Two Guys Walk Out of A Bar...
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Author:  Clay_Allison [ Tue May 01, 2007 8:43 pm ]
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Clay lit a cigar and walked off the train with Band following and handed him a brown bottle with a cork stupper in it and a label marked "Hair of the Dog".

"Act natural. We're here to find a man named Captain Jack. That's not his real name or his real title, he's probably a General or something but I try to be informal."

A few children scattered away and news of their stopping here seemed to spread. The train was preparing to return south and here were two strangers stopping in Manchu, the end of the world.

"Captain Jack is the tribal chieftan of a mixed tribe of bandits made up of former mercenaries who stayed in the area. They raid government supplies, trade with local villages and act as Yojimbo at times when their territorial needs correspond with the role. I just cut loose an elite, though small, section of the Mandarin Army. I need to make friends with the local color to get an alliance worked out. But he aint here. He's in the hills, so we buy some more food an alcohol, and use your magical skills to trak him, right?"

Author:  BandMan2K [ Thu May 03, 2007 1:44 am ]
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“Magical skills? Is there anything on my person that labels me as your personal Bloodhound?”

Both then looked at the label of the bottle marked “Hair of the Dog” then back at each other.


Clay actually let loose a chuckle as they made their way into the town. Everyone was holding off from doing anything with either of them. No one talked; no one did anything but just look at the two outsiders. They then made it to the General Store. While Clay went in to get the supplies, Band went to see about transportation into the hills. He then came across the lone working vehicle in the town, a brand new four-wheel drive that seemed to have a parentage with Land Rover. He met up with the owner who was an elderly gentleman of some good means. His clothing was superb and he was nicely rotund. He went up to Band and made sure his bodyguards were there to protect him.

“Nice set of wheels.” Band said in English. However it didn’t translate at all, leaving the fat gentleman perplexed at this “barbaric” language being spouted. Band mumbled to himself for his stupidity at not knowing any Chinese but then he remembered what Clay told him yesterday on the train.

Well, no time like the present.

Band brought his mind to focus on the gentleman’s and spoke again.

“Nice vehicle” he said while pointing at the Land Rover. The gentleman followed the finger and miraculously got the main jist. He then began to speak in Manchurian. Band tried to work with his mind but was only able to capture bits and pieces It was still better than he hoped.

“Vehicle…mine. You…leave…ass beat.”

“No, no, no. Don’t want my ass beat. I want to borrow your vehicle for drive up there.” Band then pointed in the direction of the hills. The fat man got mad and started speaking very fast. Band could barely understand one word in 5.

“Area…limits. I…allow…borrow…destroyed. Leave…good.”

“I’ll pay in Gold.” Band then pulled out a couple pieces of gold he had on him. The eyes of the man glowed brilliantly at the pureness of the gold and it was evident even to someone who couldn’t speak a lick of Manchurian that he was seriously thinking of how much gold he could get for the Land Rover. As the two of them used fingers to work out how many pieces of gold for the ride, Band could notice something creep into the man’s thoughts: Greed. That look he gave usually resulted with someone thinking Why should I give up the ride for gold when I could kill him, get the gold & still have my ride?

Band kept his eye on the four men. When the fat one took a step back, Band flicked his wrists to produce his energy blades. The shock on all four faces was quickly turned to horror as Band relentlessly killed the three bodyguards. He then walked up to the fat man who had fallen down and holding his hand to his face to protect himself.

”I knew what you were thinking, you fat fuck. Kill me, take the gold & keep your ride. Consider yourself lucky that I’m not in the mood today. I just need the ride so how about this: I get those two pieces of gold back, I get the four-wheel drive & you keep your life. Sound fair?”

Enough got through to him that he gave up the gold pieces before cowering back on the ground. Band then powered his blades down, holstered them, & bowed in thanks before getting in the ride & firing it up.

Keys in the ignition & full tank of fuel. Should be enough to at least get up to Jack.

With a gunning of the engine, he drove it into town and parked it in front of the General Store to meet up with Clay.

“Got something to get up there?” Asked Clay.

“Yeah. Made a new friend who let me use his Land Rover. Full tank of fuel and legs like a goat. All for a low price too.”


“Yeah…his life.” Band then took a swig of the Dog Hair booze and passed it to Clay. He then helped load the non-perishables in the back of the Land Rover along with the prodigious amounts of hard liquor. Most of it was worse than GI’s would get during WWII but it was probably state of the art around these parts. After loading up, Clay got in the passenger seat while Band got behind the wheel.

“You have any idea where to head?” asked Clay.

“I figure up the main trail and work from there. I’ll have better sense of where they are as night falls. The heat they’ll all give off will light them up like Desert Storm.” As the Land Rover fired up and headed for the main trail, Band remarked to Clay. “Oh, thanks again for letting me know about how to talk to people. Definitely helped in getting this beaut.”

”No problem.” Said Clay.

Author:  madadric [ Thu May 03, 2007 10:53 pm ]
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Aldacha shook his head and turned away from the view out of the western side of the guard tower, a structure made of gravelly, flaking concrete stained brown where the iron struts and braces were exposed to the elements. "There's nothing out there you paranoid fool."

