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 <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015

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Vaati
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PostSubject: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:58 am

Hello everyone. I hope you're having a good time, either playing the game, browsing through the forums, or maybe both.

After playing for a while, i've decided that this game would be fun to play casually, as my daily life does not enable an hardcore approach all the time. Still, all the events coming and going will be hard for me to follow, and i may lose some importante facts as well as awesome occurrences that may happen on the way.


So, i've decided to make a diary of my life spent at Fantasica.

Most of the time will be random stuff: daily records, art opinions, card findings, etc.

There will also be some entries focused on events as well, like evaluating cards, recording rankings, making BT calculations, and checking the playerbase's overall feelings, if possible.

There will also be some fantasy elements as well: records of battles in various terrains, hiring or trading allies, and, occasionally, short stories in diary style about the current events in the diary. These last ones will depend on my fantasy mood and how the week's event plays out (whether it's colo, arena, or training).

The first entry will arrive later on, as i'll have importante things to do in the next 4 hours. Also, there may be days in which i cannot do an entry, or, in some cases, a whole week. Regardless, i'll inform my viewers in this first post (do check the EDIT when it's presente) and will warn if the diary becomes impossible to update.

I only hope that the folks here at the forums enjoy this diary. Even though i planned the diary for personal use, i decided to further the inniciative and add some features for others to enjoy. While i predict most won't check the diary daily, i know they'll visit to check some features such as the rankings from previous events and read the short stories.

See you around  Wink


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:36 pm

30 - 09 - 2013 : Thinking of the past, planning for the future.

"It's been roughly a month since i joined the war effort. Although the worst has passed before i came to join as a lieutenant, with the Black Dragon defeated and the demonic army in ruins, the land still had its fair share of troubles, with the Fantasica Chronicles deciding the fate of our kingdom, while forces from the ocean threatened all life on land shortly after."

"I was glad to partake in aiding our victory. Altough my strenght was little to bare compared to the greatest legends, i was able to gather victories in the battlefield, obtaining a decent amount of wealth that allowed me to survive these harsh times."

"Even more surprising was the allies that have decided to live by my side. Some of these powers even surpass my own, and yet they follow my lead, even when there were better alternatives. Perhaps they trusted in my ethics during war strategies, attempting to cause the lowest casulties possible."

"I believe that what changed the view of some was unmasking several dangers during the fabled Masquerade of the kingdom. Some of those false nobles, bent on destroying the kingdom rather than supporting it, ended up being my allies and benefactors to avoid capture and execution. Some say they were converted, others say they're using me as a shield. To be honest, the fact that my lungs still breathe is good enough for me. I don't understand much of politics, so i hope i'm not doing any mistakes."

"The Starfall was indead a sign of relief and hope after the several bloodsheds. To have interstellar allies join our cause (even if they were reluncted at first) was a boon to our morale. And to think that..."

A pity that i had to close the book, as i noticed a presence entering the room from behind me. I was just getting to the best part...

"Decided to start the book, sir?" A feminine voice asked from behind me.

"Yes, though i'd prefer to write it with my eyes as sole witnesses.", or so i believed as i raised from my chair to meet Hydria's eyes.

"Well, you can trust me, can you? What were you writting?"

Her sight was something i wasn't still used to. Most of my soldiers and allies have their armor or their garments, but she was different: only several pieces of white linen were shielding her body, with her left arm being almost cloaked in a blue version of the same linen.


Her magical urn was still with her, half-full with the blessed water that she bestowed upon my lips when we first met:
 


"Oh, pardon me for forgetting, sir: we are awaiting your presence at the meeting room."

"Right then. Could you cover yourself in a better fashion while we get there?" Trying to keep a disciplined combat force will be difficult with hard gazes bringing too much unwanted tension.

"I'm sorry, but i need to stay free of bonds. I hope it's ok with you, sir."

"Nevermind then." I hoped we wouldn't met any of the other ranked officers in the way. "And by the way, you can call me Vaatigam while we're in the keep."

"Okay, Vaatigam!" She smilled. Her smile was warm, with her blue hair full of braids making a fine combination. "A deadly combination for the weak-minded", i sighed to myself.

We finally reached the Stone Roses' meeting room, equipped with a large table, some chairs and a few drawers to file records. A blond man with a blue guard uniform and a larger blue hat was already in the room.


Camille was waiting for me next to the table, his honor compelling him to stand on his feet:
 


"I came to bring what you asked of me, sir."

"Very well, let us take a seat." we stood next to each other, the papers in the table. I've already given up on asking him not to treat me as sir in the keep, as his strict behaviour while being a palace guard is still stong. To be honest, i never wanted him to stop his code. He could be a fine example. "Hydria, you may take your leave. Thank you."

"You're welcome." She replied as she left with another of her kind smiles.

After she closed the door, i checked through the papers that Camille brought, making sure of the following notes:
 

"Is that all that she could report? I know she can do more with her abilities." I asked Camille. Coral's sword skills are unique in this world, and her powers could do more that stopping a few raids.

"Saddly, she did not report more than this." awnsered Camille while trying to avert my eyes.

I knew why: Coral dislikes killing. Even with her great skills, reporting kills was what she hated the most, even when the victims were rampaging demons and rabid wolves. Everything is part of a circle, she once told, just like at home. Though i ponder why she remembers her home after what she shared with me when she decided to join my ranks.

I tried to change the conversation. "And any signs of the girl that i described to you?"

"No luck so far, sir. Your friend hasn't been seen in any army that i've met in my research." My heart gave a heavy beat, even though it's been expecting those words. My childhood friend, now probably a grown woman with orange soothing hair and smilling green eyes, should have been enlisted by now. Her powers manifested when we were young, powers which were not to be underestimated, and i tried to find her ever since i joined the military. So far, no good.

"Thanks for the report, Camille. Tell Bernard to keep up with my battle tactics, and warn Renald not to do dangerous bets with our economy. Remember him his place, but with manners, please."

"Yes, sir. I will do my best."

I hope you do. Your arguments give me headaches all the time, so i do hope you do your best this time.

"Dismissed!"

I returned to my room and finish my diary, expecting to end the first entry. What i didn't expect was the letter to the left of it. The room was locked, just like the window, now teeming with rain drops. How did it got there?!?

The letter was made of a different paper from our own. As i used my letter opener, a foreign writting shocked my eyes. Even though i could barely comprehend the writting, the text was well constructed. Whoever did it knew our culture well.

The contents of the letter were even more surprising:
 

"Favorable to whom, i wonder...", i asked to myself. Seeing as how something like this came to me in a keep guarded from top to bottom suggests magic behind it. Magic that i should not trifle with for now.

As i fell in my bed, unaware of today's entry, one question stained my mind ...


... with so many better generals giving much more to the desert war effort, why me?


Editor's words:
 


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:41 pm

02 -10 - 2013 : Taking precautions

"The daily life within our keep has been quite busy these days. Patrols have been increased and i've given orders do double the magic sentries to prevent any more surprise letters."

"I've even gone to the extra legwork of hiring a secret agent to aid my intelligence services. Katia, the host of the Masquerade, did her best in looking for clues about any noble being more secretive than the usual, but her search came fruitless: none of the nobles were responsible for the letter. I just hope that this Dark Operative does his work well."

"I've asked her to take my place at the keep while i'm doing military reviews in the desert. I really couldn't say more about my plans, since the affair is quite gentle to take care of. I've decided to meet with Coral in the outpost, and i've warned Vicente and Fasti to join in my journey to the desert."

"Let us just hope i return from the ordeal swiftly. Word has arrived of a new front in the seas, with guilds amassing to fight. Altough our contributions are week, i do not wish to lose a chance to prove my worth."


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:55 am

05-10-2013 : The journey begins

"The bumps on the road make the writting harder, so forgive me if my writting looks wierd. I'm glad for having a support to write on this passanger wagon, as this morning was quite unpredictable."

                                           
************

As i entered the training fields at the front of the keep, making my way to the wagon, i noticed a practice duel on the dirt camp.

I headed towards it, asking myself why would a knight and a scholar spar when one could outperform the other...


...until i could identify the scholar. He was Bernard:
 


There are a few traits in Bernard that makes him special from any other scholar.

First, his physical prowess (most scholars at his age are somewhat fat) and mellee skills are fantastic compared to any other equal of his intelect, which makes him a great asset on the backline should any foe managed to sneak up on us.
Second, his records have helped me understand the way of the world, and his judgement over people has helped me dealing with diplomacy and recruitment.
And lastly, he always fight with one of his books at hand. A war veteran would cast such objects aside and wield either a shield or apply both hands on a two-handed weapon. And yet, he carries a book whenever he comes to battle. Perhaps he uses knowledge as a weapon instead, relying on records and written spells. In other words, a battle-mage. If so, i wonder why he doesn't use such magic.

I switched my eyes to the warrior. The girl with golden hair was breathing heavily, her golden white breastplate moving up and down quite quickly.


As i approached even closer, the eyes gave away Annette's identity:
 


Her eyes of different colors weren't the only amazing thing about Annette. Her voluntary will gave an example to many other soldiers, and i gave her a higher rank in our roster. Example and respect will mold the younger men to do better, and i was glad that my bet yielded profits.

As we greeted each other, i already had a guess on my mind:
"Training Annette on some special skills, Bernard?"

"Yes, Vaatigam. I was instructing her on how to battle on hotter environments. Her style at the moment is too fast and she would give in to the sun's heat quicker than her opponent."

"Is that true, Annette?"

"Yes, Vaatigam. We tried a few rounds, and my body has learned quite a lot. I believe i'm ready."

"Ready?" Doubt took me for a second. "I didn't gave you permision to travel with me."

"I did. Forgive me for asking her."

The voice from behind me turned my doubt into shock. I didn't noticed anyone approaching from behind. I turned around and saw the man with a white purple vest and a deep blue coat, his hair matching the cloak's color.

Vicente always surprises me with his stealthed entries. It bothers me everytime, and i think he's enjoying them:
 

"Greetings, Vicente." I couldn't let shock overcome my courtesy. "Why did you assign her to travel with us? I thought i sent the request to you and Fasti alone."

"Indeed you did, Vaatigam." he awnsered, "But Fasti is quite the carefree spirit. She went ahead, following the wind and hoping to catch on with Coral before us."

"That girl..." i sighed. "Alas, we'll just go the two of us."

"Can i come along, Vaatigam? I wish to go as well."

"No, Annette." I had to roughen my speech a little. I couldn't let the escort become larger, or it might unease the writter of the misterious letter. "You're needed for training the soldiers at camp. That was the last order i gave you, and it still stands."

"Please, sir Vaatigam! Allow me to follow you!" Her knee quickly bended as our eyes met down and up, with her hands holding my left one. She really wanted to come with us. She has a knack about knowing when something's wrong, but our caravan's escort is solid. We wouldn't have troubles on the road, and once Coral joins me, our strenght would be fearsome.

"Would you please trust her on this one, sir Vaatigam?" Bernard treating me by "sir" further complicates the matter. "Myself and Camille are exchanging tactics and military training, and Renald has done the demands without hesitation".

Which meant Renald wielded to Camille's orders without objections. Which even shocked me more.

"I smell your work in all of this, World Scholar."

"Indeed, Vaatigam. Your quick actions have made us all worry about your sudden travels. Even if you did not wish to share your concerns with us."

Were my body expressions revealing that much? They knew it was something very strange, and they were quite close to the truth.

Without any more counterarguments, i sighed: "Well, if Reginald has gotten along and Camille can pull up the extra work, i believe you can come along, Annette."

Her eyes were shining with joy, closing as she kissed my hand. Her lips were soft to the touch, and full of gratitude, which made my cheeks blush a little.

"Thanks, Vaatigam." She said as she rose with a smile. "We go on your word."

"Indeed." I tried to hide my cheeks by moving ahead, although i believe Annette's larger smile is a sign that she saw me blush . "Let's go, then. Farewell, Bernard."

"You can count on me. Safe travels!" Bernard bowed, his tome closed beneath his chest.


********


"Their actions supported the fact that i could be walking into a trap, even if the meeting seemed peacefull and offered the means for myself to defend. It's common knowledge that when a Chosen and his Leader are together, both have their power increased to unknown heights. And the letter mentioning i could bring my Leader did lowered signs of hostility."

"Still, my doubts were there, but fortunatly i had the remedy for doubt: confidence. Confidence that the men and women behind me support me in all ways they can, even when i don't notice."

"And that makes my heart ready for whatever troubles lie ahead in the desert."


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:54 pm

07 - 10 - 2013 : Hot Sands (Part 1)

"The entries i will write will be about the previous days after my departure from the Stone Roses Keep. The daily events of the following days will have to be postponed to a later date, due to the importance of what occured."

*******


Even from within the safety of the wagon i could feel the fury of the sands, assaulting my skin with waves of pure heat. The local soldiers have promised proper clothes upon reaching the outpost, but i cannot believe that even that will save me from this deadly weather.

The marauders have been dealt with little by little, but their hit-and-run tactics have taken a heavy told on our efforts. Even if it seems that we're winning the war, lives are being discarded too hastly. I just hope this "master" can really end the skirmishes.

The outpost was made of a dozen tents next to a small oasis, with several palm trees serving as both shade and support to some structures.

I followed one of the soldiers to the largest tent. Vicente and Annette are right behind me as we entered the tent.

While there weren't any chairs or similar objects to sit, there was a folding wooden table opened at the center, with a map covering all the corners.

