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 The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic

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Garaito
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Location : Padang, and somewhere in Tokyo, near a little river, with Aimizu
Favorite Charmer : Eria
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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Thu May 17, 2012 10:50 am

Woah...the story of the war become dramatic and dramatic. I just smiled when i read the Avance-Noellia scene Very Happy

nice story again, coming. no critics for now XD

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Sat May 26, 2012 6:06 am

Let’s go back in time a bit shall we?
*Plays the TARDIS sound effect*
Ok then, now it’s around eight years ago and beyond the Mist Valley, back at the place in which the charmers grew up and
learnt.
Ahem, I probably should have done this at the beginning of the story but I’m going to use this chapter to provide information about the history and beliefs of the residence of the Mist Valley in which war is to reign and hopefully give you a better image of the world as a whole. It will also tell of how the Charmer’s went from young students to the older spellcasters they are now, separated between different tribes across the world.
And who better to tell you this story then one of the most famous cards in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Important: Please note that in this chapter I will explain a background lore to the Mist Valley that is not official Duel Terminal lore. This is completely fan written background lore made up both for the sake of the story and from what I imagine it may be like so remember that it will probably be different from whatever you yourself may imagine.
The aim of the story is and has always been to provide a fleshed out version of the Duel Terminal storyline due to the (in my opinion) infuriatingly vague official one and that is exactly what this chapter is written to do Smile

Warning: This is a long one Wink

Chapter 6
The Past.

Beyond the boundaries of the Mist Valley, far from the trees of the Gusto forest and the stone city of the Gishki lay a small wood that stood separate from the world around by a series of fast running rivers and streams. Here the trees stand barely half the height of those within the Mist Valley and the lavish plant growth provided a sanctuary to a great variety of wildlife which had failed to survive in the habitats of the world beyond. The small makeshift island was in every way an isolated haven from the trials of the world.

And it was here, in a great school of stone and marble and glass that stood within a clearing in the centre of the wood, that Wynn the Wind Charmer had grown up.

“Hey Wynn! You coming?”

“Coming!”

Grabbing her green gem baring staff as she ran from her room, a ten year old Wynn jogged from the front doors of the school and ran over to where her friends and fellow students had gathered around a large horse drawn carriage. Just above her right shoulder, the small form of her familiar, Petit Dragon, gave a squeak of complaint as he flapped his tiny wings again and again in an attempt to keep up with her but she paid it no mind, focusing on moving faster as she saw the carriage door open and the other girls begin to climb aboard. All except for the blue haired Eria, who remained where she was stood, waiting until Wynn had finally caught up and exchanging a big grin before the two finally climbed into the carriage. With a shout from the driver and whip of the horse’s reigns, the carriage began to move and the young charmers held within gave loud cheers.

Today was a very important day for the trainees in the spiritual arts, it was to be the first day in which they left the wood that surrounded their home since they had first left their families behind and begun their teachings.

As the carriage moved through the forest, six pairs of eyes gazed from the windows towards the sights around or chatted eagerly about what the expected to find at their destination. Wynn laughed as a pair of birds flew down to fly alongside of them for a moment before vanishing back into the plant life whilst Hiita bragged to Lyna and Aussa about the latest trick she had managed to bend her control over fire to do.

Six charmers, five girls and one boy, each trained to wield complete control over a certain element, one to understand each of the six attributes that governed the very core of the world around them. Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Light and Dark all represented in turn and chatting happily amongst themselves and bound by a youthful friendship that had formed into a tight bond over the years they had known each other.

All unknowing parts in the grand plan for the world’s future.

But their young thoughts lay not with the future today, no today they thought only of the destination of their journey and of the excitement that they felt as they rumbled over the stone bridge that crossed the river that separated their home from the rest of the world. Today, they were going to a guild for magicians and mages which stood on the boundaries of the Mist Valley, a place where they were told they were to get a special lesion from one of the most powerful spellcasters in the region.

Added to the fact that their teacher had needed to leave the day before to ensure that this spellcaster was free to see them on that day, their excitement was understandably at boiling point.
………………………………………………….
By the passing of the second hour, that excitement had turned into annoyance.

“Ah! Are we there yet?” Hiita groaned as her head thumped against the side of the carriage repeatedly and shooting a venomous glare towards Aussa when the earth charmer attempted to ask her to stop. Then, with a loud thud, Hiita’s head was slammed against the side of the carriage with a lot more force as it drove over a bump in the road and the Aussa took satisfaction from her yelp of pain with a slight grin as pay back.

“Calm down back there” The gruff voice of the carriage driver called out and Hiita stuck her tongue out in his general direction through the wood “We’re there now”

“Wonderful”

Wynn gave a giggle to herself as she saw Dharc roll his eyes at the fire charmer’s outburst before looking out of the window to see the carriage turn around a corner to reveal a great building of white stone which stood in the centre of a field. Great banners of purple cloth and stain glass windows. It was a truly beautiful sight that made Wynn pause in her own breath as her green eyes opened wide.

This was it; she thought to herself, this is the magician’s guild.

“All right girls” The driver called out as the carriage ground to a halt around half a mile away from the gates of the guild and the door swung open “This is where you’re getting off”

“You’re not taking us all the way?”

“Sorry Mrs. Light” The driver grinned as he stepped aside to allow Lyna room to step down, tilting his head at her question “Aint my job to take you all the way. Besides, I think you’ve been given some…research to be seeing before you go in”

“Research?”

“Yup” the driver said no more as he gestured to where two figures could be seen standing in the in the middle of field. Once the charmers were looking in the right direction, he jogged back into his seat and left them to it as he pulled out a book and zoned out. Exchanging looks with each other, the Charmers began to walk towards the two figures…

…only for the two to suddenly start attacking each other.

With a series of loud crashes and magical explosions of light, the two figures threw their all against each other in a duel that both captured the attention of all nearby and forced them to look away in the face of the power that burned around them.

On one side stood a man dropped in purple robes that seemed a mix between cotton and armour seemed to be both made out of cotton and metallic armour all in the exact same material, all topped with a large hat that stood at a point twice as high as his own head, the tip leaning inwards. In his hands he clutched a staff in a double handed grip, spinning it around in blinding patterns as he formed a magical shield around himself to block a spell from his opponent which exploded with enough force to shake the ground. Wynn felt sure that the magical attack would have immolated the wagon they were in and all the charmers along with it in an instant, even had they all been focusing their powers into a single shield. Yet, as the bright purple flames of the spell died, the man hadn’t even taken a step back as he simply spun his staff around to blast an orb and darker purple magic out towards his opponent.

His foe didn’t attempt to block the spell from where she hovered in the air, simply doing a barrel roll where she hovered in mid-air to allow it to fly past her before retaliating again with a spell from her own staff, a miniature version of the males that was barely half the size and tipped with a golden swirl. Whilst she wore the same pointed hat style as the other, her clothes were much less armoured and designed more for freedom, a large amount of bare skin areas allowing her to carry out a dance in the air that would have been impossible in armour. She didn’t need protection in such a fight, her speed and grace of movement allowed her to avoid any form of injury from the other spellcasters attacks. Blonde hair flew in the wind that blew at her higher altitude and the sound of loud giggling echoed down towards them as she did a cartwheel before releasing her spell in order to give it momentum.

With a jolt, Wynn felt realisation of who the two where grip her and she exchanged an amazed look with Lyna when she heard a gasp that revealed she had come to the same realisation.

Right in front of the young Charmers, the Dark Magician and the Dark Magician Girl were clashing in a duel of amazing proportions. It felt to them like this was a show being performed just for them, two of the greatest mages in the world (the master of magic and his apprentice) demonstrating their power at its height simply for them. It was both terrifying and exhilarating in one, a spectacle that thousands around the world would have given anything to catch a glimpse of…and they were seeing it performed just for them…

The children could only stare on as if mesmerised as the Dark Magician Girl rose a little higher into the air and summoned two large orbs of purple light on either side of her. With a loud laugh she swung her arms forward and the orbs shot down towards the Dark Magician who braced himself and raised his shield again. The first three orbs exploded against his magical barrier with a spectacular array of sparks and his shield faltered, instinctive he directed his energy towards the front of the shield but the fourth orb changed its direction and flew over his head to come crashing down behind him.

Taking advantage of the momentary stumble that the explosion caused, the Dark Magician Girl began to fall to the ground, keeping her arms straight to her sides to decreases the wind resistance as she aimed directly at him. With a triumphant cheer, the younger mage swung into the male mage, and for a moment, the entire area was engulfed in smoke and sudden airborne dirt.

The charmers all held their breaths as they watched the cloud of dirt that had been hurled into the air by the force of the clash begin to settle to the ground, unable to so much as blink as they awaited to see which of the two was still standing.

The dust seemed to hover for what felt like years as the charmers squinted in a vain attempt to see though the smoke wall and catch a glimpse of the duelling magicians, Hiita gave a grumble of annoyance as she took a step forward before jumping back in fright as a blast of wind tore the dust apart. The last flash of energy from the spell imploded in and exploded at the same time to send the dust high in a great tornado that shattered just as quickly as it came. The wind howled around them against the magic that swarmed the air before stopping in an instant as a tall figure walked towards the charmers from behind.

Turning, Wynn found herself automatically bowing slightly as she saw her mistress and teacher approach them, her hand steadying the wind around them with a magical efficiency that was still beyond the young wind charmer.

With a warm smile, the mistress of the charmers, Doriado the Elemental Mistress, returned the bow of your young pupil (as sign of respect that Wynn instantly felt unworthy off) before gesturing for her to look back towards the duel with the slow extending of her palm and nod of her head.

Slowly turning, Wynn saw that the dust had finally cleared enough for the two figures of the Dark Magician and the Dark Magician Girl to be revealed to the on looking charmers. With the crackle of still charged energy, Hiita could be heard cheering as they saw that both mages will still stood tall, their staffs pressed against each other in a harsh lock that kept both pinned and yet both standing. Neither could move from the deadlock without giving the other the chance to strike a crippling blow and neither could strike out without the other moving. A perfect deadlock.

Then, with a silent nod to each other, the two magicians simply lowered their staffs and backed away from one another. Once far enough away they placed their staffs against their chests and gave a deep bow to mark the end of the duel.

The charmers stood in silence as they watched them, still too stunned by the sight of the two duelling to even move before the sound of slow clapping sounded out to their side and they saw Doriado take a couple of steps forward, her hands clapping in a slow, calm beat. After a moment, Hiita began clapping, faster and with the addition of a few cheers, before slowly all six charmers joined in and the sound of applause rose around them.

Looking up towards them, the two magicians began to walk up.

“Children” Doriado spoke as they approached; turning around to face them with a smile “I would like to introduce to you the ones known as the Dark Magician and the Dark Magician Girl, though I suspect you may already know that. They are going to be the ones who will take over your teachings for the next two days”

Again a stunned silence struck the charmers as they heard her words and watched the magicians walk up towards them. That couldn’t be right could it? They still didn’t believe that the magicians had put on a show for them in that duel, believing it must have been pure chance that they saw it and now Doriado was telling them that the magicians were going to teach them!?

“Hiya!”

The charmers could barely mumble a reply as the Dark Magician Girl rose back into the air and flew the last few meters ahead of the Dark Magician, hovering at their head height with an almost childish grin as she waved in greeting. Behind her, the Dark Magician simply walked up towards Doriado and gave a nod, beginning to speak with the Elemental Mistress in a low tone that was utterly drowned out by the loud, bubbly voice of the hovering girl.

“So your Doriado’s students huh?” She grinned as she drifted from side to side to look each one of them in the face, Dharc being the only one to look away “Good to meet you all. I’m sure that were going to get on very well and have fun. Just because you’re here to learn doesn’t mean your can’t have fun am I right? Of course I am”

Something about the girl seemed to simply radiate enthusiasm and happiness and, even star struck as the charmers were, it proved to be incredibly contagious as they joined in with her laughing and quickly found themselves talking to her as if she was an old friend as she asked them each for their names in turn. She spoke to them each as if they were equals and not six kids speaking to one of the most famous mages in their region and her eyes seemed to shone with genuine curiosity and kindness as she gave them each her undivided attention when they introduced themselves.

There was nothing about her that even hinted at anything but the kindest of intentions and, for a moment Wynn found herself making a comparison to the kind smile of Doriado but she quickly realised that, whilst Doriado emitted ever caring motherly figure you could always turn to, the Dark Magician Girl instead emitted an aura of the giddy big sister that you could tell any secrete to or trust to have a laugh with. If that made any sense…

“If you are finished” The Dark Magician spoke out when the girl had finally managed to fish out a name from the uncharacteristically silent Dharc. His voice was a deep and authortive tone that made even the Dark Magician Girl break from her relentless questions to look back. Had he been alone, he would have seemed simply serious but, when standing beside the enthusiastic girl, he seemed angry at something and the charmers all fell completely silent. For a moment he simply ran his eyes across them, looking as though he was searching their very souls for something before he simply nodded and rose his staff.

“You are each welcome, students of Doriado” he spoke out to them “All of the services that my guild would provide a fully appointed magician or mage will be open to you, with a few minor submissions, and you will spend the next two days attending lessons in the arts of magical arts that range beyond the elements that you have so far trained in. My student will give you a tour of the building and answer any question that you may have. Is this understood charmers of Doriado?”

“Yes sir!”

The charmers all called out the reply in unison as an automatic reaction to his tone and the Dark Magician raised an eyebrow, though Wynn felt that was more at the fact that the Dark Magician girl had for whatever reason decided she was going to shout it too.

Then, with a clap of her hands, the Dark Magician Girl took back into the air and flew over the heads of the charmers calling for them to follow her. Zigzagging through the air, she lead them up towards the door of the guild and waited for them to catch up before disappearing within with a final big wave over to her own teacher and Doriado.
…………………………………………………..
“You always did think big” The Dark Magician remarked simply as he watched the children follow his own student through the large oak doors, before his small eyes turned to fix upon Doriado “Not many other people would have come up with this idea let alone put it in motion”

“What idea?” the Elemental Mistress asked innocently as she began to walk away from the door and towards the gardens with the Magician following in tow.

“Come now. These Charmers you have trained. Six children, each baring the blessing and power of a different element, it’s a concept that has always existed yet never made realisation until now” He paused as he looked at her “A group of mages who can form a bond between the attributes that make up all life in this world, taught by one who has an understanding of them all, a peaceful connection that can be used as a starting point to form kinder relations between ourselves and others tribes and societies should they manage to make themselves known to the world. It’s an interesting possibility”

Doriado simply smiled as she gazed out towards the flowers that formed the outskirts of the guild’s garden, her long hair blowing slightly against the wind.

“Yes” She finally replied, her voice quite “It is”

“And where do you intend to go with this now?”

“I will keep training them for now” Doriado said after another pause “Each of them has shown exceptional talents in the attributes I have chosen for them and are already beginning to reach my levels…and I have no doubt that they will soon exceed them”

The Dark Magician frowned as he found his mouth opening to argue with her, but stopped the words before they could form. Doriado was one of the greatest spellcasters the world had known and was indeed the only person in their age who had been able to gain control and mastery over every element (though dark had always been one she had avoided the use off) and he couldn’t help but want to point out that none of the other mages in the world had even come close to doing what she had done. Hell, even he himself could only wield the power of the dark with any effective amount of power.

But something about the pride that he could sense emitting from her told him to be silent.

Doriado had always been a kind person, probably the most compassionate person he had ever met, and it was with a motherly pride that she was speaking about the six children she had taken in and begun the training of. He had thought of them as a plan or idea for a future that she had envisioned but he could see that to her, these young Charmers may as well have been her own children as her pupils. Doriado did seem like the perfect motherly type…

“Are you ok?”

The Dark Magician blinked himself back to reality as he nodded, gesturing forward with a hand and allowing the two to resume their walk towards the garden.

The magician’s guild’s garden was a series of walls made from head high hedges and flowers crops which spun amongst themselves into wonderful and impossible formations. Arches of vine and petal reached across the heads of those that walked through and the hedges always seemed to shift and change to suit those who they met, children looking for play would swear blindly that it was a maze which changed every time they entered whilst elders would claim that a straight walk always took them where they wished. This was most likely because of some spell caste during the planting of the garden but Doriado loved imagining some mystical reason from beyond time where the plants thought and moved to show the world their beauty.

