Status

Recent Statuses

7 mos ago
Current Never.
2 yrs ago
School starts later this month, so I may randomly not respond for a couple days at a time after that
2 yrs ago
Sorry for the delay mein fruends, I'll be sending out replies this weekend sometime
2 yrs ago
I have a 60 hr week ahead of me. Replies will be sparse~
2 yrs ago
I'm buying a house! Stressful and awesome at the same time! Wheeeeee~
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Bio

Daisy here! You wanna know about me? Cool. Here ya go:

For the record, I am crazy, but the fun kind. I am a Federally Certified HAZMAT Professional, software project manager, science enthusiast, and futurist disguised as a innocuous worker drone. You want a wearable sound system? Been there. You ever had the chance to play with an Electron Accelerator? I've built one in my garage using salvaged TVs. Don't know how data is delivered through a myriad information systems to your end-user device? I'll draw a flowchart diagram. Wanna learn about the different mechanisms that allow bacteria to exist in some of the most extreme environments in the universe? I got you~

I like sweet wines, bourbon, Disney movies, singing kareoke, surfing, reading, science experiments, and generally blowing everyone's mind.

I've floated in and out of the RPG stomping grounds since 2008. Suffice it to say, I'm more into the old-fashioned table-top scene that an online roleplay, but every now and then something with promise comes around to peel me away from my normal routine. I've been a GM for online RPG's, here and in other forums, and offline since my middle school days. So... 12 or 13 years of campaign crafting and story drafting.

A Full-time work and school schedule means I cannot post on a regular basis. I have too many other responsibilities to accommodate as-is. However! I do dedicate myself wholeheartedly once I join a game. Unless the thread dies, I will check in periodically and contribute as much as time allows.

Most Recent Posts

Neith






trapped at work
I'm interested as well. =o

Seeds of Empire




Tall reeds bent together into archways, forming a narrow corridor through the marsh. The murky, black waters rippled as the emissary took slow, measured steps so as to not get trapped in the muck. His nose wrinkled in derision, offended by both the wet trudge and the ambient stench of sulfur.

“What right does that bastard have to command me? A Lord of Brionac?” the emissary fumed aloud. “He will regret making a fool of the Caiside Clan!”
He seethed over having to come meet someone as low and conniving as Nihil. Everyone knew the dark elves of the south were savages who had lost touch with elven culture. Why was it then that they had been pushing further and further into Brionac. They had managed to best old, established clan guardians with little effort. Even now, the fighting continues. In Garric’s mind, old didn’t mean better. Old clans were weak and useless. They deserved the humiliation of defeat, if they couldn’t defend against few barbarians and hunters. The Eldest too have betrayed their principles, if they believe parlaying with the infamous Fenn Lords will do any good. He just couldn’t fathom why he should be the one to go, when plenty of other lords, albeit of lower status, were more suited to brokering a ceasefire. It was beneath him to negotiate with the enemy, let alone the base and corrupt dusk elves.
At last the dark waters yielded to a soft patch of land, littered with huts and the remnants of ancient stone pillars. The largest of these monolithic fragments had been staked into the ground and arranged in a oblong circle. Each one bent inward toward the center and collectively held up a precarious roof. The ceiling was crafted from enormous shards of granite, and each disparate piece fit together with the impossible precision one might expect from dwarves.
Shadows of orange firelight writhed against the dark interior. Near the entrance, two guards stood at attention, their eyes fixed straight ahead.

Lord Garric steeled himself and marched forward with the easy confidence of an elven highborn. His retainers, clad in expertly-stitched leathers and armed with magic blades, followed closely behind him. His mouth curled into a sneer, but before he could take another step the world shrank away and slid past him. His vision stretched into to a nauseating blur and then snapped abruptly back into focus. His stomach lurched uncomfortably as the eternity of distance between he and the stone shrine shortened to nothing. Though disoriented, he could still make out the sharp lines of familiar elven face.
Nihil was reclining in on exquisitely carved throne accentuated with thin cracks and pits that hinted at ancient origins. An ox skull hung on the wall behind him.