He turned to Issot, the other soldier on guard duty in the single tower near the gate as he pulled a packet of cigarettes out of the top pocket of his uniform shirt. The other man moved the spotlight across the foggy field outside the base, over the muddy road, and to the edge of the nearby forest.

"I swear I saw something moving out there." He squinted and adjusted his glasses in an attempt to try and see through the thick mist that rolled in from the forest. "Have you ever seen it do that?" There was a nervous tension in his voice.

"Do what?" Aldacha said around the cigarette between his lips as he fumbled for the box of matches in his pants pocket. "The mist" Issot said without turning around. "It's just rushing in from the forest like a wave. I’ve never seen it this thick before." He turned and frowned as Aldacha stuck a match and lit his cigarette. "Those things are gonna kill you, you know."

Aldacha grinned and inhaled a lungful of smoke and blew it out without taking the cigarette from his mouth. "They haven’t proved cigarettes are bad for you. Besides," He took another draw as he moved back to the tower's view of the forest. "Everyone's gotta die from something, right? Wow, that fog is really weird."

The mist rolled in from the forest like a grey silent tide, waves of moisture soundlessly undulated across its surface to mutely lap at the base's walls. Aldacha shuddered and took another deep draw on his cigarette as the ambient temperature dropped three degrees. Issot removed his wire-frame glasses and wiped the sudden thick condensation off the lenses.

Aldacha suddenly stopped moving, holding dead still as he stared at the edge of the forest, the 60 meters distance between the wall of concrete and the wall of trees made to feel longer by the obscuring effect of the fog. He thought he could make out a dim figure at the edge of the forest.

It stood perfectly still, in the shadow of a medium-sized willow, the dangling fronds hung straight down and broke up its shape, but he could still make out where the head was, that would an arm lifted to rest the hand on the twisted, knotted trunk. He thought he sensed rather than saw an imperceptible shift in the shadowy for that might or might not have been a man standing under a willow.

"It's looking at us," Issot said, having put the glasses back on and moved next to Aldacha. He reached for the spotlight, and just as his fingers touched the handle, the bright globe made a muffled tink-pop with a flash of blinding illumination and then went dark. Aldacha squinted and rubbed his eyes, as he tried to restore his night vision. When he again opened them and looked out he saw dozens of silent dark figures moving through the mist for the wall’s gate in a slow implacable procession.

He turned to his fellow guardsman, his order to sound the klaxon dying on his lips as he saw the grimace on Issot’s face – and the wide crimson crescent across his throat as thick, bright arterial blood pumped down his neck and soaked his grey uniform shirt. Aldacha turned in panic as he began to run for the door of the watchtower and call the alarm vocally, but then the world twisted and spun disorientingly and he found himself unable to command his body. The world stopped spinning as his face hit the concrete floor and his mouth gulped for air as he tried to breathe.

He finally realized why he couldn’t breathea few eternity-spanning fractions of a second later when a body fell into his skewed view of the watchtower floor, blood spewing from the severed stum that used to be his neck. A pair of timeworn standard issue Dravidian army boots stepped in the pooling blood as they came into his view, and the figure squatted down in front of him. It’s appearance added to his already unsurmountable horror as it’s ghastly appearance became the last thing his fading sight would behold. It wore what looked like an outdated Dravidian infantry uniform that was stained and half-rotted, much like the pallid grey flesh of the man occupying the uniform. There were ragged, diseased wounds surrounded by purple bruises all over the body and he noticed the left arm had ragged chunks missing from it as the offending limb reached out for his hair and moved his line of sight up to it’s decaying visage. One eye socket was nothing but a ragged mess, but from the other bruised socket glared something from a madman’s nightmares. A firy yellow pupil burned inside a crimson iris, like an ember of firey malice from out of hell. Dirty wet red locks of matted hair hung over the face at the apparition leant down to whisper the last words second private Emir Alsacha would ever hear in his life.

“Everyone’s gotta die from something, right?”

Adric stood up from squatting in front of the guardsman’s head and turned his illusion-enhanced features to face the hashishiyun woman as she wiped her short sword off on the other dead guardsman’s shirt. “Go and unlock the gate for the others. Remember to tell them to move and fight as quietly as possible. And please tell them to not ham it up with zombie shambling. This isn’t some B grade horror flick.” Stoat nodded and walked out of the small room.

Omsula Emzir could not believe what he was seeing or hearing. Everywhere he looked there was a new horror to behold. What could only be the bodies of long dead soldiers moved silently throughout the compound, shooting, stabbing, and bludgeoning his comrades to death. The living soldiers had tried fighting back, but when they fired their weapons, the bullets had seemed to have no effect on the apparitions as they steadily, implacably advanced on the soldiers and run them through or shot them with rust and dirt grimed weapons.

It was a rout. Worse, it was an unholy slaughterhouse. A new terror gripped Omsula when he saw a tall feminine figure stride in through the gaping wall gate. She stood probably 7 and a half feet tall, and her skin was a deep blue-purple shade under the moonlight. Blue-black midnight hair whipped and swirled around her head in a raging tempest of terrifying tresses. In each of her four arms she held a weapon. A saber, a sickle, a mace, and a Morningstar. She was practically naked, her tall sensuous body was clothed only in a light gauzy material that fluttered lazily in a breeze that disturbed neither the mist flowing in from outside the gate not the hair or clothes of the soldiers within, living or dead. Her only other adornments was an intricate headdress with silent tiny bells that moved and noiselessly bumped against her forhead and a belt around her waist, from which hung three grisly accessories. Two severed heads and a hand, still dripping blood that looked black in the low moonlight. Her face would have been the perfect example of stunningly exotic Dravidian beauty, were it not for her impossibly gaping mouth and the 5 inch tounge that snaked from it, a forked tip flickering and tasting the air.

