Part II: The Challenges

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    crazycreator
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:15 pm

    ((Okay, now I can appreciate what's happening much better lol, thank you.))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:24 pm

    ((No problem! Want to continue your story??? Very Happy))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:52 pm

    Vythica was completely and totally lost. Everything looked the same within the Labyrinth: large stone walls that seemed to reach upwards forever. The darkness seemed to stretch on endlessly as well. She stopped in her tracks and took a deep breath. Within her mind, she tried to retrace her steps. She was doing surprisingly well at remembering until she got down to the last fork she had passed. Had she turned left or right? How long ago was it that she even went by that fork? She couldn't remember. How long ago had she separated from the others? She couldn't recall. It seemed so long ago.

    "Guess we'll just have to keep going forward!" Vythica said aloud to herself, trying to raise her spirits. She took a few steps and paused again. There was a rush of air, as if someone had opened a window and let in the draft. Vythica shrugged it off and continued on her way.

    Soon she found herself in the center of a large, rectangular room. There were four tunnels surrounding the open area. But, at the center-most point of the room was a small, square opening just big enough for a person to slip through. Carefully, Vythica tip-toed over to the opening and knelt down beside it, noticing that there was a ladder leading downwards. "I wonder where this leads..." She dangled her legs over the edge of the opening and stepped down onto the first rung of the rickety ladder.

    "If I were to hide something important, I'd put it down here." Vythica was trying to encourage herself, and failing at it. Her limbs shook as she began to climb down the ladder. With each step, the ladder groaned under her weight. Even in the darkness, Vythica could see the rot and decay in the wood. She leaned back and looked down into the tunnel beneath her. It was pitch black and fathomless. She did not want to fall.

    Vythica stopped and looked back up. There was only a tiny dot of light from the opening. She was too far down to go back. She stepped down off of the ladder and onto solid ground. Again, she felt a gust of wind on the back of her neck, only this time it was stronger. Her skin broke out into goose bumps. She cursed to herself. She could sense in the darkness that she was not alone.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:59 pm

    ((okay, I'm posting. Might be a long one))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:15 pm

    ((Good! I'll continue mine soon, I wanna get some of my Writing Club story done too...))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:12 pm

    Andrei rose to his full height, but kept his back to her. Calantha's fingers twitched at her side; she wanted to turn him around herself, so she could see his face, see if it was as ugly as a betrayer's should be.

    Gritting her teeth, she tried to recover some dignity. "Yes, I am faring well. No thanks to you." Her hiss multiplied in the cavernous room, until it sounded like a thousand snakes all around them.

    "Anger does not suit you, Calina." By the shape of his cheek, she could tell he was smiling. "Calina." The word sounded saccharine in his mouth, like a wilted flower. "Perhaps I should not call you so anymore."

    "How did you get here?" Calantha demanded, unnerved. Her stomach was roiling, something terrible was about to happen. She felt like she was falling, waiting to hit ground.

    "I sifted. You should know that. I was always the best." Calantha didn't respond.

    "Then why are you here?" she inquired, and at last he turned to face her. She drank in his familiar features for an instant, then looked away, trying to contain a violent urge to charge at him with some kind of lethal intent. Who knows. She didn't examine the impulse too closely.

    "I need to tell you something, Calina. You will not like it."

    "Then why tell me?" Her voice was a whisper, leeched of all anger, any emotion even. She had a nagging sense that here was her chance for justice, to kill him. She argued with herself that she did not have the Akribis, and a simple death would not be justice enough for him. And even then, she balked from the thought of him dead in her arms.

    "On the night before Tatiana became queen, and the aristocrat Tomas was murdered, your sister was under the eye of sympathy; her sister an assassin." He held up a finger to quiet her protests. "I know you did not do it. With no other competitor, Tatiana easily assumed the throne. With that power, it was quite easy to return the Akribis to the temple discreetly. Yes," he said, seeing her expression. "It was she who originally removed it. Well, it was your father. You were more charismatic than your sister perhaps, once upon a time, but you were more of a risk than Tatiana; your father felt she would succeed in ruling the Seelie, and that you would fail miserably. So he stole the Akribis and framed you for the death of that aristocrat, killing two birds with one stone."

    Calantha let the camouflage glamour fade, and looked up at Andrei with tri-colored eyes.