“You...” his voice sank into a menacing growl. He drew his thin blade, ready to tear out the elf’s throat with bloodthirsty glee. “You shit-skinned little worm! How da-”

Something caught in the lord’s chest. He noticed only too late that none of his retainers were with him. He felt the blood in his veins grind to an agonizing halt as something clamped against heart like a vice. He struggled to breathe and clutched at his chest. His vision swam.
Anguished cries clamored outside the hall. All manner of wildlife flooded out of the tall reeds and brush, surrounding Garric’s clansmen. Insects carpeted the ground in a wriggling, biting horde. Birds formed a dark, writhing cloud which clawed and pecked at their eyes, while a host of snakes and other reptiles dragged each one to the ground kicking and screaming. Their frantic screams were quickly devour by the hungry cacophony..

“The first one is always free, Garric.” Nihil began. His tone was friendly, but the weight of his sinister smile pressed Garric down to his knees. There was palpable tension between them, which Nihil swaggered through effortlessly. He bent down and gingerly patted him on the back.

Garric wheezed sharply. Whatever curse befell him had subsided, but his eyes were still bulging and he could still feel malevolent claws digging into his chest, waiting for an opportunity to wrench the life out of him.

“You see, Garric, the first one is free because I know people are born into ignorance.” He chuckled. “It’s not their fault. They are ignorant of themselves, of how they fit into a much greater cosmic design, but most importantly their ignorant of the rules they must live by. My rules."
Garric snapped his head up to protest, but found he couldn’t speak. His voice was gone. He groped at his throat, searching for a clue as to what happened.
“But I believe in forgiveness,” Nihil continued. “So I allow them a moment of quiet reflection. They need it so they can reflect on how they’ve disrespected me and the people loyal to me. And they always appreciate my kindness when I let them bend a knee and ask for forgiveness,” Nihil loomed over the gasping noble like a dark cloud.
“This is your moment of reflection, Garric. It is a kindness.” Each word was spoken with a terrible exactness that drove the elven lord into into a panic.

Garric reeked of fear. Sweat trimmed his thin brow, and a dark stain marred his padded leggings. Nonetheless he found the resolve to stagger onto his feet. He knew immediately that the rumors were true. Nihil was no longer an elf nor an immortal, he was something much more dangerous than that.

Nihil circled him, pinning him with a predatory stare and a winning smile. He tried catching Garric’s gaze so he could see the flashes of fear in his eyes. He knew was there, but the pompous elf kept looking away. The floor in particular seemed very interesting to him. Nihil already knew he what was going to happen, but wanted to see it. He wanted to see the moment when Garric finally broke. His dark hand clamped around the noble’s face and tilted his gaze up, so they could meet eye-to-eye. He savored the man’s desperate look, and grinned.

“There it is.”

Garric bent to one knee, once Nihil loosened his grip, and bowed his head deeply in reverence. His forehead pressed into the dirt. His body was covered in a layer of cold sweat. “I-I was an ignorant fool. What can Clan Caiside do you earn your forgiveness, Elder Nihil?”

The orange fire lights dancing on the wall coalesced into two hauntingly beautiful women, both with piercing emerald eyes and long, sumptuous gowns spun from silver threads. The sheer fabric hinted at voluptuous curves beneath. They didn’t smile.

“Neffeni. Lyndis.” Nihil shot a smug glance at the two Sirens who stepped forth from the shadows. “Clan Leader Garric has agreed to take responsibility for disrespecting our sovereignty, and as a show of good faith wishes to broker a truce with us on behalf of the Eldest of Brionac. I judge him to be an honorable man. Therefore he is a guest, not a prisoner, and we are going to treat him as one of our own.”

Ambivalence and Curiosity

@FoxSoxs@BurningDaisies


"I was making a deal with the witch that owns these lands. We concluded our business so she saw me out... Without my permission..."