Omsula began stuttering prayers he hadn’t said since he’d joined the army at the sight of Khan’li, mythical goddess of war and fertility made flesh before him. A soldier stumbled to glose to the four-armed giantess, and she swiftly swung the wickedly curved scimitar and took the man’s head off in one expert swipe. Night-blackened blood sprayed from the the neck stump as the body fell, and the dark, slick substance spattered across the face and breasts of the ferocious creature.

She turned fathomless black eyes on Omsula as the last of his comrades died, and she began to advance on him. He stumbled over a dead friend’s body and could only stare and attempt to stammer any prayers that mentioned Khan’li She moved toward him with a sleek, feline grace as the dead soldiers finished off the last living man. As this terrifying apparition towered above him, he felt a warm wetness dampen his slacks, but fear blocked any shame he might feel.

She leaned down toward him, and he could smell the coppery sweet scent of fresh blood on her breath. His vision began to dim as terror forced him into shock. Before he could pass out a series of jumbled images spiraled through his mind, accompanied by a voice that sounded both darkly sensuous as warm poison and dry and raspy as the midday desert.

Remember your brothers’ deaths. And your Emperor’s sins for which they died.

The images were of a quiet temple-city surrounded by mountains, people cowering at two bright flashes of light lit the dusk scene up brighter than midday. Bodies blacken and are blasted to dust before his eyes and two great towering clouds of ash, smoke, and fire rise into the clouds, topped by billowing mushroom-shaped caps.

Dravidia has forgotten the Old Ways, forgotten her Gods, and committed a great sin against this Holy Nation. We return to give your sinful nation the fruit ashes and ruin that thou has sown.

As he blacked out, Khan’li delivered one final message.

Tell them all.

Author:  Chaos [ Sun May 06, 2007 10:09 am ]
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Chaos sat in the middle of his rented inn room. He hating doing it, it was a ritual, is was a spell that cast out of his sanity, it was they type of magic that got him those eyes that often caused so much trouble. It was going to fucking hurt. However, if he wanted to pull this off, he needed knowledge. He needed to know where things where and he needed a lot of information. The information would be considered a school of learning in itself, and the knowledge would take forever to gain else wise. So he went through the motions, calmed his mind and prepared to open the breach. He was nearly naked, and the feel of his own sweat chilled him, his sight revealed those things that fed off of his sweat, and he suppressed his disgust.

A map lay in front of him, with an assortment of small stones to his left. The time came, and he held the image of all the needed runes in his head. He began to push in, and then out and nearly staggered at the force of witch his visions hit him. His consciousness rapidly expanded outwards, then the runes kicked in and focused the new information in a series of blinding flashes. Part of his mind busied itself with skimming through all of the mythology books in the largest library in the city, gathering details he would need for his next stunt.

The rest of his mind sought to fulfill a very simple directive. Find them all The problem was the size of the city, the amount of people involved, and tracking all of the information. His hand moved as fast as they could, trying to keep up with the places his mind’s eye saw. Street corners, shrines, vendors, even small personal totems. Luckily the worship of Khan’li was relatively minor, at least as far as personal shrines went. Chaos struggled to keep focused on tracking the next totem, finding the hiding spot of the bookkeeper’s shrine, the temples, the places, the entries…

It felt like forever, Chaos, at times, felt his mind begin to loose it’s power, it’s sense of self. He began to lose himself to those people around him. He was almost done… almost done…

With a cry he tore himself out of his trance. Him mind bubbled with new knowledge, and screaming with the loss of it’s stability. It was another five minutes until he moved again, another ten before he was aware of his surroundings again.

“I have work to do.”

* * *

Yesuto left the tavern, wary of any eyes following his movements. He felt the reassuring feel of the envelope on his chest, what was within, was probably the largest government contract he was to ever receive. Military. I’m certain of it. This type of money and secrecy does not come out of the tax collectors. Either or, as long as the crates arrive sealed, all I should care about it the money that will come in. Yesuto turned the corner and headed down the path that would eventually lead him to the main streets. The only other person on the street was a beggar, sitting by a wall. Yesuto absentmindedly placed a few coins in front of the blind man and began to walk on. He felt a hot hand grab him around the wrist.

“We are all about to meet destiny. She rides forth.”

Yesuto considered calling for the guard, and having this man thrown in jail, but decided against the hassle. “Let go of me, if you know what’s good for you.” The Crazy beggar ignored the veiled threats and continued to rave.

“You think me mad, but I am not. She has sent out her sons and her servants to bring an end here, they ride out and leave behind her seeds in there wake. The seal of enlightenment has been broken and our judgment is at hand. You will watch the great empires fall into dust. Khan’li rides with the sons beside her. You shall see the signs. See them for what they are.”

“LET GO!!!” Yesuto had had enough of this man, and stuck him across the face. The beggar fell to the ground and rolled onto his side. Yesuto made quick steps towards the main street.