In her heart, Doriado still held her inner child dear.
…………………………………………………………………………………
Walking down the long corridors that formed the interior of the Magician’s guild, Wynn couldn’t help but be fascinated by the bubbly nature of the Dark Magician Girl. Since leaving the presence of her master, the younger mage hadn’t stopped skipping or humming as she led the charmers along the maze of walls and passed dozens of other mages and researchers, pausing each time long enough to greet them each by name before continuing on her joy movement.

She seemed utterly unable to remain still as she bobbed up and down in the air as they moved and the wind charmer couldn’t help but think that the ground was simply unable to take her energy and the Dark Magician Girl had somehow been forced to take to their simply to have the room to fit her massive enthusiasm. Even as they passed a room with curtains drawn where a mage in dark grey clothes was giving a lecture she simply continued to hum to herself, seeming oblivious to the looks of announce that she got in reply.

The charmers all followed her in a huddle, trying to keep from making eye contact with the big shot mages that walked past as they chatted amongst themselves about the duel they had just witnessed or give the odd “wow” at the great architecture around them, though Wynn did keep noting with amusement Dharc’s eyes wondering towards the Dark Magician Girl.

“So where to take you first?” The hovering girl stopped in mid-air for a second as she turned to look at them, as if she had just that second remembered that she was supposed to be giving them a tour rather than going for a leisurely stroll (Or fly as her hovering case may be). Her eyes began to scroll across the room absentmindedly as she mumbled locations and reasons not to go there before shrugging “How about the library? I know that doesn’t sound very interesting at the moment but just you wait until you see it!”

The library of the magician’s guild was nothing short of a legend to any who hunted for the furthering of their magical skill, containing books from across the Mist Valley and the world beyond. Book cases stood as high as they did long, reaching high into the air with massive hovering platforms allowing mages to reach books at the top of impossibly high cases. Magic was carved deeply into the very wood of the book cases and everything that could be associated with a magician’s library existed within its walls.

(Based upon the Royal Magical library card?)

“Here we are” The Dark Magician Girl called out as she flew higher into the library so that she could gaze down upon the charmers, her voice echoing across the great room with such power that practically every person in the room, save for those who were used to her antiques “This is the great library of the magicians guild!”

The charmers all gave gasps of amazement as they stared at the sea of books and wood the strait out both before and over them. It felt like they were stood in the middle of a great tree full of hovering platforms and mages, a hub for the knowledge of the entire world’s worth of information held in a single places.

“You could find out anything you want to know here” She boasted as she hovered just above the charmers, her wand held behind her back, making Dharc very unsure as to where he should be looking, and began pointing in seemingly random directions “over there you can get books for new spells, and over there is great past mages and over there is…I forget…and over there is where you can learn some history. Everything from the construction of the this guild to the legends of the ruin markings”

“Ruin markings?”

“Yup” The Dark Magician Girl seemed to almost glow at Lyna’s question “You know, those ruins that turn up in ruins telling the story of the gods and the swarm” She gave a chuckle before pausing as she caught their blank expression “Oh so you don’t know that one?”

“No” The Charmers replied in unison.

“Ah, wonderful then, Story time!”

The charmers could only watch as the Dark Magician Girl turned and began to look around the room for a moment, a figure on her chin in thought without even giving any of the a chance to speak against her sudden plan for reading.

“Here” She grinned as she gestured towards a large book which stood upon a golden stand a few shelves away. With a shimmer of magic, the book began to levitate from the stand and flew towards them for her to simply pluck from the air with a grin “This book should tell us everything that we need to know”

Turning around and resuming her humming, the Magician Girl lead the Charmers towards a large table that ran across the impossible length of the library and gestured for them to sit before hovering over it and sitting on the other side, placing the book down where it could be seen by all of them.

“Here we are, I little bit of a history lesson for you all”

Gesturing down towards the book, she smiled as the Charmers all stared at a complex painting that covered a full page with the title ‘The end’. In the picture, a sea of black creatures which seemed to resemble insects could be seen gathering around a large door of gold and bronze above which hovered vast creatures that looked both organic and mechanical at the same time around which glowed a bright halo of light. The ground of the image resembled a battleground yet was void of the dead and in the night sky could be seen three great birds of shimmering light, one a wonderful gold, a second a bright jade and the third, hovering below the first two, was a bitch black with blood red eyes that seemed to stair back at the charmers.

“You see” The Dark Magician Girl said, her voice losing a touch of its playfulness so that she sounded more like a teacher would speak to a class “Runes and graphics that been found across the Mist Valley and beyond all bare testament to a single story about a plague of creatures that they call ‘The Swarm’ ravaging the world. We don’t know anything about them really, other than that they were great in number…but the markings of the ruins, which are themselves really just paintings and drawings, tell of a group of gods that descended from the heavens and purged the swarm. The world shuddered and the swarm were sealed beneath it and the these three great birds” she pointed towards the three bird like shapes that hovered over the battle “are said to have left the world in the care of the golden gods” She pointed towards the ones that battled with the swarm before looking back up towards the Charmers “Aaaaaand that’s about it”

“Huh?” Hiita frowned back “But that barely told us anything”

“I know” The Dark Magician Girl shrugged as she leant back in her chair and watched as Lyna and Aussa stared intently at the golden ‘gods’ in the picture “But you try making an in-depth story about characters which are nothing more than the same pictures in ancient ruins”
……………………………………………………………………………….
“You are right though” Doriado finally said, causing the Dark Magician to look up from where he had sat upon a garden bench, her hand running along the petal of an oversized flower almost absentmindedly “My students are indeed destined to be a link between the different factions that form across this world, or at least, that’s what I hope for them. But…”

“But?” The Dark Magician frowned, noting the suddenly sober tone that filled her voice with a touch of unease.

“For them to do this they will have to separate for a time at least” Her hand dropped from the flower and her eyes closed as if it pained her to speak of the future “In order for them to find these tribes that they can call home they must be split apart and sent their own ways. Then, once they have found their own place in the world….it will be up to them to find each other again. In a few years from now their training will be finished…or at least there will be nothing left that I can offer them. Then, it will be up to them”

A silence fell upon the two at her words as the Dark Magician allowed a sympathetic look to cross his face and a reassuring hand to land upon his old friend’s shoulder. The Elemental Mistress’ face was tainted with a worry that he hadn’t seen upon her before and for a moment he wondered if she had been right to trust herself not to get as attached to the children as she had but that thought was immediately crushed by the knowledge that no one else in the world could have done it.

Slowly, Doriado sighed and looked back up towards the flower with a strained smile. It wasn’t a worry about the charmers failing that she felt, she had no doubt in her heart that they would one day find one another again should they desire it, but it was a pain at having to leave them isolated and alone. Doriado had been watching the young ones laugh and learn together, even accepting Dharc and Lyna without pause despite the two arriving a couple of years after the first four, and it pained her to know that she was going to be the one responsible for cutting those bonds in just a few years, it felt to her like she was to betray them all.

But it had to be done. For the charmers to form the boundaries that the world needed they had to find their own places in the world alone, they had to find where they were needed and speak to the world as their own beings. Then, when they were accepted by others, they would find each other and their friendship would form a bridge between those that trusted the charmer they knew. If it worked this would allow trusts to grow enough for peaceful negotiations where war would have originally broken out due to the simple lack of communication.

That was what she had begun teaching the charmers for, to teach six children to become the foundations for a new world.

“You have trained them well Doriado” The Dark Magician gave a slight smile and he looked back towards the guild “From what I saw of the children then they bore a strong determination and loyalty to one another that very few could wield. I can say with true honesty that I believe they will find one another, where ever they end up in the world, and I am sure that they will find you again just as easily. True friends are like that are they not? Always returning when you least expect them yet when you need them?”

It was a true smile now that covered Doriado’s face as she gave her friend a thankful nod for his comforting before turning slowly walking towards a large statue that stood in the centre of the garden, her hands clasping one another before her as if she was about to pray as she gazed upon it with a sigh.

Carved out of pitch black stone, she was silent as she stared up into the blank face of a Vylon. Standing upon a large platform that also acted as a water feature, the statue managed to dwarf her whilst still being nowhere near a true measurement to the scale that a Vylon could be and she had to crane her neck upwards in order to view its ‘face’.

The Vylons were a race of legends for most, a force of machine like beings that were said to reside within the heavens themselves where they gazed down upon the world in eternal watch, sworn never to interfere with the lives of the world below save for one the cry of pain was so great it called them down to fight. Some even considered them to be gods. They had not been seen in the world for thousands of years and, even to the Dark Magician and his scholars who had made a point to read every book within the guilds library they almost felt like nothing more than stories. They were the guardians of the peace who were summoned to the innocent at the call of a pure prayer, it was really now more a children’s tale than reality but she liked it.

The statue before her was of the one that legend told to be their leader, a being simply known by the name of “The Omega”. It was truly a magnificent site, even in pitch black statue form it looked to the Elemental Mistress as if it was gazing down directly upon her and considering her actions and choices concerning her beloved students.

Doriado wondered if the Vylon’s would have agreed with her plan to use her students as a bridge to bring the hope of peace…


*Plays TARDIS sound effects*
Ahem…next chapter I will return to the Mist Valley and the war but I hope you enjoyed this little interval and found it informative Smile
Next chapter will be an action packed one with a nice, big battle between the Gem-Knights and the Laval forces.
Now if you will excuse me, the last parts of my roid deck just arrived in the post and have some deck building to do Very Happy

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Age : 24
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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Tue May 29, 2012 2:48 pm

Alright, question time.
That last chapter was intended to give an explanation for the creation of the Charmers...but I've had some people tell me that it didnt explain well whilst others said it worked. Can i ask anyone who reads this to post a reply to let me know if it worked or not? If it didnt then...I guess that chapter was kind of pointless and I'll have to think of another way to explain their reason for being gathered by Doriado...

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Wed May 30, 2012 12:56 pm

comingdarkness wrote:
Alright, question time.
That last chapter was intended to give an explanation for the creation of the Charmers...but I've had some people tell me that it didnt explain well whilst others said it worked. Can i ask anyone who reads this to post a reply to let me know if it worked or not? If it didnt then...I guess that chapter was kind of pointless and I'll have to think of another way to explain their reason for being gathered by Doriado...


The only thing I get from the explanation is they were created simply to avoid the meaningless war and they could become a key for it. That's actually a good concept for them. If that's actually the real reason why Charmers were created, I don't see why this chapter is a failure. Even if it is, the story is still enjoyable and as always, you are always very good when it comes to describing something.

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:55 am

Meh, thats close enough Smile
Oh and as of today, this story is now also avalible on Fanfiction.net because....why not right?
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8182188/1/The_First_Casualty_of_War

"The first of a trilogy which makes a novelization of the 2nd Duel Terminal Storyline told mostly from the points of view of the charmers Eria and Wynn. As the tribes of Gusto and Gishki plunge into total war, a threat of a much darker and ancient power awakens beneath their feet…"

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:21 pm

So, now that we have the Gusto and the Gishki fully introduced and some back story to the charmers provided I’m going to the other side of the Mist Valley, to another war that has been raging for a few months now and some new characters who will later come to play a big role in the fate of the Gusto and Gishki.
I’ve taken a little bit of writer’s leeway here in terms of imagining how the Laval would fight and have thus designed units and creatures that are not from any of the cards which would flesh out an army that is effectively made out of molten rock. Plus making up a social order for these beings proved to be very interesting and fun to do Smile Also, in case you are worrying that I’m just going off in a different direction now, the war between the Laval and the Gem-Knights will come to play a part in the fate of the Gusto and Gishki.
I’ve also decided to turn a couple of the non-named cards into OC in this chapter Smile
Warning: this chapter contains a very negative look upon the Laval faction. Whilst they may take a slightly more positive image later in the story, for now however, people who view them well may not find this chapter to their liking.

Chapter 7
Gems and fire


“Incoming!”

The ground heaved and windows of stained glass shattered as the ball of bubbling rock came crashing down against the stones of the city road with an explosion that sheered the very air with agonising heat. As the projectile smashed under its own impact, its surface suddenly becoming liquid, the figure of a beast with a body made of magma and rock tore free in a sick parody of birth and hurled itself towards a group of human figures that were moving to intercept it.

In a movement that carried the efficiency which could only come from a great amount of experience in facing the same foe, the figures separated to allow the beast room as it gave a roar of rage and brought a pair of axes made from slowly solidifying magma to bare and jumped into the air, aiming to land directly among them. Crashing to the now open ground, the magma born beast spun its axes around in a decapitating arc and one of the men fell, the glowing green of his gem encrusted armour becoming tarnished with the red of his own blood before another figure managed to strike a blow against the monster and it unleashed a roar of pain. A man clasped in armour of ruby swung out a scythe and the beast’s front was opened in a shower of burning blood and a third man, clasped in armour of a mix between orange, brown and red slammed a fist against the dying magma born being and it fell still.

“Well done Garnet” The man in ruby said as he straightened and levelled his scythe based weapon “Keep the creature’s pain to a minimal. It is not the Gem-Knight way to cause unnecessary suffering to our foes…even when they attack our homes”

“Yes sir” Garnet nodded, his armour clinking against the movement and his hand flexing to work back the feeling into where he had struck the creature but his commander had already turned and was calling for a status report from the other men around them.

“Laval Warrior drop artillery!” One of the Gem-knights called out and the other reformed the squad, beginning to move towards where the next burning projectile was angled towards.

This was the opening stage to any Laval attack, a hail of burning pods made from fire and ash which formed a terrible fusion between exploding artillery attacks and drop transports for their warriors. Each orb exploded upon contact with the ground, showing all around in burning ash and liquid rock and each carried a Laval Warrior organism which was released by the proceeding explosion and immediately went on a bloodlust driven rampage.

Garnet had often found himself wondering if this was indeed the birth of the creatures, if they had been sealed into the artillery projectiles before the battle or if the very first second that the poor beasts knew was falling from the skies and an urge to kill. Was their very first sight in this world the gathering of Gem-Knights to fight them? Did the life span of the Laval Warrior that now lay dead at his feet really only last the few seconds that it had taken for him to kill it?

With a grunt, Garnet pushed the thought to the back of his mind. It wouldn’t do to have such thoughts running through his mind at a time like this…

“First unit with me” came the gruff voice of his commander, a giant of a man clasped in armour of deep red armour. Golden trimming seemed to glow across the joints and the deep rubies that had been engraved into his shoulder and thigh plates seemed to glow and live under the flickering lights of the flames that marked where the Laval Warrior had landed and a deep blue cloak blew harshly around him in the heat induced wind. In his hand he held a great scythe of red and gold and his face plat was void of features save for eyes that glared an emerald green.

The leader of Garnet’s combat unit, designated simply Ruby in honour of the high regard that baring such jewels marked in the pecking order of the Gem-Knight army, was a truly impressive sight as he called to them from where he stood along in the centre of the burning street, the bodies of three Laval Warriors by his feet.

“Second unit, move to secure the civilian convoy as best you can, protect them with your lives if you must”

“Yes sir!”

“Garnet, I need you to move to meet with second company at the city hall and get the non-combatants who are trapped their out”

“Of course my lord”

Ruby nodded at Garnet’s acknowledgment before leading his men away, leaving Garnet alone to run in a different direction towards the town hall. Looking up, he could already see columns of fire and smoke rising into the air from where Laval forces were already landing around the city and unleashing their wrath upon anything that they could. Where the pods landed, anything remotely flammable was ignited by the sheer heat of their arrival and the Warriors that were spawned launched themselves into a bloodlust that would not be ended until they lay dead. Garnet had even head tales of Laval Warriors who had survived a battle simply ravaging the battlefield to they collapsed and died from exhaustion, whatever mind that had designed then obviously saw no need for the poor beasts outside of war.

