9/10 To Ash We Return

JWaldman Sep 12th, 2019 (edited) 109 Never
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  1. "You're like worms, like bugs.." Vallahaz lifts his large head into the air as blood continues to crackle and drip down from every new injury that opened up from the flesh that had been ruined and shredded at every opportunity. From bones and splintered muscles.
  3. When Yasuyoshi came forward, the Kaor laughs and smiles until his cruel teeth are shown on display. Every last inch of them is covered in a black ichor. The lifeblood of this maddened, enraged, always malicious Kaor. "Swimming in the mud of the boot of which you follow.. To make money, or fill the void that is your lack of initiative." As flames begin to dance and swallow his leg, a low grunt can be heard. A laugh follows.
  5. "But you don't follow a King, a God, an Adjudicator- You follow filth. You follow flimsy, weak, pathetic filth that commands you to do their bidding."
  7. Flames begin to roar and swarm Vallahaz all at once as the ironic ending soon calls his name - Burns had been the injury he suffered the most in life. The entire continent might as well have been pyromancers. Little by little, Vallahaz becomes a scorched and sundered skeleton. He's laughing now, enveloped in this grueling undertaking that is his slow death.
  9. With every injury that did not end him, he grew stronger. Yasuyoshi ending him now would be saving the continent a cruel tiding in the future.
  11. "She cackles and smiles, giving you your new order and you obey. You don't make sense. You have never made sense."
  13. "My name is Vallahaz Dalmeroth. And I follow no Gods, no Kings, no Lords. I die - Resolute."
  14. (Vallahaz)
  16. Garrick would steadily march across the snow fields with a steady, grim puff of his ragged cigarette, molten eyes hanging upon the remnants of ash that remained of Vallahaz with an idle flicker of his amber motes. The fire drakan would approach the remains as he steadily glanced over the scene with a deep sigh, slowly grasping his black blade from the burn marred leather rungs upon his back before gripping it tightly within two hands.
  18. The drake did not bare much in ways of empathy anymore, the flames of hatred had scorched the majority of his softness away. But in the demon of fire he had found a sense of combative kinship, a fellow warrior who fought fearlessly in the face of overwhelming odds in the pursuit of turning the island to a sea of fire. He fought without fear until his last breathe, and stood by his values without giving an inch of cowardice, a moment's weakness, or the slightest desire for mercy.
  20. He had died free.
  22. "From the fire we are born. To the fire we return as ash. One beginning. One end. The flames have taken you Vallahaz, but not your spirit or ambition. This island will be turned to glass and smouldering embers before my scales turn gray. Our dream will not be forgotten"
  24. Plunging his greatsword into the icy expanse, the black metal now glowing with intense heat, a sea of bubbling lava would begin to rise from the snow and slush before the son of Ipos' body, consuming what remained of the demon in a molten pit that, with a snap of the fire drakan's claws, would rise into a spire of rock pointing towards the sky.
  26. "To the ash you return. Free."
  28. Garrick would glance to the arrival of young Helos would a sudden frown of his jagged toothed maw, humming steadily as he took a long, pensive drag from his self rolled smoke before steadily clanking forth with his black sabatons through the snow with a shake of his head to the boy. Laying a single, cracked scaled palm upon the young Fengari's shoulder, he'd pat it steadily as he folded his claw over the boy with a puff of a single smoke of his ring off towards the distant mountaintop.
  30. "We will...not be needing to continue with Valla's surgery Helos. He has met his fate this evening upon the mountaintop. He died fighting, much as expected. You did well to offer him aid in surgery and support when you could, I suspect he was quite fond of you even in the end. As much as a demon could be, anyhow."
  32. The fire drakan would gesture with his right molten claw towards the molten spire that sat upon the snowfield, the remnant monolith of their former, fiery compatriot's ending. The molten rock still glowed with immense, condensed heat, but it smouldered proudly even in the frigid winds of the snowy peak.
  34. "His molten cairn sits there if you desire to say your goodbyes. It is not dishonorable at your age to feel a bit of sorrow or grief, I know you considered him a close friend with your share of antics. His flames shall live on in your determined ambition kid."