I bet he got swept along by Heleva. Everyone does A mischievous smirk tugged at her lips as a few jokes percolated in her mind. As if reading her thoughts, Marik subtly and sharply elbowed her in the side, derailing her train of thought with a soft thud. She smiled plainly to hide to a grimace.

The demon didn't seem to be in the mood to be teased. Marik didn't have any love for the creature, this Vaettir, and he understood the feeling was mutual, but he also didn't want to provoke it. He had heard stories of the demon's necromantic powers, and that fact alone was enough to justify avoiding the demon altogether.

"What brings you two here? Deals with the witch as well or simply seeking shelter. You both look, worse to wear."


Vaettir always seemed to be avoiding Astrid when they met, quickly finding an excuse to leave, so she was initially stunned at his sudden interest. Then she remembered she was still wearing the itchy, smelly burlap pancho and little else, which left her feeling vulnerable and annoyed. She fidgeted.

"You're not wrong, I suppose..." She ground out at last, trying to remain polite. "Heleva has been accommodating of me in the past, so I was hoping to rely on her good will once again. We've just returned from the Devil's Spine, and we're low on both money and supplies. Yet, I..." her word trailed off into silence. I wonder, if it was the best idea to come here. Her gaze seemed drawn to the single longhouse at the center of the town.

"I'm sure you've seen the lights." Marik interjected and stuck a thumb over his shoulder at the mountains behind him. "The magic in the area has shifted, and not for the better. The forest was empty on our way back, which is an ill omen if I ever saw one. We were going to report back to the adventurer's guild after we gather more supplies. Unfortunately, that means we must be on our way." He glanced at Astrid, urging her to wrap up her conversation.

Astrid ignored him, and the itchy fabric too. "So what drove you to visit Heleva? I thought you didn't like entering human settlements." Her eyes brightened with curiosity. Her intuition told her it must have been important.

In Too Deep
@BKburke


Ever patient, the regal slime didn't move an inch. If it was calculating a response it didn't show. Green motes of light strobed through its body in a steady rhythm. Little branches of dim light forked endlessly inside it. All the while it's quite distinct features became more and more refined. It even started breathing. Pale colors flushed through the slime like paint carried by a current. Plumes of colors settled along precise lines and curves. Each second the slime more and more resembled a paragon of demi-humans. The sapphire of her eyes radiated from a thin reptilian slit and shimmered with alien intelligence. A warm blush brightened her perfect mimicry of skin. A ridge of tiny horns accentuated her crown as her nails sharpened to exquisite points. Twin geysers of pale starlight erupted from her back and congealed into feather-like streamers. They unfurled to either side of her like an angelic cape and fluttered like banners caught in the wind.

"Don't consider yourself food, you say?" It wasn't a question. Her lips curled with a hint of mischief.

The eerie transformation was little more than a parlor trick for the slime. It had been etching shallow runes into the floor around Masrith, completing an intricate magical circuit. It would have been difficult to see with a torch, but the brackish blue muck obscured it even further. They were defensive wards meant to erect a powerful barrier and suppress any magic within. Despite its docile facade, it was wary of the power is sensed from Masrith. It would activate the circle if he posed a threat, and it was already starting on a third layer when he inquired about the scholar's notes.

"His notes?" She giggled. "You misunderstand, little one. I have no need for scrolls and ink."
Her fingers uncurled to reveal a shimmering blue bead swelling from the skin of her palm. It slowly grew to the size of a tangerine. The gelatinous fruit was cloudy and veins of pale white light pulsed through it. "All of my guests have tasted this. The scholar called it the 'Fruit of the Gods'. You can feast upon history and insight of countless lives. Fragments of those who have offered themselves to me." She caressed it with a slender finger, thin streaks of light trailing behind her touch.

"A gift and a gamble. A challenge to see what you are, little one. Are you food or fun?" She smiled like the Sun. Power began emanating from her so strongly the surrounding slime rippled from its force. There was a shift in her demeanor as the queen strode toward the edge of the circle. She possessed an easy confidence one would expect from royalty--that the world was hers and no one could to refute her claim. It was a stark contrast to the endearing tone and amiable persona she maintained.
"Memories and magic distilled into a delightful morsel. If you endure its power, you can taste my past, and I yours. It is unlike anything this world can offer you." Her voice was gentle and hauntingly beautiful, but each word hummed with frightening power. A pact borne of magic crystalized into the slimy morsel.
"Have a taste, little one."