Tilting his head upwards, Garnet narrowed his eyes under his helmet as he heard the sound of shouting ahead and made out the vague shapes of a pair of said warriors attacking an overturned cart, the shape of a woman lying motionless underneath the hulk of wood. Yelling out in riotous rage, he charged as fast as he could run towards the Laval creatures, the noise of his arrival doing the trick in prompting the warriors to turn their attention towards him and not the woman. The first of them took a couple of steps towards him and banged its burning axes against its rocky hide in an act of intimidation whilst the other took a more defensive pose.

Throwing all of his body weight into this forward charge, Garnet simply smashed the first of the Warriors to the side and sent it stumbling backwards before aiming to slam his shoulder into the second, hoping to pin its body against the cart where it would be vulnerable to an undercut from his gauntleted fist.

The beast however it seemed, had other plans.

Sidestepping with a loud grunt, the Laval warrior seemed to give a snarling laugh as it swung its axe wielding hand up and slammed the legs out from beneath the charging Garnet, sending the gem armoured knight crashing into the ground.
Cursing loudly, Garnet was sure he heard the sound of the two beasts exchanging gruff looks of amusement before advancing towards him. The young Gem-Knight mental swore at himself for his own stupidity as a burning foot was slammed down upon his chest plate and searing heat consumed his chest, the jewel forged armour bending slightly under the weight as it heated. They sneered at him as the Warrior standing over him raised its lava axe ready to execute him where he lay, ready to end him without a second’s pause. As the beast snarled and swung down, Garnet closed his eyes and braced himself.

He heard the sound of flesh tearing and the roar of the Laval Warrior but felt nothing.

Daring to open his eyes, still hidden behind his red helmet, Garnet could see the shape of the warrior still stood over him with its axe held but a couple of inches from his deck. The burning face which was normally so full of hate was twisted in confusion as a tiny stream of liquid fire like blood dripped down from its mouth. The second that passed felt like an age he waited for the beast to stop playing with him and end it before, swaying where it stood, the Laval crumbled and fell the floor with a spray of blood from its mouth as whatever it used in place of a lung caved in upon itself. Its companion took a step back in shock as it fell only for a beam of light to fly out and strike it across the face, sending the beast flying backwards.

Looking up, Garnet saw a tiny silhouette hovering in the air with glowing arms before shimmering yellow eyes tilted down towards him and the creature hovered downward, a small gloved hand straightening the hat it wore as it made a loud ‘humph’ sound.

“You have my thanks Jamian”

“Your damn right I do!” The small creature called out to him as it swung down to hover in front of his face, tilting his hat in a friendly greeting and chuckle that seemed utterly out of place in the battle situation.

Nothing more than a hovering silver pin with arms and two yellow dot like eyes glowing from a featureless black face hidden beneath a blue wizard hat. He was a member of a group of mages that were known as the Gem Merchants, wizards who aided around the daily lives of the city for the payment of gems and other precious stones. They used powerful magic to do the work that their small and frail bodies were unable to take and, as had just been demonstrated, were able to use that magic for offensive purposes. Though they much preferred to shift that power over for allies to use in battle for them.

“Whats the situation?”

“Well” Jamian grunted as he clicked his fingers and a scroll of paper appeared in front of him in a puff of emerald smoke. Plucking it out of the air with his small fingers he began to list information about the on-going attack which had been written down by gods knew who in a speed that would have needed to have been written before the attack even began were it made by anyone other than the Gem Merchants. “We’ve got Laval drop infantry landing all over the place and at utter random so its proving tough for you big guys to mount a decent defence against them. This does however look like the opening moves to a big attack on the city so the orders been given for all the none combatant civilians to be evacuated from the area whilst they can still get out of here”

“I see” Garnet mumbled as he turned to look towards the sky where a still constant stream of burning pods containing Laval Warriors was falling from the night sky “You should go and aid with the evacuation of the civilians, that will be where your magic will most be needed”

“Well yer” Jamian replied, his voice slightly high pitched due to his small size and with a touch of squeakiness that many found cute (much to the merchants dismay), as he clicked his fingers again and sent the scroll away into another puff of smoke “But there are already loads of my kin there and I figure you’re gonna need me around a whole lot more. We both know how clumsy you can get when the pressure is on”

“If you are referring to last night’s drinking contest old friend then at least I lasted for more than one pint”

“Hey! To someone my size one may as well have been ten! And besides, at least I didn’t end up face down in the dirt singing a song about goblins”

Laughing amongst themselves, the two turned and ran back along the street towards where the next group of Laval pods could be seen landing in the hopes of delaying the invaders long enough to give the evacuees more time…
…………………………………………………………………………..
From outside of the giant walls that marked the border of the Gem-Knight city, the Laval army was marching into battle positions.

The very air seemed to howl in agony at the sheer heat that emitted from the magma born monstrosities that were moving through the now ash cloaked dirt, a searing wind howling around them as it was bathed in unnatural heat and rose beyond any degree of what it should have been. Legions of warriors carrying weapons of rock and fire roared and bellowed to one another as squawking Dragun creatures sored over head with a sea of Coatl circling around like moths to flames. The very ground cracked and melted where their feet fell and in their wake they left nothing but blackened ash.

At the head of the advancing army were a set of now stationary monsters which seemed to shimmer as the superheated air boiled around them, massive beings a fire and rock whose bodies were shaped into canon like structures. The sound of cracking rock could be heard as the living weapons on their backs began convulse and spasm to eject an orb of ash and fire from within their own bodies and spit it out with enough velocity to send it hurtle over the Gem-Knight walls and into the city beyond. Within each of the orbs was a warrior born from great birthing chambers within their bodies destined for war. A short life upon the battlefield, but such was the expectancy of the Warriors, they existed to fight and die. Voices rang out in cruel chants as entire battalions marched towards the wall under cover of the artillery, almost seeming to echo in beat of the constant cracking from the giant organic guns as the rock that formed their outer shell snapped and melted under the heat only to solidify again between shots.

This was the war machine of the Laval legions, an unstoppable army born from fire and rock which would stop at nothing before nothing of their foes remained but ash upon the air…

And in the middle of it, at the heart of the forward Laval gun lines, a figure that resembled a girl could be seen jogging between the artillery.

“Move it Handmaiden!”

Gritting her teeth, the Handmaiden of the Laval forces gave a cursed mutter under her breath of “My names Fraya...” before jogging over to the nearest cannon. Around the monsters six feet, other handmaidens worked endlessly to clear away the constant stream of superheated rock fragments that fell from the canons every time they fired pieces of the living weapon’s flesh that broke with every cannon blast.

Her hair was nothing but a sea of flames that flickered and hissed in the air as she ran whilst her skin and was a soft form of rock covered with cracks and tears where the heat of her own internal body temperature had caused it to morph. Around her body she wore a piece of clothing which resembled what humans may have called a dress but it was in fact simply a casing designed to keep her temperature at a steady level to keep herself from being incinerated by the storm of heat that boiled the air around her whenever the cannons fired and a pair of deep red ‘gloves’ allowed her to lift orbs of my lava without damaging her own hide. She was a member of the underclass in the Laval armies, a handmaiden unit that existed solely to aid in the existence of the other, more important creatures that formed the higher ranks.

And she hated it.

“Get moving”

Fraya gave a yelp as she felt a blow strike against the base of her spine and fell to the ground, her face coming far inches away from slamming into the burning leg of one of the artillery beasts, forcing her red eyes to shut closed as the heat from the creature caused even her rocklike hide to sheer in pain. Scrambling away from the creature, she cast a look of distain at the amused face of one who had struck her, a massive figure whose body was nothing more than a mass of orange rock, before dropping to her knees and taking up the work.

The thankless task of keeping the base around the artillery creatures seemed like a waste of time for Fraya as she and three other Handmaidens crawled about the spaces between the beasts and a few of the unlucky ones actually crawled underneath them into the impossible heat beneath. The living cannons fired around once every three minutes and every time that they did so the shell of organic rock that had reformed and solidified between shots snapped clean of and fell down around them to be cleared away. It was a never-ending test that would last until the end of the attack, which could take weeks, as the shell fragments continued to replace whatever the maidens managed to collect yet it was a vital job. The fragments each emitted what should have been an impossible amount of heat and the very air around them almost seemed to search existence as it was incinerated and this had been known to cause the artillery monsters to succumb to their own heat and collapse. Thus, to keep them safe from the heat of their own body waste, the Handmaidens had to crawl on hands and knees in that same deadly heat to carry away the debris.

Heaving a chunk of rock that was still glowing yellow, Fraya was thankful for her ‘gloves’ protection as she carried it away from the beast and hurled it onto the ground, pausing to watch as the ground hissed and bubbled where the rock touched before turning and repeating the procedure.
…………………………………………………
“Waaaaaagh!”

Garnet cursed as he swung his armoured body around to meet the charge of a large Laval Warrior which bellowed a harsh war cry as it charged, his own fist glowing with emerald energy courtesy of Jamian and he swung out with a grit of frustration. The Warrior’s roar was abruptly cut short as the knight’s fist clove deep into his head and the ground was sprayed with the liquid fire that the beast used in place of blood. With a kick from an armoured boot, the now decapitated beast crumbled to the ground and Garnet rushed onwards, the small form of his Gem Merchant companion keeping close to him.

“The Laval artillery has begun to focus upon two areas of the city” Jamian reported as they rounded a corner, another scroll of paper clutched in his tiny hands “They seem to have focused upon the centre of the city, using that as a staging point to send forces in all directions and keep our defences too occupied to stop the second group which is aiming for the main gate. The warriors that get on our side of the wall are intending to open the gate to allow the big guns in”

“How are our defences holding up?”

“Well enough. But there’s a whole army of those fiery gits gathering outside the walls and I’m getting a lot of doubts about whether or not we are going to hold this city for much longer…”

“I see”

“But hey” Jamian shrugged as he looked up “At least if we do flee the sun will be up in time”

Garnet simply grunted in reply as the ground shook to announce the arrival of yet another Laval pod somewhere nearby. It was a small mercy that they would not have to lead the refugees out into the forests that surrounded the city during the clear of day, the land outside was a harsh and corrupt place filled with horrors that stalked the wilderness during the night, but it was of little constellation to him as they ran passed the blackened shape of a child lying in the debris of what had once been a shop.

Garnet wanted revenge. He wanted to run head long out of the front gates of the city and take the fight to that Laval army that was gathering there. He knew that would bring no conclusion other than his own death but he would at least take a couple of the bastard’s heavier troops out before he fell. It would be more than just stopping this small fry warriors that were sent into the city simply to die and delay.

“Now don’t be thinking about doing anything stupid” Jamian warned from where he flew, somehow guessing what his friend was thinking despite the armoured helmet that blocked sight from the Gem-Knights face “It won’t help anyone if you throw your life away like that”

Garnet didn’t reply as he continued running through the burning streets, noting signs of battle all around him as he went. Fellow Gem-Knights lay in blackened armour where the flames of their foes had found chinks in their armour, lying amongst the slowly cindering bodies of the Laval Warriors they had died fighting. Gashes ran along the sides of buildings where swords had scratched against them and here and there were the blackened marks left behind by the spells of the Gem-Merchants. All showed signs that the Laval’s were pushing the cities defenders back towards the city centre, where the refugees were attempting to gather and flee.

Time was running out.
………………………………………………
Far above the burning city, gazing down from an omnipotent sight with cruel satisfaction, a great intellect watched as the Laval army gathered and the Gem-Knights fought to the death against their foes. A creature that had left its own body behind for a time to allow its consciousness to drift across the world to witness the death that raged below for itself, the entity couldn’t help but enjoy the sound of screaming that echoed across the super-heated air, enjoying the stench of death that filled every atom.

It had taken the entity a long time to work things into being the way they were now. A planted thought here or a desire twisted there, a work spreading across time to make rivalries and hatred brew amongst the lesser beings that now fought beneath it. Now open war raged between them and it was allowing itself a moment to simply enjoy is work.

And this was still only the beginning.
…………………………………………………….
As Garnet and Jamian rounded the final corner to the city centre, they were greeted by the sight of eight Knights fighting a fierce melee with several Laval Warriors, fighting to keep the monsters from reaching a set of civilian packed carriages standing at the far side of the marble paved square. At the feet of where they stood, bodies lay broken from the clash and slowly the Knights were being to buckle under the attack.

Nodding to his small friend, Garnet ran forwards towards the beasts as Jamian’s hands began to glow and bright orange light glowed upon the Gem-Knight, the small Merchant fusing his own power with the larger warrior to give him further strength. This was revealed in all its bloody light as Garnet threw himself into the fighting and his gauntlets, pulsating with power, crashed down upon the skull of a Laval Warrior that had been about to slay a knight, obliterating its head in a flash of light. At the sight of aid, the nights already fighting cheered and renewed their efforts, pushing back against the Warriors and forcing them to back up. After a few more moments of bloody fighting, the last Laval slumped to the ground.

“Nice of you to join us Garnt” A Knight called as the rest paused to catch their breath or returned to check on the civilians. Wearing armour of tinged metal and green and a helmet that resembled that of a cat in a way, Gem-Knight Emerald stood out strangely amongst his comrades “I was beginning to think you stopped off for a drink on the way here”

“Ha Ha” Garnet grunted sarcastically as Jamian chuckled, walking up to stand beside the other knight and the exchanged the warriors hand shake, gripping each other’s wrists for a second “I just wanted to give you some time to get your fun before I came and saved you ass”

Emerald made a motion with his head which indicated he was rolling his eyes, his actually eyes hidden behind his green helmet before turning around to watch as the evacuation carriage began to be loaded with women and children, the shield like weapons that he mounted on each wrist glistening where fire like blood remained around the blade edges. The final part of the planning was now almost done and in a few moments he could get them out of here and join the battle on the front lines where he was meant to be…

Then the door of a house a few feet down the road exploded as the limb and broken body of a man was hurled through the wood.

Spinning around, Emerald cursed as he saw smoke bellow from the cracks in its wall and the light of fire flicker across the curtain drawn windows as flames came to life within the seemingly vacant house. There was something within, and it was coming.

“Knights, incoming!”

The glass of the windows exploded into a cloud of glassy vapour a second before the beast charged through them, the air trapped within the glass plains evaporating under the sheer heart the beast emitted and clearing the way as it melted. People screamed as Garnet ran forward to face the foe, and his eyes narrowed against the light of the flames beneath his helmet as he took in the new adversary.

Standing a full head higher than on of the Laval Warriors even whilst it was stood at a low stoop, the monster gave out a bellowing roar of challenge towards the nights as it beat its rocky chest with arms that were each wrapped in metallic gauntlets and fire. The Gauntlets seemed to emit fire, causing the flames to run across the entire length of its forearms whilst red hear blew wildly across its back. Rocky teeth formed the crude shape of a jack-o-lantern grin as yellow eyes burned with the joy of its own hate before the beast lunged forward towards them.

The Laval Burner was unlike anything Garnet had seen before.

“To arms brothers!” Came the roar of some of the knights and they moved to stand in a defensive position, a method they had used countless times that day during the conflict against the warriors and swords were raised and gauntlets held at the ready. The seven Gem-Knights that stood in the square gritted their teeth in anticipation as they watched the Laval Burner hurl itself towards them, its rocky teeth seeming to curve deeper into a grin at its own anticipation for the coming struggle “Hold!”

The air heated around the knights and sweat covered their bodies within the confined of the gem encrusted armour as the flames around the burner’s gauntlets grew to shocking heights as if to copy their masters rage but they held firm, ready for the moment that the burner would leap into the air and attempt to come crashing down atop of them as all Laval did.
Only this time, the Laval beast kept running and slammed directly into their lines.

With a single swing of is thick arms, the beast hurled the knights backwards against the cracked pavement, using its own momentum to body slam them out of its path. The knights at the side of the line managed to right themselves without falling and Garnet saw them charge into the beast with a shout only to have its burning gauntlets rip into their armour as if it were paper.

He screamed out as he saw a Gem-Knight whose armour boar the markings of diamonds, a veteran of countless battles, get lifted into the air by a single hand of the beast before its other hand curled into a fist and smashed into the knight’s chest. With the sickening sound of cracking bones and tearing metal, the knight’s torso was simply smashed away from the head that was still held within the Burners grasp.