  36. The fire drakan would cross his emerald, cracked scaled arms over the navy blue cotton of his engineer's coat and the layer black plate of his cuirass with a light sigh, his molten eyes glancing off towards the distant horizon as he continued to puff steadily at his ragged smoke. The smith had never been much in ways of emotional displays; his current capacities were stifled still by the path of hatred he'd chosen to walk. Still, Helos was young, and the drake could muster something for the young aspirant of flame.
  39. (Garrick)
  41. Helos blinked, not once, but twice, as he attempted to comprehend the words that just left the older Drakan's mouth. "Wh-What? No... No, no, no..." The teen began to rapidly shake his head, it's not possible, there was no way Vallahaz could be dead.
  43. "Y-You're jokin', right?" An awkward chuckle escapes from his lips, as he kept his grey eyes focused on the Drakan, refusing to turn around to stare at the monolith that Garrick had put up in Vallahaz's honor. "C-Cause it's not a good joke, not one bit..."
  45. Silence followed, as the teen continued to process Garrick's words, there was a nagging urge, something telling him to turn around and stare at the 'molten cairn'. With a gulp, Helos slowly began to turn around, the monolith.
  47. The fragile amount of hope that remained, that small sliver of hope he was using to convince himself that the Kaor wasn't dead, was simply, and utterly crushed by the sight of the once towering behemoth's memorial. The teen opened his mouth to say something, anything.
  49. But words simply failed him.
  51. Instead of trying to speak, the teen slowly but surely trudges through the snow, making his way over to where his fallen comrade had drawn his last breath.
  53. The teen took a deep breath, inhaling, before sharply exhaling, as he began to move his right hand towards the obelisk, ignoring the heat that came off of it, as he gently rested his hand onto it. Searing pain shot through his body, as his flesh met molten magma, but that pain was ignored.
  55. The words that had once failed him, seemingly returned, as the teen finally mustered up some words.
  57. "You're free now brother, get some well deserved rest. You've earned it."
  59. The charred right hand of the Fengari would slowly move away from the monument, bringing it up towards his forehead, as he saluted the monument. Helos' held his salute for a few moments before slowly turning to face Garrick, the faint glow of red could be seen coming from his right arm, as he marched through the snow and over towards his comrade, as he asked a single question.
  61. "Who?"
  62. (Helos Fengari)
  64. -Later, in the mountains.
  67. Garrick would steadily lead young Helos to the mountainous heights of the great cliffs that climbed higher still than even the snow plains of old Bhaldraithe that the anarchists had come to call their own. The path south from the frigid expanse of the chaos enclave was a swift one to those knowledgable of the area, and the drake could not deny that this desolate wilderness had become more a home to him than the Gehennan jungles had ever been. Here, at least, he did not feel as if he was wasting his efforts on a cesspool of stagnancy. His projects were not going to be defeated by cowardice.
  69. Up there, on the snowy mount, he lived free.
  71. The drake's black sabatons would steadily clank across the rocky flat of the cliff's edge as he took a light, thoughtful drag from his cigarette, his molten eyes glancing over the side to the distant bottom of the mountain where a snow powdered expanse lay. It was a long drop, certainly the sort that no sensible person would desire to leap carelessly towards if they valued their health or life. The last thing a perfectly sane individual would consider was that jumping off the side would cause anything but broken limbs and possible death.
  73. Garrick was not a perfectly sane individual. Or perhaps he was simply too sane.
  75. Vallahaz had sought evolution before he perished, the advancement to the heights that noble Oath had achieved when his tens of thousands of slime rats had become one. The drake too sought evolution, the throes of which he had felt after matching blades with the late demon. Pushed to his limits by wounds and fiery fury, the cracked scaled smith had just briefly achieved that which he had sought for so long. His draconic potential had flickered briefly, his wings had sprouted in a haze.
  77. But they were gone as quick as they came. The barest of muscle memories, the subtlest itch, was all that remained. He would need to do better.
  79. "Alright Helos,this is going to sound entirely unhinged. I need to find my wings, I've not the benefit of a drakan's common halfshift or connection to the gods to aid me in the matter. Dueling Valla, I felt for the first time that they were finally there, just under the surface. Yet, I have not managed to repeat the effort no matter how much I focus."