    "What else?" Her voice shook. "There's another thing." She was remembering that night, how Andrei had whispered the rendezvous spot, and she had barely contained herself through the masked ball they held before all coronations until she rushed to meet him there. How there had been a rusty smell in the room, and in the bed lay Tomas, a dagger hilt-deep in his chest. His face was tormented. She'd removed the dagger, out of respect for the dead, and Andrei had walked in almost with too perfect timing, eyes wide as he took in with splendid acting skills the incriminating scene. How he'd taken the dagger, and his eyes had shown true cruelty as he slashed her face from temple to neck.

    Now, Andrei's blue-green eyes glittered with pity, which was worse than contempt or triumph, because it was so belittling.

    "You were so easy to trap. Especially once you returned from the...abyss, changed." Another image flashed through Calantha's mind--how she'd been so utterly enraged that Andrei had betrayed her that she'd stained her hands with Tomas' blood and painted her name across the walls of the bedroom. Not as an admittance of guilt. But as a promise that she would bring justice to those that had betrayed her trust and love. Two things she no longer possessed.

    "Has it been that, then?" Andrei asked, reading the emotion behind her eyes. "Vengeance keeps you going? No, I do not think so. You have always been good at hiding from the hard truths. Why did you not kill me that night? Perhaps because you do truly still love me. But I my dear, do not love you. Let me extinguish that hope." Andrei's smile was like the sun. "I have always loved Tatiana. Everything I have done I have done for her. Pretending to love you was trite and oppressive. So glad was I to be rid of you. Who could love you? Such a thing, with such eyes, and so much hurt?"

    "Andrei." Calantha didn't recognize her own voice. "Please stop. That is not true. You know it is not. Remember the solstice, the ring? Take your words back. They are lies."

    "You know they are not, Calina..." Andrei's voice was ghosting away.

    "Don't call me that!" she screamed; the endearment was at odds with his words, like a jagged saw. She tried to go on, but her words were garbled, not even she knew what she was trying to say. She found herself on her knees, strange mist in her eyes. She wiped it away, sobbing indignantly to see tears. Impossible.

    "I am sorry, truly, that you had to suffer so much. But it was worth it. My love for Tatiana has no bounds. We will be united this eve, and I will ascend as King at her left hand."

    "Liar," Calantha gasped.

    "Why do you think she ordered the eradication of all Unseelie? You are now an Unseelie. If some of our court heard your words, they might see their truth. We cannot risk you disrupting our plans. We have won, and you have lost. You have nothing. Not even goodness, anymore."

    Calantha curled in on herself, and tried not to fall apart. But she felt like a part of her had been pulverized, some appendage she hadn't known was there, something vital and important now shattered into pieces.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:57 pm

    Vythica closed her eyes and breathed out slowly. She had to keep her head cool; panicking wouldn't help her at all. Slowly she turned and faced the darkness. "Who's there?" She called out.

    "Well, isn't this interesting? I wasn't expecting this." A voice echoed throughout the darkness. Vythica shivered; she wasn't sure which direction the voice was coming from. "Were you expecting this, Anterran?"

    There was no other voice.

    "What are you talking about?" There was an angry edge to her voice. Her fear clouded her mind, made her reckless. She didn't know why, but for some reason she automatically hated the person speaking to her, whoever he was. It was as if she knew him somehow...she just couldn't remember when.

    The voice sighed. "Well, apparently I'm your worst fear. I was hoping you would just experience some illusion, but I guess that just won't do. I knew I should've had her reword her wish..."

    Vythica clenched her hands into fists. "I have no idea who you are! And I have no idea what you're talking about!"

    "Then allow me to shed some light on this mystery." There was a scraping sound and a shower of sparks illuminated the small cavern for a fraction of a second, and then a ball of fire sat on top of a large torch. "Remember me?" Copper eyes shone as the light fell on them.

    Vythica felt sick. She remembered those eyes too well. "You're the one..."

    "Yes I am." He gave her a smile. "I'm glad you recognize me since I'm afraid I don't quite remember who you are."

    Anger bubbled up from within Vythica. "You killed him." Her eyes felt more moist than they usually were. "You were the man who killed Octavian and the others! It was your men who attacked us on our wedding day!"

    Raine chuckled. "Now I remember!" He placed his torch in a crevice in the wall. "That's where I got this." He held his hand out in front of him. A silver ring glittered on his finger. "It doesn't quite fit; it's a bit too small for me."