At the other side of the table were two girls. One was standing in a relaxed way while enjoying the small breeze whispering through her crimson white dress. Her large cap on the head, as well as her short bow, matched her outfit.

The other girl, older than the first, was showing signs of impatience. Her suit of blue yet spiky armor covered her body with the exception of a few spots to increase mobility, and her light purple hair, fastened in the fashion of two ponytails, was big enough to reach the lower part of her knees. Her blue eyes were fixated at me as i entered.

Fasti and Coral, my Leader, were already waiting for me:
 

"Hi, sir Vaati!" Fasti was always quick to talk.

"Greetings, Fasti." i slowly turned to Coral, her angry eyes meeting mine. "And it's good to see you well, Coral!"

She didn't replied. I give her a reassuring look before the leader of the camp marched in.

"Lieutenant Vaati, it is an honor to have you at our camp." The man dressed in clear chain mail and white garments saluted me.

"At ease, Corporal." I stated, "I'll just be around for one or two days. No need to be formal."

"Permission to ask the reason of your quick visit, sir."

"I'll be making a journey to the desert to investigate a classified issue. I believe there's a guide waiting for us?" I knew that the owner of the misterious letter had some sort of traveling method for us to meet his, or her, master.

"Yes, sir. A man in desert clothing was awaiting for certain visitors of the outpost. He stated to be doing peacefull affairs, and promised to leave once the one he's looking for arrives."

"I believe he's our guide then. Can you please lead my men to him?"

"Yes, sir."

"In the meantime, myself and my Leader will be talking in private. Please ensure that nobody disturbs us."

"I'll do so sir. Please follow me, Heroes."

Vicente quickly followed the soldier while Fasti exited in jolly jumps towards the exit. Annette stood a bit more looking at us: she knew a bad scenario is going to follow. Finally she left the room.

I approached Coral, her eyes still filled with disgust. When my face was in front of hers, i gained strenght to say the right words. They took a while to come out.

"Coral, i apologize."

Her slap was too fast for my left hand to intercept. Still, it managed to hold her hand next to my cheek, red from the shock.

"Do you trully feel sorry, Vaati? Do you have any idea of the number of beings that i killed with my sword?"

Her words had anger written all over them.

"I told you that being a Leader has its bloody side too."

"But they didn't halted! The bullmen moved forth even when i said that attacking was futile."

"The Minotaurs you faced belong to the forces of darkness. Their will, even if parcial, was not their own any longer."

"But i told you that i..." She was talking like a child now, and i had to raise my voice.

"YOU KNEW THE RISKS, CORAL!"

Her mouth stopped. I placed her right hand in the chest, next to the heart.

"When we first met, Coral, i told you there were risks while making your wish come true. I told you that my life, the life of a military Chosen, was not an easy one. And i waited till the sun went down and the moon rose up for your awnser."

"I hold all life sacred, Vaatigam." Coral awnsered, now with her anger kept in check. "I feel that all this bloodshed is useless."

"My feelings are somewhat mutual, Coral."

Her eyes lowered to meet the sand between us.
"Then why this? Why sending me to these fights?"

"Because there is a higher purpose than killing, Coral." She looked to me again "Maybe you're not noticing right now what or why you're fighting for. I'll make my best to keep you around me for now, but until you learn the true value of these fights, i think you'll have to suffer a bit more." I gently hugged her neck. "And i trully hope you can forgive me."

"Maybe. Maybe with you by my side, there won't be much neddless killing. I'll try." One of her arms holded the back of my neck, and we stood together for ... well, i can't say how long, really.

We both left in better spirits as the guide that was expecting me was mounting a camel, alongside the other heroes. Vicente and Fasti were sharing one, as both were light enough for the camel to not complain.

The guide approached me, and i just noticed he was smoking something:
 

"Both of you took long enough. Are you ready, man?"

"Yes, i am." I awnsered quick, to avoid raising his temper.

"Sorry, but i can only bring three with me. So take your pick."

I just remembered that the person only allowed two to come with me. I had to decide whom to bring with me.

"Me and Fasti will stay in the camp, sir." Vicente replied "Annette and Coral can be your bodyguards for now."

"Are you okay with this?" I asked to the slender man.

"Works for me. As long as i'm only taking three with me. I hate overworking, you know?"

"Yeah, i share that hate with you." I awnser to be on the right terms with him as we started to leave the camp, towards a mild desert storm.

I had to be on best terms with him because i wanted to be sure that he was in charge. I wanted to be sure he was relaxed while he guided us to our destination.

Relaxed enough for Vicente to follow with Fasti, both cloaked by his magic. I chose him to journey with me for a reason, didn't I?

******

Editor's Notes:
 


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DimitryHazel



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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:00 pm

I love this, cant wait for another entry. In guild wars I'm sure there will be plenty stories to tell and feeling to describe, the togetherness through the time and the bitterness of defeat that burden who doesn't attend the wars.
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:56 am

09-10-2013 : OOC - Call of the Desert results.

First of all, whenever you see an OOC in the headline, it means i will address topics outside of the story.

Although my initial view was to make this diary about my game experiences and the side story being told, my writter's veins bursted with ideas everywhere. Just for you guys to have a clue, i haven't did a very big description of places that the diary's author visited, and luckly the cards' art allows me to save time writting on that regard.

Thanks for the feedback, Dimitry. The story will keep getting better (at least from my mind's point of view). Regarding the Chronicles, your suggestion is a solid one, but saddly i won't address the current Fantasica Chronicles due to being forced to continue with the Call of the Desert arc, not to mention the later interactions with a future new member of the team (ops, said too much there).

I may be able to make a side story about the Battle of the Blue, but that depends if i manage to get enough time to wrap up this arc (i also warn i'll be attending an anime & jappanese culture this weekend, so time is indeed short). If i cannot, i apologize in advance, and i'll promise that i'll do my best to adress the third GA in better detail.

Most of my personal ratings, experiences, and feedbacks regarding events will appear in spoilers, due to these being personal to me, ending sometimes as bored text for the readers.

Editor's Notes about the Panel event's top rankers' bills:
 

Now, back to the story!


******


Hot Sands (Part 2)

OOC - soundtrack option:
 

To be honest, should our guide quickly disappear from our sight, i believed we would be trully lost. It's been several hours since we left camp, seeing hills of sand on our front and sides.

Our guide, introduced to us as Desert, seemed a knowledgeable man who knew much about the affairs of the land. He told me a lot about the secret wildlife that inhabits the sands, which made me quite surprised that such a harsh land could be teeming with life within. I wonder if Bernard ever knew this: i'll have to persuade Desert to have a chat with him once my meeting with the misterious master is done.

Our conversations also showed the true sight of the war efforts in the desert: while our forces did won most of the battles, no high rank of our enemy was questioned, or even captured. So we were still blindfolded regarding the true outcome, all the while losing our officers to this one-side conflict.

"Then why are we  travelling by our own?" Asked Annette, clearly disturbed. "Wouldn't we be attacked by these bandits? Vicente and Fasti could have come with us as well."

"That is one of the reasons i'm leading, miss." That was Desert's quick response "Just trust me on this one, right? This is what i do for a living."

"True. If he ever failed before, he wouldn't be guiding us today." remarked Coral.

"Hmmph" grumbled Annette. Coral did showed a strong point, but Annette was mostly displeased by the fact that it was Coral who gave the better argument.

Would she be jealous about her, who took her place as Leader due to her higher power? Her conduct showed otherwise, but i think that, deep down, she still has a bit of a sour taste from that.

While i pondered about them, the sun started to set. Slowly it lost his blinding power, revealing a royal orange to our eyes. And when it sunk into the sands, something started to emerge from that same spot: what started as a tower, it began to grow into a taller building.

"Ah, our destination!" said Desert with a glimpse of relief. "And right on time. I believe we'll be having dinner once we're settled at the palace."

"Palace?" I asked to my own thoughts. "In the middle of the desert?"

In was indeed a palace. White with round golden parapets, it was quite a large sight to behold. The oasis surrounding it quickly emerged from the horizon, full of palm trees and other desert trees.

"This master must be a wealthy one." I speaked without expecting replies. Desert did awnser though: "Heheh, wait till you see the insides."

**End of Soundtrack**

As we crossed the stone bridge, our mounts were taken by other men attending the front of the majestic building. The doors, made from red dyed wood, were perhaps 5 times taller than myself. When they opened, small flashes emerged from the inside.
As we entered, i quickly found why:

Gold could be found everywhere, from outlining the red silk curtains that seperated the rooms from the huge orange hall to the runes etched upon the whitle marble pillars. Whoever ruled within this palace could supply our entire war effort. And maybe just more than wealth. As we passed through, i could see the shades dancing from behind the curtains, the hosts shouting in awe and approval of their prowess, some even trying to dance as well, though less gracefully.

Desert showed us to a chamber, its silk entrance far more noble than the others. The table at the center was shorter than our own, in which one could seat on the pillows around it and still eat the grapes from the silver platter at the center.

"The master will welcome you soon. Would your escorts wish some food from our kitchen?"

"I think we would rather stay, thank you." Annette awnsered.

"It's okay to eat something fast and return in a minute. Don't worry about it." I assured them. They needed to eat after that heated trip.

Once the 3 were gone, i took my time to look around. A lot of statues and tapestries described the royalty of the room. One of the curtains had a deeper red, but i could still notice. Notice the feminine figure approaching from behind it, slowly yet confident in its steps. It seemed as it was walking and dancing at the same time. I wondered how could someone walk like that.

The figure slowly revealed itself from the curtain. A tanned body cloaked in grey hairs and blessed with red eyes, crowned by a golden diadem. A jewell-filled necklace just above her chest, half covered in red paintings and strings of gold. Straps of gold accompanied her legs as she walked towards me.

I knew just by looking - she definitely was the master of this palace:
 

I mustered myself to control my heart. Her sight would break the conduct of your average soldier. Heck, even the most seasoned of soldiers couldn't avoid not stare at her. That's how beautifull she was.

"Why thank you for the complement, dear Vaatigam."

"Greetings." I bowed in respect. Respect before lust, remember, damn it! "Are you a mind reader by chance, miss..."

"Colbert. You can just treat my by my name." She began to aproach to my side of the table. "I thought you would introduce yourself to me first."

"Indeed, but it seems you know me very well, so pardon me if an introduction was needed. And why..."

"Because you looked at me with a look more amazed than my previous visitors. I know when someone basks upon me, but you were more ... innocent, while admiring me."

"Now i'm the one who needs to thank for compliments." I dared to say.

She giggled. That soft laugh has struck my heart in a way i never felt before. "Shall we have some food, dear?" Before i could awnser, she clapped her hands with a surprising force.

The servants came in with dozen of food plates. Some had roasted meat, others had bread spiced with herbs. Cups were placed on my seat and on the one next to me, the one she sat on.

While a girl clanned in green pants and blue hair came bringing two urns of water, surprisingly dancing while doing so, i couldn't help but notice Colbert's presence next to me: an aura of peace and a fragrance that compelled me to breath harder to savor it better.

"So, would you hear my plea, Lieutenant?" She asked me as she started to slice a leg from the meat platter. Her movements were always elegant, even the most mundane ones.

"If you had the ability to send me a letter without my whole unit taking notice, why didn't you just asked me at the keep in the first place?" I asked while grabbing a spiced bread.

"Because we need the help of generals. The war is causing strife to everyone, and we need your forces to join our own." She sliced the meat into thinner scraps.

"Your guides would quite help our effort. But why do you believe that we should join you?"

When i turned to her, her hand was holding a piece of meat by her fingers, just next to my face. Her scent invited me to nib from her hand. She wanted to feed me herself? I replied to the gesture, placing a small piece of my spiced bread next to her mouth.

"You first, my grace."

Her lips gently nibbed the bread piece whole, with the fingertips inside her mouth as well. While she ate the bread, she slowly licked my fingertips, her tongue giving me a feeling of satisfaction on my fingers that i've never experienced before. Her tongue was like a living being.

"Your turn." She said softly.

I slowly embraced her fingers within my mouth, grasping the meat but not licking the fingertips. Instead, my free hand grasped a cloth napkin from the table, with which i cleaned her hand gently, finger by finger.

"Thank you for the treat, milady. But you still haven't awnsered my question."

"It's true." She said, leaning her head to my neck. I could feel the oil's scent, and it was really overwhelming. "The forces that you and and your allies possess could end the war, but it would still cause major losses. I know you uphold the sparing of soldiers, dear Vaatigam. Would you please accept my request?"

Her scent was quite strong. I don't know why, but i was struggling to contain my senses. A normal person wouldn't be able to endure all these stimulations. I tried to compose myself and ask again.

"What is your request, Lady Colbert?"

Her bare hand found her way to my bare chest, its heat being sucked by my skin. Each of her actions is inviting me to possess her under the golden halls. What are you after, woman?!?

"Would you join our side, sweet Lieutenant? Would you become a part of me?"


Those questions made my inner thoughts roar and surrender to lust, but my reason was stronger with them as well. Side? Become a part of her? I was being seduced. No wonder she threw all those allures at me: she wanted me to commit treason and join her cause. As far as i could suppose, she was the leader of the desert forces!

"W-what are you talking about?!?" I struggled.

I tried to get up, but my legs couldn't awnser me. How could i not notice this before?