He heard the man behind him call out. “Beware, Beware the eyes of the Sons, The Eyes of the Sons! Her Heralds!”

* * *

Morning in the city nearly created a riot. In days to come holy men and doom sayers would call it a sign from Khan’li herself of her displeasure upon the destruction of the holy city and her blessings upon upcoming war. Others would simply take it for a sign of ill omen. As dawn rose, from the high priest of the city, to the smallest home shrine, every holy statue and fetish devoted to Khan’li had been dripping with fresh blood.

* * *

A blind man left the city at noon.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Mon May 07, 2007 12:04 am ]
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Clay ritually checked his immaculately cleaned guns as they dove, periodically he pointed as the trail wound into the hills, wanting to lose itself.

"Don't worry about the guy we robbed, he's an asshole carpet bagger from the big city, the locals don't like him but they put up with him because he's marginally less intolerable than average."

Clay pointed again and Band smoothly rolled over a bush wil no roots and into the ruts of a hidden path among hilly woods.

"Stop here," Clay said in a normal tone of voice after a while. "We'll be shot at soon otherwise. Don't react to the gun waving and yelling, we aren't here to fight."

As soon as he finished talking, Clay always seemed to be narrating or cunducting like life was a movie or an orchestral piece, the trees seemed to swarm with people like a kicked anthill. Clay made his guns dissapear and stepped out. He tucked his thumbs in the front of his belt and began talking to the man who seemed to be the leader of these dozen or so irregulars. The man had just finished shouting a string of orders that Clay ignored.

"Good morning, Sergeant. I am the white ghost from the mountains and I am here to talk to your captain."

The man goggled.

"We surrender, take us into custody and we'll go peacefully but my old friend Captain Jack (the man heard the name Subodai) will hurt you very badly if we suffer any bruises along the way."

The man spoke rapidly in a dialect of Mandarin. Clay answered cooly.

"Yeah, I can speak your local jive, what of it? Him? No not really."

Another burst of oriental static.

Clay: "Oh, Band, he says he won't lead you to the leader unless you best him in hand to hand combat. I need you along, try not to let him spoil your looks."

Clay sat on the steel hood of the old fashioned Land Rover and lit a cigar.

Author:  BandMan2K [ Tue May 08, 2007 2:09 am ]
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Band got out from behind the wheel and moved over to Clay. “Are you serious? I could kill him with a hand strike.”

Clay responded, “If you want to continue with this, then you need to prove to them that you’re worthy to face Captain Jack. They know my reputation, but they know nothing of you. Just don’t hurt him too badly.”

“Alright then, “ said Band as he took off his trench coat & hat. Placing them on the hood behind Clay, he moved up in front to fight. The challenger did a look at the bayonet on his thigh and Band threw the blade into the ground to show he wasn’t going to use it. Getting into a fighting stance, the challenger tried to puff himself up to look more dangerous then he was. Band meanwhile just stood there and waved him in for a free shot. Even though they didn’t speak the same language, it was understood immediately and the challenger brought a right cross to bear on Band’s jaw. The punch landed squarely and twisted Band’s head & neck to the right.

Now he can’t say I didn’t let him get a shot in.

He brought his head level and lunged forward, landing his forehead directly into the challenger’s nose. As he reeled from the hit, Band then grabbed his head between his hands and thrusted the man’s face into his up swung knee. The hit knocked the challenger onto the ground straightaway. As Band turned back towards Clay the challenger struggled back to his feet & charged him from behind, nailing him in the back along with giving him a bear hug. The brute actually was able to get him off his feet and tried to do a German Suplex. Instead, he got another knock to his face courtesy of the back of Band’s head. His arms released their bear grip and his chest started to compact with the force of Band’s foot being driven into him not unlike a kick from a jackass.

As Band left the field of combat, the challenger’s comrades made their way to him and helped him back to his feet. “You think there’s any aspirin in the Land Rover? I’m sure to get a massive headache from his hard head.”

Clay actually smirked a bit, it wasn’t much but it was there nonetheless. “I’m sure there is. Here.” Clay threw the bottle of Dog’s Hair booze to Band as he got up from the Land Rover. As he drank, Clay spoke once again to the men. He then went back to Band as he was putting his coat & hat back on. “Looks like you got their attention and verification. He’ll ride with us along with a comrade while we follow the others back to the base.”

“Sounds good to me,” said Band as the challenger was half carried – half dragged to the Rover. As he slipped into the back seat, he was given the bottle of Dog Hair booze to help deaden the pain. The goofy smile he gave back made Band laugh a bit as he got back behind the wheel along with Clay. Within a couple minutes, they were back on the trail to the camp with the other troops in the lead. After a couple hours of driving, Band could see the base and kept an eye out to not run over anyone.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Sun May 13, 2007 1:29 am ]
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Clay and Band were directed through the forest in the Land Rover to a clearing. In the middle of it sat a large wicker chair and several smaller ones. the chairs were arranged as if around an invisible table and the ground was well swept rock (no cooincidence because the rock flooring was the reason for the clearing).

Clay considered making a statement by sitting in the larger chair but figured he'd best take it slow. He took the chair on the right hand side of it and motioned Band to the left. These chairs were at right angles to the big one so that speaking from them would not be awkward.