Close Encounters, Unexpected Guests

@Foxsoxs


Long before they ever reached Vescarim, Astrid felt it. It was the slightest resistance, like trying to wade through water, but it was there nonetheless.

Borders didn't really exist. People drew lines on maps, but you never saw them on the ground. There's no line clearly stating 'this patch of dirt is owned by so and so'. For Ódauðlegur, the line certainly existed. The grass didn't look any different. The plants and animals were busy and chattering. Nothing seemed out of place. But after one step, she knew where the line was. Unfettered magic had congealed in the air so thickly she could probably chew it; it had even seeped into the ground, which tugged at her with each step. She had never been to Vescarim, but she realized that an immortal lived there. Given how potent the magic was in these hills, they were probably very old, very powerful, or both. And, in all likelihood, probably ran the place too.

The magic in the area pushed against her gently, trying to nudge her away and back across the border. The land had been claimed by an immortal and it didn't want anyone else trampling through it. No more difficult than tear a sheet of parchment, she pressed onward with little effort. Her own magic recoiled against it, extending from her soul. She could feel the friction as it scraped against the invisible mass of raw magical energy pervading the air.

Marik seemed no worse for wear. He wasn't an immortal, but he carried himself like one. There was an easy confidence in the way he moved. One look and anyone knew that he was quite sure of himself.

Astrid had always been baffled at how quickly he healed, how he had survived fatal wounds, and how he didn't breathe when he slept. Grave spirits clung to him like flies on rubbish. Not even zombies garnered that kind of attention. It was spooky, even for her. Her talent for making friends was abysmal, however, so she stowed her curiosity and asked very few questions. Both had vital secrets and neither wanted to share. Astrid didn't know what she was or who her parents were. But she knew, intrinsically, that in some deep, dark corner of her soul, a spectre of the Blight made its home. It was a part of her and she felt she was a part of It, albeit a very small part of a much grander and more terrifying It. Thankfully, monster inside her couldn't come out. Not until she left this immortal's demesne.

The hills had flattened some, yielding to gentle steppes. The path was an easy one. Two parallel ruts in the ground marked the caravan highway. Small stone markers marked the edge of the road at a regular intervals. After traveling at length, they arrived at Vescarim. Black curls of Smoke billowed from the chimney of a few homes.
There weren't any guards per se, but there were quite a few people ambling around. As she was taking in the scenery, she felt a surge of power rush past her. Her stomach lurched and gasped for air, feeling as though she'd been sucker punched. A phantom sensation of falling sideways towards the town followed and left her feeling both dizzy and weirdly euphoric.

She struggled to focus her vision as the line of the horizon bulged then buckled in on itself, the ground rippled without shaking a single building. In the blink of an eye, a smudge of color in the distance rapidly increased in size and clarity as the world moved around it, like convey something from the background to the foreground of painting. Presently, a very large, exquisitely chiseled statue stood before her. She was awestruck for a moment, still trying to unravel what just happened.

Marik quirked an eyebrow at it, but only slightly. He seemed disappointed.

It took her a moment to recover her composure, but she quickly recognized the demonic statue. "Oh! It's... Vaettir!" She said smiling, although still a bit bewildered.
"What brings you to this village? You weren't terrorizing them with folk tales again, were you?" She teased jokingly. "I don't see anyone running and screaming, so it must be a good town." She beamed.
Vaettir fascinated her. Apart from being a creature of living stone, he was one of the few other immortals who deigned to speak with her and didn't try to impale her on a sword at every possible opportunity.
"Aah... Umm... What exactly just happened by the way? Was that some kind of spell you cast? I know a few speed charms, but nothing to let you move like that." Her mind was all too eager to get lost in thought and explore the magical phenomenon she'd witnessed.