“Monster!” A younger Knight, whose armour was the same colour as Garnet’s, roared as he charged towards the beast only to have it spin and hurl the decapitated head towards him. The makeshift projectile provided just enough of a distraction for the youngling to allow the Burner to swing its fist around and pulverise his armoured head in a single hit. The body flew across the road and smashed against the wall of a house on the far side, nothing more than a sack of broken bones contained within his armour.

“Get up Garnet!” He heard Jamian shout out to him from somewhere but the Merchant’s voice was drowned out as the Laval Burner let out a deafening roar and picked up the body of one of its kills and latterly hurl it through the air towards where the Merchant hovered, the small spellcaster barely even having time to realise before it was smashed away and went crashing down into the ground beneath the hulk of the dead knight.

“Jamian!” He shouted before immediately regretting his vocal outburst as the Burner slowly turned towards him, its burning yellow eyes narrowing upon him as it zoned in on the one it had selected as its next kill.

Climbing to stand tall, Garnet’s own gauntlets ignited with the magical power that had been fused into them upon their creation and he readied himself as the Burner began to slowly walk towards him, as if it was savouring the moment before its attack. For a moment it simply stared at him before, with a roar that seemed to shake the very ground, it charged forwards towards him.

Then, as it was about to swing, its head fell free of its body.

Garnet could only garb in shock as the Burner’s body suddenly changed its direction of momentum as a blow from the side sent it flying of course and tore its head clean from its body. Where he had expected to face death standing, instead it flew past his left side in the first of several limp barrel rolls that resulted in the beast simply lying in the centre of the pool of powdered glass that marked the former window it had made its grand entrance through just over 2 minutes before. By his feet, the Burner’s head still snapped its jaws in mute screams of rage and pain before that too fell still and he yellow light of its eyes faded into oblivion.

“Stand tall Brother Garnet” A voice called from behind him and the massive form of Commander Ruby walked into sight, his great scythe dripping liquid fire from where it had slashed through the rock formed neck of the Burner. Seeing him brought a flush of hope into the younger knights heart and Ruby’s voice echoed with the calm authority that Garnet could rally behind “You fought well but the fight is not done yet”

With a gauntleted hand, Ruby pointed up towards the sky and Garnet felt a chill despite the blistering heat as he saw the sky darken as the Laval artillery barrage come to an end.
………………………………..
Fraya looked up from her work as a shiver on anxiety crept along the Laval battalion that was stood around her, the blocks of burning warriors all seeming to straighten and become still at once as a single figure marched down the centre of their ranks. The artillery beasts that towered over her gave a low grunt as the cannon upon its back finally came still and the pain of it’s continues firing finally came to an end. For a moment Fraya found herself staring in fascination as the rock upon its shell bubbled and cooled until it solidified finally and if seemed to slump in content.

Looking back towards the ranks of warriors, the Handmaiden found herself backing away slightly as a massive figure emerged into the clearing that had been forged by the artillery and her small body instinctively took her to stand on the far side of the one of the beasts legs as her eyes widened at the sight of the newcomer.

Standing over a head higher than any other around him and clad in armour of metal that glowed against the heat of his own body and red cloth that swung wildly in the heated air yet seemed to somehow remain untouched by the heat itself and flanked on both sides by a Dual Slasher, hulking figures of red rock and blades as hard a diamond that rose from elbow blades and ankle blades, the Laval Judgment Lord brought an aura of fear that made all around him instinctively back away.
Standing before the Laval army, he gave a growl that echoed around the heat filled air and another figure broke from the ranks of Warriors, a bare chested hulk of rock carrying a lance of molten rock that made the air around it ripple red with heat.

This was the leader of the military decision that Fraya was assigned too, their Lancelord.

“My Lord” The Lancelord bowed to the Judgment Lord as he reached him, his pupiless eyes seemingly unable to look directly at the massive commander “The attack is going as planned. Our warriors have dropped across the entire city and already the Gem-Knights are attempting to evacuate their civilians from our path. I estimate that the city will belong to us and all our foes in the area decimated by night fall tomorrow”

“That is too long” the Judgment Lord hissed and the Lancelord’s eyes flashed a look of worry “The city must burn by tonight”

“B…but my lord. We are working to the full of our capacity and the knights are falling…just give us more time. If we only-”
With nothing more than a growl of contempt, the Judgment Lord’s hand swung out and smashed across the Lancelord’s face in a backhanded strike that tore clean through the rock of the unfortunate Laval being’s face and sent his body flying backwards where it crashed against the pile of artillery beast debris that Fraya had been stacking in an explosion of ash and heat.

The Lancelord did not rise again.

“The knights must die” The Judgment lord growled to everyone around, his arms parting slightly as if to mutely challenge someone else to challenge his decision before he began to walk forwards without so much as a glance towards the dead Lancelord.

As he walked between the artillery beasts, Fraya creped around the beast in order to keep the width of it between herself and the Judgment lord, the flames of her hair flowing wildly in her fear and her wider eyes never leaving him. The Dual Slashers kept by his side as he walked and Fraya couldn’t help but feel as if they were waiting for her to make the slightest movement they could interpret as a threat and gut her on the spot with their arm mounted blades.

Finally, the Judgment Lord came to a halt and stared at the burning Gem-Knight city for what felt for an age before simply glancing back to the Duel Slasher on his right and saying in his rough and harsh voice.

“Bring forth my pet”
…………………………………………………………………….
“Get those carriages moving!”

Ruby’s voice echoed across the crackling of flames as his men cleared the cindering remains of the Laval Warriors and Burner off the road in order to clear the way for the civilian’s to move their carriages out of the square and towards the rear gates of the city. It pained Garnet to see the carriages move because it felt to him like they were surrendering the city to the enemy but as he looked back up towards the now clear sky he could see no other course of action. The only reason that the Laval’s would cease their bombardment would be if they didn’t need to keep the Gem-Knights occupied anymore. It meant that the city was already lost.

“We need every woman and child out of here now before—“

Then the ground shook.

Commander Ruby paused in his orders as he turned to look around the square, his emerald eye lenses shimmering in the fire around him to cover what Garnet could only assume to have been a confused frown before a terrible realisation seemed to strike him and he suddenly spun around and screamed.

“Get those civilians out of here now!”

The woman atop the wagon had just enough time to turn and whip the reigns of the houses into motion before the ground beneath her exploded into a mess of debris and a whirlpool of fire that consumed the jewel encrusted transport in the blink of an eye. The agonised screams of those held within were heard before they were drowned out by a deafening roar as something truly massive pulled itself out of the ground.

Pure wild fire burned across its entire length as clawed limbs of rock that bubbled over angry red liquid grabbed onto the shattered pavement around it and pulled its body upwards. Crude armoured glowed across its front and the flames that burned across it exploded into life as it touched the air above ground, forming a searing tempest around itself that forced any who didn’t already wear a faceplate to turn away and protect their face. Four eyes of burning nothing fixed upon a second carriage as the beast pulled itself up tall, as high as any of the buildings on either side of the street and its maw opened to unleash a roar that made the ground shake, revealing the inside of its throat to be a glowing inferno of bright yellow heat and releasing a stream of embers into the world around it.

“Laval Chain!” Ruby barked as he readied his scythe and backed away a couple of steps from the roaring monstrosity “All Knights to me! Protect the civilians!”

Ignoring the shouts of the Gem-Knight commander, the Laval Chain pulled itself tall and swung its head low, vomiting a stream of liquid fire upon the second carriage and immolating it instantly before the driver had time to respond. Garnet could only look away as he saw the figures of the women and children within silhouetted by the light of their own destruction before they were burned into nothingness.

“Bastard Lavals!” Emerald screamed as he watched the monster seem to pause for a second to bask in its work “Those were none combatants…why would they send a chain to murder civilians?”

“To the Lavals there is no such thing” Garnet muttered “Almost their entire culture is built around war so they have no concept of anyone not being a part of that war. They exist in a permanent state of total war and they fight in that same way”
As if to prove his point, the Laval Chain again swung its head around and the flames around it exploded into harsh energy as it brought hits head back and prepared to unleash another stream of fire at the third wagon. The women and children within it had now at least had time to clamber from the transport that was supposed to be their salvation as they tried to reach the safety of indoors but all they really did was place themselves in the open for the beasts attack. Watching them go, the Laval Chain almost seemed to grin before its head swung forth and fiery death again filled the square. Jamian gave a loud groan from where he hovered as the fleeing civilians vanished from view.

Only to reappear as the flames faded.

Looking up, the stunned civilians could only look up towards the hulking form of Gem-Knight Ruby as he knelt on one knee with his scythe held before him. His ruby armour was scorched black and one of the gems on his left leg plate was shattered but he slowly stood back tall and barked out an order for a couple of knights to escort the civilians away. Around him, the other knights gathered around their commander and Garnet felt a swell of pride as he saw a dozen of his order stand tall against the Laval monster, proud to be standing amongst them.

With a pounding of its arms, the Laval Chain roared out in rage at being denied its kill and pulled itself free of the hole it had emerged from, revealing a long serpent like body to replace any legs it should have had. On either side, long wing like shapes made out of flame rose from its thighs and its four eyes glowed with a bloodlust that would have made lesser men falter. Instead, Ruby held his weapon high and roared at the top of his voice.

“For the order!”

And the Gem-Knights charged.

With a swat of hits arms, the Laval Chain sent the first of them flying away only to have the second knight grip onto its arm before it could raise it and plunge a sword beneath its elbow. The beast roared in pain as it swatted the knight away and vomited out fire upon the other onrushing knights. Another of their number fell as the flames found chinks in his armour and boiled him alive inside, but Ruby and Garnet charged on, reaching the underside of the beast and striking with mad fury against its softer underbelly. Garnet’s glowing fist carved a bloody tare into where he hoped its stomach would be whilst Ruby’s scythe slashed through one of the molten rock like outgrowths that supported its wing like side. Blood that felt like it was nothing more than more fire poured out into the ground and Ruby was forced to step away to save his already abused armour from further damage as the beast howled in agony at their attacks.

“Strike true my brothers” Ruby called as his enchanted blade sliced deeper into the Chain’s body “Bring this foul beast down!”
And slowly, but surely, that is what the Gem-Knights did. Almost as if they were having to bring the monster down step by step, the beast began to fall as they continued to beast against its body with fist, magic and blade, even Jamian hurling a couple of spells its way before it finally crashed against the ground. With a roar, Ruby stood tall above its head and swung his scythe down, hacking at its rocky neck again and again until its roars of agony fuelled rage become twisted gargling noises and the beasts spasms ceased.

Liquid fire blood surrounded their feet as the Gem-Knights panted before, as one, their rose their fist up high and bellowed in victory.

(A/N: I felt that fight should have been a little longer but…meh didn’t want it to get repetitive so made it quick)
………………………………………………………………………………….
At the cities’ main gate, the Laval Warriors that had breached the walls during the bombardment gathered and cheered.

Inhuman voices howled up into the sky as they watched the sky darken and axes made of fire slashed against rock and stone as they attempted to carve a way through the iron of the gates.

From the top of the gate house, a set of civilians that had managed to reach to temporary salvation of the gate house joined in with the Knight guardians in hurling whatever form of projectile they could lay their hands on at the Laval Warriors to little effect other than to increase their blood rage. Here and there a couple fell, a lucky arrow plunging into the upward looking eye of a Warrior or a spear burring deep within another’s chest but the rest simply took the blows and beat at the gate, the ancient metal groaning under the strain.

Then, with a loud roar of sudden excitement, the Laval group separated to allow three larger, hunched figures to assault the gates. The three Burner’s howled and grinned as their flame engulfed gauntlets tore at the gates and the metal finally gave way completely under their sheer brute power, allowing them access to the gatehouse.

The few Gem-Knights within put up a valiant struggle as the Warriors and Burners crammed into the claustrophobic room but slowly the gate swung open as the mechanism holding it closed was broken and it was over the dripping blood of the knights that the main Laval army finally charged into the city.
………………………………………………………………………………...
Garnet looked up as the sound of roaring and chaos began to swarm from the direction of the main gate and saw an inferno spreading within the walls. The sound of screaming echoed across the heated air as the civilians who had not managed to reach them were consumed by the legion of fire and hate that was now breaching their homes and bringing nothing but death and agony in their wake.

They had tallied for too long…the city had fallen.

“Move now!” Ruby roared and the carriages that had survived the attack from the Laval Chain broke into movement, heading in the opposite direction from the inferno and towards a hidden gate that stood on the far side of the city. Women cradled weeping children as the carriages smashed through the smoking body of the Chain, knocking it from the road as the Knights jogged alongside, ready to protect it should something else attempt to intercept them. Here and there a Laval Warrior threw itself blindly from the buildings on either side of the road but they were quickly cut down and the convoy made its way to the rear exist as without further loses.

Stopping in front of the solid stone walls, Ruby paused as he held something concealed within his palm to an engraving upon its surface and the rocks parted to allow them to pass.

As the rocks slowly suddered back into place once they had all passed through, Garnet looked back into the city he had grown up in to see nothing but fire…


So, I hope you enjoyed that one Smile New characters galore and all that. But don’t worry, next chapter we do return back to the Gishki and the Gusto where events are going to take a turn for the worse for all in the Mist Valley and beyond.
This chapter again felt to be slow to write due to wanting to introduce characters as well as have action in it and at the same time trying to avoid being repetitive (though find a song that felt appropriate aided me a great deal) so please excuse any chunkiness to it….next chapter is already underway and is flowing a lot better in terms of writing due to being back to the main characters.


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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 am

This is indeed an interesting chaptr. Love how you made the Gem-Knight's personality and ethic code. It seems like Gem-Knights are actually like this in canon. Laval Judgment Lord too has some kind of fearsome aura which seems to make him looks so powerful. Too bad in the end their city fallen.


Still, there are few things which bugs me :


a.) Laval Chain is actually Ritua/Gishki Chain (both are same creature), and Chain appears later after the battle with Inverz/Steelswarm is over. Laval chain was created when Ritua managed to absorb Laval's power and used them as their power source.


b.) I don't know about it in canon but I think Gem-Knight Ruby is the more powerful version of Gem-Knight Garnet (He is a Fusion monster which used Gem-Knight Garnet + 1 Gem-Knight monster as the material). And so far, I haven't seen a Gem-Knight Fusion here. Correct me if I'm wrong.


c.) It's weird to see Gem-Knight fight individually and not using a Gem-Knight Fusion which is actually the very root of their power. (And yes. Dueling any deck without Gem-Knight Fusion would make me losing most of the matches. at least in my case)


Aside of these three, this story is interesting. I'm looking forward for your next chapter :]

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:28 am

Glad you liked it Smile

As for you points:

1. I admit that when I first decided that there was going to be a Laval Chain in this chapter I hadnt realised that it was a gishki/laval monster but did see smilarites between it and many Gishki units (for some reason it didnt click). I knew of it since then but decided to keep the Chain in this for a reason that will come more apparent later on when the tribes do ally with each other and the Gishki begin to take power for the Laval.

2. I have plans for what I want Garnet to be later on and so made Ruby into a more mentor/leader like figure to him. Ruby taught him most of what he knows and thus he is in a way a more powerful version of him as Garnet wishes to be like him.

3. I did consider having the fusion aspect for the Gem-Knights but it didnt quite feel right whenever i tried to imagine how I would write that. I'm trying to keep this story as realistic as a fantasy story can be so I was too sure about how to go about it (other than have knights shout "Laval!" and run into each other Razz ). I have got some ideas about how I will incorprite Gem-Knight fusion later on but it wont be exactly what it is like in the game, it will most likely be introduced next time the knights are seen. For now I wanted them to be more like an order of elite warrior/knights.

So in summery: All you points are completely correct, but I has a plan Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:50 am

Another good story from you, coming-san. (well i have a bad feel if call u coming, but well)

To be honest, i agree for the point no3 since it'll strange if the true power comes suddenly in the early story. except, we're on Super Sentai series/fanfic, it'll really strange if no " Henshin " and the ranger fight by theirself without their transform power. i think gem knight doesnt strong by fusion alone. their ATK power is a bit, well, beatie. Even so they must have their fusion card.