Clay smoked his cigar and waited. If this bastard makes his lateness any more fashionable, I will take his damned chair and knock him down a peg. I'm a busy man.

Just as his impatient thought finished, a man did appear. He wasn't tall, he sure wasn't thin. He stood about five and a half feet above the ground and it seemed he was almost as stout as he was tall. Heavy muscles rippled in his shoulders, left uncovered by his sleeveless shirt. His thick torso didn't yet bulge with the belly of middle age and ended in tree stump legs that looked powerful enough to walk through waits deep mud without breaking stride. His head looked unfinished, as if partly carved from a large chunk of granite and given up on by the artist due to broken tools.

On his head was a stereotypical Conical oriental hat, but his body was ringed with multiple bandoliers of large-cartridge ammunition, apparently matched to the massive lever-action rifle gripped in his beefy fist. His hands were huge and his fingers seemed to terminate without visible knuckles. He looked like he could win a boxing match with a fair-sized tree

Clay mused. .50 Cal, 500 Grain bullet, probably pushed by about 50 grains of Cordite, that and being built like a smokehouse is enough to be a Chinese Pancho Villa.

The man was seated and he spoke with Clay for a long time in his native tongue. After a long time Clay spoke to Band.

"He's agreeable all right but we have a job, one that might get us closer to the real prize. There's a Wizard out here, one that does the normal Wizard stuff and is causing trouble. He's gotta be getting his art from our old friend Nyar or indirectly through Nyar's chief Lieutenant Randy. Tonight we're going to get amazingly drunk, in the morning your hangover should be attuned to the Wizard's magical frequency and we should be able to follow it right to our man."

As he spoke the men of the camp started piling wood in the space in the middle of the chairs, instead of a giant invisible table, these chairs apparently surrounded the spot for a large campfire.

"Alright," Clay said, "Party time."

Author:  madadric [ Tue May 15, 2007 8:26 pm ]
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The atmosphere in the bandit camp was one of high spirits the day after the first raid. The morning was spent sorting and storing the bounty of supplies taken from the stripped base, which had then been gutted by fire to make the theft less apparent. Al’Aman had then declared the rest of the day as a celebration in honor of their guests, and (to Adric’s amusement) the gods which had blessed their efforts with divine assistance.

After a quick lottery to see which unlucky bandits would get watch duty, the bandit leader gave a short speech interspersed with many loud cheers from his followers, and then announced the festivities open.

A battered record player and a number of outdated LP’s were dragged out from a store room and music with a distinct Indian style filled the camp. Adric could only grimace at the noise, but managed to disguise it as a smile for the most part.

“The music does not agree with you.” The Hashishiyun woman said in her usual manner of making a statement as opposed to asking a question.

“There are infinite variations of infinite parallel worlds out there, but I still find it hard to believe that in any of them, there is a version of me that would enjoy this nasal warbling.” He muttered quietly so none of their hosts could overhear. To his surprise Stoat actually let slip a small smile, the Hashishiyun equivalent of rolling around on the ground holding one’s sides in fits of mirth.

“I’ve heard cats being tortured sound less agonized than the singers on these records. It’s agony!” he groused with a half-smile of his own as he looked across the camp at the revelers drinking and dancing and performing their approximation of singing.

Not far away a group of women ranging from elderly crooked crones to young teens barely begun on the confusing and absurd transformation to adulthood called puberty were clustered around the psycho-adaptive energy being mad called Luci.

She had adopted the identity of Viru, the Mother aspect of the female trinity of which Khan’li had been the death-bringing crone that had become the most popular aspect of the trinity goddess in Dravidian folklore. She was still very tall, just less than 7 feet, but her countenance had a soft, warm beauty to it, and her figure was plumper than the hard warrior figure of the previous night. She sat in the center of the small gathering of women, touching their faces and hair with a caress of her soft hands and the now featureless tentacles flowing from her back, an affectation she seemed loathe to give up.

“I think a new religion was born last night” Stoat said, surprisingly speaking first. Adric wondered if she’d been partaking in the celebratory moonshine that was flowing freely, before dismissing the idea with another look at the Assassin. He did, however, give the bowl of spicy stew in his hand a suspicious look as Stoat spooned in a few more mouthfuls. I think someone spiked the punch…

“Or perhaps an old one will be revived by this small miracle.” The woman mused after swallowing a mouthful of the stew.

Adric shrugged, dismissing his suspicions about the stew. The woman needed to lighten up anyway. “All new religions are just muddy reflections of the old ones anyway. I never really pay them much mind.” He took a swig of the burning alcohol and again wished the Dravidians had heard of beer. Nothing goes better with curry than beer.

“Luci’s just picking up on the Dravidians’ ideas of what she is. They think she’s this goddess Kali or Vishnu or Bremen or Shiva or whatever, she picks up on their collective imagery, and she fills that niche.”

“It’s Khan’li, and I believe Shiva was a male.” Stoat corrected after another mouthful of stew.

“My point is,” Adric said, giving her a wry grin, “Perhaps that all any god is. The reflection of people’s ideas based on stories so old they’ve mixed everything up. Who know what the seeds of this story really were.” He took another mouthful of his stew. “Incest, probably. All the really good eastern tragedies are about incest.” Stoat just shook her head.