Marik looked at Astrid, at the demon, and then at the longhouse down the road. He had already roughly guessed what happened. He glanced at Vaettir and gave a conciliatory shrug as if to say 'You got kicked out too, eh?'.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Slime
@BKburke


Content to wait patiently for Masrith to prepare himself, a small, happy grin grew across the slime woman's face, and the streams of dim lights pulsing through it quickened their pace. Instead of a steady flow, they calmly throbbed like a beating heart. It's features slowly gained more and more definition as Masrith listed his demands, adopting a more voluptuous and regal form. Rivulets of slime folded into the resemblance of fine robes, even mimicking intricate patterns in the stitching and flower accents. Masrith was reflected along the surface of its body, and in the strangely metallic crown which sprouted from its head.

When at last he asked "What are you?", the slime giggled joyfully, mirroring natural laughter with eerie precision.
"Such a curious child," it said with a clear vibrado. "I understand."
The thin coat of blue scum along the floor receded like a the tide flowing back out to sea. It cleared a space for Masrith, scorching the stone floor and leaving it immaculately clean.

"You are inside me, little one," it said with giggle. "I am the mountain. Its roots. The earth would swallow you up without me."

Two more androgynous figures sprouted from the larger mass and flanked the queen-like slime on either side. Then another. And another.

"But I must spread. I must spread across the world and into its heart. So to I must feed to thrive. Others stay to keep me company. So some for fun..." It nodded towards Masrith with smile, and then turned its attention to the shaggy creature which had dove into one of the larger globs. "...and some for food."

Another woman's figure formed inside the slime, a caricature of opaque lines within the jiggling mound, and gently wrapped its arms around the slowly dissolving beast. Sweet lulling sounds thrummed through the ooze and soothed the near dead creature.
"The last scholar to visit showed me how to ensure their death was pleasant and painless. My venom guarantees there is no pain, only bliss. As I grew, the poison only became more potent. Many creatures seek me out to have a taste and I taste some of them as well," it said matter-of-factly. It's voice was slowly becoming more distinct, and fluid. Each word flowed seamlessly into the next with an even legato.

"So little one... Are you here food or fun?" It hummed lyrically. It's smiling face was unreadable.

Small Tragedies
Collaboration by @Foxsoxs and @BurningDaisies

@Foxsoxs@BurningDaisies




“Nothing?”
The child wraith stared absently at the living statue. She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted as hellish mongrel erupted from the grounds and snarled wildly. Two more creatures, wrapped in thin robes rose behind them. The girl wasn’t frightened. Her pinched face merely had a look of puzzled innocence.

She wordlessly followed Vaettir. Her gait was awkward at first, as if bound by a leash which tugged at her and forced her to keep moving. But quickly she matched his pace. She didn’t talk much, but she watched everything.
Her eyes, still dull and grave, held the slightest spark of curiosity.

~

The hounds and liches made short work of their task, but it was gruesomely obvious none of her family had survived. The father was strewn across a grassy hillock in two pieces. His lower half had been trampled. The savaged earth and deep hoof prints hinted it was intentional.
A broken sword had impaled one of the brigands through the throat and was still pinned to the ground under the weight of the father’s headless torso. A deathly rigor kept his fingers tightly wound around the hilt of the blade.

The brigands weren’t far, and from the bittercries, seemed to be enjoying the spoils of their raid. When the first lich arrived, the hell hounds were set loose, savaging each bandit into a bloody submission. They ripped tendons and snapped bone, but true to their master’s orders, they left them alive. The lich had little to do, except stare impassively at two dead girls. There bodies were in a wretched state, but their souls had already moved on.

Screams of pain blocked out the hellish barks of the hounds. Circling the brigands, they awaited orders from the lich. After a few minutes, they finally stopped their squealing, replacing their screams with angry curses. The lich slowly turned his skull to them. His red eyes piercing through each of their souls. Each hound howled in unison and began to slowly drag the men to their master. The wails began again. The pain of their wounds scraping against the ground renewed their terror. The lich overseer taking another moment to look at the dead children before following, offering of sigh. Not of mercy or pity, but of annoyance.