She held me even tighter. "I don't want your side nor mine to suffer, but your friends, they are very aggressive. So i kept inviting many of your friends to join me, so we wouldn't have to face each other." Her words were sweet poison. I knew their meaning but couldn't muster the strength to react physically.

"My ... friends?"

"Yes," she said, "the ones dancing with my girls."

I tried to break free, but my body is slowly pushed to the table. The scent is most probably paralyzing my body. The damn woman is toying with me.

"I'm not toying with you, dear." She awnsered to my thoughts. "I long for you, ever since i sensed you and asked my servant to call you. It has been so long since someone like you entered my palace. None of my dasmels could have you: only i, and i alone, my sweet, sweet Vaati."

Her voice, her scent, her hot skin all over my body, everything was binding me. I could only talk: "Why would you pick me, personally and out of all the other officers?"

Her finger halted my lips. "Because i hunger for your purity, my sweet fruit." And her lips embraced mine.

A shock of emotions stormed my brain. Instincts? Magic? I couldn't say, as her soft yet overwhelming lips took me into unconsciousness.



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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:59 am

10-10-2013: Battle of the Blue update

Today the first battles have begun, and i'll be writting what i can between my guild's results from the event and the top contenders.

Ultra Casual's records:
 




Hot Sands (Part 3)


Urgh. The pain. It's light, yet dense at the same time.

As i woke up, my eyes started to recover from the blur. I've found myself within a large cave, adorned with treasures and huge statues of desert men with stone swords, as if protecting this place.

Or making sure i wouldn't escape. I started to feel the schackles on my wrists and ankles. I was locked into a kind of altar covered in a crimson cloak, sorrounded by treasures of gold and jewells.

I looked upon myself, seeing my body nude with the exception of my waist. Any restrains that were done by the oils and scents that blacked me out before have vanished.

"Urgh......i guess she's saving the best for last." I spoke to nobody in general. I had to vent out the humiliation of being caught flat-footed.

"Maybe you should keep your escort with you from now on, Sir Vaatigam."

I recognized that voice. But i couldn't see Vicente around.

"Calm yourself. I am speaking to your mind, not talking. Look above to the pillar in front of you."

I looked upon the golden pillar, noticing a large yellow urn. To my dismay, a living urn: eyes and a mouth molded its face, staring at me as if hungry, willing to devour me.

"It won't harm you, for now." said Vicente "The mistress of the palace brought you here while one of her priests awakened the urn. She said to make sure you weren't consumed yet, not until she had her fill first."

I kept looking eye-to-eye with the urn, ever vigilant to my moves, while Vicente explained the plan.

"Coral and Annette fought back well, and joined me in hiding. I've managed to launch a mystic flare to alert our allies of our position, and told Annette to hide outside until their arrival."

That means that Colbert will be found soon. I loosened a smile of relief, unnoticed by the urn.

"The rest of us have followed you along with the mistress and her subject, whom took you here. Though i was limited while keeping Coral and Fasti out of their sight, i've managed to place both of them in strategic places in this chamber."

"They'll strike at the best window of opportunity, and although i won't strike with them, i've managed to slightly damage your shackles so that you can break them when you unleash your Inner Power."

Hold on... how did he knew of my Inner Power? It's a secret technique that's passed only between Chosens which allow us to harness our powers and manifest them physically, should we have such magic aptitude. A Chosen who was about to die of old age taught me a basic skill to unleash my Inner Power, but only Annette witnessed the strike once... and probably told Vicente about it. I'll have to talk with her when this is over.

"We'll strike once you make your move. Our first priority will be the animated urn, and then the leader of the palace."

My senses seem to have recovered as well, because i could hear faint footsteps coming from the chamber's only door. It seems Colbert is coming to savor my final moments.

Well, she's about to bite more than she can chew.
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:32 am

11-10-2013: Battle of the Blue - Second day.

It's 9 AM in the morning here and i'm quite excited to finish the arc today. The arc will be placed during this afternoon, once i'm done with attending my morning classes and purchasing my ticket to the anime convention.

Ultra Casual's Records:
 


*******

Hot Sands (Part 4)

Colbert entered the room first, followed by a girl as tanned as she. Rather than grey hair, hers was purple, and her clothing, even if as bare as her mistress, was less alluring, with white linen belts attached behind her back, along with a thin, golden staff.

She must be the priest who took me to this chamber:
 

"Sorry for the wait, dear Vaatigam. I was just getting ready." Her body did seemed clearer and shiner than before, as if she readied her skin for me to play with.

I looked to her in the eyes, showing both discontent and pity. "I've suffered worse poisons. What bugs me is why do you wish to feed me to that if you said i was your favorite."

"Oh, i see you know about Killurn, the cursed spirit."

"No, its his salivating mouth that gave it away."

She giggled, and in a more human way compared to her last one. As if she really laughed. "Yes, i wish we could have met in better days. To know each better, to make love below the stars, rather than an accursed cave." I felt honesty in those words. "But now you'll be fed to Killurn to keep its powers high, so we can maintain our beacon of power and keep your men from reconquering our lands."


That last part was right. Our kingdom did invaded this land to have a better source of desert spices. A decision done decades ago, but that today's inhabitants don't ponder much since they weren't the ones being taken away as slaves from their homeland.

"Even though you promised me no harm?"

"Yes, you would suffer no harm should you decided to stood with us. Your kindness was what i like the most of you, even to opponents. Your warming heart would be so reassuring to me and my people."

"There's still a possibility for a truce." I tried to turn her to reason. If she had a liking to me, maybe i could persuade her. "Returning the officers alive will put you in better terms, and i can vouch for you."

"Saddly," she awnsered, "the noble family whose father, a high general loved and respected by everyone, was killed, wouldn't accept, as an ally, the same slave girl who murdered the man for what he trully was: a lustfull beast bent on domination, inflicting pain and enjoying rapes with his...things." She held back a bit. That is quite a reason to go against our kingdom. She didn't expect the kiss i gave her after those words, a kiss which she became an accomplice. It was probably the only honest kiss we ever had.

"Trust me. There's still time to go back." I tried one last time.

"Says the one who's in shackles, away from his home, with nothing to save him." Said Colbert, all awhile caressing my waist.

I decided to show her otherwise.

"MAGNA!"

My body raged with orange flames. Colbert flinched with surprise, and the priest's jaw dropped.

"UNO!"

The flames in my body converged to my right arm. "How..." was the only word Colbert could say.

"CANNON!"

I fully streched my arm, breaking the shackle that was holding it. My right palm, just to the right of Colbert's shocked face, fired an orange beam that quickly hit the animated urn. And as quickly as it was fired, it shattered Killurn to pieces, its innard flames scattering around as azure flames out of control.

"Your powers were subdued." She gasped.

"True. But not the inner gift of my Hero."

Colbert noticed Coral flashing out of her hiding spot. Although Colbert jumped out in an instant, Coral continued the charge, breaking two of my shackles with her strike, and the last one with a second blow.

Colbert and her priest were in strange fighting stances, but i could notice their panic.

"Mistress. If we don't gather the spirit's flames, the palace will be overrun with its cursed powers."

"I know!" awnsered Colbert, still assessing the situation.

"MISTRESS! INVADERS ARE AT OUR GATES! WE'VE BEEN DISCOVERED!"

The shout came from a girl in blue garments, and a double yellow cape at her waist, that appeared at the entrance:
 

Colbert's eyes quickly gained a hint of panic. She transformed into a sand stream that quickly reformed itself at the entrance of the cave.

"What do we do, mistress?" The priest asked, her staff ready to strike.

Colbert was with her back to all of us. Yet, why do i feel i'm the only one who noticed a tear from her eye?

"niaga deloof, traeh ym?" She said in a near-silent voice. The dialect was one i didn't knew, much less any of my Heroes. But i did noticed her confusion, her pain.

Her voice quickly raised its volume: "LLA TI NMAD! SESRUC!" And she sprinted out of the cave.

The priest and the girl were shocked with her words. Their shock was turned to anger as they turned to us.

"You'll pay for making my mistress suffer!" The priest roared, while whirling her staff above her head. "Tser gnitiawa stirips! Evank eht etalihinna!"

The scattered blue fire quickly flowed into two of the giant statues, and after a brief silent moment, they started moving, their swords slowly turning to us.

"Vaatigam, we must unite!" Coral wanted us to fight together as Chosen and Leader. I agreed with the tactic.

The nomad girl retrieved a bow from behind her and loosed an arrow at us. Fasti intervened with an arrow of her own. By the time i noticed, the two archers were jumping and running around the cave exchanging arrows with one another. The arrows were so precise that they always meet each other and shatter with the shock. They were equally skilled with the bow.

I turned my attention to my fight, dodging a clear blue bolt fired from the priest's staff. I gave a big leap to an open spot where Coral quickly landed at as well after avoiding a blow from the statue.

My hand grapsed Coral's free one. She was ready for the blessing.

I started the incantation.

"What yours is mine.."

"...both honor and might."

"We now share the power..."

"... to end the fight!"

And the Vow was made, in which Chosen and Leader fuse their wills and powers to increase their own to unknown heights.

We changed foes, with Coral outpowering the priest's power and myself confusing the giant with my increased agility. We were a league ahead of our foes.

Still, i could feel my exaustion starting to take a heavy toll on my body. My first attack was done with too much power, and i'm almost at my limit.

I landed on the altar and prepared the final blow quickly.

"MAGNA! UNO! CANNON!"

The pain from unleashing the burst was unbearable. Yet, i could still watch my beam hitting the giant and make it crumble to rubble.

A corner of my eyes watched Coral hitting the floor with her sword, summoning a flow of bluish corals streaming along the floor up to the priest, immobilizing her whole body. She started to struggle, but she couldn't avoid the heavy punch to the gut.

She fainted instantly.

As i watched this, on my knees and out of power, i felt the second giant moving from behind me for the kill. An easy kill, as i couldn't move.

Vicente flushed out from his hiding spot once the golem's feet were beneath his magic circle.

"Masked Blast!" He shouted, and the circle exploded, destroying the giant's feet and making it fall towards me. His shattering fall might have killed me if Coral didn't grabbed me and jumped out in time.

A fragment of the statue flew straight to the other girl's head, knocking her out of consciousness. Fasti puffed in anger, seing her rival faiting while on their awesome duel.

We all had a smile of victory on our faces. Yet we felt danger as our match, along with Killurn's ravaging power, shaked the cave to the point of colapsing.

With Vicent holding me, Fasti with the nomad and Coral with the priest, we escaped out of the cave, crumbling down as we ran out.

A few seconds after we managed to get into the stone bridge, the palace crumbled with the lack of ground support, and was demolished by its own unbalanced weight.

The soldiers and officers cheered in victory as the marauders were defeated at last.

Prisioners were distributed among the various victors, to make sure they wouldn't join up and attempt another rebellion.

My efforts in the cave weren't noticed, so i took one of the lesser prisioners, the nomad girl we saved. As for Colbert, i found her in magic shackles, soon to be escorted away.

Without nobody noticing, which was a feat to me since my body was almost faiting, i came next to her. Her tears were long gone, replaced with sadness and frustration.

"Forgive me, Colbert. I couldn't persuade you enough to avoid this fate." I lowered my head, letting her know i indeed tried to save her from this.

"It's ok, you had no fault." She reassured me. Her spirit changed, if only a little. "My heart was heavily closed. It did open up a bit though."

"Hang in there. If you have hope, you'll endure. Don't turn your back on your jailers, okay?"

"I'll try." She replied with an honest smile, before being taken away.

I turned to the Heroes i brought with me.

"Time to go home. Keep the girl on chains, but not too harshly." Everyone nodded in agreement, and we started leaving the desert along with the other armies.


****

"To think that i took 4 days to write the events that took in a day and half. I'll need to speed up my writting. If my next adventures are as long as this, i'll have to skip a lot of them in the diary."

"My wounds have somewhat recovered, and Hydria gave me water from her magical urn once more. It was her power that enabled me to destroy the animated urn, and i'll never stop thanking her. She always smile when i drink form the urn, as if showing gratitude for me to approve of her blessing. Her waters are indeed powerfull, and with healing powers to boot. I think i'll be able to go back to work after two more days"

"The girl we took is now in our jail, next to two prisioners from the previous ocean invasion. Most officers say that my jail is too luxurous, but they also admit that my conversion rate of inmates is in fact one of the highest of all the Chosen Keeps. Some do say that one day my overtrust on my prisioners will one day be my downfall."

"Tomorrow will be the day i'll question her about her future. And i hope she is willing to follow me. Her skill with the bow is quite nice, and i think Fasti would love a rival to practice with."


As i finish the entry and close the book, i look at the letter which started this crazy adventure. I took a deep breath, as i placed the letter inside the diary and oped the drawer to guard it.

To my surprise, another letter was inside the drawer, equal to the first one. I blinked a dozen of times before opening the letter.

Its contents were much more soothing, though:
 

Don't worry, i'll take good care of Arena. So that she may meet you once more, and that i can see both of you happy under the shinning sun.



*** The End ***

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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:13 am

14-10-2013 : Battle of the Blues update

The weekend was a mix of feelings. The anime convention was a fun one, but the lack of free mobility (my brother was driving the car) and the small window of time gave me little to enjoy. On the other hand, i found one of the things i was looking for, and i found out a free public transport that goes between my city and the convention. Should it ever happens there again, i'll take my chances and go solo for maximum enjoyment.