    Vythica wiped her eyes before her tears had a chance to fall. It was Octavian's wedding band. It was the wedding band that he never had the chance to wear. And now it rested on the hand of his murderer. Vythica's hand moved to the dagger at her belt and she grasped the hilt. She wouldn't need to go on with the quest. She could have her revenge right then and there and could go home.

    "Take it off." She ordered. Her voice was darker than the cavern had originally been. "Take it off or I'll cut it off of you!" She drew her dagger. "How dare you wear his ring!" She charged, dagger aimed right towards him. She could taste the bitter tang of revenge on the tip of her tongue. Just a little farther...
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:58 pm

    ((dun dun dunnn...and so the plot thickens =P))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:39 pm

    Evynne sang quietly to herself as she moved through the darkness of the labyrinth. The flat verses were rather simple, but they were in a minor key that gave the song a haunted melody.

    With her hands held out in front of her, she moved along slowly, cringing every other step, as if she were about to run smack into the stone walls. Eventually, dim light filtered in, and the passage expanded until she found herself in a decrepit, musty cavern, with stalagmites and stalactites that were a colorless gray.

    Evynne whispered the last words of the song like a supplication, Through the mouth of the six-eyed beast, the dancing man will go, to the tune of the gallows song, he'll put on one last show...

    A rusty groan and the clink of iron echoed from all around. Evynne felt fear shiver up her bones until she was shaking so hard she could hardly see straight.

    Her feet moved of their own accord, until she rounded the sharp knife of a stalagmite and saw the crumbled woman at its base. Her black hair was matted, and bruises and lacerations covered every inch of her battered body.

    Me? Evynne thought, before she melted into the woman's skin.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  emeraldeyes on Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:31 pm

    Almost there...Vythica swung her arm back with all of her might, determined to finish the man who destroyed the person she truly loved. Raine stood still, a stoic expression on his face. Vythica nearly laughed; it was too easy.

    But just as she was about to bring the dagger down and exact justice, Raine moved to the side faster than Vythica could blink. For a second, all was still, as if everything in the universe suddenly froze. Then the world came crashing down. Momentum brought Vythica to the ground with a thud.

    Vythica gasped and scurried back to her feet and faced her enemy. Raine chuckled. "Is that it?" He said. Raine's shoulders slumped in a relaxed way. "Once again I got myself all worried for nothing. I should have this settled in a few moments." Vythica then realized the copper-eyed Unseelie was not speaking to her.

    She glanced around the area, searching for the person he was talking to, but could find no one. It was just the two of them.

    "Let's get this over with, shall we?" Raine said. This time he directed his words at Vythica. "The Akribis isn't going to find itself."

    Vythica brushed off her skirt. "Right. I guess I'll just have to hurry up and kill you already."

    There was a dangerous glint in his eye. "You kill me?" He laughed. "And they say I'm insane."
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:28 pm

    Calantha lay immobilized for some time, unaware of anything at all. The walls of the cavern did not exist to her, she seemed to be floating in some blurry void, her thoughts coagulating in a mess of raw emotion.

    Emotion, how strange. She had thought she'd lost the ability to feel that night, tortured beyond sense or sanity in that hellish undeserved purgatory. But no, she'd merely wrapped a cloak of ire around her true feelings, the battered remnants of a heart.

    What heart? Air rattled down her throat, no inflection, not possibly a laugh, but what else?

    Finally, she found herself. Her limbs were splayed across the hard ground, cold, aching. The hollow in her chest was heavy, icy, tight as a fist and dense as stone. Not even her anger was left to protect her.

    Sitting up, Calantha arranged her hair on top of her head with steady fingers. Clutching the handle of her scimitar, she rose, joints creaking.

    Andrei was mostly right, that she had nothing anymore, not even goodness. But it didn't have to be that way. The Akribis was more than something. It was everything, now. And she would find it, not because she wanted to, but because it was the only thing left to do. With a mechanical frown, she drifted out of the cave and continued her search.

    ----------------------------------------------

    Between blinks, the rock floor melted into maple boards and the walls rearranged themselves with some groaning and grinding into neat stonework. Evynne's hands were moving, long nails carving lines into the wood floor. Tally marks. Marking what? Marking time. Time was so hard to keep track of.

    "Liana!" a vicious voice reprimanded, and Evynne felt a fist collide with her cheek.

    Her head snapping back, Evynne collapsed with a hollow thump, shaking uncontrollably.

    "What did I tell you about ruining my floors? You no good Seer. I should have killed you with the rest of them. Pity. I thought you might actually be of some use."