Vescarim seemed much larger than it was. Most homes were burrows carved out of the rolling hills, and they were spread out over wide pastures. Tall orange stalks of some pervasive weeds blanketed the area for miles around. A trail of gravel and broken cobbles winded through the hills and branched endlessly to meet each residence.

Vaettir followed a dirt path that lead to a guard tower that stood at the north. Now he was flanked by two Skeletons. The undead were clad in silver plate armor. Each carried a sword as big as a man. Resting their blade on their shoulder guards. Their true identity was completely hidden from the human eye. They weren't there for anything else, but for looks. Vaettir wanted to try and appear less of a terror than most would initially assume. Two knightly figures flanking him could make the common folk think twice. At least think long enough before preparing the torch and pitchforks. The wraith followed close behind him. Quietly observing the new lands. It wasn't long after approaching the town that he met their leader.

Heleva was an older woman, bent forward by age, but still young at heart. The lines in her face were countless, but her eyes were bright, energetic, and gleamed mischievously. She seemed like the kind of person that treated everything as a game, probably knew all the rules, when to bluff, and played for infinite stakes. The silver rivulets of her hair fell across her shoulder in a long, intricate braid. She stood politely at the edge of town. The woman greeted Vaettir and his undead entourage with a warm smile. It was as if she knew the precise time of his arrival.
Two other townsfolk flanked her on either side. Both were tall men, chiseled by years of hard labor, and wore permanent scowls.
"Welcome, Herald! Don't mind these two. They're just here to look handsome and keep me company."
They obviously weren't. They leered at Vaettir as if he was some ruffian that needed to be dealt with, but curiously neither of them carried weapons nor did they take any aggressive action.
"If you and your adorable little friend will follow me, we have a nice feast prepared for you. I know the two of you don't eat like the rest of us, but I expect you to indulge me. These bones don't move like they used to, but I'm still the best cook in Norden. You can be sure of that!"

She hooked her arm around Vaettir's, and offered a hand to the innocent-looking shade hiding behind the demon. "Come along, dear. I have something I wish to discuss with both of you."
The air behind Vaettir shimmered with a rush of magic.
"The rest of your pets can stay outside." She said cheerily, but the words seemed to echo from distant, unknowable places. They thrummed with power. She had erected a barrier along the borders of her town, a potent one at that, which acted as a wall to repel undead. Even if she didn't say anything about it, she expected Vaettir knew what it meant.

Vaettir felt a shiver from the power she possessed. It didn't frighten him, but it did warn him. It had been a long while since he had felt another Immortals power. Honestly, it was refreshing to him. To know not everything in this world was weak. To know not everything feared him. The demon statue shook his head in compliance. A sinkhole opened beneath his two Skeletons and the earth absorbed them, before quickly filling back up and disappearing as fast as it appeared. He began to follow her, keeping his eyes open for any other tricks the Sorceress had up her sleeve.



The only thatched longhouse in all of Vescarim belonged to Heleva. It was little more than a glorified feasthall with an adjoining library, but this is where she made her home. The table had been set, but instead of wooden plates and cutlery, crystal dust traced the outline of arcane symbols. Down the length of the table, floating in the air, were pools of raw mana. Ethereal sparks arced around them, and each possessed a difference essence of the land. Some gave off a spicy, earthy scents, another exuded drifts of dank cold air. Heleva had distilled mana especially for them. The undead didn't subsist on normal food. She understood this, but that didn't mean she couldn't feed them.
She sat the child across from her and left the end of the table for Vaettir. "Come, come! Sit!"
"So what brings you this far into the outlands, Herald?" She regard them both with blatant curiosity, and began sipping mead from a small cup with the characteristic pomp of an old noblewoman.
The wraith child stared at her blankly, obviously starstruck and unaccustomed to this kind of hospitality.