Anyhow, back to Fantasica. I'll be continuing the in-game diary but due to schedules and essays i'm forced to narrow my writting sssions. 2 per week, 3 if i have Sunday free for such. I'll place a note in the topic's title every time i do a diary entry like i did so far.

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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:35 am

14-10-2013 : Royal Announcement

"The sun is shinning bright today. A perfect shine over what transpired today."

"While i was recovering, Katia ordered a dispatch team with Coral and several others to aid the Battle of the Blue, a new conflict caused by turmoil between the various guilds of which we Chosen Generals are part of. Reports indicate that our performance is above average so far, and that we've been able to enlist some recruits along the way. While some are indeed a breath of fresh air ... one of them was not so fresh: Oskar, the Bloodmancer."

"Part of the infamous Blood Guard, Oskar joined us just for his own amusement of inflicting suffering. He's one that relishes in causing whatever legal pain he can, flowing the blood of his enemies to a horrid demise. The sooner the war is over, the sooner i can place him into a more ... peaceful position."

"Arena has, to my relief, agreed to join us. She behaved differently ever since i received Colbert's letter. She did not showed me her letter, and i won't force her to. Vicente told me it could be a trap, but i didn't want to show him Colbert's confession. At least not yet."

"Katia arranged a special dinner to celebrate the progress of our campaign, as well as the introduction of Arena. She loves to throw out parties, and although they're sometimes too much for our low budget, the troop's morale has never been higher. I won't mind having this dinner either: i need some luxurious food to close my wounds once and for all."


Arena followed me out of the jail, watching everything in awe as we walked. She came in blindfolded so she wouldn't know the way back in case of a prison break, so she's seeing the rooms' simple structure for the first time. I didn't mind the posture, since Coral had the same expression when she entered the Stone Roses Castle as well.

"We'll soon be at the dining table, Arena. Be respectful even to the common soldiers." i warned her. Even as she was by all rights one of ours, she still had to gain the respect of her new comrades.

"If you wish, Sir Vaati." she responded with care.

"And one more thing: it's Vaatigam. You don't need to treat me as Sir within the castle." She nodded right after. I wonder if Colbert addressed me as Vaati in her letter...

We entered the room, which was twice as big as the meeting room, being able to host around a hundred men. It was heavy decorated with orange curtains, and the tables's sheets matched in color.

All of them were of the same model, as i prefer to eat equally with my men. I want them to see me as someone of trust, that eats like them, next to them. It allows me to know if there are any problems within my ranks, and their obedience to my orders is higher when they trust their Lieutenant.

There were two tables in the center: one meant for me, the other for Arena. Most of the other tables were full of Heroes and soldiers with no distinction: there were no stereotypes among them on my watch, since both fight and die for the kingdom.

On Arena's table, Bernardo in his scholar robe and Vicente with his purple cloak awaited her. Meanwhile, mine only has two figures: a gallant man in a bluish tuxedo, his grey eyes and black hair as sharp as ever, and the woman of golden eyes donned in an orange dress, her long hair splitted into two rather large ponytails.

Renald and Katia were the only ones at my table? How odd...:
 

As soon as we took our seats, Katia addressed the audience:

"Friends and comrades, today we celebrate the return of our Chosen, and his newest convert, Arena."
Everyone cheered. Some gave a few whistles at Arena, to which i replied with a cold stare - no flirts for tonight, you rascals.
"Now, my friends, feel the joy of the moment. For tonight we will feel the delight!"

And with these words, everyone started eating.

I could overhear several conversations around: promises of honor and glory, duty debates, a lot of laughter. I watched as Arena felt amazed by Bernard's knowledge, answering his questions about the desert way of life. Meanwhile, Vicente probes her on a few occasions, sometimes dampening the mood. I understand the need for caution, but not that openly - i thought you were the stealthy type.

"Cheer up, dear Vaati." Katia interrupted my thoughts by placing a full chalice in front of me. "Have a drink!"

"I told you, it's..."

"In dinners like this," she interrupted, while conjuring a rainbow between her hands, feat of her mage powers, "who cares? Enjoy the mood, bolster your feelings..."

"...you never know when it will be your last." said Renald to my left, between the sips of his drink."You've been called for another matter."

"I was?" i asked, corned between Katia's cheering smile and Renald's cold words. "Is it another conflict?"

"It's not." Renald placed the cup on the table. "The Battle of the Blue questioned a lot of the kingdom's loyalties. If not for my actions, the castle wouldn't be enjoying this dinner, fruit from the market's tumbles due to this lack of trust. They're planning a more peaceful solution, one of which i've heard you're attending."

"But i didn't even said a word about attending such event."

"Of course you did not." Renald turned his face to me. "All Chosen with military standings will be summoned to this event, not invited, Vaatigam. It is a trial in which you must prove your submission to the Crown. A Gathering, or so the common folk whisper. Camille will bring us the details about what they wish from us once he returns from his duties."

"So please," said Katia, placing her left hand on my right shoulder "enjoy the festivities. Eat to your content." Her closed, smiling eyes were hard to fight back.

"Alright then." i said.

And we all ate while talking about other more peaceful matters and responding to the cheers of the nearby tables. Even Katia let me know that should i still feel tense after what transpired at the desert she could soothe me if needed. I declined her with opened hands and a flushed face - Vicente will pay for this gossip.

I'll worry about this Gathering once Camille arrives with the more accurate report. For now, i'll enjoy the night. Like Renald said, it could be my last.

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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:36 am

Might I say this is awesome story =D
Look forward to read more!
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:33 am

17-10-2013: Battle of the Blue Aftermath

And so our second Guild Event draws to a close! I hope everyone had fun in this event.

The Gathering will be up today, so i'll be able to grasp a bit more about the event, which will make my writting easier.

Speaking of which, i won't be writting this weekend. The reason: a camping trip for two days. I'll be quite busy doing stuff, so i won't have time to write. And since the event is only for a week, i'll probably have to ignore the next one (which will most likely be a Halloween-themed one).

For today, i'll be posting the results, along with the story. Maybe i'll sneak in a second one by Friday, but i won't promise it: I need to get my camping backpack ready.


Battle of the Blue aftermath; personal ranking & oppinions:
 




Guests of War



"Coral and her detachment have arrived from the Battle of the Blue with good news: our roster of victories was an impressive one, almost matching the best of the best."

"TechBroManSir and afrost9000's navigation skills allowed us to move better and strike more often.
AzakaZero, the Unit's leader, applied gambling tactics that relied on intimidation to guarantee victory. The details within the plan had solid ground in terms of evaluation and requirements, and were used against several opponents with success.
equals399's resource management skills and Coral's knowledge of the sea allowed us to hold our ground against various assaults, while thewongnumber, rivermin and Eddierips sunk the most powerfull ships.
And eonhi, our weakest link, made a surprising effort in the most important of battles."

"Everyone contributed to a stunning victory."

"What was more astounding were the prisioners that Coral brought. She reported that they belonged to a nearby enemy unit that wrecked during a storm, making them the sole survivors of the accident. I ordered to bring the officer of the highest rank that survived to the meeting room to meet me, so that i may draw a conclusion over their fate, should they show themselves as friends... or foes."

I prepared the meeting room to look like a trial office: on one side of the table would sit the officer, while i, on the other side, would interrogate him. I made sure the seat was cozy enough for him to not feel unconfortable. That way he would be at ease, making it easier for me to attempt to read his mood during my interrogation.

I sat on the chair and ordered to bring him to me. A few moments later Coral opened the door, with a man in shackles behind her. The man wore a black suit of armor with the shoulderplates and the waist belt colored in crimson. His grey hair and red eyes give him the look of a fierce veteran.

Coral introduced the officer to me as Closer:
 

"Greetings, officer Closer. You may take a seat."

He sat in the chair i've prepared for him. His serious mood made all the efforts i did on the chair futile. How i hate it when it happens.

"So, could you tell me your rank within your unit?"

"I don't have a rank now, much less a unit to lead." His words were filled with an icy dread, yet no signs of self-panic. The loss of his units was really personal to him .

"Three of your soldiers are still below us, Closer. You still have an unit."

"What i have are prisoners of war, soon to be executed." He reminded me of the cold outcome of most war prisioners in our kingdom. What really bothers me is that even men and women from within our own walls, when labelled as war prisioners, can be executed on a whim, even after they have contributed to the Crown. Why can't they have a chance to admit their wrongdoing and repent for it? It's something that i despise from the the bottom of myself, and work to my fullest to prevent such a gruesome destiny.

"I'm sorry, Closer, but you're wrong. You are not prisioners of war."

His eyes shifted from dreaded gloom to surprising shock. "Then, why are we in chains? Aren't you treating us as prisioners?" His speech had hints of disgust, probably for being shackled when he shouldn't.

I had to explain quickly: "Your shackles were placed to ensure the protection of my soldiers. I have as much respect for my men as you do, at least to a degree, Closer. Only when you were here, standing in front of me, eye to eye, could i discern your standing towards me. And i see that you mean no direct harm."

Closer seemed to calm down. I believe that his initial opinion of me was wrong, which made him hold back. I continued.

"We rescued you from the wreckage due to a storm, and not during a battle. As it stands, you are guests of war, soldiers who had no quarrel to us."

"And for that..."i halted, letting him look into my eyes before i proceeded " ... i'm willing to be friendly to a certain degree."

Our eyes agreeded to be in terms. I started to walk around the table, letting him delve into himself while i explained his current situation: "I'm willing to let you all stay within my castle, free of restraints. Still, you'll have to partake in our daily chores to compensate for your food and lodging, and i'll grant you some basic weapons and tomes on your way out of the keep, should you decide to leave and join your general, be him Chosen or not."

"My Chosen's life was taken by the storm." He declared. "We have no place to return."

"In that situation," i continued "i can give you and the remains of your unit a place in mine, should you so accept. If not, i'll make sure that some of my soldiers will accompany you to the closest city, where you can search for another general, friend or not of your previous Chosen. Or you can simply become mercenaries and earn your income alone, of which i'll be sure to leave you in safe accomodations before leaving you to the fate you choosed."

"Why are you doing this to us?" He asked the question which i knew he was starting to trust me. "We didn't do any good to your cause, and we could have been your enemies."

"True, but you haven't done any harm to us at all, and you could be my allies as well. It all depends on your choice, and i'm giving you the way to choose what you wish best for your unit."

He lowered his head, staying silent in thoughts for a few moments. After several minutes, he raised his head.

"Very well. You are indeed kind, Chosen Lieutenant. I thank you for your kindness, and until i can decide what's best for my soldiers, i hope you accept our presence."

"As long as you keep your honor, your presence is welcomed, Closer." I retrieved a key from one of my pockets. "This key can remove your shackles and the ones of your soldiers, and can be presented to the jailors below as proof that you have my permission to stay in my castle. We'll discuss our interactions further this dinner." I raised my hand with the key for him to take it as a sign of approval.

"Thank you." said Closer.

All went well, and the negotiations went without any panic. Yet, i was surprised for what happened next: in a flash that my eyes didn't even notice, the man jumped right to the front of me, with key in hand. Coral was greatly startled, and if not for my hand she would have charged him.

"Now, if you'll excuse me." said Closer, now unbounded, "I'll relieve my comrades of their shackles."

"Sure," i replied, " and tell them they have seats by your side for tonight's dinner. I hope they like roasted pork."

Closer left the room steadily in a calm fashion. Coral, on the other hand, wasn't that calm when she approached me.

"Are you alrght, Vaatigam?" She almost hugged me with concern, but instead she stood close to me. "I didn't knew he could teleport like that. Even in shackles."

"I didn't knew either, Coral." i confessed "He was observing me, waiting to see if i was of trust. Apparently his previous owner wasn't, fact revealed by his own expressions." Some Chosen Generals see their Heroes as tools, not equal men with lives of their own. "I guess my honest trust saved my life. If i had behaved differently, he would have snapped by neck and take the key before you could do anything about it."

I hugged her tight to help her fight her dreadfull imagination of my dead body on the ground. "He is a man like no other. He can restrain his great power to the well-being of his followers. He sees me as an equal due to our mutual respect for our men. Even if he could be a potential enemy in the future, i'll treat him as an ally as long as he's friendly to us within our castle."

Our dinner will be livelier with the new folk around. And the next day will be even more once Camille arrives with the official summon for the Gathering.


Warning regarding the previous diary entries:
 

Author's words:
 
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:49 am

*thumbs up*

For those that are interested, here's a wiki entry for shukuchi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shukuchi

Shukuchi (direct Kanji translation meaning "shrink land") refers to the ability and techniques of rapid movement, as if the earth itself between two points shrinks to allow such speed.

Wouldn't have thought of looking it up without Vaati pointing it out lol.
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:31 am

18-10-2013 : The Gathering made clear


"Camille arrived today with the official request of my summon. He entered our halls in unchecked haste, as the news were much more dire than predicted."

"The official letter stated that all ranked officers should report to the King's High Castle for an emergency meeting, stating classified reasons that would be revealed once we've arrived. The rumors turned the people upside down and they tell nothing to the Chosen Generals they're summoning? Maybe they could be preventing information leaks should the letters become compromised."

"The second letter that Camile brought belonged to my foster father, Jordan. He was the General in charge of the Castle's defenses, and was quite the skilled Chosen, but he chose to abide that life and defend the King."

"His letter was quite friendly to my eyes, hoping that i was well, yearning to see my growth after the past years, and hoping to see my roster of units. He hoped that i had news of his daugther Mel, and to meet at the inn he's resting when i would arrive to update our social lives before heading to the Gathering."