Well, what can i say is...im waiting for the Gishki x Gusto scene. I'm thrilled by ur way to describe them XD

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:25 pm

Hmmm..Coming-san. I like it ^_^ But you can call me Darkness if saying Coming is strange (its what most other people do.

Also, glad your enjoying it and I will address the fusion thing later on for the knights. For now however, we return back to the Gusto and the Gishki Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:50 am

A/N: I return from my couple of weeks of holiday armed with the reworked version of chapter 8-now with completely rewritten Reeze section!

Chapter 8
The Summons

Gulldo clicked his beak in his equivalent of a smile as he lowered down to perch upon the banister that surrounded his master’s home, his wings flicking slightly in the air at the soft sound of humming drifting out through the open window. When he landed, his green feather coated head twitched to the side slightly as he look through the open door to see Wynn sitting cross-legged before a set of boxes that lay in the corner of the room, her green hair lying lose around her head, void of the usual ponytail, and her brown cloak hanging from a hook on the far wall, giving the girl a casual and content appearance that she normally wouldn’t show.

The bird paused as he listened to her hum, the soft tune sounding both joyful and solemn at the same time and he took a step forwards, tilting his head in the other direction. He didn’t recognise the song, it wasn’t a tune that had originated from any of the bards or remembrances that wrote the great poems and songs typically heard in the village. No, whilst they tended to be happy and strong in their belief in the forest, this sounded lost and calm at the same time, as if sung by someone who held hope for joy despite times of pain. It was a song from Wynn’s past, Gulldo could tell that much, music that must have risen to her subconscious as she rummaged through the boxes that contained various momentums from her time before she joined the Gusto tribe.

“Oh hey there Gulldo”

Gulldo jumped slightly as Wynn’s voice broke through his thoughts, instinctively flapping his wings as if to get away from a threat before he managed to pull himself back together and flew into the room, giving a slight cooing sound in acknowledgment to the charmers greeting. He felt disappointed that he had been noticed, because he knew that there was no way the girl would resume her humming whilst she knew someone was watching and he had been enjoying listening to it…

“I’m just going through a few things” Wynn said to him, guessing at whatever mute question he was going to ask her with a kind smile “Thought the place could do with a clear up”

Gulldo simply clicked his beak again as he watched her pull out one of the boxes and begin to rummage through the contents. He saw her pull out thick books and scrolls along with random pieces of fabric, each baring various symbols and runes that only Wynn would be able to understand, and place them into piles that she could sort out later. Feathers, long empty pots of ink, a compass and even a children’s toy all piled up around them and Gulldo found a strange fascination in these items of the charmer’s past, playing a game with himself in trying to guess what she would pull out from the box next.

It was only when she found herself holding a small framed picture that Wynn paused in her reorganising, her mouth twitching in a faint smile as she stopped to examine it. Tilting his head slightly questioningly as his wings flapped around him, carrying his body back into the air so that he could fly to land upon the charmer’s shoulder, Gulldo gazed down at the picture she was looking at with his own blood ruby red eyes.

He found his head twitching to the side agin involuntarily as he found himself looking down towards a set of six children, each wrapped in cloaks and wielding staffs, all smiling warmly at Gulldo as they looked up towards him from the black and white image. The bird felt a twinge of mixed emotions as he instantly recognised the image of a younger Wynn, his beak clicking slightly as he saw a smile upon the girl that he could only describe as innocent, the smile of a girl whose whole world revolved around the friends that surrounded her. By her left shoulder hovered the small form of a dragon, a tiny creature that beamed outwards with an open mouthed grin as its serpentine body curled slightly around her shoulder as if in mid embrace, wings held high.

Gulldo felt his feathers rustle and twitch around his neck as he found himself looking into the drawn face of Petit Dragon, a strange sense of distaste that almost felt alien to the bird familiar beginning to twirl through his guts at the sight of the his predecessor.

Wynn often spoke to him about her time before she had come to live with the Gusto, of the time she had spent training with her fellow charmers under the teachings of a woman named Doriado but her former familiar had always been something of a touchy subject for the girl. From what little he did know however, the tiny dragon had left Wynn in search of a source for greater power, a path that had led to its own destruction. Whilst the bird knew that there had to be more to the story that Wynn wasn’t telling, Gulldo still saw looks of sorrow cross his master’s expression whenever the dragon came up in one of her talks about the past and that was enough for him to instantly dislike the creature. If he ever met Petit Dragon, Gulldo thought to himself, he would give the dragon a piece of his mind…

“Am I interrupting?”

Both charmer and new familiar jumped as their inner thoughts were broken by a third voice calling into the room, a set each of red and green eyes rising to see a tall figure step into the room with hood drawn.

Wrapped in a deep white cloak and baring a staff that looked more like the branches of a tree that had grown in upon itself, the priest Musto smiled down at the Charmer as he stepped into view and gave a need nod of respect. Charms and icons baring the symbols of the Gusto priesthood hung around his chest and upon his robe, making his position in the Gusto society clear and a thick jewel of deep green pulsed at top his staff with contained power.

“Just doing a bit of reorganisation” Wynn said as she placed the picture back down with a last glance before standing and dusting herself off, Gulldo flying from her shoulder to land on a nearby ledge, his mannerism showing irritation at having been startled again “What can I do for you Musto? Have I done something to tick off the priesthood again?”

Musto simply smiled as he pulled his hood down, revealing a short green coloured goatee which always made Wynn struggle no to laugh, and fixing her with eyes that seemed to be a strange mixture between green and gold. Musto had always been a figure of respect for Wynn, ever since she had first arrived at the Gusto tribe years before. In order for an outsider to join the tribe a member of its order had to vouch for the newcomer and agree to take them under their wing in a way and, had it not been for the fact that no priest was permitted to do this, Musto had often said that he would have done this himself in place of Windaar, who had only really done it after some convincing from Reeze. Since then however, he had been the one to keep her in check and show her the ways of the tribe in place of Windaar and had been there for her after she herself had been initiated into the ranks of the priesthood, always showing a great amount of patience and kindness beneath a stern exterior.

He reminded Wynn a little of Doriado…

“You aren’t in trouble with them this time Wynn” the man smiled, using the charmer’s real name instead of the one she had been appointed after Windaar had vouched for her “At least as far as I know. In fact I have been sent to give you a summons to the council”

“Summons?” Wynn frowned as she shoved the box she had been routing through back into its place. Usually the other members of the priesthood left her out of the gatherings of the priesthood, keeping such talks for only the inner circle of the elite priests and she was fine with that, after all it saved her from the boredom of sitting through the boring talks about events and arrangements for tributes to the forest and everyday life for the tribe. “If they want me to attend a council meeting then it must be something important”

“Indeed” Musto nodded “I know not what though”

“Hmm” Wynn simply sighed as she walked across the room to where her robe hung and placed it around her shoulders, straightening her white blouse and picking up her staff, smiling slightly as the crystal built into its hilt glowed under her touch. The staff had always been with her, since the start of her training as an Elemental Charmer and she always felt complete when she gripped it. She smiled slightly as she poked at the prone form of a rabbit doll that lay on the windowsill beside it, the slowly yellowing doll bobbing slightly under her touch. Then, with a quick straightening of her hair she turned and walked over towards where Musto was once again placing his hood back up “Lead the way then”

Clicking her fingers with a smile, Wynn angled a shoulder to allow Gulldo to once again fly over and land upon her before following Musto from the room, her mind wondering slightly as they walked, trusting in her own feet to carry her.

If the council viewed a meeting to have a high enough importance that they were summoning every member of the priesthood to attended then it had to be something important to the tribe as a whole…and in a tribe that was in a state of war that could be anything. Small Gishki forces were constantly marching along and into the outer lines of the Gusto territories, as if searching for weak points or back entrances through their defences and small skirmishes had broken out across all of the main roads through the forest. Clashes of armies that were quick and bloody due to the small numbers used on both sides but were still enough to be felt through the soul of the forest, the very animals seeming uneasy whenever they saw bird mounted Gusto flying to where ever their next ambush would be.

She hadn’t seen Reeze in nearly a week now, the warrior having been tasked with helping in the defence of the central road and thus would have been caught in the most of the fighting as the Gishki hunted for ways into the forest. She never doubted for a second that her friend would be able to fend for herself upon the battlefield but that didn’t mean that she didn’t worry every time she heard of a new skirmish being fought across the forest.

And then there was Eria. If any of the information and propaganda that came through the Gusto council about the Gishki tribe was to be believed then the entire tribe was now dedicating itself towards the aim of fighting the war and perfecting foul ritual spells that gave birth to monsters unlike anything nature would have created. There were tales of monstrosities that resembled giant crabs or worms moving around the border and giant ogre like creatures that marched alongside the Gishki patrols. Wynn knew that Eria would not willingly aid in the creation of such monsters yet had heard that the charmer of water had now come to play a key role in the casting of those very rituals…

She could only hope her old friend was ok…
………………………………………………………………….
Reeze groaned to herself as she pulled her mind from the abyss of slumber, her star shaped eyes tightening against the evening light that glared down upon her from the tree blotted sky. Her hand instinctively rose to cover her face as she felt a wave of nausea grip her before she was able to fight it back down and rose from the rock she had been laying upon, mentally scolding herself for ever being stupid enough to think it would have made a good pillow no matter how tired she had been at the time. The dull throbs of pain seemed to accompany the stinging of the various cuts and bruises that covered parts of her arms to make an overall numbness that left her drained as she pushed her body backwards across the grass she had been sleeping on to instead use the rock as a backrest, leaning back on it as she looked around at her surroundings.

The camp that the division of soldiers she was stationed with had made was nothing special to look at, the few blankets and cooking areas that had been set up were only really meant to be used for a day or two before they were sent to wherever the Gishki were moving next, forever moving to push them back where they attempted to enter the forest. Said Gishki groups were small in number and rarely matched from the same direction, making Reeze feel like they were still simply testing the Gusto defences. It felt to her like they were still caught in the prelude to a great conflict that would be fought for the very soul of the Valley…like every fight that had occurred over the last few weeks were still waiting for some catalyst to open the gates to full blown war.

All the fighting still felt like the calm before the storm…

With a groan, Reeze shook her head clear of such thoughts and allowed her eyes to drift closed again. She could feel fatigue from fighting grip around her body like a lead vice as her arms dropped back to their sides, muscles she didn’t even know she had voicing their distaste to her beneath dark blue burses. She had always thought the thrill of fighting as something great; she had joined the Gusto armed defences in the belief that it was a way to do something for the good of the forest and the tribe without going down the route of joining the priests who called her to them simply for the shape of her iris. She was a great fighter, capable of feats of agility and tactical blows to a foe that made her more than an equal for any of the Gishki warriors she had been facing and she had lost count now of the amount that had fallen beneath her staff in the last two weeks. But, for all of the good she knew she was doing in fending the Gishki from the forest, she couldn’t help but lose sight of the glory that she had expected.

Looking down at her hands, she sighed as she remembered how just the day before they had been covered in the blood of a young Gusto warrior who had fallen to the blade of a monstrosity born from arcane magic rituals. She had fought alongside him as they engaged the monster, its four arms glistening with liquid and black blood as it swung swords and chains towards them, but had failed to protect him as a blow from the beast had gouged through the boys chest and sent blood pouring through the air. She could still see the sight of the boy stumbling back, hands rising to his chest as if hoping to prevent his own organs from falling free from the hole in his body before he had crashed into the dirt. The ritual born beast hadn’t even paused to watch the boy fall.

He had been a year younger then Reeze…

Again the warrior girl shook her head and tried to push the thoughts from her mind, instead deciding to focus her attention upon correcting the metal band that held up the left of her two large plums of hair, taking comfort from the way her hands fell into automatic set of motions at an action that was every day and normal. She felt her head bob slightly as the band came undone and the large clump of orange tipped green hair fell free to fall across her face and combed her figures through it, clearing what little amount of dirt she could before scrunching the end back up and clasping the metal band back into place. Her eyes closed as she wrapped the red ribbon back around the tip of the band ran her hands along the length of the oversized ponytail, using the sense of touch to ensure it was done correctly where her eyes could not see. Once she was satisfied she proceeded to do the same with the other before allowing her arms to again drop to her sides.

With a frown, she opened her eyes and tilted her head to look towards where one of her hands had banged against something cold and hard, a smile twitching across her face as she saw a bowl of a thin, watery stew lying beside where she lay from where someone must have left it during her sleep, leaving for when she work up rather than trying to wake her. It was a kind gesture and, even though the already watery stew of bread and herbs was now cold and flavourless, she dug in hungrily as if just now remembering how hungry she had been and made a mental note to find out who had left it and thank them.

After a while she again looked up from the bowl, chewing on a chunk of soggy bread thoughtfully, and found her eyes falling upon the small collection of blanket covered bodies which lay in the corner of the clearing they had camped in. Six bodies, each delicately covered by a deep green blanket baring the Gusto logo and with their weapons lay alongside them as a gesture of respect. Six men who had died fighting this day against the Gishki and six men that Reeze had been fighting alongside of…six men that had died fighting.

“All return to the spirit of the world around them” She heard a priest say from where he stood beside the bodies, laying a blanket over the body of a man who bore a harsh slashing wound to his neck. Upon his cold chest was the tiny form of a green feathered bird, the man’s familiar that had died alongside its master in the fight now to be buried alongside him. “We all rise from the bounty of life and we all return to it to grant new life to the soil and thus to all life. Those who fall fighting to preserve the order of life die for the highest of reasons and shall be remembered as such”

It was a sermon she had heard carried out too many times since she had left the safety of the main Gusto village and marched with the rest of the warriors, one following each clash with the Gishki to mark the deaths of any Gusto that fell. There were none given for the Gishki, those who had dared to threaten the forest were simply buried where their bodies would perhaps redeem their fate in some way by decaying and providing life giving nutrients to the forest whilst the monsters they marched with were burned on great pyres, the unnatural bodies having no place in the passing of life.

“Why the long face?”

Reeze jumped slightly as a voice from behind her broke her from her train of thoughts, her tired hands finding the strength to instinctively reach up and grip the hilt of her staff from where it lay beside her, ready to defend herself before she managed to register the smiling face of a boy leaning over her shoulder from behind with raised eyebrows. Even then it took her another moment to even manage to work out why he was there when he should have been back at the village, not all the way out at a military camp…

“You look tired”

“Kamui? What are you doing here?”

“I thought you could do with some company” The boy grinned as if the statement was the most obvious thing in the world before he swung his body away from the branch he had been hanging from by his legs, using the resulting momentum to fling himself upright to land on his feet beside Reeze “And judging by your mood I was right”

Reeze simply huffed as she shook her head at him, unable to prevent a smile from twitching across her face for a brief moment. Only Kamui would travel the many miles that stretched between the village and the camp, into the middle of what was now in all regards a war zone where he could be killed simply because he thought that a friend of his might possible lonely. She felt the need to scold him for being so foolish to spend what must have been the better part of a day traveling and then a second day to travel back to and from a very dangerous place simply to check up on her but she couldn’t help but feel touched at his concern. Kamui always had other people in mind and had often said that he hated seeing people upset or depressed, most notably Wynn whenever she got nostalgic and would always do his best to put them right. It had been his idea to throw Wynn a private party during the tribal celebrations the month before and now he had sacrificed whatever plans he could have had to visit her.

“Well you’ve been gone for a long time now…” He said, seeming to guess at what she had been thinking “Wynn and I were starting to get worried”

“I can handle myself out here Kamui” Reeze frowned “It will take more than a few Gishki brutes to put me down…though this food is coming pretty close…”

Kamui smirked as she tossed the bowl to the side, spraying its grey contents onto the base of a tree with a look of distaste. His brown cloak flapping slightly as he turned and began to walk away, gesturing for her to follow in a very ‘walk with me, talk with me’ manner. For a moment the warrior girl simply watched him before following out of the boundaries of the camp and into the forest where they could talk in peace from any prying eyes. For a time the two talked of how things were back home, how the conflicts were effecting everyday life and other points that seemed irrelevant to anything really and were simply spoken off for the sake of having something to speak about. For a few moments Reeze was able to forget about the fact that she was fighting in a war and just talk with a friend as she had done before.