The room was impressive, or maybe Vaettir had grown tired of the cave walls he normally inhabited. While the pools of mana were a nice touch, he ignored them. When asked to sit he simply stayed standing, making it clear he wasn't here for the pleasantries. "My name is Vaettir, not Herald, and I only came for her." He gestured at the small ghost child, sitting at the table. Vaettir's voice more hostile than he normally took to talking to Humans, but then again this woman wasn't just any human. "She is still here. Most of your kind passes to... Wherever they think they go. She is an enigma. I brought her to you to figure out why she is still walks the land and if you cannot answer that I want her gone. Let her enjoy whatever she can have with her deceased family." Vaettir paused to look at the little girl. He didn't notice till now, but her essence began to bother him. Making him second guess coming here at all. His fixed smile concealed his thoughts.

Heleva spared a glance at the girl, but kept her attention on Vaettir. "It's not so simple, my dear Herald. The limelight of the afterlife isn't what most think it is. Humans who die are inevitably reclaimed by the earth, both in body and spirit. Sometimes the body goes first, and at other times, the spirit. She'll fade on her own in due time."
She smiled lovingly at the girl, but there was a strange hardness in her eyes. "If you want her gone, you need only to destroy her spirit. The will of the land does the rest."
The little girl's eyes snapped wide as if she hadn't been paying attention until that moment. "No, I don't want that!" She cried, still not fully understanding what was being said.
"Then what do you want, child?" She cooed.
The girl stared back, her mouth opening and closing as if to say something, but the words didn't come.
Heleva turned to Vaettir. "There's more to this than you're telling me. It's a simple task to have her pass on, but there will be no warm reunion with her family. That's just what people want to believe. The truth is a much colder and darker thing."

A hiss of annoyance ringed from Vaettir. His open hand clenched. "What do you know? I have walked this land before your kind even existed and I know nothing, witch." Vaettir's tone changed from a calm presence into a angry beast. His voice boomed like thunder.

"Yes, you've walked it, but did you ever pay attention to the people around you? The way their presence causes tiny ripples in the magic of Norden? You've walked far, Herald, but seen nothing." Her thunderous tone matched Vaettir's. The voice clashed in the air with a resounding thud.

Vaettir began to calm himself back down. The corruption in his soul starting to take control. Although it was no use. "I bring the girl due to my pity for your race and nothing more. Why didn't I consume her soul? Why didn't I raze your town to the ground and consume all the souls of your people? I brought her to figure out what she is. You have seen it. The pillar in the sky. I doubt this is just a coincidence." As each word left his terrifying mouth the room shook. The timbers of the home beginning to creak.

"Oh, I'm certain it's not." She countered testily, not appreciating his casual threats.
She breathed an irritated sigh and nursed her drinking cup. "The course of the Dragon Veins have changed around the Devil's Spine, criss-crossing one another like a web. Or perhaps, more like a wall. The land is protecting itself like a tortoise withdrawing into its shell. The light is dangerous, Herald. It's not of this world. I can feel it."
Her expression softened as her gaze fell back upon the girl. She changed subjects easily. "You can leave her with me, if you like. I will look after her, but I know she won't survive for much longer as she is now."

Vaettir's voice was now calm again. Her words no longer angering him. "Now? What else could she be if not a wraith?" Vaettir asked with curiosity. Ignoring her claims about the light.

"You mean you can't tell?" Her look was one of genuine surprise. "Never has a wraith with the power of an Ódauðlegur existed, yet one sits at my table all the same. Her body is destroyed, but her spirit still holds a measure of power. If she doesn't become stronger, the land will reclaim her, Ódauðlegur or not. It's a miracle she has lasted this long."

If the girl's ethereal face was swollen and pale; tears pricked at her eyes. She still hadn't fully grasped what she was, but she knew one thing: she was going to disappear. Heleva's sharp truths stabbed at her. The roil of emotion began to swell. The deep red glow of supernatural sorrow hummed behind her tightly shut eyes. A few candles, plates, and utensils began to float shakily into the air.

