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kodoz

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About kodoz

  • Birthday 02/05/1985

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    online gaming, RPing, Text rping and game rping, console gaming, strategy games, reading, working on pinball machines, web design, computer programming.
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    Southeastern US

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    Kodoz
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    Purple Guardians of Honor
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    Paladin/Legendary Warrior
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    Human

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  1. Excellent reporting, and thanks for the screenshots! I've been unable to find much time to explore the Abyss myself, so these pictures are much appreciated.
  2. Three for you. Everything - Michael Buble Her Eyes - Pat Monahan Wedding Dress - Matt Nathanson
  3. Galehaven Destroyed By Taye Kitt Last Night, no doubt almost every citizen of Trinsic awoke to a thunderous noise coming from across the bay to the north, in the city of Olympus. A large plume of smoke and debris was easily spotted from the walls of our city, and concerned citizens quickly set forth, only to be intercepted by an unnamed Guardian of Honor who told them that the area was unsafe. After persuading him that a member of the press may never be stopped, I was allowed to proceed further without any extra interference. Approaching the area that once held the cheerful and often raucous Galehaven Tavern, so named after the Emperor who had it constructed first in Malas, had been obliterated down to it's foundation. With few of the buildings heavy walls still standing, much less intact, It was clear that this must have been a deliberate act of sabotage. The scene could only be described as utter devastation. Large areas of forest near the building were flattened. Dark patches of scorched earth where large pieces of rock from the heavy walls had lain, and many scores upon the fortified walls of olympus marked the blast.Debris littered the bay, along with dead fish. Embers still burned brightly amongst the wreckage, windows nearby were blown out, and the entire area was covered in dust and debris. While many of the Warlock Knights employed by the Empire were still at work using water elementals to help douse the flames and embers, others were combing the area over, and questioning all the bystanders. After a very long amount of questioning people with no answer to anything, I was able to determine that the count of missing people stands at fourteen, including serving staff and two guards. According to rumor, at least three members of the Guardians were nearby enough to suffer hearing damage, and Senator Katherine Elle was wounded by glass shrapnel while at work in her office. When I inquired at the Infirmary of the Guardians, there were no patients there in conjuction with the explosion, and the Trinsic Healers refused to let me past. Galehaven, Before the explosion Your roving reporter has many questions. How badly must someone want the Guardians dead to use such a concussive force? I've unearthed blueprints and designs that show that the Tavern was specifically reinforced with heavy metal weave, due to the fact that the original Galehaven in Malas suffered a similar fate. How long is it before we as citizens become the target, instead of the Guardians? Are they truly defending us as well as they claim when it seems that they draw danger just by their very existence? This reporter doesn't know, but would like to hear your thoughts. Galehaven, After the explosion In the quest to get answers, we submitted questions to various areas of the Guardians, but so far all have been returned with 'We will comment on that at a later time, once information is confirmed.' We will provide an extra edition when new information comes available.
  4. High Profile Hitmen? By Anna Vanna Thanh For those citizens of Trinsic who frequent the Guardians City of Olympus, many have been overjoyed that the much loved Emeritus Gregory Meridius has once more been a common sight for our fair city. Although his rule was fraught with many outside dangers, and covered some of the most perilous of our city's days, He has always been remembered as a Just and Honorable ruler. It is with prayer in heart that I pen this article, detailing a dastardly occurrence which has left the Former Emperor and now current Head of State bedridden in the Olympus Infirmary. According to eyewitness statements, it was just a few nights ago that Emeritus Gregory was seen fleeing to his estate in an advanced state of undress, and was almost immediately followed by Legion Knight Faeryl Kilsek, on patrol, stumbling upon the scene. Gregory's roommate and brother, the Former Senator of Trades Hippocrates, was in a state of unconsciousness, and there was evidence of a fight having occurred. Very shortly after, Senator of War Eban, Senator of Commerce Katherine Elle, and Empress Piper arrived at the scene and Hippocrates was roused. After a search of the premises turned up only more questions, they departed the Estate and began to search for Gregory. The first to find him was reportedly Legion Knight Faeryl Kilsek, who administered immediate aid and began to secure the location. The other three arrived shortly after, and once the location was secured, further aid was administered to the mortally wounded Head of State, and he was ferried to the Infirmary as quickly as the people's champion Senator Eban could carry him. When asked for her comment on the situation, the Empress is quoted as saying "It's extremely fortunate that all were present. Emeritus Gregory was gravely wounded when first discovered, and without the assistance of all involved, it's unlikely he'd have pulled through as well as he did -- if at all." The brazenness of this assault on a former Emperor is absolutely staggering. The Empire is besieged by enemies from all sides, and still they stand firm in their defense of their people, we the citizens, and their ideals. We can only say that it is thanks to those brave defenders of Honor such as Knight Kilsek for her dedicated patrolling and Senator Eban who we are sure will be quick to bring the perpetrators to Justice that we can still rest easy at night. All wellwishers are asked to please send their notes of encouragement and any gifts and cards to Emeritus Greg by way of former Senator Hippocrates, and that they not visit the Infirmary outside of posted visiting hours, unless accompanied by a member of the Legion. Although this reporter would be remiss in asking, if even a former Emperor is at risk of lethal attack in his own home, for how long will we be able to continue to live in safety? Time and the Virtues only know.
