another halfling being butchered rings out, adding its familiar tones to the tavern; all of which goes unheard by the Teir'Dal who only seems to focus on the the ring before him...*
--He began to follow in the footsteps of his mother the necromancers having taken him under their protection after her demise. He grew to a man and eventually graduated from the School of Necromancy, all the while continuing his growing relationship with Nanarie.
His masters at the House told him that his affections for her made him weak, that his heart was a tool meant to be used to control his blood's flow, not a messenger of his soul; to follow it would lead to disaster... but follow it he did...--
*Nanarie's words seem to go unheard, the bouncer's attention seems to go unnoticed, and the world seems lost in the mind of the Apokolipz...*
--Love, the tool of the enemies of Innoruuk, guided him. He sought to marry Nanarie. He procurred the crafting of a ring, its metal was midnight gold and its design was intricate and elegant. They were to elope the night its was finished.
That night he snuck away from the House of the Dead, beyond the Third Gate, through the Commons and the Foreign Quarter, to meet his love, Nanarie, in the Forest of Neklutos.
But, the undead of those woods attacked him as soon as he was out of earshot of the Indigo Brotherhood's patrols. They chased him into the forest, beyond the travelled paths, and into the area known as the Ultricle, the home of the walking dead...---
'...ssee, now you know...' the spirits whispered to him, as he stared at the ring laying on the table before him. '...ssshe sseekss to make you weak again...'
The Apokolipz blinked, his eyes watering from having been open for so long.
'...Innoruuk took that away from you, ssso you would be sstrong once again...'
He looked to the source of the whispers, an unseen entity to his immediate right.
'...Vladdik died that night...' the spirits continued. '...you are now the Apokolipz...'
Looking back to the beautiful ring on the table next to the half empty bowl of halfling eyes, he seemed to dwell on something, and then he reached out slowly and took the ring in his hand.
'...do not give in to your weaknesss...'
The Apokolipz's face grew cold and stern once again, becomming its usual icy expression. "I am the Apokolipz," he said in low tones. "My heart is a tool, nothing more."
'...and you are the Chosen...' the spirits assured him. '...the Chosen of Innoruuk...'
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