  81. The fire drakan would gesture with his hand off the side of the cliff to the fields of white below, clacking his jagged rows of teeth together lightly in affirmation.
  83. "So like a mother bird teaching their hatchlings how to fly by shoving them out of the nest, I am going to try and bring them out the only way I can think. By jumping off this cliff and hoping I learn to fly. As many times as it takes."
  84. (Garrick)
  85. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  86.  So the young Fengari simply followed behind his Drakan companion, slowly making the long treacherous trek up the mountain, and towards the frozen peaks of the mountain, until the arrived at a spot rather familiar towards the youth. The strange campsite he rested at a few months ago.
  88. And yet here they are, atop the snowy peaks basking in the cold, all while the moon's glorious light shines down on them, causing the tattoo on his right arm to glow brighter, and brighter, as bit of a red glow can be seen emitting from it, not that Garrick would even notice.
  90. He seemed to be far busy, pondering something. Something probably insane, really, really insane. Which was always interesting.
  92. So the teen simply stood there staring off over the cliffside, silently observing what bits and pieces of the island he can even see, as he waits for the drakan to speak. Hoping whatever he's been pondering isn't completely and totally insane.
  94. Which sadly, it was. Very, very insane.
  96. Which now that he thought about it, what was wrong with it being insane? No-one the mountain was truly sane, far from it. Most were clearly insane, and Helos sadly, fell into the very same category.
  98. So a smirk spread across his face, as he tilted his head back, letting loose one of his usual cackles, as he bellowed out in his usual jovial tone.
  100. "GEAHAHAHAHA! Then leap off the mountain, and be free. Find your own wings. Ya' don't need Ryujin to grant you your own wings, find your own path and sore to the heavens.
  102. Grow your own wings, and block out the sun."
  104. Helos slowly placed his hands into his pockets, as he flashed his companion a grin.
  106. "And should ya' crash and burn, I won't be here to fix you up. If ya' think ya' have a chance to survive it, the whole fight or flight thin' may not kick in, so ya' might not surpass yourself. So... Yeah, Godspeed, and good luck."
  108. A simple lie, if Garrick was injured of course he was going to fix him, but he didn't need to know that.
  110. "Ya' got this."
  111. (Helos Fengari)
  112. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  114.  "Bahahahahahahah! That's the spirit Helos! Yes, the only thing that can save me is my own strength! To offer any less would defeat the whole purpose of this exercise! You will bare witness to my ascension, truly you are blessed as I was not."
  116. Garrick would flash a wide, jagged toothed grin that spread ear to reptilian ear as he barked out in jovial glee, clapping Helos upon the back with one of his cracked scaled palms with a steady nod as he turned his molten eyes once more over the edge of the cliffside. The lad got it, of course! The drake had to tap into the primal strength that dwelled within his body, the latent draconic potential that flowed through his molten veins. To usher forth the flaming wings as he had upon the obsidian spire, to find his birth right once more, he would need to be bold.
  118. He would need to fly.
  120. Planting his black sabatons firmly upon the cliffside, the fire drakan would spread hisarms and leap with tremendous force over the edge, briefly hovering in the air as he beamed with joy. Why, he was certain that any moment, his wings would sprout once more and preserve him in this glorious view above the island. Flapping once more, he'd finally conquer the skies again as was his calling as a dragon. This would be the moment where he finally seized the clouds for his own, to master his blood's potential and achieve flight.
  122. Until he began to fall.
  124. Plummeting down like a boulder, Garrick would tumble through the air in a spiral as he clawed aimlessly at the rushing air with his lips flapping from the sheer wind pressure. Trying to gain a sense of direction as he spun wildly downwards, the ground would rapidly approach as the drake did his best to conjure forth the muscle memory of his sprouted wings. Yet, try as he might, no amount of force was causing the bones to snap out of his scales, no igneous wings spread to stop his descent downwards at incredible speed. Turning in the air, the cracked scaled smith's molten eyes had just enough time to focus upon the ground before he met it quite personally.