  5. Trinsic Watchtower Special Edition! Extra! Extra! Editorial Column By Anna Vanna Thanh In the recent wake of several attacks on the fair city of Olympus, directed at the Guardians themselves, a group of werewolves is claiming responsibility according to the Acting Praetorian Prefect, Emeritus Kodoz. The hardened warrior came and spoke to us at our offices to give a statement and asked that we report on the matter. First, our own reporting efforts have been keeping track upon things. The Legions duties have always been to protect the City of Honor and it's citizens, and through invasion, war, siege, and the like they have never let us down. Though our city has seen dark times, we have always come through stronger for it. Recently, the currently on hiatus Senator of War Eban has made it a mission to seek out and destroy the creatures of the night that have plagued us recently. When all of Trinsic's citizens can still remember the evil cackle of Juo'nar and his minions, we stand stalwartly against the undead in all their incarnations, be they lich, skeleton, or vampire. No citizen of Trinsic could ever think of being civil to such monsters. [Ed. Note: The opinions expressed by this reporter do not reflect the official stance of the Trinsic Watchtower or it's ownership. They are the sole opinions of the reporter.] Second, bombs have been left upon the lands of Olympus itself, and not in Trinsic. The Prefect said any suspicious packages should immediately be reported to a member of the legion for disarming. So far, according to the Prefect, there have been two victims of outright attack, one who was lightly wounded and identified only as a strong example of our Legion's great members, and another who was found deceased inside of Galehaven Tavern. The Prefect said that the woman has yet to be identified clearly, but it was noted that she had recently come from Britain, and was likely one of it's citizens. The woman has not been claimed for identification or reported as missing from any Trinsician family. It is possible she is of the nobles of the city of Britain, as a woman somewhat matching the description has been noted as missing. The Prefect went on to note that while there were signs of blood and violence in the tavern, the body was found outside with what appeared to be animal marks. Prefect Kodoz quickly mentioned that 'The entire scene appears contrived; In my years as a warrior I've seen what animals do, and even had limited interaction with werewolves. Their attacks would not cause the blood pattern inside the Tavern.' This reporter was curious and asked for his thoughts of what it meant, but he gave no further comment. Lastly, The prefect brought a script that had been left on Olympus territory to us, and the gist of it is to claim that a citizen of Trinsic wrote it, and is blaming the legion for the attacks brought on by the werewolves (or so they claim to be). The book questions the abilities of the Knights to protect the citizenry, and of the legion of doing it's job. The script then further devolves into requesting vigilante Justice against Sir Eban, who has fought valiantly for us against this threat! The book says that due to him being named, that he should be condemned! As a sane person who has been with this city for years, I can say that whomever wrote this may possibly reside in Trinsic, but they are no Trinsician! It claims that they have organized and have orders, and it is this reporters opinion that if it's true, they are as much a danger as the wolves themselves! We know that the wolves assist the vampires, and any friend of the abominations who have so often plagued our city and very way of life are enemies of Trinsic and every citizen therein! Anyone who is a true Trinsician knows that we cannot capitulate to evil, and doing so only causes worse things to happen. We tried to reason with Juo'nar, and our city was nearly destroyed. We have tried to redeem Lord Blackthorne, and his affronts only got worse. I say that all true citizens of Trinsic know who stands up for them, and for their lives and rights. The Guardians have sent Orc, Undead, Beast, Pirate, Crimson Dragons, and even Casca's tax collectors back to whence they belong. We have trusted them through full sieges of our great city, and I implore all of my readers to continue to trust them who have never betrayed us. The Prefect insisted that at least one of his statements be printed in it's entirety, and that it reach all of our citizens. The statement was as follows. "Citizens of the Empire, Citizens of Trinsic, Citizens of Olympus. We are under attack by a foreign enemy, who claims to reside within our own territory. I assure you that all steps that are possible are being taken to insure the safety of the city. For now, Be careful of strangers if your instincts tell you something is wrong. Imperial supplies of importance are being shored up to help in this time of need, as well as contingency plans against precisely this sort of enemy. Until they are put into effect, Please be wary of those whom you do not know, and because at least one of the enemy is known to wear our colors in an attempt at deciet and subterfuge, Make sure that you ask for the proper sign of whether someone is a true Guardian