"This letter would have been normal to the naked eye, but to me, there was more than just his words. Special marks around certain letters would reveal a second message. My foster father taught this technique to me, so that he could send whatever real news were happening. And as i finally finished joining the words..."


... the situation couldn't be worse:
 

"I was shocked with the news. And for my father to hide the most important information even within his code means that things have really gone out of control at her Majesty's castle."

"The summoning was 4 days ahead, so i could prepare things within the Stone Roses Castle for 2 days before leaving. I'll have to make my decisions on whom to bring and what to summon."

"As for my substitute Leader, i already knew who was going. Though she wasn't the stronger Leader i had, her experience and trust are without equal, and she even met Jordan on a seperate occasion. Yet she felt a bit down for being removed of her Leader position."

"I believe she will cheer up once i tell her the news. Annette will indeed welcome the chance."


Author's notes:
 

The Gathering update:
 
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:05 pm

20-10-2013 : Honing one's mind


"As of this moment i'm resting at an inn along the road, a half-day's distance from Silversong, the city where the High Castle resides. My muscles are weary due to galloping a full day, but i can still write my records within the diary."

"Annette was quite glad for knowing she'll be my Leader as we go to the High Castle. A fact Closer discussed as folly, since Coral was my best bet for handling the Gathering trials. I had to convince him otherwise without revealing what my foster father told me. In a lucky string of events, i persuaded him to train Annette for a few sessions during the two days before, and one last time today before we left to Silversong."

"I've managed to prepare myself on this last session. Using a specific spell that allows me to view events at a much slower pace, i could somewhat view Closer's movements. They were really fascinating, proving his elite status."

I've arrived at the outside training field, looking for Annette to warn her to get ready for leaving. At the place where soldiers would be doing their regular exercises, i found an unorganized crowd. All soldiers were making a sort of circle, a dual arena.

Were Closer and Annette showing off that much ?!?

Before diving into the crowd, i murmured the magic words:

"Eagle Eye."

My eyes became mildly sharpened. The common soldier wouldn't notice the enhancement made upon my eyes.

As i finally reached the center of the crowd arena, i could see both Closer and Annette in their regular battle garments, although using wooden swords instead of their weapons. Annette had a few hints of fatigue, while Closer showed a faster, yet controlled breathing.

"Get her again!" Said a soldier to Closer.

"Bring him down once and for all!" Roared another in favour of Annette..

I could see her lips cringing due to the fact she's being beaten by Closer in a wild public. Her consecutive losses, even if intended due to Closer's heavy training regime, are making her lose confidence.

"SILENCE, MEN!" I shouted. The ones most nearby to me were startled by my command. Didn't they noticed me at all due to their bouts?

"They are training by my request to hone their skills, not to provide a show. Return to your own training immediatly. If their blows distract you, you have my permision to return to your quarters, but if i see anyone watching for fun, that man will be peeling potatoes until i return from my journey. DID I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?!?"

"YES, VATIGAM!" They all shouted in unison. The most amazing was that everyone went inside the keep. Probably the matches between them were so surreal they wouldn't be able to resist at all.

"Annette," i called to her, "do not feel heavy with your losses. Much can be learned from defeats, and i hope you grow more from this next one."

Her mouth shifted from a cringe to a smile "Yes, Vaatigam. I'll do my best." With her determination recovered, her gaze shifts to Closer.

"And Closer, i apologize for this scenario. I did not want the request i asked of you to become a show."

"It's fine." He replied "I wasn't doing my best anyway. They didn't deserve to watch it."

"Then i ask you again to train her, but this time with your full power. She won't fully grow if her opponent is not giving his best too. I hope your wooden sword won't trouble you with this."

"It won't matter much. The range is smaller, yet i have fought with broken lances before." He answered.

I turned my eyes again to Annette. "Do your best too, Annette. Don't hold back."

She nodded. Her focus disabled her speech for now.

I turned back several steps, and gave the signal to begin.

OOC - Soundtrack option:
 

"I will grow stronger, Vaatigam. Just you wait." she murmured those words, but my eyes allowed to read her lips. She was really determined this time.

Her hand gripped the wooded sword even tighter, before running foward. I thought she was going right into Closer's grasp, but then she give a quicker boost of speed, like an air jump. She caught him unaware for a second.

Her wooden swings attempted to strike her foe, but Closer dodged them. A quick blow from the right and an uppercut from the lower left were next, and he still couldn't manage to recover and counter. A third parried blow still gave no choice for Closer to slash back.

Annette's speed blazed foward. My eagle eyes allowed to follow the action, but her blows were still surprisingly fast.

Closer gave a quick jump backwards and started to respond as well. His sword swinging up and left, down and right, Annette simply managed to dodge with gracefull yet quick steps.

The 5th blow ended in a clash, the first of many. Side steps to the left, jumps to the right, small arcs above my head. Both fighters' blows met each other, striking sounds flying out of control. They were almost reading each other, predicting each and every move. They were dancing a dance of war. No wonder the soldiers were gazing with fierce cheering.

Annette found a laxxed second - a quicker blow evaded Closer's guard, but his backjump made it clang his armor instead.

"Ugh. You ..." she shut Closer's mouth by forcing him to parry another attack. I think my words reached her to excel comparing to the previous battles. Each blow was closer to bringing him down, her newfound resolve piercing his veteran armor little by little. Closer gave me a quick gaze while evading the blows: he found out their objective.

He made a surprisingly quick backjump. Annette stood her ground with surprise.

"Fine!" He shouted, as he made a strange stance.

Trouble were incoming: he decided to really get serious. He made a quick withdraw and then jumped in a speed that caught my eagle eyes flat-footed. Annette placed her sword in the front, and his blow would hit her if not for the quick sword move.

He started to gain speed and stopping for less time in each jump. Annette couldn't barely move while dodging him. Her sluggish turns were driving her mind slowly to confusion.

"Remember your scars!" I yelled. "Learn from your mistakes! DON'T FALTER!"

Annette's mind regained her focus, and met his foe in a jump as fast as he. Both swords roared in a swift clash. I saw surprise in Closer's eyes, but he quickly regained his calm mood.

"Not fast enough." He quickly said.

His movements were gaining speed faster than she could compete with. His swift jumps gave him back the upper hand, but Annette wouldn't give up. She was still able to read his movements and counter in amazing ways.

Suddenly, in a splint second, both swordsmen flashed out of my sight, and right back in again.

No way! My eagle eyes missed that? I didn't use them often, but i could follow quick movements. Were they faster than the cannon's sound?

They both stood motionless after a few seconds, but Annette falled to the ground shortly after. She was coughing small drops of blood from the blow to her chest. Closer turned to her, as i came in to assist her.

**End of Soundtrack**

"Your speed was excelent for your body, but your sword skills weren't able to land a pitifull hit."

Annette couldn't respond, still recovering from the blow. I slowly turned my head to meet his eyes, showing a neutral face.

"Check your forehead."

His hand swept the right part of the forehead. Closer's eyes changed when he saw the small red stain.

"I couldn't catch up the last strike, but i believe she did hit you."

"Indeed." He said "I guess she won the bet."

"What bet?" i asked "And from whom?"

Closer then handed me a summoning card, a card which allows Chosen to summon the hero pictured in the card. A young girl in a green plant-themed vest with 2 blond poneytails and wielding a longbow.

It was one of Closer's units:
 

"One of your units?" I asked. Why would he...

"I told her that her newfound friend was weak, but she insisted in a bet that would allow her to accompany you and Annette should she proved herself to me. In a small way, she did. I hope you treat her well should you summon her."

His eyes then turned to hers.

"Remember: if i had used a spear, you wouldn't even be able to reach me in the first place."

The truth didn't stung her as hard as i feared. She knew it was a practice, and one she wanted.

After getting checked, we both rode out of the castle, on our way to Silversong.


"And here i am, writting before going to bed, with Annette on the other side of the room, resting soundly. I think she's enjoying the journey with me."

"And i trully hope her improved skills makes us a succesfull duo once we reach the High Castle."
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:38 am

bump Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:16 am

A free bump? Thanks ^__^

21-10-2013: It's a trap!

Hi everyone, hope you're having fun.

As you know, i've returned yesterday from my camping trip. It was a rather intense experience dealing with the heavy rain and other chaotic events i'd rather avoid to talk, so i've gotten home pretty banged up. I don't know how i managed to do the previous entry: it was either do it or forget it, and i couldn't forget the story, not where it stands right now.

So for the rest of this week i'll be taking this with a pinch of patience. Thursday's exam won't be a walk in the park, so i need to prepare myself. I'll focus this week on recording the overall review of the Gathering event with headstart/final scores (headstart if possible) while preparing myself for the exam, leaving the next entry to Friday.

I apologize for having to leave the diary to a lesser priority. The camping trip was more of a trap than a special rest to me.


The Gathering - personal impression:
 

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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:46 am

25 - 10 - 2013: Tree of Life's first impressions.


Tree of Life's personal opinions:
 

Unrelated updates:
 



Local Fun


The High Castle was visible from all points of the rather large Silversong city. Its greyish white majesty, sorrounded by walls as beautifull as silver, gave away the reason of its city's name. Bards could sing songs just by looking at it.

My eyes turned back to the road, seeing several commoners resuming their daily life, traders announcing their goods to the bystanders, and children playing as knights with sticks. Annette was watching the children closely. She told me once she was one of the few girls who enjoyed fighting with wooden swords, as she wanted to be a knight like his kind and generous father was.

Speaking of which, i could see the Desert Rain inn at the far corner of the street. Silversong's weather was famous for its scarce raining, although not as much as in a desert. Normally an evening of rain during the Spring brings a bad omen, as all kings who died of old age within the High Castle slept forever during stormy nights. Hence our expression of something impossible: "As if the king could weather the storm."

"Is something troubling you, sir Vaatigam?" Asked Annette, who was riding by my side. Damn, i was  speaking my thoughts.

"Nothing, Annette. Just wondering how long has it been since i last visited the king's city."

"Was it since the Chosen Sword selected you?"

"No, no, that was long ago. I had to visit my father Jordan sometimes." Even though Jordan is my foster father, i couldn't treat him as such. He was the one who tended me starting from my twelfth anniversary. If not for him, my growth wouldn't be as higher as it was, and i would have never become a Chosen.

As we both went up the small staircase and opened the inn's door, we found something that was quite the rare sight...



OOC:
 



... a dwarf festival.

Table after table, the small humanoids were all gathered in a dozen of tables, having fun with toasts and loud jokes, a couple of sober ones at the instruments to provide the atmosphere. Their race has little interaction with humans, so watching a dwarven fest is something humans see only once if they're lucky enough.

And at the center of all the fun, i could see a veteran man, with half-grey, half-orange hair and shoulders filled with strong muscles, raising a tankard full of ale and chugging it down his throat like sweet honey. His brown eyes were full of drunken happines, and i could recognize them everywhere.

After all, my foster father never declines a free drink.

"VAATI! You came!" he said just as he notticed me. "And in the right time as well. Come, join us. I've missed your spirits."

"General Jordan?!?" Annette gasped. By her looks, i believe she never met the true Jordan. "What... what is the meaning of this? Why are you..."

"It's my day off, lass. I'm having a social meeting with our ally dwarves that coincides with their monthly drinking festival."

"It's alright, Annette." I soothed her with my left hand on her right shoulder "I need to greet my dad properly. You can always join us if you want."

"My room's at the third door to the right on the third floor if you mind us, dear, but carefull with the lady next door. He hisses like a boar."

The entire room laughed at my father's remark. Annette, with her chest pumped with disgust, went up the stairs until i lost sight of her.

As i joined the party, mugs quickly went on and off my hands as dad introduced me to all the friends he knew around the party. Funny enough that he also knew our keep's local smith, Dain. He greeted me with joy, to which i replied with a smile. Smile that was cleaned with Dain's sudden belch. My father laughed with that as he filled up his tankard again.

One of the things i'm half-proud of is that even when drinking a lot my mind stays aware of the events even while drunk. While it helped me out a lot while carrying Jordan back home in the earlier years (as well as fighting back against a few drunken bastards), it also didn't wash the most embarrasing moments.

After what it seemed like a couple of hours, i lifted up Jordan by his arm to take him to his room.

"Wat ya doin' , boy?" Asked one of the less sober dwarves.

"Taking him upstairs." A small burp interrupted my speech before i continued. "Need to update him on the private gossip, if you know what i mean."

"Shure ting, young. Just take care with his poor tummy. I think it's about to leak a whole lot. GWAHAHAHA!" The dwarves around the table joined him in the cackle.

"I'll take care then... "

I slowly took my father upstairs while the dwarves continued their beer onslaught. After going up the whole staircase, i walked with my dad by my side, barely able to walk. The door wasn't locked, and Annette was staring at the city from the window. The party sounds were deafened by the door closing behind us.


** End of Soundtrack **


"The sun's setting, Vatigam." remarked Annette "You could have stayed below for supper, you know."

I noticed the orange shine at the window. It brought my father's hair back to when he was younger: a striking orange.

Placing my dad on a chair nearby, i fell to the bead next to him, my back hitting the wall with drunken strenght.

"I didn't want to make him get drunker that normal. Tomorrow's the Gathering."

"True, son, i need to sober up a little. Thanks."

"Anytime."