“So when can we expect you back home?”

“When the forest is safe” Reeze found herself frowning at her companion, unsure as the when their conversation had moved to that topic

“Yer but when will that be?” Kamui smirked “You’ve been at it for a couple of weeks now and you still haven’t sent the Gishki home crying. I’m disappointed”

Simply rolling her eyes, Reeze bite back the desire to snap at him about how the fighting was not a laughing matter, that the fighting was a serious threat to things but found a look of honest worry hidden behind his humours expression. Yes, she thought, that was how Kamui handled things that worried him, he made jokes.

“I’ll have to put on my scary face next time I see them then” She grinned back, deciding to humour him “Like that time you let Falcor lose in my house and he tore up my furniture”

“Hey he was only young then!” the boy blushed, embarrassed at the memory of the destruction his familiar had carried out “And he was excited to see you”

“Hmmm” Now it was Reeze’s turn to laugh as she watched Kamui look down towards the floor, giving him a nudge in the arm to show she wasn’t still cross. She had lost count that day of the amount of apologies the boy had given whilst she had forced him to clear up the mess, holding her staff in hand the entire time to ensure he got the point “Ah well, you did a good enough job clearing up”

For a second they were silent again before, as if someone had flicked a switch, Kamui’s eyes flashed back into life and his enthusiastic tone returned like it had never been interrupted, changing the topic quickly before he managed to get into trouble again “So I’ve been listening to what some of the priests have been talking about back at the main village, you know, doing my usual eavesdropping and they were talking about you the other day”

“I couldn’t care less” was Reeze only reply, mentally sighing as she imagined what new sort of plans the priesthood would have for her. Ever since she had been born with eyes tainted with the image of the Gusto star logo, something that could not be explained, the priesthood had often tried to recruit her into their ranks and she had refused them at every turn. Now with war looming over the tribe like a hungry animal, she could only imagine of how they intended to make her into a figure head for their movements.

“Yer yer I know” Kamui shook his head with amusement, his eyes flashing with a look of anticipation “But they weren’t talking about taking you from the fighting this time. They are already talking about giving you a higher position in the military actions of our tribe now that the Gishki are our enemies. Guardian Reeze has a nice ring to it me thinks”

Reeze stopped walking at his words, her eyes fixing upon the boy for a time. A Guardian was the appointed name given to one of the military leaders of the Gusto tribe, someone who’s task it is to guard the forest from those who would see harm done to it and to guard the lives of those that called it home. It was a title of great respect for any warrior and there were only three in the entire tribe. Her commanding officer and mentor, Windaar, was a Guardian, leader of her group of warriors and final word in whatever battle plans or ambushes they planned complete with the combat powers to lead them from the front in a way Reeze could never do…she didn’t even have a bird familiar!

“I’m no Guardian…”

“Already aiming for the rank of Sage Reeze?”

The Whirlwind of Gusto felt her face flourish into a embarrassed blush as she turned to see the hooded shape of Windaar himself appear as if on cue behind her, emerging from a patch of deep shade beneath a massive oak tree, his narrow green eyes looking down at her with a look that she honestly wasn’t sure was one of humour or warning.

“N…No of course not!” She shouted a little too loud as she took a step back and held her arms up in a defensive manner with palms forward. Beside her she could hear Kamui struggle to not laugh at her reaction and she made a mental note to kill him later “I’m a frontline soldier sir! Nothing more than that and happy to be so…if anyone should be granted the rank of Sage it would be you”

“Hmmm” Windaar raised an eyebrow beneath his brown hood as he folded his arms. “Well lets both hope that it doesn’t get to the point in which a Sage is needed yes?”

“Of course sir” Reeze simple nodded, looking down towards the ground as if hoping it would just open up and eat her right there.

The rank of Sage was one only ever given to a member of the Gusto tribe in a time of greatest need, when hope begins to fade and the very existence of the tribe is threatened. A sage was given complete command over all aspects of the tribal life, from the gathering a food to the army in the hopes that having a single commander leading them towards their aim would bring a more united front to the tribe that, whilst it came at the cost of freedom for the tribe, would make hem a more efficient force without the clashing of ideas from three separate Guardians. Of course such a roll was only given to someone who the tribe could trust completely to lead well and also to give up the power when the time comes, someone selected personally by the priests themselves. Windaar was right…they had to hope the conflict with the Gishki would not come to the stage where a Sage was needed…

“Either way” Windaar said, changing the subject “I’m afraid Reeze that you will have to simply make do with being a messenger for now”

“A messenger”

“Indeed” her commander nodded with the trace of a smile “The priests are calling for all of the Guardians to gather in the main village in order to attend a meeting of sorts that they seem to be holding. I can tell it’s something important but, if I’m honest, I hate the slowness of those meetings. Thus my dear, I’m sending you in my place”

“What?” Reeze sighed, failing to keep the disappointment form entering her voice “Your taking me from the front lines to listen to a bunch of old men talk about the front lines?”

“Pretty much. Think of it as a break from the fighting”

“And what am I supposed to tell them?” The girl found herself looking in the general direction that the priest she had seen before had been “I doubt the priests will appreciate you sending someone in your stead if they sent you a personal summons”

“Tell them I’m too busy fighting to save their lives” Windaar simply shrugged before turning and starting to walk away, his smile vanishing as he fell back into his usual serious persona “Hell, tell them that I’m dead if you want. That way they won’t send me any more summons…”
………………………………………………
Long before the relations of the Gusto and the Gishki had come anywhere near the state of war that now raged between the two of them, before Noellia had decreed that the Gishki needed to expand their territory in order to survive, the two tribes had been allies that traded resources and goods with one another. Whilst they had for the most part done this via the main roads of the Mist Valley forest, a few of the more shadowy deals had taken place in a vast network of caves and tunnels that ran from across the border of the tribes. Starting from the base of a rocky cliff that ran along the shore of an outskirt town under the Gishki tribe it consisted of a vast networks of tunnels that lead to dead ends and waterfalls, but most lead to a second small village in the near the centre of the Gusto territory, just a few miles away from the Gusto main settlement. However, when the relationship between the two tribes slowly began to fall apart due to mutual distrust and disagreements the paths were closed and the underground ways had fallen into disrepair, leaving many of them unusable.

Now Avance could feel his frustration growing with every step as his eyes ran across the chunks of caved in rock and broken support pillars, his eyes narrow as he regarded the destruction of the paths he had been intending to use. When he had offered up the plan to use the tunnels to seek though the Gusto lines to Noellia, he had been expecting to find them open and free to be used as they had been years ago but now they lay shattered and beyond his hope of accessing. He had sent scouts to hunt through the entire span of the tunnels to hunt for a way through but already he was starting to imagine the anger of his mistress when he returned in failure.

Behind him, a set of Gishki warriors marched in silence behind him, the only sound emitting from them being the bounding of their feet and the odd splashing sound of whatever aquatic features they bore shifting around them. This sound, when it fused with the ambient noses of the cave around them made an eerie shift in the air that did little to ease Avance’s unease. If the scouts didn’t return successful in their quest to find an open path than he doubted he would be trusted with another mission for a long time…and he had sent the best scouts he could, creatures who lived in these very caves.

“They shall return soon my lord” One of the men said, walking beside him with fish like eyes tilted towards Avance as if he sensed what he had been thinking “The Visions know this cave better than anyone. If they cannot find a way through to the Gusto territory than none exists”

“That’s what worries me” Was all the silver heard warrior said as he scowled at pillar of stone that lay shattered upon the floor, its surface decayed by time to the point of shattering under its own weight.

The group fell into silence again for nearly half an hour, the warriors marching behind Avance as they moved deeper and deeper into the cave, finding paths blocked by rubble or simply falling into pits where the ground itself have crumbled. Avance’s anger was slowly glowing and his men didn’t dare speak up to him, his hand constantly resting upon the hilt of his sword. With a flick of his wrist, he moved the group down another tunnel and lead them into the blackness within only to call them to a halt when a fait voice whispered out towards them.

“That way is blocked too…”

Avance made no form of reply as he turned his head just enough to be able to watch a new shape appear in the corner of his eyes. His mouth twitched slightly as he registered the wet shine of light reflecting from a sickly wet, scaly hide as a creature that somewhat resembled one of their Shadows looked up towards him with four orange eyes which stared outwards void of any form of iris. Its skin was leathery and made a disturbing sloshing sound whenever it moved and thick webbing ran between its figures and ran along the entirety of its legs, fusing them to the creature’s lower body and tale in such a way that it was forced to waddle forward rather than walk properly. Behind it flowed a long tale ending in a fishlike fin which swayed in the dirty cave water and in place of feet it simply held a single toe like structure which by all rights should not have been able to support the creature’s weight.

The creature was a Gishki Vision, a strange sub species of the Shadows that played a key role in the Gishki society, so named for the fact that they bore a strange skin which allowed them to morph their scales to become less obvious to a naked eyes. Even when he was watching it, Avance kept feeling like he was losing sight of it as its scales seemed to shift and blend with the rocks around it that, a perfectly camouflaging body that was only broken by the its glowing eyes and a large jewel that had been fused upon its forehead, the shape of the Gishki Mirror seeming to pulse an icy blue as the beast moved to stand before Avance and bowed.

“We are at your disposal my lord” The Vision hissed, its voice harsh and slippery as its toothless snout twisted to form the words, four eyes closing just long enough to hold a shimmer of respect before opening again to prevent its body vanishing from sight again. When a Gishki Vision closed its eyes for any length of time the magic fused within the mirror it wore upon its head, a gift upon the sub race as a symbol of companionship by the leader of the Gishki that Noelle had succeeded, took effect and increased the natural camouflaging ability of the Vision and made it all but invisible to the naked eyes. This had been given as a way for the Visions to be able to have safety from predators that lived in their caves, notably when the vision was asleep, but now, under the command of Noelle’s more realistic view of the world, it allowed them to be used as spies and infiltrates.

“What are you reports?” The silver haired soldier asked simply, finally turning around fully to face the hunched creature as he ignored the curses and shouts of the men around him who had only now noticed the presence of the Vision, startled by how close it had come before revealing itself.

“We have scouted through the tunnels” The Vision hissed, its webbed hand gesturing deeper into the cave as if to prove its point “Many paths through to the other side have been lost to the passing of time, cave ins and decay have claimed many of the routs that were often taken…”

“Is there still a way through?” Avance asked, allowed a tinge of warning to enter his voice as he felt irritation rise at the seeming delay tactic that the Vision was taking as it spoke only of paths lost. As far as Avance was concerned, paths that could be taken may as well not exist and thus had no point in even being mentioned.

Before him, the Vision simply looked downward, its orange eyes twitching within its angled skull as it seemed to struggle to find words and a long red tongue appearing to lick at its lipless beak with a twinge of unease. A strange silence fell upon the group as Avance stared coldly at the creature and the men around him glanced at each worryingly, cautious of how their commander was going to react to the Vision’s lack of a useful reply. The moment seemed to drag on eternity as the silken gripped them before Avance simply sighed and drew the sword that hung from his belt, using the tip of its blade to lift the Vision’s chin upwards.

“I can tell from your actions that you don’t want to tell me about the path that is still open to us” he said, his voice low and eerily calm “Why is that?”

“Because the way is cursed”

Avance raised an eyebrow as he turned to see a second Gishki Vision appear beside the first, the new comer’s eyes blinking slightly as they adjusted and its webbed hands flexing slightly. Around its shoulders, the new arrival bore a deep blue fabric which was rimmed with the golden fish like patens that marked members of the Gishki tribe and the mirror upon its head glistened brightly as the beast nodded. This was clearly the leader of the Vision group that had met them and even now, sets of orange eyes could be seen opening around the party as an ever growing number of the beasts revealed themselves to be surrounding Avance’s group.

“Cursed?” Avance felt his grip tighten upon the hilt of his sword as he stepped away, his eyes narrowing as the creatures above stared down towards him. He had never trusted the Visions, their natural deceptive nature making their motives unclear and unpredictable and he their presence made him feel uneasy to be near the creatures.

“Yes” The leader of the visions hissed back, a thick figure tapping its temple as it waddled a couple of steps forwards “We hear voices whenever we pass through that passage…whispers from a time long past that echo of horrors we don’t understand and we see…”

“You see what?”

For a moment the Shadow seemed to struggle to find the correct words before he simply looked back up with distant eyes.

“We see the swarm…and endless swarm of life and death that stairs back at us with a never-ending hunger”

“I’m hardily going to stop the mission I have been given because of some ghost stories”

“You don’t understand” The Vision droned, its orange eyes almost looking towards him pleadingly towards him “We can feel death within that tunnel. It is not a path that should be taken…no matter what the reason”

“Silence!”

The leader Gishki Vision fell silent as he looked away from Avance, his orange eyes closing slightly in anticipation of a blow that never came. Instead, Avance walked over and knelt before the creature with a dead pan expression.

“You will take me to the path through these caves to the Gusto lines, and we will use that route to further our cause. Do you understand me?”

“Yes…”

“Good, then we shall hear no more of this” Avance nodded as he stood again and began to walk in the direction the Vision’s had first come from “We shall pass through and back out before whatever these phantom voices belong to even know we are there”

As the group began to leave, the leader of the Gishki Visions simply shook his head as he began to follow, muttering a sentence in silence as he began to follow.

“The swarm already knows we are here…”

Chapter 9 - The Tomb, is almost done and will be released soon Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:32 am

Hello peoples. I’m aware I have been void of updates for a while just wanted to post a little ‘hey’ up to say that I am now returning to unit after the summer and this means I am now able to devote time to writing (I work better when I have structure to my days). Chapter 9 is well under way and has been named “The Tomb and the Cathedral” so look forward to that Smile

So yer. I’m not gone and am back to work now. Expect updates soon.

Also first lesion I had of the year was Writing Fiction and the moral of the lesion was that guys can not write well for female characters and vice versa…I look at this story and I laugh.

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:22 am

what can i say is...lol too long

but ill read. Very Happy. glad you've back~

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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:10 pm

I love writing. I love the Duel Terminal Story line.

I hate the sheer vagueness of the Duel Terminal storyline.

Surely this would all make sense to have me write this story to keep myself happy?
¬_¬

Anyway, I’ve been silent for so long because, besides having my computer go bye bye for a time from a virus and losing all my saved files, I’ve been struggling in dealing with a University teacher in my Creative Writing course who seems determined to declare that all writers beyond herself suck…

(Any other excuses I can make?)

Without going too much into what she’s been doing in this regard that has demoralized me quite a bit in my writing (along with my entire class). That’s not to say I’ve been sat in silence for that time, I have been planning such tales to tell in this story, tales of war and betrayal and hope the spreads throughout the course of the Duel Terminal timeline from the feasting of the Steelswarm to the end of all things.

Now my course nears its ends and I have somewhat decided to completely ignore everything I have heard in that class for a while that wasn’t of use in improving my writing. I am not here to write what she calls a good story (two old women sat by the window talking…that was it), I am here to tell the story of Wynn the Wind Charmer, Eria the Water Charmer and all those who live alongside of them in the Mist Valley.

Now I return, my story completely planned from start to finish, a new version of the DT that will keep even those who know the story well guessing as to what will happen. Though it will follow the basic plotline, the vagueness of the official line has given me much leeway to play with Smile

So. Here I stand once more, ready to plunge into the war for the Valley once more. You are welcome to join me in my decent into madness Smile

Chapter 9
The Tomb and the Cathedral.


At the centre of the Gusto Tribes relationship with the forest around them was the priesthood, men and women who were said to be able to speak as one with the spirits of the world around them, to be able to understand the will of the forest. They were present in everything that the Gusto did, living at the centre of their tribe’s culture and making their presence felt in any military expeditions that should occur but their base of operations was a great structure built on the outskirts of the Gusto home tribe.