of Honor or not. Any Citizen who has lived in Trinsic for more than two years will know the procedure, and those who have not should ask a close friend who has. If noone they know has, please direct your requests for the proper signals to the office of the Prefect. If any suspicious objects or persons are spotted, Please alert a guardian or a town guardsmen. As always, Stay strong brave citizens. You are our heart and soul, and you are the reason we fight so hard to preserve your freedom. Those wishing to assist in the struggle against these evils should speak with myself, the Emperor, the Empress, or active knights. May Honour Guide and Bind you all, and may the virtues watch over us all." The Prefect paused at this point, and then added one more thing. "To those cowards who attack us with traps and prey on those alone, And are afraid to engage our Legion, I say only one thing. Your cowardice will not save you, and no amount of secrecy will hide you for long. And when we find your base of operations, Justice will be swiftly dealt." When asked to clarify his final statement, the Prefect merely said "We will not allow anyone to strike us with impunity in our homes while hiding their own." The Prefect then bade me to have a good evening, and wished me well as he returned to his duties. This reporter is only left with one question: How will these "Werewolves" respond? Time will tell.
  6. Interesting thing you have here. I used to PVP with this. The Dragon Lies Bleeding - Hammerfall
  7. Merry Christmas from a former guardian
  8. [accidental post removed]
  9. Mikhail sighed calmly as he thought back to the events that had preceded the demise of their enemy. It had been a long and arduous task, but luckily Mikhail’s plot had served to succeed, and he was now happily seated at the head of the table with the ArkDaemons. All had gone according to plan, by having the original leader, a man that only Mikhail knew to be who he was…Christopher Liliana, who was the real Zora Liliana’s brother. Mikhail had found this out during Christopher’s desperate attempts to have the imposter Zora killed. It hadn’t been easy, of course, as he’d had to act the part of the worried assistant so that he posed no threat to the man’s leadership. He had almost lost his act at one point, but was able to pass it off as being someone else’s idea. Christopher, the fool that he was, was not satisfied with merely having her killed, but wanted to make her suffer for what she’d done to his sister. This was of course an idiotic idea, and Mikhail knew it, and that’s exactly why he let him go through with it. The assassin hadn’t survived this long just because they hadn’t tried to kill her yet, and she proved to be too much to handle. She’d killed the ones who tried to capture her and she’d tortured the information out of one of those poor souls and learned where Christopher was. After a confrontation, Mikhail had arrived merely to find Christopher’s corpse. Mikhail had merely smiled, and turned to go inform the other ArkDaemons of the new regime change. Of course, tradition was tradition, so he had to do something about the person who killed their leader. He’d helped to give Thaddeus all the little hints he needed, and included all the information, especially their falsified intelligence claiming that ‘Zora’ had killed Thaddeus’ son. In fact, it had been the ArkDaemons themselves, as the boy had tried to infiltrate them to impress the father. He’d helped to give all the information needed to arrange the ambush and told them the areas to lie in wait for her, and they’d still almost botched the whole thing. It did make for an exceptional news story, from what he’d read in the Trinsic Post. He was still somewhat concerned, however, because he was quite aware of how powerful a few of the assassin’s friends were. While not as deadly, they had the power to put the pressure on the ArkDaemons to a point to make life uncomfortable. Of particular interest was the newly appointed Empress of the Purple Guardians of Honour. It was a tragic ordeal, because they weren’t the type to cow to blackmail. The biggest problem was that if they killed her, they would have the entire Brittanian forces allied against them in a united effort to quell their activities. He’d sat at his desk for some time trying to think of what to do. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t come up with anything. He heard a knock at the door and bid them to enter. “Sir, someone here to see you. It’s Julia, one of the thieves’ guildmistresses, the one who was displaced out of Magincia.” “Let her in.” Mikhail put his things away and stood as the woman entered the door, and straightened out his cuffs, fiddling with the cufflinks a bit. The doorman shut the door and with a loud click it was locked, and then Mikhail cast a quick spell over the door to render the room silent from the outside. “First, let me apologize for your misfortune, and extend my warm greetings. We have been trying to consolidate all those of like mind from Magincia who wish to join up, but of course I would need to know what you could offer. What remains of your organization?” “Right down to business, I like that. Mikhail is an alias, I take it?” “As is Julia, I would wager?” The woman