“So, Adric, the enlightened traveler of worlds, what is the next step in your grand plan to bring the nation of Dravidia to its knees?” Adric’s eyes narrowed momentarily before he smiled and answered her question that almost (almost!) contained a joke. There is definitely something in the stew!

Aloud, he explained the next step in his plan. “We continue to use Luci’s appearances both in raids and as revelations to Dravidian peasants, not to mention Chaos’ soothsaying act to stir up the populace’s superstitions. Once you get a mob good and scared about something they can’t control, it’s easy to direct that pent-up fear in a direction they can effect – the government.”

He was interrupted by a young girl of perhaps seventeen as she whirled and danced near them, her hips twisting and gyrating in amateur approximation of the Dravidian Belly-Dancers. She spontaneously leant in and kissed them both on the cheek, before whirling away, calling back a joyful “Brahna’s blessing on you!”

“I think we can count on the first part of that plan succeeding.” Stoat said sardonically, as a half-smile quirked her lips. Adric found himself musing that whatever they’d put in the stew, one of its side effects seemed to be to give humorless killers a personality. “Back to you plan, Adric the Omniscient” A rather sarcastic personality.

“So once the government is trying to control its citizens, and keep its army from falling apart from superstitious deserters, we start cutting heads off the hydra.” He pointed his spoon at Stoat. “Literally. I’ll get you to start targeting military and political leaders, the ones with the ability and the influence to keep the whole thing together. We’ll leave those full of graft, or those who will strip what they can and abandon the country like rats leaping out of a sinking vessel. This will leave Dravidia ripe for the finishing blow.”

“Finishing blow?” Stoat asked as she finished her bowl of stew.

“While Luci and Chaos are spreading rebellion fuelled by superstition, and you are disabling the government’s ability to govern, I’m going into the southern mountains to forge a hammer to smash the country back to the stone age.”

“Out of all the fractured nation mountains?”


“That are little more than a collection of tribes warring with each other?”


“You are going to have your work cut out for you, madman.”

Adric grinned. “I am a madman with many talents.”

“That, I suppose you are.” Stoat conceded as she stood up. “I am going to get another bowl. The stew is remarkably good tonight.”

“That it is.” Adric agreed.

Author:  Chaos [ Fri May 18, 2007 10:21 am ]
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* * *

Armina woke in the morning, knowing in her heart that something was wrong. It was early, the sun had yet to rise. The bed next to her was empty, Kato must not have gotten home yet. He was a good, but busy husband. A kind man who gave up the luxury of a young wife to help a war widow out of dire straights, but he was a busy man. Armina decided to heed the call of her body before trying to find slumber again. She walked down the hallway towards the washroom, and paused. Something on mantle seemed out of place. As she approached, she saw that a picture had fallen off during the night. She picked up the picture and frowned as she saw that the glass front in the frame had shattered. Luckily the glass had shattered in such a way that there wasn't glass everywhere, but she could hardly see the photo underneath from the cracks. She noticed with disappointment that it was the photo of her wedding to Kato.

Armina turned on the lights to get a closer look and gasped as she realizes that every half of the photographs in her house were shattered. Not only that all of them were shattered in the same manner of the first. Slowly it dawned upon her that at the center of the spider cracks in every picture was where Kato's face lied. Only one picture sat in prominence. An older picture, taken years ago, of a much younger her standing next to a young man in a crisp military outfit, her only reminder of her previous husband.
Armina ran to her room and opened her bottom dresser cabinet, and pulled out a small box. She felt light headed as she opened it up. Inside was everything as it should be, a few Military metals for valor and acknowledging her loss of a husband to a war long passed, a few love letters and a wedding ring. However while the metals were tarnished and dusty with age, the ring shown like the day he gave it to her...

and there was a fresh yellow flower that smelt of nostalgia and youth...

* * *

Chaos was exhausted. Over the night he had performed what some would call a miraculous amount of work. He had managed to make great time by staying off the roads and booking it. It only took him a few hours to find camp. It seems that they had a successful raid the night before and were sleeping off it's effects.

Chaos hustles into camp and made for Adric's tent.

"Adric, Wake up. I have our next target, and you have until tonight to get these guy mobilized and ready!"

Author:  Chaos [ Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:23 am ]
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It Adric only a moment to rouse himself from sleep. Chaos stood in the doorway, looking tired and road worn. He took a moment to shake the sleep induced fog out of his mind and then concentrated on the matter on hand.

"I take it you had good luck in the city?" Adric stood and started to get dressed. "What happened?"

Chaos' smile grew wider, "The town is in hysterics, and a good strike now will push this into the realm of wild speculation and self fulfilled prophecy. I've tracked down the next few government shipments, and have found the best target to strike. It's a shipment of 'supplies' going towards a military installation. The perfect place for a touch of karma to strike. The guy who runs the shipment will be ideal for spreading our tale, and after seeing us, will spill like nothing else."

Adric finished pulling a shirt over his head before asking, "Seeing us?"

"I've started a new rumor, mainly to allow us to move more freely. The blind seer speaks of the sons that ride next to her. I've purposely set things up so that there will be debate about what we are the sons of... I think it's a debate that will now last till the world ends. Sooner then later, eh?"