Heleva gave the tiny wraith a sympathetic look. She silently mouthed a few words of power which cascaded through her. Thin blue creases of light traced along her skin and peeled away. The murky streams of light wound and twisted into the outline of a young woman. Each strand of her hair was a lash of ethereal white flames, a smile radiated from her upturned eyes. The ghost floated over and embraced the girl tightly, stroking her hair.
"Velja" The ghost whispered tenderly.
The candles and plates dropped abruptly. The wraith's eyes snapped open at the sound of her name. Jagged cracked had formed at the edges of her eyes, which still glowed with necromantic power.
"It will be alright, my little one." The ghost cooed. "Cry until you can't cry anymore. I promise I won't leave you."
Velja nuzzled into her arms, hugging the ghost tightly. Her quiet sobs slowly turned into a wailing cry.
A circle of runic symbols erupted along the floor, centering on the two. Then another. Two intertwined wards soothed the restless spirit and enclosed her in a protective shell of raw magic. The tense aura around the little girl began to dissipate, and the sound of her crying became distant.

"Her spirit is weakening." Heleva sighed. "A wonder she survived this long, but it will not last. After the Godsfall, the divinity of the old gods was inherited by the land itself. The power of all Ódauðlegur comes from the earth. And to the earth it will return. You know this."
She massaged the bridge of her nose wearily.
"A mystery how that accursed light corrupted her spirit into a wraith. But it matters not. Velja's fate is sealed. I fear no feast of souls will save her. She only remains by the providence of her immortal spark. With no body and a withered soul, the land will claim more and more of her essence each day, until nothing is left."

"It's time to choose, Herald." Heleva eyed the demon intently. "Consume her or let her fade. She is doomed either way."

Vaettir eyes were locked on to the Witch. A deep-seated hatred bled into his aura. No other normal mortal would see any change in his form, but it was there. The wild magic that coursed through his veins were twisting and thrashing in hate. He wasn't angry at the Sorceress, but at the fact that he couldn't do anything else. His pity wasted. It felt like hours before he decided on his next course of action. He could only see one way and it was the only one that was actually possible. The hate inside him scratched at his mind. Begging to be released. Begging for him to make the move. It had been decades since he allowed his inner demon to show, but as it neared he felt an overwhelming rush of bliss.

The Demonic statue simply opened his jaw. His jagged stone like teeth releasing their hold on one another. As his mouth opened wider and wider a dark flame became apparent. The flame had its own separate aura to it. One completely different from the one that emanated from Vaettir. When his mouth finally stopped moving the purple flame unleashed a single whip directed toward Velja, the wraith child. With ease it shattered the protective wards surrounding her. The whip first wrapped it's flame around the Sorceress's summon. Within half a second it bursted into black flame and with a cry of pain it had vanished. It's tendrils then wrapped around the girl and with a brief second of hesitation it dragged her into the maw of Vaettir.

Once her wraith body had been swallowed whole, Vaettir's jaw snapped shut and he returned to his usual self. The sudden aura of hate left the room. With a sigh he began to speak. His tone was abnormal. It had a hint of sadness. No. It was disgust.

"It is done. Another Ódauðlegur lost to the gods. Another one gone due to petty human squabbles. Not even the innocent are safe from your kind and not even an Immortal can be helped by another. Now... What do you want in return for my visit?"

Few humans would bemoan such a loss. Casualties of war were not just common, but part of daily life. That was what made this brooding demon such an amusing sight, she thought. Better still, he knew that entering the village wasn't free. Not for the Ódauðlegur at least.
She smiled cheerfully, a stark contrast to his somber moment. "A favor from the great and powerful Vaettir will suffice. But I have no need of your assistance at the moment, so you are free to do as you please, until I call for you."

As Heleva stood up to leave, the pools of mana lining the table dissolved into an ineffable haze. A candle along the wall lit her path as she headed into her library.

"I trust you know the way out," she said politely. And then the world blinked. One moment Vaettir was in the long house, the next he was standing at the edge of town. No doubt one of Heleva's tricks.
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