We all watched the sun setting over the horizon, the street's life fading by the minute. It was a sweet silence, watching that which gives us life heading sleep below the ground.

"Son..." my father interrupted. "Have any news from Mel?"

"No, father... not yet. Still searching."

"I'm glad you're keeping up the search, son. Thank you."

"It's the least i can do."

"Mel?" Annette broke up the silence as well.

"Jordan's dautgher and my childhood friend. She's been missing since i was twelve." My reply was a bit sour, and my dad quickly resumed my explanation:

"She disappeared when Vaatigam's parents died. We never found her so far. And Vaati here is helping me search her while i can't leave the High Castle."

"Vaatigam, please." I remembered him.

"Yes. Vaatigam."

A small silence filled the room before he continued.

"Just as you two are about to help me find Luccia."

"Luccia?" I asked. "Was she the one responsible for what you mentioned in the letter?"

"She's involved in it. An Heroine that changed right after picking up the Chosen Sword...for the worst."

Once a year, a general or someone of high standarts can become a Chosen and be able to lead Heroes and perform other incredible feats. A Chosen Hero is a legend from the past: almost all Heroes became crazy after attempting to request acceptance from the Chosen Sword, becoming bloodthirsty and relentless in the end. Over two hundred years, only 4 Heroes made it into becoming Chosen, Jordan's brother included. Who, from which i heard, was killed in a mighty battle against the Black Dragon.

"The thing is that on the first time she touched the blade, her heart did not change into a murderous will. It only did in the second touch while the sword was being hold by holy acolytes. She butchered them all except one who was saved by myself. And when i was able to gather troops and detain her, she vanished within the castle's walls."

"Did she really murder the acolytes?" asked a shocked Annette.

"While she seemed possesed, i couldn't tell for certain. What matters now is that we must recover the Chosen Sword and bring Luccia back, either dead or alive. I'm hoping for the latter, but the king is growing restless and may ask for her execution."

"Do we have any proof of her true motives?" I had to stop the glooming path of our conversation.

"Her squire can talk, and we have kept her under closed observation. So far, only the king has spoken with her, and has ordered her room shut and without visits. I've met her in person before though: honest, yet shy."

I decided to conclude our conversation: "I believe we should eat our supper after a couple of hours and then go to sleep. A heavy day awaits us." Both Jordan and Annette nodded, and we went down the stairs to the now vacant dining room.

The roasted lamb was delicious with cabbage and potatoes, and Jordan asked a few things about the Stone Roses Keep. How we were going, the affairs of the local town. How Renald and Vicente were doing (as Jordan was one of those who wanted their heads on a pike) and about our latest success at the Battle of the Blue. A few murky questions came above as well, such as when i would either take Annette or Coral to my bed. I shouted to him about that, knowing that such actions were prohibitted, but the damage was done: Annette was blushed from head to toe, and gossip giggles were around the room. My dad ended the murmurs with a loud laugh, admiting the joke as such: a joke.

Annette rented a sole room with my pocket money and headed to it alone. Meanwhile, myself and Jordan slept in the two beds of his room.

As i tried to sleep, my mind now sober, i tried to remember. Remember what happened with my parents' death and why i couldn't remember it. I kept trying and trying, but it didn't went to the surface. I knew it was a longshot, but i had to ask my foster father.

"Father..."

"Yes, son?"

"I still can't remember."

"It's natural: beer makes men forget things, not remember."

"It's not that."

"I know, boy. But you have to remember yourself. Other than what i've told you, you have to remember from your own mind. What i saw could be different from what you saw at that day."

"Okay, father. Good night."

"Good night, Vaatigam."

We both turned to our sides. As Jordan began to snore, i had nobody but myself to ask: why can't i remember my childhood? Why can't i remember Mel? Why can't i remember my 12th birthday?


And the most worrying of all...





... why can't i remember how, or even why, my parents died?


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:17 pm

27-10-2013: Tree of Life uptades

Having guests around today, so i won't have enough time to place another story arc today. Friday it is!


Tree of Life personal findings:
 
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:00 am

28-10-2013: Tree of life Update


Tree of Life Lottery:
 
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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:09 am

31-10-2013: Halloween Update

Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you're enjoying your tricks and treats.

Today i have quite some free time, so i'll be doing the next story segment today instead of Friday. Also, i'll post my final opinions on the Elder Tree event and the Halloween Fiesta.



The High Castle


The market taunts have awoken me to a new day. Even within solid walls can one hear deals of big fish or fresh bread. As i look around, still within my sheets, i notice Jordan buckling an iron belt around his waist. He seemed like an entirely different man when donning his royal equipment.

"I'll check up on Annette and take her down for breakfast. Don't be late."

I yawned while nodding, as he quickly left the room. I've slowly stood up and took a peek outside while dressing up. Stands with cloth ceelings of various colors are once again showing their wares to the townsfolk, just like yesterday.

As i've went down the stairs to the dining room, the tables had fresh bread and cured meats along with fresh juice from the season's fruits. Annette was eating a piece of bread with several slices of meat within it, while Jordan was drinking a cup of fresh juice.

"Good morning, Annette, Jordan." I said as i took a seat at the table and began eating.

"Good morning, "sir" Vaatigam." replied Annette. She was in a foul mood from yesterday still? "I hope you have dreamed well with my naked self during the night." Jordan almost coughed his drink on the table with the remark.

"Don't bring the subject again. I was as shocked as you, remember?"

The three of us continued eating the rest of the meal, paying the innkeeper and thanking him for his hospitality in the end. Our horses were on the stable to the left of the junction where the inn was standing, delivered to us in prime condition for a few silver coins.

As we rode through the city, the High Castle was getting bigger and bigger as we closed in to the center of Silversong. The city streets gave way to a large road gap between the houses and the outer walls. The gates were closed, with a pair of pikemen standing guard.

We approached the men, and Jordan saluted them. "Please, let us pass, fellow comrades." One of the pikemen saluted with a gaze of trust, raising his right hand to signal the gates. They were opened fairly quickly, and we 3 rode in just as quick.

The inner walls were more beautifull with their shinning white, standing between squared parapets with small towers. I could see some archers at the top of the parapets, gazing beyond the walls while doing their duty.

The castle's main gates, made of clear blue iron, welcomed us as they opened to the inside. While leaving our steeds to the footmen guarding the entrance, we pressed on inside.

The interior had a shader white, but it could still reflect the sunlight that came from outside. Ever so often a pair of pillars appeared, giving a more fashioned look as Jordan guided me and Annette through the castle, showing us the feast room, the meeting room, the barracks and the empty prison.

Our lodgings were meek comparing to the High Castle's standards: the feast room was much bigger, with finer tables and amazing pieces of art placed in the walls; the meeting room almost had a library on a wall, while the table was made of fashioned iron, with a larger, more detailed chair, probably belonging to the King; the barracks had a much wider range of weapons and training gear. The prison was the only one which our Keep had better standards, as it had the better looks of a rat's nest. I could notice skeleton parts here and there, a presence filled with saddness, and most of the shackles were rusty and innapropriate - convicts could die due to deseases while being contained in these conditions.

We started climbing some stairs on course to the guest rooms. It is here that Jordan's speech started to change.

"Our witnesses are in one of the guest rooms. Whatever you do, be collected. The squire became much more agitated during these last days, and the acolyte is still recovering."

"Why is the squire near the acolyte?" I asked with surprise "If the squire would be an accomplice, he could poison our only witness."

"Don't worry, Vaatigam. She's of trust to me." She? The squire was a woman? "Besides, i was her mentor before she became a squire."

"Is she...?" Annette's eyes began glowing. She seems to have gained a sudden interest.

"You'll see soon enough." Jordan ended the conversation as we finished going up the staircase. He rushed to the second door on the left side of the corridor, awaiting for us. He knocked the door, shouting "I have returned, little one! And i've brought friends."

As he opened the door to us, we could see the room filled with a large bed, a pair of closets and a large round table. Annette's face began to grow with a fonding face: it seems that she recognized the young squire at the table, with short pink hair and a wine-colored vest. Her white shoulders seem to have unstiffen as she recognized Annette, and her green eyes followed that mood as well.

"Amina!", claimed Annette:
 

"Lady Annette!" Her eyes became filled with tears as she threw herself at Annete, both falling to the ground. I gasped at the sight, but then i looked at Annette: she wasn't unfazed with the jump; more than it, she was enjoying the large hug Amina was giving her between sobs.

"I missed you, Amina." She helped Amina getting up. "But what happened?"

"My Lady Luccia is being framed!" she explained "She would never do something like this. But the King has ordered her death. Lady Luccia hasn't done anything wrong!"

"Don't forget that your mistress has killed the acolytes, Amina." My father interrupted. "The acolytes were servants of the gods, so the kings has to take such measures to instill trust in the gods' favor."

"But she's innocent, mister Jordan! She embodies everything that is nice."

I raised my hands in a fast motion. Everyone stood silent in response to my quick action.

"Fault or no fault," i proclaimed, "we do not know for certain. For true justice, one must find the motives of the crime, and for such we must ask her directly what happened."

"That's correct." Said a voice from the bed. All of us were jumped by the anwser, said by a figure laying within the bed. The woman had dark skin and a teal hair, with purple striking eyes. She had the garments of a person in medical recovery.

"Forgive us, sister." Jordan was quick to react "We thought you were still recov..."

"It's okay, i was standing still, hearing the layout of your conversation. I feel fully healed." She raised her upper body, sitting on the bed. "The young Chosen General speaks the truth: we must find her first. She'll be able to explain what happened."

"How could you be sure?" asked Jordan.

"Her intentions weren't criminal when she approached the Chosen Sword's sanctuary while i was on my duty. She felt the maddness while she gripped the sword."

"But that's impossible. She had to be mad the minute she touched the Sword for the first time."

"Regardless of what you think, her soul did not lie. Yes, she had a stain in her soul from touching the Chosen Sword, but she did not gave in to maddness. I would have noticed as she entered the room, and the bloodshed wouldn't have happened if so."

"Then what do you suggest, Holy Acolyte?"

"Something's much more dire is in play, something that i can only trust to those outside the castle. I hope you would understand."

"To be honest, i do not accept your terms. Unless..."

"Unless..."

"...you take Vaatigam and Annette with you." Was the old man trusting me for the role? "They arrived today at the Castle, and are here solely for the Gathering. You can trust them."

"Well, if you say so, then i..."

A soldier opened the door behind us with a bang. "Apologizes for intruding, Sir Jordan, but i must report! Orkos has arrived and the Gathering will begin soon. Both you and your son, Sir Vaatigam, must make your way to the royal hall at once!"

"Understood, soldier. Report back." With those words, the soldier quickly vanished.

"Myself and Annette will find Luccia and bring her back peacefully, Jordan. Don't worry, we'll make it in time; just take Amina with you and present this new evidence."

"Well said, Vaati!", said Jordan to my bitter ears after hearing that nickname again, "I will take Amina and convince the King to drop the conviction. Don't take too much long, alright?"

"Alright. We will take the acolyte with us."

Jordan grasped Amina's hand and stormed out of the room. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAIII..." Her scream echoed through the corridor.

"Could you still sense her soul if we're nearby?" I asked the acolyte.

"Yes. Her soul was quite powerfull, finding her once we're nearby shouldn't be difficult."

"Good. Dress your holy raiments. I think i have an idea of where she might be."

"Really?" Annette couldn't hold her surprise. "How do you know we'll find her?"

"We'll talk once we're at the spot. Now let's hurry."

After the acolyte finished dressing up her divine garb, the 3 of us ran out of the room, closing the door on the way out with a bang.




Author's notes:
 


Tree of Life event - final thoughts:
 


Halloween Fiesta - personal feelings:
 


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:04 pm

Just wanted to say that I love reading this Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:24 am

01/11/2013 Update: Lottery's end

Hi everyone!

Friday has arrived, and saddly i didn't saw any entry for the Goddess Lottery. I was expecting a few, since we were talking about free goddesses, apart from that lore question i placed. Maybe i should advertised a bit more...

Oh well, i'll maybe make another one later on. Although the rates of me winning a 6* so far are quite thin Razz 

Regardless ... i'll place another story segment soon enough. Afterwards, i'll  update my Marketplace to place it in proper motion.





On the brink of despair


Remembering my foster father's tour, Annette, myself and the acolyte ran to the lower floors of the castle. I have chills about visiting that morbid place again, but the circumstances have neglected me such will.

We stopped at the entrance to catch our breath. The face from the soldier on duty seemed to question our sudden presence.

"I'm investigating a quick issue on the prison by order of General Jordan." I took a deep breath before continuing. "I hope you let us enter the prison for a while - i'm planning to report to the general at once once i'm done here."

"Are you sure, Sir Vaatigam?" He still remembered me when we came here with my father. "There are no convicts contained at the moment."

"I know that. Do not worry."

"If you say so, Lieutenant." The soldier replied, returning to his post.

"Pant, pant... but why would you return down here?" asked Annette, with her hands on her knees.

I regained my composure before continuing. "I believe that what we're looking for is right here. The soldier's statement further proves my possible theory." Annette and the acolyte have both understood my point: who would look for someone in an empty prison? A prison this damp and untreated could have a good hiding spot or two within.

"Annette, let's prepare ourselves." I placed my hand in front of her.

She took notice of my will to do the Vow. And her nod acknoledged that we should take measures before going in.

She placed her hand within mine, and i started the incantation:

"What yours is mine.."