  126. A massive shockwave of kinetic force would thunder outwards as the fire drakan slammed against the ground, his ribs cracking in a dozen places as his arm popped out of its socked. Nose cartilage crushed by the slamming force, Garrick would tumble across the ground in a great cloud of dusted snow as cracks spread across the ground from the sheer force and mass that connected with the frigid earth below. Coughing up puddles of molten blood as the drakan spit out a bundle of jagged teeth, his dazed molten eyes would slowly blink as he stared up towards the sunny sky.
  128. He'd failed. So he would try again.
  130. Rising sorely from the snow, Garrick would clutch his ribs briefly as he drew a claw across his torso, molten lava forming a hardened cast to keep his cracked, draconic bones in place as he looked at his dislocated arm. Gritting his jagged teeth, with a vicious motion he would proceed to snap it back into place with brute strength, a scream of anguish echoing throughout the distant mountains as he slowy turned towards the cliff. Grumbling to himself, he'd approach the bottom of the mountainface before plunging his molten claws into the side, sighing as he turned his gaze up towards the top with willful determination.
  132. Claw by claw, Garrick would ascend the mountain once more as he forced himself to continue through the pain. Each steady swing of his arms upwards caused jolt of agonizing stimulus from his snapped ribs, gushes of boiling blood splashing against the cliff face as he rose higher and higher with an iron will. Vallahaz was supposed to evolve by their side, burn this island to ash and see it cleansed. If he was dead, the fire drakan would need to take up his mantle no matter what it took. No strain or anguish would halt him from evolution.
  134. Finally swinging his arm over the top of the cliff's edge where Helos sat, the drake would tumble over on his back as he heaved steadily from his strained smoker's lungs, coughing up another bundle of blood as he turned his molten gaze briefly towards the Fengari before shoving himself progressively into a sitting position, lighting up a fresh cigarette as his gaze held upon the distant horizon with a light clack of his teeth.
  136. "So, did I fly?"
  137. (Garrick)
  138. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  139.  The Fengari flashed the older drakan a smile as he felt Garrick's claw pat against his back. Well, if this was the last time he saw his friend alive, at least one of the last memories he had of Garrick, would be him smiling. So that was nice.
  141. "Live free, or die trying."
  143. Helos took a deep breath, before slowly nodding his head. Right, it was time to watch his pal hurl himself off of a cliff. So he sat in silence, as he watched his friend spread his arms, and leap with an incredible amount of force.
  145. Well this was it, crunch time. Would the Garrick learn how to fly, or would he simple crumble under the pressure. Everything seemed to be going well, he was still ascending, no wings yet, but at least he wasn't falling. So that was a good start, a really good start even.
  147. Until he began to fall.
  149. Panic immediately rushed over the youth, as he watched his friend begin to plummet towards what could be his death. He could save Garrick, he could use a bit of gravity magic, take to the air, and save his friend. It was simple, and it wouldn't take much effort. Surely Garrick's life was more valuable than growing some wings, right?
  151. No, that's not something he could do.
  153. Garrick was seeking evolution, something greater than himself, a way to ascend to his birthright, without the gifts of the damnable Ryujin. Just like with Vallahaz, he was seeking a way to evolve, and who was he to interfere in that pursuit? After all, freedom was more important to Helos than just about everything else in this cruel world.
  155. And what was freedom, if not the ability to leap off of a cliff? Well, okay maybe that wasn't the best way to use one's freedom, but it was freedom nonetheless, and that's all that really matters.
  157. A loud crashing noise was heard, odds are it was the sound of Garrick crashing horribly into the ground, and yet Helos didn't even bother to look. He wasn't dead, even if Garrick failed here, he'd simply get up and do it again, and behold, he was right. Claw by claw, his friend pushed himself up the mountain, and made it back to his side. Injured, but alive.
  159. "If ya' want t'call nearly fallin' t'ya death flyin', then yeah, ya' flew alright."
  160. (Helos Fengari)
  161. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  163.  "Flight by any other name. Bahahahah! A start, but not enough. Again then."