* * *

Worlds End, Worlds Start, and every time I eat my fill. Near a river bank, they sat a pine tree, with a hole, formed from a knot. Near a bank there sits an oak tree with a knot. Somewhere else it's a birch, bitch, heh. Another and another and another. Everytime I go through this He is there, and everytime it's a new fight.

There was no flash, no change, no signal of his arrival, but he arrived. He could sense the forces playing in this world, and saw nooks and crannies in the tides of power in which he could form his empire. He would eat and satisfy his craving, and would leave, as if this place never existed. He found a small rodent, something akin to a hedgehog, he killed it's mate and children, and feasted upon there suffering and deaths, then headed towards the largest source of life he could find. A city.

By the river, near a bank, nothing but a long dead tree stood."

Author:  madadric [ Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:01 am ]
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The shipment was late. This wouldn't have bothered Adric much, since he was never one for schedules, but it was raining, and he didn't much care for the leeches that the inclement weather was brining out. he singed another one off his ankle with a lick of flame, and absently swatted at one of the mosquitos buzzing around his exposed neck.

From his position in the trees and scrub near the muddy track that passed for a supply road, he could only see a few others, all dressed up in their old uniforms and the zombie make-up. Off to his left were Chaos and Stoat, crouched in the mud and watching the road and the surrounding jungle. Directly to his left was Luci, already wearing her Khan'li guise, albeit in a less statuesque form until the trap was sprung and the attack could begin.

Adric growled impatiently under his breath and shuffled through the much over to Chaos.

"You got any idea where this supply shipment is? i only ask because i'd like to know when it is i can stop feeding this mucky swamp's fauna my vital fluids."

Author:  Chaos [ Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:57 pm ]
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Chaos starred off into the distance, willing himself to see the oncoming caravan of trucks, rumbling through the muck. Didn’t help though, they still were where they were, and see them or not, would not bring them any closer. Hence the only answer he could give to Adric was a shrug. The wait wasn’t much longer through. In the distance, around the bend came a series of three trucks, lined with camo-tarp with guards riding in the back. Adric tensed up, but Chaos laid a hand upon his shoulder, keeping his eyes closed so to not alert the guards to their presence.

“Decoys. It won’t be long now.” Adric nodded.

They all sat in silence as the trucks rumbled buy, impatience was thick in the air, but they all knew that the time to wait was short. A minute passed, seemed longer, but everyone knew they couldn’t afford to move. After another minute passed, the telltale rumblings of a second group of trucks came from the distance. Adric glanced over to Chaos, Chaos glanced back, and after a long moment nodded and held up his hand, signaling a count of four.

Chaos pulled out a gun from his coat and lined up the shot, placing a heavy set of rags over the gun to muffle the noise. Adric closed his eyes for a moment, and sent what message he could to his ethereal partner.


A loud bang rang out as the front truck leaned to its side. The whole caravan rolled to a stop as guards jumped out of the back to observe the source of the delay. The front tire had blown, nearby was the most probable culprit, an old rusty knife. A few of the other guards looked suspiciously into the forest, as a thick fog started to roll out of the foliage.


Yesuto stepped out of the third truck. Delays were the last thing he wanted. They were trailing behind the decoy unit, but they still needed to be able to see any signal flares they sent off in case of attack. He yelled at the men to change the tire quickly, and about five of them moved to comply, the rest formed a perimeter, all know thing that the possibility of this being more than a random mistake was high.


The fog grew thicker; the guards were struggling to get the tire changed.


At the edge of his awareness he could see Lucy maneuver herself. The hidden men gripped there weapons a little tighter. Chaos opened his eyes and leaned over to Adric and whispered “Enjoy yourself, we need a savage show.”

All of the guards jumped as a cold laughter filled there heads, as if the air provided no buffer between them and the source. A couple of men cried out in alarm at the figure suddenly standing in the glare of the headlights. Both unnaturally beautiful and unworldly in her grotesqueness, a four armed demoness stood before them. The two men in front did not have time to scream, as she brought down one of her four arms and separated them from their worldly bodies. She spoke, and again the words seemed to bypass the air in order to speak directly to the listener’s soul.

You despicable fools. Have you no shame for what you do? Do you not care that you accept coin from hands covered in holy blood? You shall face the truth in the afterlife then, and pay for your sins in your next. As she spoke, images filled their heads. Men and women burned to ciders in seconds before being blown into dust by the wind; Sights of an explosion brighter and hotter then the sun. ..

In the sifting mist other figures were unveiled. The stench of decay began to fill the air as the figures began to march forward. Yesuto cried out in fear at the apparition in front of him. Long forgotten memories filled his mind as he recognized this creature for Khan’li. It took him a moment to realize that he was screaming like a madman. He backed away from her, unable to turn his eyes away. He dimly heard the guard open fire, however, he only found himself aware of his surroundings when he found himself on the ground, the dead body of one of the guards lying at his feet. Then he heard the screams. The figures in the mist had not been stopped by the guns, and now the men knew why. Rotting flesh covered broken bones, as long dead bodies shambled towards them. The smell of there putrid overcame all senses at more figures appeared, all of them clad in the tattered uniforms that had become their funeral shroud. Everywhere he looked, Yesuto saw his men being brought down by the blades of the undead soldiers. He heard more men fall behind him to the mace of Khan’li. He didn’t remember getting to his feet, but he found himself running back to his truck. Damned be the contract, he needed to live.