"...both honor and might."

"We now share the power..."

"... to end the fight!"

Our spirits bursted with flashes of power. The soldier panicked upon upon our Vow.

"Lieutenant Vaatigam, is there any problem? Should i call for reinforcements?"

"Only when one of us storms out asking for help. Although i believe there will be no problems, i need to be prepared for any sign of trouble."

"I'll be on alert, sir!"

"Do it so, but remember: do not leave your post until we ask so. Understood?"

"Yes, sir!"

The three of us walked slowly into the prison. With each step the light from the entrance dimmed, and the veil of darkness, along with the constant presence of water drops, sorrounded us as we walked through the corridors. Since there were no present convicts, there was no need to light up the place, like Jordan told. And that could make a good hiding spot for a fugitive should she excell at concealing herself.

"Light us a torch, Annette." I asked her.

"No need, sir Vaatigam." quickly replied the acolyte.

Within her hands started glowing an azure fire, very bright and warm. And yet, as she gave a flame to each of us, i felt no burns while holding it. It exudes a tranquil feeling.

"Wow, thank you, er..."

Now that i turned to thank her gesture, the blue flames showed her holy splendor even better: her garb was white and black and had a teal line on the lower part; it made a nice combination with her dark skin and teal hair.

"Please, call me Mirabelle. I'm an Holy Acolyte at her majesty's service." She awnsered:
 

"I'm glad to have a second Heroine by my side." i replied back. "By the way, can you feel Luccia's presence?"

"As a matter of fact, i do. It's dim though, so we have to look for her."

"Good. Now, listen to me cerefully, the two of you." they leaned close to me. "Assuming what Mirabelle told at the bedroom, she could be traumatized on what happened, and therefore we don't know if she could retaliate to our presence. Should we find her, both of you must not attack or speak with her until i say that she's a lost cause. Please let me do the talking."

"Yes, Vaatigam." Both anwsered in unison

"As we search through the prison, should any of you find her, do not approach her. Simply grip my forearm hard with your spare hand, and guide us with the one holding the flame."

With the instructions given, we continued the search. The water drops and mice squeaks were getting common as we walked into the further corners of the jail. The blue flames guided our way through the empty cells, some in bad shape, others in ruins. It must have been fallen into complete disuse once the King made the High Castle his residence - storing prisioners of war could be dangerous for him.

Suddenly, Mirabelle grasped my elbow. She must be sensing Luccia's presence.

"Please, follow me."

She leaded the way into a small corridor, which had a cell in ruins at the end. I streched my guiding hand to illuminate the room, revealing a shadow in a corner. The shadow seems to have noticed us, but without much to conceal her presence. Has she given up on hiding? Or was she just awaiting someone that could find her?

"Please, Mirabelle, give me a second, bigger flame on my other hand."

Mirabelle conjured a second falme without anwsering, as i asked before.

I delved into the cell, going around the opposite wall, and lowered myself to the corner to the shadow's right. I looked at her with a calm face, waiting for any reaction. She was looking at me from the shadows, but she didn't replied. Instead, she was mildly shivering, probably due to the cold.

I left my sword in the stone corner and approached her on my knees until i was in the center of the room. She started to cling to her corner, but she was still silent.

I held my hand with the bigger flame towards her. "Here, takes this flame." I said, "It won't burn your hand, but it will keep you warm for a bit."

At first, she did not motion any anwser, so i stood waiting with my arm stretched towards her. After what seemed like a few minutes, she slowly stepped foward and reached to the flame on my hand. As she returned to her corner, i did the same, watching her face gaining life through the warmth and light of the azure flame. I could see some stains of tears on her cheeks, and her eyes were filled with what seems to be despair.

"I'm glad you're still alive." I wanted to show her that i meant no harm. "Tell me, have you been doing well?"

Her lips were struggling. She wanted to say something, but her doubts were detaining her. Finally, she won her fears.

"Barely."

"It's good to know. Amina was really worried about you." Her eyes slowly rose to meet mine. She was reacting to the wellfare of her squire, and i had to reply to her demand. "She's been safely protected by my father, even though the King wanted more of her. He safeguarded her well so far."

Her eyes almost started to loose tears. "Even after what i did? Why?"

"Because my father is carefull in avoing wrong judgements." Forgive if i'm lying, father. "He had a suspicion that you were innocent."

"Even after..."

"Yes, even after you grabbed the Chosen Sword the second time. Tell me, what could you tell me about that moment? You don't need to tell me if you wish to avoid it."

"No, i'll... i'll talk about it." Her speech started to gain strenght, as if she was starting to trust me. "But i can't remember much. I went to the Sword's sanctum, sorrounded by priests praying to the Gods. I had the permission to grasp the Chosen Sword again, to feel its wisdom, but then..."

"...your mind went blank."

"Exactly" Her confused eyes gained a hint of remorse. "And when i gained my senses, everyone around me was dead, their blood on my clothes. And General Jordan was sounding the alarm. And i ... i didn't knew what to do. I took some of the food offerings and ran till i couldn't be found, here below. I... i killed them."

"I think you didn't kill them."

"But..." My raising hand halted her speech.

"At least, not all of them."

Surprised eyes were staring at me.

"Listen to me, have you ever met that priest at the cell's entrance?"

She looked at Mirabelle for several seconds: "No, i don't.", she replied.

"She was the sole surviving acolyte that Jordan brought with her. The reason she survived was due to her strong magic senses regarding souls." She was gazing at Mirabelle, amazed that someone survived her rampage. "She told us that you had no evil intentions as you walked inside the sanctum. You only went on a rampage after holding the sword to marvel upon it, which meant that you had no murdering intent."

"Then... am i innocent?"

"I believe so, which brings my mind to an outcome that nobody within this castle can believe: that something befell upon the Chosen Sword, causing it to remove all reason from its bearer, and kill everything on sight. The Chosen Sword has a curse within."

The three girls gasped at my words. Even Mirabelle didn't saw that one coming.

"This curse must be powerfull enough, or at least well placed, to avoid detection so far. I can say that Mirabelle's survival has given us true sight of what's happened to all Heroes who went mad: something, or someone, is controling the curse."

"If you, Luccia, would had become mad at the first touch, nobody would suspect of its corruption. However, you were powerfull enough to resist the curse's first strike. Apparently, you felt it as part of the suffering we Chosen feel when Heroes hold the Chosen Sword for the first time."

"The second time, however, whoever placed the curse intensified it to the point of inducing bloodlusts. Which means that the slaughter of the acolytes was not your soul's doing."

Her despair seemed to wane from her face. Instead, anger was starting to flicker in her eyes.

"Tell me, do you have the Chosen Sword with you?" I asked her.

"Yes, i do."

"Place it in the center of the room and stay at the doorway of the cell. There's something i need to confirm."

As she stood up and placed the sword in the center, she asked while heading towards Mirabelle: "Why? What's on your mind?"

"A Hero would lose his reason to the curse of what many thought to be from the Sword." I said as i got up from the corner. "Since i'm not a Hero myself, unsheathing the sword wouldn't be a problem for me. But stay back, you might never know."

The 3 girls watched as i picked up the Chosen Sword. "It's been a long time, my dear." i murmured to the sword, "Don't fail me now. Be with me, as you were when you chose me.". I unsheathed the sword, awaiting for my mind to go blank.

It did not.

"And so my theory stands true." I said with an heavy sigh.

"Then we can prove she's innocent!" Annette claimed with joy.

"Not so fast, Annette." Mirabelle halted her spree. "The King and the nobles might not believe that the Sword is cursed yet."

"And to that," i replied "I'll counter with an idea. Luccia, take my sword."

As she took my sword form the stone corner and gaze upon it, i continued: "My sword is an exact replica of the Chosen Sword, bestowed by the King in secret, since i had a deep liking for its fashion when i first saw it." Everyone looked up to me in surprise. "And... it was to repay a favor from my father as well. Hehe..."

"Anyhow, i want you to hold my sword for now, Luccia. If the person would activate the curse, nothing would happen since i'm not a Hero."

"Then what do we do now, Chosen?" Her full attention was on me. Whatever despair she had was dispelled, and the air around her reeks with hunger for justice.

I decided to satisfy her: "We'll head to the Gathering and flush out the traitor!"

The 4 of us, with our hopes combined and the proof in my scabbard, began to journey through the prison back to the entrance. As we marched out, my mind brought out memories about all the years in which Heroes could have been Chosen were driven to madness by this curse. Chosen who could have done great deeds, only to be named madmen in the end.

It's time to bring justice. Justice for all of them.


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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:06 am

03 - 11 - 2013: Sunday update

Good morning, everyone.

Enjoying the treats from Halloween? Well, here's another treat from my part Wink


The Gathering (Part 1)

The prison's ward jumped when he saw our 4th member coming with us. It took every ounce of my diplomacy to ease his urgency to report to the whole castle that we've found Luccia while stating that i would carry her to the Gathering for judgement. Of course, when i meant judgement, while he thought it was for her, it would be rather for the one responsible for the sword's curse. After we calmed the soldier, i grabbed a pair of shackles and left the prison. Annete, Mirabelle and Luccia followed.

As we journeyed to the royal hall, i signalled the party to stop. I had to ensure we were just the 4 of us before discussing our plan.

As i turned to the girls, i could notice Luccia better than beneath the prison's shadows. Though a bit stained, the mail parts on her leather armor still had some clear white parts. Her chest was covered in a blue cloth, yet her brown hair was somewhat messy. Her red eyes, probably 20 years old, easily reflect her wish for justice.

As i explained the plan to them, i locked Luccia's hands within the shackles, to make sure the traitor wouldn't figure our plan right from the start. She was reluctant at first, but after explaining better, she decided to trust me.

"Your father protected my squire. You deserve this much trust."

"I know. I won't let you down, i promise."

I then took her by the chains, Annette and Mirabelle behind us. We arrived at the royal hall's entrance and asked the guards for passage.

"Identify yourselves." Said a voice behind the large red doors.

"I am Lieutenant Vaatigam, Chosen for 6 years. I came to join the Gathering, and tell his Majesty that i bring the Chosen Sword with me."

"You have found it?!?"

"Yes, soldier. I wish to speak with the King and my fellow Chosen about my findings. But i must report to them in person, without interference. Please ask your Highness about it."

"Very well." The voice went silent.

The 4 of us holded our breath, awaiting the King's anwser.

"His Majesty agrees to see your presence, but warns you to tread lightly."

"Thank you. Please open the doors."

The large obstacle in our front slowly gave way to the royal hall. There was a small corridor that was leading to the King's seat, two crowds of Heroes and soldiers showing us the way.

Before marching foward, i raised my right hand. "My Heroes, please join the crowd." Annette and Mirabelle quickly hid among the spectators as myself and Luccia went on ahead.

The crowd starting to murmur as we moved foward. After the small corridor, the room widened into a majestic display of marble pillars and a golden chandelier, greater than any other room i visited within the High Castle. The room had three distinct heights in a squared floor of blue and black.

The King, resting on the higher ground upon his royal throne, with his grey beard comforted by his golden cloak,  was awaiting us with curiosity. I took Luccia into the middle of the room, in the medium height of the hall. I could see the crowd up to our sides, Annette and Mirabelle close by, yet restricted to go the upper part where the king was, along with the 5 nobles to his left and right. I could see my foster father Jordan as the sixth presence alongside the King.

Just as i counted the 7th presence above, i noticed a final figure, high above them all: it seemed to be a man with short blond hair, but his royal blue armor and white wings releaved his divinity.

I remember him from the time i became a Chosen - he was Orkos, the Holy Shepherd:
 

Beneath me, i could see the High Castle's simbol: a triangle with circles on its points, each circle holding a picture of a sword plunged into the earth; within the triangle, a blue cross and another circle with a blue sun completed the symbol of the King's domain. To my sides, i could see other Chosen that were called to the Gathering. Some were among the most powerfull, such as xenotear of the North, while some knew me as an ally, like the 13th Xaldin.

I sighed with relief. At least part of the Gathering could support me.

I quickly turned my head foward, as his Majesty rose from his seat, ending the murmurs as he standed on his feet.

I kneeled before anwsering. Luccia followed me in my gesture.

"I offer you my salutations, your Highness, Rover the 4th."

"Greetings, Vaatigam. I welcome you to the Gathering. I am glad that you have finally joined us as the last member. Could you yet explain the reasons of your delay?"

"I shall, King Rover. I have found the Chosen Sword and its wielder, bringing them to your presence."

"We all see her, Vaatigam. I am glad that you had the skill and power to chain her, while my soldiers could not."

Some of the Chosen nodded with the king, while others remained silent. Luccia was feeling unconfortable with the atmosphere.

"If you allow me to disagree, sir..." i interrupted the light comotion "...she came of her own free will, stating that the slaughter was not of her doing. Although there were holy casulties, I believe that a pardon is possible."

The commotion even got wilder. Even the nobles joined the discussion.

"Is it wise to forgive such a massacre?" One noble in green asked.

"NO! She is an Heroine, maddened by the Chosen Sword's denial!" Said another in red.

"Your highness! Vaatigam must have some reason for this. Please listen to him." Jjaine, of the Chosen assembled, was vouching for us.

"She must be executed at once. AT ONCE!" The only noblewoman, in yellow garbs, was also against Luccia.

I notticed the king growing restless with the chaos.

"ORDER!"

Instant silence reigned the royal hall.