Carved out of wood that was said to bare traces of every tree in the entire forest, the Cathedral of the Forest stood as a testament to the people’s commitment to the forest around them, dozens of levels, walls, windows, ramps and halls all grown and built into the trees around them into a single building that stretched to the size of the legendary Gem-Knight fortresses of old. From great open roofed baloneys giant birds flew to and from the fortress in as constant a stream of traffic as you would find anywhere else in the entirety of the Mist Valley and along the base of the walls animals of all shapes and sizes gathered as one, calling to one another in a chorus of calls that echoed for miles around. Tree roots and vines rose from the ground and hung form the trees to fuse into the structure like life giving veins tying it into the very body of nature and there was even a small stream of water which ran through the rear walls and the heart of the Cathedral.

Walking along the winding dirt path that lead up towards the main entrance to the Cathedral, Wynn couldn’t help but remember the first time she had been brought here, on the day that she had been officially accepted into the tribe. Back then the great structure had seemed so intimidating to her, something on par with the magician’s guild where she and the other charmers has spent a part of their training yet carved from living tress instead of stone and marble. It had been the sort of thing she had only dreamed of existing. Since then she had come here four times yet she still felt herself pause to stare at it with a smile.

“Keep up Wynn” Musto spoke over his shoulder with a raised eyebrow, tilting his head without breaking step “We don’t want to be late”

“Speak for yourself” was all the Charmer muttered in reply before jogging a few steps to catch up, getting a low chuckle from the priest. She felt Gulldo shift upon her shoulder with an annoyed click of his beak as the sudden rise of speed caused him to lose his perch, flapping his wings to avoid falling off her. She paused to spare him a cheery smile and pat before turning back towards the Cathedral as they drew near.

On either side of the great door, an oak slab carved with the images of hooded priests, birds and the logo of the Gusto tribe, stood a Griffin. Great creatures the size of a horse which seemed a mix between the eagles that could often be seen at the top of the various mountains in the Mist Valley and the lions that prowled around the outskirts of the forest. From their shoulders wings of deep green feathers lay curled against their sides and from the rear a lion tail hung still as it stood attention, their scarlet eyes fixing upon Wynn and Musto as they approached. One gave a snap of its beak as it advanced towards them, it’s forward talon tipped hands digging into the soil beneath its feet and is jade coloured armour glistening in the light.

Smiling at the creature, Wynn straightened her back slightly as she gripped the necklace that hung around her neck and held it up for the creature to see, the icon of the Gusto Tribe pulsing slightly with unknown power as testament to her membership of the Priesthood. Beside her, Musto fished out his own pendent from a pocket in his robes and the Griffin gave a slow nod and grunt of approval before turning and walking back towards its post, permitting them to join the long line of priests marching in and out of the Cathedral.

“I’ve never seen so many of the order here at once…”

Musto gave a grunt in reply as he watched the constant stream of hooded men and women as if her was mentally naming them and his green tinted eyebrows narrowed into a deep frown, gesturing towards where a trio of hooded monks walked past the Griffins, their age touched bodies supported by intricate staffs of wood. Their robes were sown from a deep green rimmed with a gold that marked them out from the rest of the priests around them as others parted slightly to grant them space.

“They’re the elders from the Shrine at the peak of the Valley…” he muttered, though Wynn couldn’t tell if it was more to himself than her “I’ve never seen them leave their posts before”

“The Shrine where Caam works?” The priestess asked, perking up at the concept of there being someone she would know at this meeting rather than the usual group of priests who ignored her completely “Doesn’t the Priesthood usual go to them?”

“Indeed…there must be something big going on for the elders themselves to have left their place at the shrine”

Without giving Wynn a chance to reply, he turned and headed through the door, casting a warning glance towards a Large Griffin that had been about to stop him for an identity check again. Rather uncharacteristically of their charge, the Griffin bowed its head and turned away with a simple click of its long beak.

……………………………………………………….

“We are here”

Hushed whispers and hisses echoed from the Gishki Visions as they stopped in their advance, their sudden halt making a couple of the human warriors marching behind them walk straight into their hunched backs, an unfortunate collision that resulted in yelps of pain as tails were stood on and the creatures slashed back. The other Visions gave looks of warning to the ones they were guiding with their claws flicking out and Avance gave a grunt of command to make his men stand down from drawing their own weapons.

The Visions were not a true part of the Gishki nation and their nature was one of cowardice and the same sort of secrecy that always surrounded their Shadow cousins that Noellia always surrounded herself with. Thus, Avance held little regard for their worth as allies but, for the time being at least, he needed them.

“This is the path you spoke of?”

“Yes” The leader of the Visions nodded “The haunted way”

Avance merely grunted as his narrowed eyes ran along the stone walls that surrounded them, noting with a vague trace of interest the ancient ruins and symbols that covered practically every surface he could see. They were dark shapes beneath the water coating the ground, crude etchings upon walls and stones, circles and lines that crossed across each other in intricate and obscured patterns that made his eyes ache simply to gaze upon.

Yet, repeated time and time again across these runes were two symbols, one he recognised as being the arching icon of the legendary Vylons, mythical beings that were said to live within the clouds to watch the various little tribes that lived below, but the other he could find no recollection of. It resembled of silver shield that had chips cut into each side to form a vague reference to a face, with horns rising from its head and small pointed outgrowths from the chin and the very top of its head, each slightly separated from the main shape.

“What is this one for?” He asked as he reached forwards a ran a figure along the second symbol, taking a touch of satisfaction from the hushed whispers the Visions around him gave.

“That is the rune of the swarm…” The cloaked creature muttered, not looking to him as it spoke before sighing and lowering its head, eyes sliding closed “The sign of the great hunger, the endless surge, the eternal souring of life”

“Very biblical”

The Visions kept to their silence as they moved to surrounded the Gishki warriors, crawling effortlessly along the wet walls like lizards and constantly whispering to one another in hushed voices just beyond hearing range. They held no desire to use the light that glowed from where the Gishki were carrying their own illuminations, seeing perfectly in the dark themselves, and actively seemed to avoid the light, swerving around it as they crawled. They were unnerving creatures to be around and Avance felt himself tense every time he heard the tell-tale hiss as one slipped past him, hidden from sight.

With every empty glance or hidden whisper that he caught from the Visions, Avance felt his anger towards them grow.

“Keep your head around the Vision’s” Noellia had told him before he had left on this mission, her words echoing in the back of his mind like some warning to stop him from drawing the blade his fingers were angrily drumming at again “They like to keep you on edge. Think of it as some sort of survival instinct they have gained during their existence as prey animals. We gave them the ability to hide from sight, but they still find it necessary to make those they see as a threat get angry and thus act rashly. It’s easy to fight a foe that isn’t thinking clearly”

Sighing to himself, Avance relaxed his grip of his swords hilt, taking comfort in the idea that the Visions would be scared of him and turned back towards the hunched leader, his cold eyes narrowing against the cold wind that seemed to rise up along with the chocking darkness as the artificial lights that the Gishki Warriors carried with them flickered for a moment.

The path ahead was nothing but a heap of rubble and rock that had formed a natural barricade after an ancient cave in, chunks of debris that bore broken markings lying atop of one another which had somehow been sealed together to prevent others to pass. He didn’t know if the cave in had been natural or orchestrated, but he knew that it blocked his path. And that was something he would never allow.

“Tear it down”

……………………………………………

“No I will not give you my weapon!”

Wynn frowned as she took a wooden cup from the collection that lay upon a table to the side of the waiting hall, sniffing at the smell of sweet honey that rose from the clear liquid held within, as the sound of shouting suddenly broke the constant murmuring of the priests of the forest that stood around her in all directions.

There were men and women of all levels within the priesthood stood around her, all hooded as was demanded and conversing in low voices that Wynn wasn’t paying attention to, simply running her eyes across the gathered crowd. Here stood priests from the centre of the tribe, conversing about the state of the animals of the forest during the war with the bright green hooded men from the tribes school and over there stood the elders of the shrine, absent from their place within the Mist Valley shrine and speaking with the holders of the Cathedral in hushed and angry voices.

Musto had left her before they had reached the grand hall, peeling off from the stream of movement that the other priests formed in order to go to a different meeting room to speak with the others of his high rank before the assembly was addressed.

Beside the entrance to the hall, a boy stood in a cream cloak. His green hair was combed thin and the blade he held nothing more than a flimsy ornament, his role as a guard in fact nothing more than one of announcing the name of each priest as they entered. He was there to welcome in the name of the council, calling the meeting ‘its fold’ and then allow them to enter the hall. It seemed quite redundant to the charmer but she understood the traditional reason for it, an old practice the Gusto’s has held onto out of habit from the days when they had held meetings between representatives from many different tribes.


Before the war, before the Gusto’s had sealed themselves away.

Now, when the guard boy would proclaim them to be ‘of Gusto’ it felt more like an arrogant boast to be from the tribe then simply a way of announcing which tribe they were from and when he had announced her arrival, he had simply said “Wynn of the Priesthood”…a statement that had not been missed by her. No priest has attempted to speak to her after her arrival with the exception of some of the younger ones who had given her a nod or smile but nothing more and she had stood by a table laid out for refreshments unnoticed. In the eyes of the priesthood she wasn’t born of the Gusto tribe (despite her own physical appearance being incredibly similar as a hint towards her unknown birth place), and thus many believed that he held no right to be a member of the priesthood. Yet here she stood, ignored by them yet content to watch.

As one however, all eyes now turned to look towards where the new comer to the hall was arguing with the guard by the door, a blade tipped staff shimmering in the light beside her as she shoved him away, her star tinted green eyes narrowing in challenge for him to approach her again. A second guard moved behind her in an attempt at restraint but she used the blunt side of her staff to knock his legs from beneath him a bring the blade towards the one in front of her in a single motion, her mouth curling into a slight sneer.

“Now stand aside” She warned, gently tapping the guard’s cheek with the blade edge “I’ve been fighting on the front lines for weeks now. Would hate to do something out of habit that we would both regret later…”

“I…I...” The guard whimpered, leaning back as far as he could from the staff. His eyes darted around in a desperate search for aid but none of the gathered priests dared to step forwards, the fast growing reputation of the so called “Whirlwind of Gusto” proving to be more than enough to prevent them from acting. Finally he bowed his head and stepped back. “The C…Council welcomes Reeze of Gusto to its fold this day”

With a grunt of satisfaction, Reeze spun her staff back around from its reversed grip and slammed its blunt end into the wood below as if she were claiming dominance before turning and walking into the crowded hall without another word, her single arm sleeve ripping with each motion. As she walked, various priests took steps to the side to clear a path, keeping a respectful distance from her. For a moment she seemed as if she were parting a sea of people before her before walking straight up towards the one member of the priesthood that did not move away.

“Hey Wynn”

“You like to make an entrance” The charmer smirked as she picked another cup form the tray beside her and offered it to her friend, noting the series of bruises and healed cuts that now ran along Reeze’s arms with a slight pang of sympathy.

“Bah” She grunted, swinging her staff around to slip into a holder on her back in order to free her hands as she took the cup “I’m being too nice to them in even coming to this, I’m not playing by their rules. If the priesthood has us fighting to protect our lands for weeks and then expect me to pack up, come home and behave like everything is normal at the drop of a hat, they can go to hell. Err…no offence there”

“None taken”

For a moment the two fell into silence, Wynn watching her friend as the warrior drunk deep from her cup before sighing and leaning against a wall, her star shaped eyes half closing above dark rings that matched with the bruises that covered her arms. It was the first time that they had seen each other for over two weeks after Reeze had gone to fight on the front lines and the charmer felt a pang of sympathy to see just how hard the fighting had affected her physical condition.

“It’s not as bad as it looks” Reeze grunted, raising an eyebrow at Wynn’s stare “Most of it’s from falling off birds during travel instead of fighting anyway”

“Is that why there’s one on your waist in the shape of a fist?”

“I said most of them…”

“After this come to my house, I’ve got some healing cream you could use lying around somewhere” Wynn said after another moment, rolling her eyes as she used a jug from the table to refill her friends drink.

“I don’t need-“

“No arguing Reeze” The charmer cut her off, fixing her with a stern look “You could do with a good night’s sleep too”

When Reeze again opened her mouth to argue, the sound of a blowing trumpet cut her off and she instead sighed and gave a slight smile of submission as the two turned towards the great oak doors that lay to the side of the room. Upon the doors surface, elaborate images of birds, trees and men danced around the three pointed star of the Gusto symbol and ancient words proclaimed the truth of belief in the forest and co-existence. Now, on either side of the door, hooded men baring long trumpets called for the attention of the gathered priests, each trumpet baring the Gusto flag hanging from their shafts.

When the trumpets ceased, the doors silently slid open and a man in a deep brown hood stepped out, the wooden and metal charms and medallions of every branch of the priesthood dangling around his neck and chest. From beneath his hood, a long green beard had been tucked into his belt as if to prevent him tripping over it and his hands were held out in greeting to those who had gathered before him. Though his hood was brown, the rest of his priest cloak was the deepest of green and twirling lines of gold circled and bent around the rims of his clothes in a pattern that seemed to shift alongside of his own movement.

With a respectful bow, Lorgar the chief priest of the Gusto Tribe took his place at the front of a stage spanning before the door.

On either side of him stood the highest ranking members of the Gusto Priesthood followed through the door, each with their hoods pulled up to keep their faces hidden from sight. To his right Wynn recognised Caam’s still figure, the shrine maiden’s staff easily recognisable from where she held it upright, and a man she didn’t know who had come from the outer layers of the tribe lands whilst on his left stood Musto and a man named Hartar, a priest who the charmer had only met during meetings and who never seemed to leave the confines of the Cathedral.

“Brothers” Lorgar spoke, pulling his hood back just enough for his face to be seen as he looked down upon the gathered priests, his elderly face looking tired as if he hadn’t slept in days “We stand in harsh times. Times in which tribes that we had once considered to be our allies have fallen into the grip of their own personal greed and seek to assimilate our lands into their own. But they do not just seek to spread their borders, no; they would burn and harvest the forest around us for the sake of fuelling and funding their own armies”

A few of the priests began to mutter amongst themselves with varying emotions. Reeze simply remained silent beside Wynn, watching the chief priest with a look of disinterest as he held his hands up for silence once more.

“Thanks to those who have valiantly fought these tyrants for the sake of our protection however, no Gishki has been able to set foot upon our sacred territory without paying for it in their own blood soon after and for that…we thank them from the very bottom of our hearts” Again he paused, holding a hand towards where Reeze stood as representative of the forces now that Windaar had failed to appear but the girl offered him no reply and he simply smiled before continuing “Yet my brothers, that is no excuse for us to believe ourselves safe from the Gishki destruction for we have seen the depths to which they have sunk. With each engagement, or opening skirmish as our representative here considers them,” Again he glanced towards Reeze “We see new monstrosities born from the foul rituals that the Gishki use, new beasts that were once natural born beings now mutated into hideous abominations that know only pain and war and seek only destruction. Whilst these creatures move into our lands the life within cannot be safe and that is why we must all fight all the harder. Whilst our warriors battle to protect the forest’s physical form, we must also fight to protect its heart and spiritual well-being”

“Idiot…” Reeze hissed, prompting a surprised look from Wynn. It was true the warrior held little respect for the priesthood but to speak of the chief priest in such a way was never a good move for anyone to make. When she saw the charmer’s expression, Reeze simply closed her eyes and turned her face towards the ground.

Her hand twitched slightly as he went on to speak about a war raging in the far north between the Lavals and the Gem-Knights and how it was proof that people were losing sight of the truly important things, destroying the world around them for the sake of their own selfish greed before, with a rough grunt of ‘I didn’t come here to hear this self-assuring propaganda’ Reeze pushed herself up from where she had been leaning upon the wall and began to work her way through the crowded priests, pushing aside those who did not step out of her way on their own, leaving Wynn where she stood without another word.

The young priestess reached out for her but it was a mute effort and instead she glanced back towards the stage to find Musto staring back towards her. He gave her a nod and Wynn chased after her friend.