    Liana/Evynne glanced up into the bleak eyes of her Unseelie master and grimaced. A scathing remark rose to her lips, but she swallowed it with disgust.

    "Forgive me, master."

    ((So, I was thinking of having this scene, in which Evynne's mother (Liana) is killed, also involve Seth somehow. He can be a visitor or something? But up to you Mike. Also, thought it was fitting to transmogrify Calantha a bit.))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:18 pm

    ((I'm on my phone so I can't write much, but I really wanna start this back up, and YES Seth needs to be involved. Perhaps in a relationship w the person imprisoning Evynne's mom (only using her of course) so he'd like take her senses/eat her? Not necesarily the way it has to happen, I'm sure there are better ways, just wanted to pitch an idea.))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:19 pm

    ((Just to let you know, this is in Evynne's storyline at the moment, Lizzie and my combined ideas of how he ties into her past.))
    "Pity, pity," Seth said, stepping out of the shadows towards the seer. "But darling, I did tell you that even the most graced of the land couldn't find a cure, nevermind this wretch. She can't even keep track of time without nearly ripping off her nails! And, I thought you liked me like this?" He gestured to black, sandlike particles floating around his dark form. "But..." he stepped toward the small figure in the corner, laying his forefinger on the top of her head, "This one may have some reputable skill, in time." He waltzed back to the larger one, saw the colorful flavors emanating from her spirit. The only true pity in this situation was that she was dwindling, and he'd have to take his meal soon, before nature got to her. And that he was forced to show emotion for the imbecile who managed to trap her. He knelt by the Seer as she lay, brushing her hair back with a delicate, stone cold hand. "Surely you of all people know by now that the truest of power is driven by the truest of emotions? No matter how skilled you may be, I think you may find yourself performing better with something at stake, no?" Caressing her chin in one hand and putting the other under the crook of her arm, he gently helped her to her feet. "Now, can you See anything?" he smiled and asked compassionately, sweetly.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:37 pm

    Evynne, watching through her mother's eyes, saw herself and stared. She was small, barely into adolescence. Her dark hair was short, almost boyish, and her white eyes were less milky and more bluish gray than she'd observed in the mirror.

    As the man lifted her to her feet, she trembled under the weight of his eerie gaze. Paradoxically, parts of him seemed solid, substantial, but around the edges, when she glanced at him out of her peripherals, he seemed to dissolve, become shadowed. In her mind's eye, well, in Liana's (whose power was significantly less), he appeared in two forms: sedentary, rock-like, and waifish, smoky, like dust caught in a breeze.

    Responding to his saccharine words, she murmured in a throaty voice, not her own:

    "I See many grains, many grains of sand, a sea of shifting dunes. The sky will be reflected in salt before you can leave footsteps again. My own..." catching herself, Liana glanced nervously at Evynne, frozen in the corner, and hastily continued, "Upon knowledge gained through blood, you will lead others to freedom before you find your own. The remedy you seek lies in destruction and creation. Before you are remade you must fall. You must be lost to be found. But it can not be."


    ((So... I tried to make that really vague and all, sounding kinda hokey, like an old batty psychic I guess.))
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:02 pm

    "See?" Seth said to the other woman, brusquely removing his hand from the Seer's chin. "Grains in the future, and a remedy that 'cannot be,'" he stated, mocking the Seer's tone near the end. "And from her not quite subtle hints, she almost seemed as if she wished me to free her daughter," he chuckled, eying the Seer. Tilting his head slightly as his smirk slid into place, he returned to the Seer. "Now, one should be more careful with their diction, dearie, as 'free' can take on so many meanings. For instance, quite soon you shall be free," he said, smiling pleasantly with the last statement.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:03 pm

    "No, please, not my daughter. Leave her be," the words flew past Liana's lips, more habitual than breath or thought or Seeing. Evynne noted the visions swimming through her mother's mind with shock. Though she was not a powerful Seer, Liana had known as fact that Evynne and this man would meet again.

    Evynne realized suddenly, like a douse of icy water, that this man was the same ethereal being that traveled with them in the present day. With mounting horror, she watched as he drifted, half-substantial, toward her mother with a jarring and nauseating aura of violence.
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    Re: Part II: The Challenges

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:20 pm

    "Come now, there are some lines even I wouldn't cross. Perhaps if there was something more to be gained from you, but simply harming a child for pain's sake?" Seth said, turning his back to her with the remark, and adding, barely audible, "Plus, even you must know that fine wine should never be drank before its time."

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