  165. Spitting a glob of molten blood upon the snow as Garrick wiped at his broken nose, the puddle below his feet would steam as it formed into slush. Gripping his ribs tightly, the drake would compact them with molten earth as best as he was able before staring once more over the cliff's edge. The ground below was still thoroughly disturbed from his last impact, a clear gauge of the sheer mass he'd thrown down at the icy expanse with his heavy body.
  167. Oh, the things he did for progress.
  169. And so it began once more. Garrick would leap, and Garrick would fall. Noon would become night as hour by hour, the drake would throw himself off the side of the cliffs to attempt flight; to push his body beyond its limits and achieve his wings. Crash by crash, his bones would crack as fiery ichor spilled by the liter out of his body and spread across the snow fields, melting into puddles that froze as the drake once more ascended up the mountain with chipped claws and dribbling nostrils with one thought keeping him going through the pain.
  171. He would be a dragon. Never a newt. Never again.
  173. As each failure broke his body down more and more, a boiling rage would begin to overtake him with frustration. His teeth, a third of them scattered across the snowfields in bloody bundles, would grit together with fury as he smashed his balled, cracked scale fists against the ice. Veins would bulge upon his forehead as his molten amber eyes become bloodshot, burst blood vessels reddening his vision as the cracks that lined his body steadily leaked more and more boiling ichor. The ice would shatter and refreeze through the night as the fire drakan continued to toss himself off the cliffside to no avail, not the slightest nubs of bony wings spreading from his back as he bruised or broke near every bone in his body.
  175. Yet, theanger drove him forward. He could not fail. He would not be the man he once was, pitiful and broken. He refused to consider the possibility as long as he drew breath.
  177. After perhaps the thirtieth failed attempt smashed the drakan's body into the minefield of warped snow and scattered ice, Garrick would tumble onto his back in a heap of boiling blood and sweat as his bloodshot eyes stared upwards hazily. Lying sorely on his back, his reserves of energy drained even as they were sapped by the soreness and agonizing pain that spread through his body, the drake's anger boiled within as ichorous heat leaked steadily from his frame.
  179. His eyes held upon the rising sun of dawn, the barest creeps of light after the long night.
  180. (Garrick)
  181. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  183.  And so the Drakan jumped off the mountain, in the hopes to ascend past being a mere Newt, and towards something far greater. After all this is what Vallahaz had wanted? To seek evolution, to become something better, and as it stood, or at least as far as he knew, it was only Garrick and him who would carry on Vallahaz's embers, to set his island ablaze and turn it to ash.
  185. Helos' own evolution would come at a later date, this much he was certain of, as for Garrick? His ascension would be today, and if not? It would be soon, really soon. He could feel it, the Drakan was close.
  187. So, Helos simply watched the Drakan leap off of the cliff, over and over again, as seconds turned to minutes, and minutes into hours. Broken bone, after broken bone, all in the pursuit of something greater.
  189. "Keep goin' Garrick, don't falter now, not while Vallahaz's embers still burn within us. Burn brighter, and hotter than every before."
  191. The Fengari would thump his right hand up against his chest. "Do not falter, let your hatred, your anger, let it boil over, and fuel you, then use that fuel to seek the freedom you so desperately desire.Be free from the constraints that Ryujin placed on you.
  193. And Ascend."
  194. (Helos Fengari)
  195. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  197.  The distant echoes of Helos' encouragement from the mountaintop would wake the drake from his dazed gaze upon the sun rise, a brief splatter of blood dripping from his mouth as he wiped his lips sorely with the navy blue cotton of his engineer's coat. The reminder of Vallahaz' embers, of the treachery that had ended the heir of Ipos' life before his flame could spread across the reignited the drake's will. He couldn't just lay about and give up, not when there was ash to make and vengeance to be had.
  199. Not as long as he drew breath. He would have his revenge.
  201. Staring down the cliff face, the drake would limp slowly with his cracked bones towards the mountain, his chipped claws slowly stretching out towards the stone before plunging into it with molten heat. Leaning his forehead against the cold rock for a moment, the drakan would shut his blood shot eyes as he took a steady, heaving breath to center himself, to focus his rage into a source of strength.