called Julia chuckled heartily, and she took a set across the table from him. Her large hat remained on her head, and since she was shorter than Mikhail by far it shielded all of her face save her mouth from view. “I had made a promise to myself, you know, that had I approached you and found you to seem unprofessional or unreasonable, that I would have to kill you. It is with much eagerness and only a tiny hint of regret that it seems I won’t have to kill you today.” Mikhail gave her a bit of a mirthful smile back. “Well I suppose I am quite lucky then. What is it that you need me to be professional and reasonable about, then?” The woman called Julia gave a soft smile beneath the brim of the large hat. “Well, there is some unfinished business between you and I, parts of which you might be aware, parts of which you might not be. I want to know if we can discuss this like civilized beings, and by that, I mean that you should stop reaching for the spellbook underneath your desk.” Mikhail stopped cold and then gave a laugh. “It seems you are quite talented. Very well.” He placed his hands flat and open upon the desk. “Let’s hear what this unfinished business is.” The woman named Julia drew a dagger from her pocket and placed it on the desk. It was a unique dagger with engraving upon the blade. “I believe this illustrates my point quite well.” Mikhail sat in thought for but a moment before the realization dawned on him. He tried to grab for his spellbook but she’d already leapt the table and tackled him, and despite her unimposing figure had knocked him back on his chair, and the wind was knocked out of him. He finally saw under the hat. “Well hello there. Now, as I said, I was glad you’re professional and reasonable, but any more jumpy moves like that and I might just lose control. Am I clear?” She asked in a calm manner. Mikhail nodded once. “Good. How many in your organization know who I really am? If I’m correct from what Christopher said, it’s just you.” “That’s right.” “Ah, so you are going to be reasonable. Good. Let’s put it this way. You’ve done me a big favor in some ways, in that now I don’t have to watch my back very much. However, we both have a problem. If your people learn you failed to kill me, they will be after your head and mine. And if the Guard learns I’m alive, they’ll be out for blood. I went ahead and destroyed all the evidence. There’s no one who knows the truth right now, and I guarantee that very few ever will. Your target is dead, and that’s going to remain the same way. From now on, I’ll be going by a different name and identity, and I don’t look the same, as you can see. It turns out they have all sorts of fun magic spells to alter one’s appearance. Now, as a professional in the same general business, I need a promise that this is over.” “And what guarantee do I have that –you- won’t bring this back to my doorstep? You’re one of the Guardians, and you’re supposed to hunt us down.” “I’ve adopted a longer term sense of reality. You seem smart enough not to do anything stupid like trying to get back at the Guardians, and you also seem smart enough to keep this organization in check. If it were eliminated then there would be pandemonium and much more of a dangerous environment. So you’re the best choice to keep here at the time.” “Can we discuss this properly?” She grinned a bit at his audacity, and got off of the man, and pulled the spellbook out of the desk. She then went back to her chair holding the spellbook. “That sounds much better. You seem destined to be much longer lived than your predecessor.” Mikhail stood, straightening his outfit and his collar especially, and sat his chair back up and sat down in it. He sighed and looked to her. “You don’t even have to argue. As long as you’re willing to stay out of my way, I’ll leave you alone. You weren’t worth the price tag to start with.” “Just keep in mind, if you do come after me or my acquaintances, there will be serious repercussions.” The woman said as she watched Mikhail pick up the dagger on the desk. “Rest assured the same goes for you, as well.” With that, he hurled the dagger at her without haste nor anger. The woman calmly held up the spellbook and let it impact into the paper therein. She pulled the dagger out and tossed him the now pierced spellbook. Mikhail shrugged once and gave her a cavalier look. He then dismissed the spell of silence over the door. “If there’s nothing else, I take it you’ll be on your way now Julia?” “That seems to be the best course of action, Mikhail. May what you take never come back to haunt you.” She said as she bowed, giving him the formal farewell of the thieves’ guild. Mikhail sighed a bit as he shut the door of his office as she left. He’d pondered for a second trying to attack her with his prowess in magic, but decided against it. After all, he did pride himself on making calm rational decisions. As he sat down, he pulled the paper out of his desk that he had been writing ideas on about how to deal with the Guardians and held it over the candle as it was reduced to so much ash. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The woman left the underground complex, and as she headed up the stairs she tossed the hat aside and shook out her middle of the back length brown hair, and her now deep green eyes taking in everything around her. She quickly made her way to one of her new places of residence and on the way passed familiar lodgings. She reached in one of her pockets and drew out a single copper coin. She also took out a bit of parchment and scrawled in a flawless cursive six words upon the paper, folded it in a particular manner to make it a pouch, and dropped the coin in. She then slid it under the door and quickly made her way away from the place. She was only disappointed that she hadn’t had a crystal…