It was then that he saw them. Only then did his mind come to the man in the alley. Two figures in the fray were killing men as if there were nothing but toys. The first figure had eyes that burned bright blue. Fire spilled out, and cut through the mist. However, the way that the light fell on him could only be described as unholy. There was no blurring, no transition between light and dark. It was as if what light touched him could not do it in halves. As the man moved, light moved with him, and shadow moved to cover him. The men who came against him were brought down without effort, as if they could not even cause him to care. The other man hurt to look at. Every time he moved it was as if he were looking at a different nightmare from his childhood. At one second the man seemed hair framed him as if he were a demon made of flames; at others he looked to be a forsaken cross between a human and all of the predator animals in the world. The only thing that was unchanging was both the color of and the expression of his eyes. The eyes glowed as if there were the gates to oblivion. His expression was of one who would guarantee that oblivion would come. A group of solders charged him with bayonet’s but fell before reaching him, their faces locked with a gaze of terror. Then the two of them looked at him. It was as if they saw through him and knew him. It was as if they had come to ensure that he would come to the next life.

Yesuto didn’t think. He fumbled with the door lever, and locked himself inside. He jumped when a man banged against the side of the door, begging to be let in. The man then froze, as blood began to seep from his mouth, and Khan’li's visage filled the side window. Yesuto didn’t think twice, he pressed down on the accelerator and didn’t look back…

An hour later he stopped, and took account. Half a dozen men had jumped into the back of the truck as he drove off. Some of them bore unearthly wounds that festered and smelled strongly of burnt flesh. The cargo had been lost in the panic, and he considered himself wise for not going back to look for survivors.

Author:  madadric [ Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:42 am ]
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Back at the bandit camp, another celebration was in full swing. Two successful and profitable raids had the men and women of the camp believing they did have an ancient god on their side, that they were Khan'li's chosen to inherit Dravidia after the corrupt govornment and it's sheep had fallen to ash and ruin. It wasn't a notion Adric discouraged, and one that Chaos actively encouraged, in subtle hints and portentious words here and there. In the space of three days and some bloodletting, and a few miracles, they had planted the seeds for a bloody, religius revolt.

Adric was pleased with his efforts so far, but knew that even with him, Chaos, and Luci backing them, Clay's adversary and Dravidia's army would crush them when they became too much of an annoyance and before they could overpower the govornment. More needed to be done. He still needed an army. A big one.

and they needed more distractions, needed the Dravidian empire looking in so many directions at once they didn't know where to jump and which fires to put out. So what was his next move? could he really leave luci in this camp as he galivanted off into the inhospitable cold and miserable mountains to band together the smaller, savage nations? Was it even possible for them to go seperate ways, since she effectively projected herself from inside his head? Perhaps he would have to risk using his power to try and confer godhood to one of the women in this camp, to help perpetuate the myth begun by Luci? Could he even do it? usually, when he set out to perform a transformation with such a specific result in mind, he would not get what he intended.

Adric drummed the fingers of his left hand in an aerythmic tattoo on the arm of the folding chair he sat in as he watched the revelling bandits. stoat was into the 'spiced' stew again, and while she looked as hard and sharp as ever, some of her detatched cold professionalisim had faded and she was surprisingly actually having a conversation with Chaos. Will wonders never cease... adric thinks to himseld ruefully. as usual, Luci was surrounded by children, young girls, and women of all ages, resting the giantesses' hand of her trinity-goddess image, and the occasional tentacle from her back on the heads and shoulders of those who knelt and prayed and offered her food and worship. There were definitely enough believers for him to work with, but could he pull it off and re-make one, or perhaps more, of them in the three-faced goddess' image? he doubted it.

His power had always worked around the concept of Change, and affecting change in living, organic matter had always been easier that working with the cold, unfeeling elements. His problem was, that the results were for th most part, random and out of his control, usually dangerous and wild, and often quite hideous. He could make Demons and monstrosities aplenty, from a carniverous plant with prehensile tentacles, glowing eyes, and lethal venom to a vagely humanoid creature with very sharp teeth and claws, and perhaps chameleonic skin, these things came easily enough, but creating something more peaceful, or sentient was far more rare. It was part of the reason he was so wary about using his transmutational powers on himself. There was always a chance he wouldn't come back.

So, where did this leave him? These people in this atrophying universe with it's strict and cantankerous laws of physics that were such a chore to bend at times, did they mostly lack the touch of potentiality to break the moulds of science for him to enhance dormant abilities? He supposed he could try, but he didn't really want to start with his burgeoning religious crusaders, lest he undermine the faith that was swiftly replacing or enhancing the greed that had started them on this path. Which meant that he would have to try on others, out in the world.

But if he was going to leave, could he and Luci go their seperate ways? and if she could leave his psyche and bond with another here in the camp, was he willing to let her? While she had no actual connection to her namesake, the woman in adric's past she had modeled her features after, he still found comfort in her presence, that alien intellect in such familiar features, even if the hair was longer than his lover's had been. wasn't that a song in another world? an idle thought bubbles up out of his thoughts. similar features, with longer hair...i think a woman sang it...

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