"Duke Tengiss, Lady Averi, hold your tongues, for you did not have any proof of such. You should follow Count Ianov's example and avoid wrong conclusions." He turned his brown eyes to me once again. "How do you believe that she is indeed not guilty of her actions, Chosen Vaatigam?"

"Because i have witnessed her passive demeanor, your Majesty. I have a way to determine whenever she has trully maddened or not."

"Very well. Show it to us."

"General Jordan," i asked. "please stay close to the King."

As my father approached his Majesty, i slowly released Luccia from her shackles within the ground's symbol, which caused a gasp among the crowd. As she massaged her wrists, i took several steps back and unsheathed my sword.

" I have been blessed in secret by your Highness with a forged replica of the Chosen Sword. As such it can withstand the original's blows to a degree." even more gasps followed my statement." However..."

I pointed the true Chosen Sword to Luccia.

"You won't use the Chosen Sword to attack me, Luccia, but only to defend. You must parry all my attacks while not leaving the High Castle's symbol beneath your feet, not doing any offensive actions other than push me back as a defensive move."

I gave a few moments of silence for the crowd and the King to understand my trial.

"Should you attack me more than thrice, either by accident or by your own senses, it will mean that you are indeed insane, and you will be killed here on the spot. If you manage to defend my blows for ten minutes, counted by Orkos himself..." i turned myself to Orkos, "...if your Holyness has the wish to participate..." He nodded in agreement, and i turned back to Luccia, "...you will be deemed free of madness and able to become Chosen by the King if his Highness so desires." The crowd seems to follow my plan, and apparently seems to agree.

"Finally, should you die in this trial..." I turned to the King and kneeled, "...i ask your Royalship to give Lady Luccia a proper burial, not as a maddened soul, but as an Heroine who died for our kingdom."

The King pondered, and finally gave his anwser: "Giving her life in this fashion does prove she fought for the kingdom. I will allow a fair burial should you perish, Lady Luccia. It is the least the kingdom can do for you in this situation."

Luccia bowed to the King. "I thank you, your fair Highness, for your compassion and justice."

She took a defensive stance while unsheathing my replica. "I'm ready!"

"Feel free to question her while you count the time, Orkos. To be sure of her true alliegiance."

I awaited Orkos' words to start the trial... "Begin!"

I started with a quick blow towards her neck, blow that she parried harshly. Before approaching the royal hall, I told her that i wouldn't go easy on her, and she forgave me in advance should i kill her in the end.

Wielding the Chosen Sword did gave me a boost in power, but not any that seemed cursed. In fact, i can still control my actions, and i gave my all in my attacks.

The crowd stared without blinking during one single strike. Some asked if she would go insane, others if i would kill her in the end. None of that mattered to me. My concern was to strike her over and over until the trial is over.

As my flurry of blows continued, Orkos questioned Luccia what he had asked during my Chosen ritual:

"The Sword questions, where rests your heart?"

As she pushed me during a blow, she replied: "Within the trust of my King!"

I made a quick thrust. She dodged, although she almost left the trial area.

"The Sword questions, what do you truly fear?"

She awnsered while parrying a blow from the left: " To lose the kingdom. The allies. The friends. Of whom i belong to, with all my heart."

She pushed me again, but with far more power. I replied in kind.

"The Sword questions, what gives you joy?"

She made a quick jump to the side towards the center of the stage. Her anwser felt very personal: "My duty. My village. My squire."

I could hear a small weep from the crowd. I could see Amina's tearing eyes among the spectators.

I gave Luccia a few more seconds before continuing my assault. If my memory is correct, we're at half the time. I decided to imbue my sword with an incantation to make everyone sure i wasn't joking around.

"True Blade!" i murmured. The sword gave a blue hue as the spell increased the power behind my blows.

As i jumped foward to clash her stance, i took notice of something while attacking her. She was wearing a replica of the Chosen Sword, while i had the original, now imbued with my own Inner Power. She was defending against a very powerfull opponent, while controling her own emotions from the questions.

She must be one powerfull Heroine to stand like this so far.

I continued, my strikes now harder than before.

"The Sword questions, what makes you despair?"

"The loss of everything!" She repliedd while pushing me harder. I felt surprise. How much is she holding back?

As i continued, it seems to have passed 8 minutes.

"The Sword welcomes all, but do you have the wisdom of the Chosen?"

"I do not." She admitted while dodging another blow. "But it is my wish to be as wise as those who gave their lives for the Sword and the Kingdom."

She started to give in to her feelings. I could feel her tears swelling inside her eyes. I could feel the crowd growing up on her. The King was gazing with good intent, yet some nobles showed unrest in her.

I turned my will away from them as i gave her the most powerfull blow i could give. As she parried while being pushed, Orkos finally asked:

"The Sword questions,..."

As she pushed me away with a heavy hand that made me lose balance and roll backwards, standing at the other side of the border of the trial, Orkos finished:

"...do you repent?"

Her eyes gave up: a single, heavy tear escaped from her right eye. The King noticed this with his mouth slightly open, and Jordan seems to contain his own.

Luccia fell on one knee, and after a few seconds, she anwsered, with her left eye dropping tears as well...

"Yes... *sniff* ... i do. I trully do..."

The crowd felt her anwser. She held up for all this time, roughly 9 minutes, and the King seems to understand that she had no fault - he has finally gained trust on her.

As i stood up to end the trial, i finally felt it...

...the madness.

OOC:
 

A rush of fire seemed to burn from the sword to my mind, as fast as lightning. I tried to fight it, but my mind couldn't hold it, my breath going harder and harder. My spare hand tried to shrug off the pain with blows to the head. My eyes began going blank, my voice unstoppable. I roared and roared as i tried to maintain control, but the instincts were growing greater instead.

I could only think but one thing: "Blood... blood, blood.... BLOOD!"

I could slightly feel my body throwing itself at Luccia. I didn't felt the blood i was carving, only useless echoes of "controlling myself". I could scarcely hear the screams of the crowd, Heroes and soldiers of both genders confused.

I couldn't see the King. Only his troubled voice and the one of my father, snuffed among the convulstions.

A corner of my eye saw Annette and Mirabelle rushing to the throne, but i couldn't care more. My mind was carving for bloodshed, the blood of anyone. Even the girl i tried to protect, both her life and honor. Now, i seek only her blood on my face, on my lips.

I couldn't control my body and mind, yet my eyes saw azure flames, followed by yells of treason. Flashes of light came back and forth, and more yelling. More cursing. Talks about grips and true forms. It did not matter to me either. I seek only blood - i yearn for my sword to glow red with the bloodshed of the ones around me.

As i stroke and stroke without rest, i could see Luccia's eyes: both were burning with anger. And yet she was not striking back. I could feel the power, the fire, burning within her soul, but she does not strike me down with it. Are you having pity of me? Do you wish to die by my crazy hand?

My blade crossed hers again, and again, and again, and again. My rage imbued into every blow, my scent seeking the smell of fresh cut meat. And yet i miss every attempt. Only feeling the slices of wind made by my sword. Why don't you bleed, damn girl? Why? WHY? I want your blood on my sword. I want your blood! YOUR BLOOD!

My sudden urges were interrupted by what seemed a vortex of magic. A quick explosion erupted from behind me, and i could feel my body flying towards a nearby pillar. We clashed with intense pain. As i met the ground, i felt the sword slowly leaving my grasp. My urges began to shrink, and my conscience began to take over.


***** End of Soundtrack *****


I feel... pain. A lot of it, in fact. I had a suspicion that the curse would be activated during Luccia's trial, but i thought it only affected Heroes. Why did it affect me?

As i try to get up, i felt bruises over my body. I noticed the pillar by my side, which means that i somehow left the trial arena. What the heck happened?

I started to feel a warmth behind me. I turned to see Mirabelle's hands with a blue glow over my back. She was healing me.

"What... what happened?" I asked.

She replied with another question: "Can you still fight?"

"I... " I sucesfully managed to get up on my feet, although holding against the pillar. "I think i can."

"Good. Take a look around you." She said.

I looked to my sorroundings, now that i've a better hold of my senses - screams of war and the confusion of battle. I couldn't believe it, but the portals i saw at where out trial was confirmed everything...


...monsters were invading High Castle:
 

"Please stand by my side, Mirabelle. I'll try to summon a few Heroes, but i'm not sure if i'm capable."

"Don't worry. I'm with you." She replied.

I tried to reach my personal pouch. Luckly it wasn't damaged while i was out of control.

I've checked the 3 random cards that i've draw from it:
 

"Theodora... i hope she's still not mad at me."

I've focused my mind into the cards. They reacted to my call.

"Right. Time to join the fray!"

I took a deep breath, then called my Heroes:

"Heroes bound by honor, friendship and fate. I ask for your aid! COME AT ONCE!"

As i threw the cards to the floor, their images bursted in sparks of magic, summoning the three Heroes in front of me. Vicente was holding a grey flame in his hand, while Apsara had three strange arrows ready on her bow. Theodora was grinning, holding one of her swords above her purple feather coat.

"I hope this battle entertains me, Chosen. I'm in a good mood today."

"Vicente, see if you can prepare a detonation strong enough to disrupt the portals. Apsara, Theodora, both of you, please assist Vicente!"

OOC:
 

"I don't need any help. Hmmph!" She scoffed us as she sprinted into battle.

"Eh, wait for me!" Apsara followed Theodora from a distance.

"I'll do my best, but don't expect miracles." Added Vicente as he vanished within his invisible cloak.

Theodora moved as her cloak flayed the air. Her two swords danced with her body as she sliced blood lizard after blood lizard. The fiends tried to gain the upper hand, but her agility proved the best, outmanoeuvring and killing the beasts with cruel intent.

"Feed me with your agony."

She had a horrid way of fighting, but it was really effective. The ravenous bears responded to her actions, but Vicente had taken a tactical advantage on upper ground.

"Flame of Deceit!"

His hands fired a blue fireball which struck one of the bears, exploding to inflict serious burns on the bear's comrades. The group was exterminated by his well-placed attack.

"Good, now to..."

A bat screech baffled Vicente from behind. As it approached him, something struck the bat at his back: an arrow.

"I've got your back!" claimed Apsara. As she pulled the bow, three arrows gained form from her hand. She aimed at three bats flying over Theodora.

"Nature's Choice!"

She loosed the bow, firing all three arrows with deadly accuracy, and the bats fell to the ground. She noticed red flowers blooming from their bodies.

"They're under a bloodlust curse! Their attacks are fierce, but innacurate. Play with your feet, everyone." Apsara could read the enemies she strikes through the blooming flowers. Knowing the information, Theodora strapped her cloak better to her chest.

"Works for me." She started running faster, cleaving scorpions and bears as she ran. The scorpions could endure the hits, but the blows made them sluggish - perfect to be taken down by the common soldiers.

Vicente took the new confusion to cloak himself once again. I could see him bypassing various skirmishes unharmed as he reached the portals. He transmitted his thoughts to the three of us through telepathy:

"I'm about to prepare the runes. Cover me."

Apsara quickly responded: "There's too many bats on the sky to hold off the ground monsters. Theodora, help, please!"

"You're such a useless girl..." Said Theodora as she parried a scorpion's assault on Vicente, piercing its eyes afterwards.

As Vicente started to draw an expandable circle, a group of 4 scorpions approached the two Heroes.

"Theodora, to your left." I took chance of the telepathic link to warn her.

"Grr, i missed those." She quickly turned to them, with both swords ready, glowing a black hue.

"Shadow Strike."

She melded with her own shadows, rushing beneath the scorpions. I could see the swords piercing the beasts from the shadows, one at a time. She emerged from the shadows on the other side.

As other scorpions started to assault her, she didn't noticed the Lycanthrope emerging from the portal closest to Vicente. I had to do something. I decided to do a fast spell, shaping a ball within my hands.

"Magna..." the magic flowed from my hands, forming the very ball i was shaping. I quickly threw it at the beast. "...Sphere!"

The orb was shot from my hands, approaching Vicente and the monster.

"It's done!" claimed Vicente, whose face turned from accomplishment to fear as he noticed the werewolf raising his claw at him. And from fear to surprise it went as my ball took the beast by surprise, dragging it to a pillar. The sphere exploded and destroyed the pillar, along with the upper part of the beast's body.

Vicente then turned to me. "Do it, NOW!" I ordered. He then gave a quick number of jumps backward, and raised his hands towards the magic runes.

"MASKED BLAST!"

The runes expanded to reach the 4 portals, and their explosion ripped them to shreds. No more monster flowed into the royal hall, and the local troops were able to dispatch the rest of the enemy army.

***** End of Soundtrack *****


I sighed with relief. But Annette came close to me, everything but relieved.

"Where have you been, Annette?" I asked while recovering from the battle.

"I had to be absent, Vaatigam." Annette's face had troubles written all over her face. Luccia joined us, her armor filled with blood splatters, and continued for her. "The King was almost abducted by the traitors, but General Jordan pushed him and was teleported instead. The traitors then vanished without Annette being able to catch them. Your father's missing, Vaatigam!"

I wasn't expecting this. My plan went exactly as planned, until the part i would lose control over myself. I thought the curse would only affect Heroes, but i should have taken into account that it could also control normal humans. And now, because of my misjudgement, my father's in danger...

... and now the pains from the bloodlust return. It just couldn't get any worse!



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PostSubject: Re: <*Vaatigam's diary*> - CLOSED at March 27th 2015   Today at 3:02 pm

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