  203. Reopening his eyes, the amber motes once more burned with molten intensity as he began to force himself up the cliffside, swinging his arms up one by one with agonizing ascent as each and every bone in his body screamed in resistance. The hours of throwing one's self off a cliff had battered and bruised every part of the drake's body there was to wound, concussive force doing a vicious number upon his scales, sinew, and bone alike from repeated, colossal force just barely dulled by the powdery snow. Each movement upwards was a trial in itself, a forceful measure against every indicator of shrieking agony telling him to cease.
  205. Yet, Garrick was a stubborn fool. He didn't even listen to himself.
  207. Claw by claw, the distance between the drake and the top of the mountain would fade as the sun steadily rose, gusts of frigid wind blowing his coat into a flurry as he pushed on through the grating strain to reach the top once more. At last, after what had felt like hours of exhausting effort, the drake was finally just about to reach the top once more. He'd be able to leap off the side again, and continue his foolish charade.
  209. Until his claw dug into unsteady rock, and his grip ceased.
  211. Falling back in a state of sheer exhaustion and shock as Garrick suddenly plummeted backwards, a primal fury overtook him at the sheer frustration of the occurrence. He had forced himself to ascend the mountain once more only for an UNSTEADY STONE TO UNDO HIS PROGRESS? His vision turned red, the sky seemed to fill with ash, and a roar of anger would elicit from the drake's jagged maw as he swiped with his molten claws at the air with a furious motion.
  213. As if drawn by being pushed to his breaking point once more, the cracked scaled smith's back scale would elicit snapping noises as jutting bones pierced through the openings in the molten seams upon his back. The pain was swallowed by therage, a gust of flame bursting from the drake's mouth as the scorched bones of skinless wings would force themselves outwards, spreading and flapping at the air from pure instinct. The molten blood that leaked from the drake's wounds would coil around their charred lengths, a flame igniting them into a fiery representation of draconic wings.
  215. Flapping on sheer, primal response alone, Garrick would cease to fall, but rise higher and higher. Above the place where he had slipped, above the cliff face plateau where Helos sat, up towards the sun with an instinctual desire to conquer it, to seize it in a fury within his claws and take it as his own. Rising up and up, the drakan would stretch his claws out towards the sky to finally claim that which he believed belonged to him.
  217. Only for the flames to dissipate once more.
  219. Tumbling downwards, the drakan would just barely avoid falling the entire height of the mountain's expanse by rolling upon the plateau where Helos sat, crashing into a tree and setting it aflame as he crumpled into a pile of battered, bruised muscle with steady, deep heaves of his worn lungs. Yet, a wide, tired grin spread across his draconic visage as he spit a glob of molten blood off and over the side of the cliff, forcing himself into a sitting position as he steadily drew his claw across the cracked seams upon his back.
  221. It felt...more familiar this time. The flapping of wings. His muscles had begun to remember the sense of relief and freedom as he soared.
  223. He could not conjure it on command just yet, but he had learned to fly.
  224. (Garrick)
  225. And when it seemed all hope had failed, and death seemed to be the only clear result from this venture, and when the drakan's flames seemed to dim, and the Drakan's journey seemed to be at it's end. A spark appeared!
  227. Glorious wings of flames erupted from the drakan's back, spurned on by his intense rage, shooting him into the sky, as he sought to claim the sun as his own, and yet, almost as soon as those beautiful wings faded away, and Garrick crashed, and burned... Not only himself, but a majority of the mountain on his descent down.
  229. Without hesitating, Helos tilted his head back as he let loose a his trademark cackle, as he shook his head over and over again, as he made his way over to his friend, hurling them up over his shoulder, as he prepared to make the long trek back to the mountain... Or well, further up the mountain, and back to their encampment.
  231. "Ya' did it! Well, it was only for a brief moment, but ya' still did it! Err, anyways it's a Hel of a good first step, maybe second step or whatever, but... I'm ramblin', I'm just real happy right now."
  233. The teen was grinning ear to ear as he trudged through the snow.
  235. "Good shit, good fuckin' shit.... OH, and I'll sort out all yer' broken bones. Don't ya' worry yer' broken little head about that. I got ya'... Just need to get back to the outpost."
  236. (Helos Fengari)
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