…………………………………………

Boom!

Avance sighed to himself in barely contained irritation as he watched the ritual born mutant heave another chunk of splintered rock into the air and hurl it across the claustrophobic tunnel, the fragment of rubble crashing against the far wall with a deafening crash. The beast gave a hiss between lipless, cracked fish lips as its arms struggled against the strain of heaving another rock from its place before repeating the act again and again.

Boom! Boom!

With every crash of rock on rock, the Dozen Gishki Visions that surrounded them flinched and moaned, both in distaste of the volume of the resulting noise and fear of the shadows that they constantly whispered about, their yellow eyes darting around eternally as if they expected the rocks to shatter and unleash hell. Their leader drummed his crooked staff against the floor in a worried rhythm, staring off into space as if deep in thought yet always listening out for sounds amongst the crashing of rock and the dripping of stale water. When the roof violently shook in protest as a supporting rock was ripped clean from the pile they scattered and vanished into the walls, closing their eyes and allowing the magic within the emboldens upon their heads to conceal them from sight.

Only the leader remained where he was.

“So do you have a name?” Avance asked as he looked towards the hunched creature, pleased that at least one of the Visions a worthless coward. He felt the gaze of several of the creatures that were hiding turn upon him and a couple of his own man gave slight chuckles but the Vision leader didn’t turn, seemingly entranced by the symbol of the swarm that Avance had pointed out before, its lipless mouth quivering slightly.

“Shas’O” It finally spoke, just as Avance had come to the conclusion that it had chosen to ignore him. It head tilted to fix him with two of its four eyes, nothing more than shimmering pools of orange, and it seemed to stop itself from saying something else as it examined him before, with a click of sound in a language that Avance did not understand, it turned back away.

Again they fell into silence, the odd clicking sound from the Visions being the only accomplice to the now rhythmic crashing of the mutant as it heaved rocks away from the path, its scaly lips curling back to reveal thin, see through teeth as it snarled in effort. It was only a lower class creature, formed for work and heavy lifting and stood at just over half the size of the great ogres and other beasts of war that the Gishki had been deploying but it did its job well enough and made quick work of the obstruction.

When the last of the rocks had been cleared out of the way, the beasts gave a grunt of relief before stepping back and bowing its head submissively towards Avance to await further orders. When he simply waved it away, it gave a low growl and moved to stand at the back of the party in its default position where it could best respond to any danger or further tasks that would later come. Without casting a second glance towards the beast, Avance walked forwards and lead the party into what he could see to be a great hall lying on the now cleared path.

It was only when he got to actually stand within it, that he stopped in his tracks with his mouth opening slightly in awe.

The hall was unlike anything he had seen before, a great opening formed into the caves with smoothly carved stone, cut into the shape of a long rectangle that spread away from him, the strange design to floor and walls making the hall appear to bend and twist around a none existent corner. In the centre of the hall, a massive statue hung suspended from the roof by metallic wires of a material that he did not know, thinner then should be possible to hold the weight of the intricate stone figure. The figure itself seemed to be formed from arching lines and curves, a vaguely humanoid torso atop of an alien lower body and wings which seemed to be formed of blades. Its face was a thin eyed mask like shape with a circular crown reaching upwards. Finally, dominating its body shape was the massive Omega symbol which replaced the role of its shoulders and ran far lower than its own body length.

“Vylon Omega…”

Avance gave a grunt of agreement as he stood aside to allow the first of his men to follow him through the gap, the newcomer’s fish like eyes widening in awe at the ancient statue of the being that legends told was the king of the Vylons, a series of machines that children’s stories said watched the world from the sky’s. Despite the ancient age that the statue must be, its surface was still flawlessly smooth and untouched by the blemishes that time had cast upon the tunnels outside and the hall below, the incredibly fine patterns and detailing that ran across it still clear as if they had been chiselled in by the world’s finest sculptors only the day before. For a moment he wandered if it had been constructed as a sort of landmark for the traders who had passed through the underground caves but, somehow, Avance could feel that the statue had hung here long before the Gishki and Gusto tribes had even existed.

He wondered what the statue was even doing here.

“He is the guardian of the tomb” Shas’O said, seeming to guess at what Avance was thinking even as it emerged through the hole, only two of its brethren following “The lord of the Vylon, the great, watchers standing eternal sentinel over those who would see our world lost”

“The Vylon’s are just a story” a Gishki laughed and the Vision’s hissed, though Shas’O never took his eyes off Avance.

“All stories can trace themselves back towards reality at some point”

“Enough” Further argument was cut short as Avance snapped back at them before looking towards the Gishki under his command “Spread out and find a way through to the other side, we will not be distracted from our mission by a statue of all things”

“Yes sir!”

Shas’O was silent as he watched the men move forwards, several jogging to speed up their search in order to keep Avance from calling them up, its four eyes blinking slowly as it looked around the great hall. The two Visions that remained by its side hissed slightly as the humans began to pull relics and tables that had stood untouched for centuries away from walls in their search and Shas’O gave a wet gurgling sound that anyone listening would have assumed to be a sigh.

“We aren’t staying here long” Avance finally said as he noted the creature’s discontent, guessing at what could be the cause “Just long enough to pass through into the Gusto lines and then you will be done with us”

“Aye perhaps” Shas’O glanced back towards him “But how long will it be before your master sends entire armies down this route? If this is how discreet you are when just a dozen strong…then more would surly awaken the…”

“We found something sir!”

Immediately losing interest in what the Vision leader had been about to say, Avance turned and jogged over to where one of his men was calling him, allowing himself a slight grin as he realised they had found another corridor leading away in what he guessed to be the correct direction that they wanted to go in.

The only problem was that a stone pillar connecting the hall’s ceiling to the floor had been built right in front of it and the decay of time had brought a portion of it crumbling down to block the door-whilst still somehow remaining connected.

“Get it out of the way” He snarled, quickly growing tired of the constant delays and obstacles and the mutant that had smashed their way into the hall stomped forward again from where it had been waiting by the entrance. The scales along its once human neck shivered in the cold as it clamped its finned hands around the stone column and began to pull, releasing a spray of dust and stone as the structure began to break under its strength. The Visions around Shas’O moaned as if in sympathetic pain for the stone, their heads rising towards the Vylon statue with pleading looks that only amplified Avance’s annoyance and he called for the creature to pull harder.

When it complied, the stone gave a deafening roar and gave way, the entire column pulling free from its place as the ritual born creature stumbled back under the sudden lack of resistance. The walls around them groaned and the Visions along with it before finally the dust settled and the doorway ahead was cleared.

“See?” Avance raised an arrogant eyebrow towards Shas’O “Easy”

Then, with a rumble of shaking stone, the now suddenly unsupported roof above where the column had stood gave way.

There was a deafening crash and a wave of sickening stench as millennia old, stale air crashed down upon them. Dust that had laid dormant for an eternity was suddenly heaved into the air and massive chunks of the halls ceiling caved in, crushing those of the Gishki party that were too slow to move in time with the harsh sound of breaking bones and screaming. From where Avance stood, he could make out the shape of the great wall of icons and runes shudder and crumble into oblivion as the very world around them seemed to shake and fall in upon them.

“Get out!” He barked, doubting he could even be heard over the sounds of death and destruction around them as another section of the roof gave in, though those of his men that could still move were already trying to escape the room in a mad panic, fleeing through both the entrance and the newly formed exit “Get out of the hall!”

From above where he stood, Avance caught the sound of cracking and the groaning of millennia old metal being put under too much strain and looked up to see the statue of the Vylon he had marvelled out before begin to bend in around itself as if crushed by some massive invisible hand. The great cables that had held it began to grow thin and weak as they struggled against the strain before, with a snap that sounded like the thunder unleashed by an angry god, they finally gave way and released the statue into destruction.

Avance barely had time to realise what was happening before the stone likeness of Omega came crashing down upon him…

....................................................................

Noellia opened her eyes slowly as she felt the Gishki Shadow beside her throne twitch from its catatonic trance, her head turning lazily towards the hunched creature with a slightly raised eyebrow. She made no motion as the Shadow blinked its eyes a couple of times and looked around the hall, seeming to pause in staring at the giant map of the Mist Valley that hung above the door before turning back towards her.

“I have lost contact with them”

“I see”

The Shadow’s eyes rolled to fix her with a blank look, its consciousness slowly returning to its own body after drifting through the void his kind could reach, in order to keep track of Avance’s movements. With no actual Shadow being present in the party, due to Avance’s requests, it had been difficult of Noellia to keep track of them using the creature that acted as her assistant, instead relying upon its mental powers to track him personally though the Shadow had informed her that such a thing was light trying to track a candle through a thick fog. It had been mentally grasping for Avance since he had entered the cave and now it seemed, it had completely lost all trace of the dozen men that had followed him.

“Can you track the Visions that were with them?”

“They have fled” The Shadow slowly shook its head “The cousins of my kind have turned and fled from the party from something I cannot sense. Something has happened to you’re warrior and his followers, Mistress”

The leader of the Gishki was silent as she picked up the glass of wine and began to shift it around in her hand, gazing down towards the dancing red liquid with blank eyes for a long time before looking back up towards the map. She hadn’t expected there to be any trouble deep within the caves…the Visions cult had called the natural catacombs home for centuries and aside from the odd cave in that sealed off paths there had never been mention of a danger hiding within. That was why she had only given Avance a dozen men…

Perhaps she should have given him better resources for an attack.

“Mistress?”

Slowly standing, glass still in hand, Noellia sighed and turned to head towards her private chambers, glancing back towards the ever watching Shadow as she left.

“keep searching for him” She said simply “If I know Avance, he will be back soon enough”

…………………………………………..

“-p sir”

All that Avance could feel was pain and a crushing weight as his mind drifted in a white oblivion, clawing back towards the sensation of conciseness as the voice began to echo around him, sounding so near yet so distant.

“Sir, wake up”

Giving a groan in response, Avance could feel himself being dragged across the broken stone floor, his vision providing him with nothing more than a mass of blurred shapes and a hot pain which dug deep. When he managed to turn his head, he found himself placed beside a giant hung of fallen stone where a young Gishki with gill across his neck was tending to him as the other warriors searched the debris of the sudden cave in. Beneath the rubble that lay a few feet from him, a crushed arm was all that could be seen of the ritual born mutant they had brought with them into the caves.

Groaning at the loss of the only thing that could again clear the path, Avance slowly forced himself to his feet and looked around the room, taking a moment to be pleased that the all of his men had survived before noting that they were gathered around a strange black shape lying within the rubble.

Stumbling forward a step as he struggled to take back control of his swimming head he made his way over to them, waving of a gesture of support from the gilled boy. When they saw him coming, they parted to reveal a strange humanoid shape lying broken and battered amongst the rubble of the room.

It reminded Avance of one of the insects that he had seen in the forest before the war, its torn wings being made of thin flesh with a natural pattern of brown lines and its carapace appearing almost formed from bending metal. Its mouth hung wide and open, hanging at a crude angel from its size in the strange bodies lifeless state and the elongate figures upon its metallic carapace covered arms ley before it as if it had been reaching out for something. At sight of the body, the one vision that had remained with them gave a whimper and stumbled back.

“Another statue?” Avance asked, looking up towards Shas’O with a distasteful look “It wasn’t here before”

“Errr…sir” someone said behind him “It came from this”

Looking around, Avance saw a sack of fleshy mess lying beneath where it had been crushed by a falling rock, a foul smelling liquid covering the ground around it as if it had burst like a rotten grape upon being so squished. The now hollow remains of what had once been veins upon the sac that looked like an egg of sickly orange lined it in a random pattern, crisscrossing and bending in upon each other with a single line of metallic carapace lying along the back. Like one of the discarded failures of the Gishki rituals, it was now nothing more than a pool of useless flesh with whatever importance it had held lost upon its fall.

Looking upwards, Avance felt a shudder run through him as he saw a massive crack running along the ceiling, revealing yet another cavern to be standing directly atop of them-a great cavern filled to the brim with a sea of the same pods.

Thousands of them lined the now revealed inside of the roof, rows and clusters of fleshy sacks and shifting pods that seemed scattered without rhyme or reason, each shimmering with the blackness of the creatures inside shifting in what could only be awakening. There was the wet sound of snapping and tearing as the flesh like pods began to bulge and quiver, a thick liquid seeping through the cracks and tares that were appearing across them which stank of nothing they had ever smelled before.

“P...Pull back” Avance managed to mutter, grunting in effort as he stood up as he fumbled around for his sword finding his side sheath void of it. From the centre of the hall, a pod gave way and exploded, splashing its foul smelling protective liquid and releasing a large figure of flesh and carapace that shimmered like metal to fall crashing to the ground. There it ley for a moment before arms that ended in nothing but long talons embedded into the stone ground and the newly born creature heaved itself to its feet, its insect like eyes already focussing upon them as the goo of its birth slowly dripped from it. A humanoid mantis, the beast slowly straightened made a terrible clicking that seemed to dig into the nerves of all those who heard before charging forwards.

Despite being no more than a minute after its unnatural birth, the creature was inhumanly fast and it shot across the hall before anyone could react. By the time they had managed to bring their swords to bear, one of the Gishki Warriors had been hefted from his feet by insect which stood a full head higher than him, a talon shaped arm impaled through his throat. His body twitched in death and the creature’s sideways parting, ant like jaws snapped shut around his head, ripping it clean off with a sickening crunch, swallowing with another click as the body fell to the ground.

“What the hell is that!?”

Men turned to run and Avance stumbled back as the creature leapt forwards again, its talons embedding into the back of a fleeing man and tearing into his like paper. Without thinking he pulled the sword from the hands of the decapitated body beside him and began to pull back, spotting Shas’O watching him from only a few feet away.

In a language he couldn’t understand the leader of the Visions roared at Avance, pointing towards him with its crooked staff and an accusing look, not looking away from him even as a second of the creatures broke from its birth pod and fell to land behind it. Talons flashed and the Vision’s body as slashed through its back, the mantis like fiend seeming to pause to savour the feeling of the dark blood that sprayed across it as it flicked away its birth before it’s other talon sent the body flying across the hall to crash against the ruined Vylon statue with the sound of shattering bone.

His sense of sight still blurry, Avance began to stumble in as close to a run as he could get as he turned and fled, joining his men in withdrawing from the hall as more and more pods above them began to splash open and the room began to fill with clicking, insect like bodies. The back of many of the fiends began to twitch as their protective shell attempted to part to allow membrane thin, see through wings to spread but the birth that still clung to them kept them closed and they instead poured forwards on the ground, leaping forward on long legs.

From where it had fallen, the body of the mutant was nothing more than an open buffet for the fiends and they fell upon it with animalistic hunger. The larger Mantis like beasts pulled the fallen rubble free and other, screaming bugs descended from the broken ceiling, tearing into the mutant’s leathery hide with such a speed and ferocity that there was little more than bone left by the time that they looked back up from the feast.

For a few horrific moments, the hall which had stood untouched by life for centuries became the sight of bloodshed of an inhuman ferocity. Blood ran freely across the walls and the screaming of men mixed with the roaring of the insect like fiends to form a chorus of death that spread throughout the tunnels over a great distance. The beasts crawled across every surface they could touch as more and more hatched from their birth pods and fell upon the fleeing Gishki without hesitation.

When he reached the door, Avance swore loudly as he swung his blade up to parry one, his blade bouncing of its metallic hide with a loud ping, only for another to land beside him and hack into body of the man standing beside him, forcing the silver haired soldier to turn and run. He couldn’t pause to see if his men were with him as the sound of scuttling and snarling sounded around him and he focused every ounce of his attention upon fleeing, leaving the tomb for behind.

He knew not when it was that the beasts ceased their pursuit, but when he finally found himself on the path out of the caves, following the path that they had first come in through, he was completely alone…

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Garaito
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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:54 am

what a great story comes from you, coming~

now this is how the Inverz comes out to the surface?

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comingdarkness
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PostSubject: Re: The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic   Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:35 am

It is indeed. The swarm has awoken! *evil laughter*

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The first Casualty of war-A Wynn/Eria fanfic
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