  10. Editorial Column: ARE THE STREETS SAFE? By: Taye Kitt As most parishioners and residents of our fine city have come aware of, the Royal Guard of Brittania had a smashing bit of success several days ago in bringing to justice a highly dangerous and very feared individual. This monstrous creature which went by the name of Zora Liliana, no doubt a name beget to her by some demonic overlord, but through the noble effort of our knights in white (sashes, of course), she was vanquished. However, this has all been thrown into confusion once more after the explosion that you all no doubt heard go off last night, and left naught but a pile of ash and a warped dagger. What fiendish plot has been hatched that someone would need to further desecrate a decapitated corpse? Or could it be even more sinister, and that someone has taken the dreaded soul to attempt to bring this fiendish assassin back to the land of the living as their own personal servant? No doubt, many a necromancer would jump at the chance to be able to have such a minion on their side. I, personally, however, see this as merely part of a much larger problem that strikes at the very heart of our city. Are we truly and properly protected? Despite our dual force of city guards and the Guardians of Honor's presences, not to mention our high sandstone walls and few points of entry, our city still has fallen prey to dangerous criminals and controversies. There are also plenty of rumors laying about, so we set to see if we couldn't verify or put a few of these to rest. I first decided to speak with one of those whose charge it is to protect our beloved city, and came upon Praetorian Laurana. After a short interview, we were let know that she was aware of the explosion last night that marred our beautiful town square. When questioned as to the status of the rumor of the murderer being a comrade, she mysteriously replied with the fact that the deceased was not on the roster. Well, we would hardly expect an assassin to be on a roster, would we? Further muddying the issue, she claimed to have had a few encounters with the deceased, and she still appeared to be in prime condition. It's this humble reporters belief that perchance there is more here than meets the eye! When asked about what the best way to survive a deadly assault from a murderer was, she responded simply with 'I'm a Praetorian.' The good news is, according to our good friend Laurana, it's likely that anyone who wants to survive the next mass murderer would have a better chance as a Praetorian. So start applying today, folks! We also had a final parting question for the good lady. TK: And our last question, do you think that it was worth the loss of 17, possibly 18 of the Royal Guard to bring this one person to justice? PL: It's a shame when anyone is lost like that. [Ed. Note: We could not verify whether she was referring to the loss of the Royal Guard or of the murderer, further confusing the issue of whether or not the two were close.] We also tried to contact Thaddeus, the Royal Guard's Trinsic Branch Officer at the time of the incident, but he was unavailable for comment. His stand in, Royal Guardswoman Third Class Lilly Octavius said the Royal Guard had no comment at this time.
  11. Trinsic's citizens and shops had all closed for the night as the Brittanian sky darkened for the evening. The lights went out among the residences and the inns, and all was quiet, save for the few patrolling Guardians. One particular person was hard at work though. They quickly set to the task ahead of them and did it with a calm, quiet proficiency. After all, time was of the essence as the clouds covered what scant moonlight there was to be had. Once everything was set, the person simply left, taking no more than what they had come with. A large explosion rudely awakened the citizens of Trinsic at an early hour, causing all to proceed to the docks with great haste, armed with what may. Had the teleporter to Magincia backfired and let something through that was now attacking? The rush to the docks proved nothing, but a plume of smoke indicated the deed had been done in the town square. Shoving through the crowd, a young Guardian kept the citizens back as he approached the spot where the glass case and the body had once stood. The glass had melted down where it hadn't sent shards flying away from the explosion, while a pile of ashes lay around a purple dagger, warped by the intense heat. The young Guardian merely shook his head, confused at the events of the night...
  12. Her breathing was ragged and harsh. She felt the toll of wounds, old and new. She hadn’t rested in a few days. She stumbled along and fell again. She looked down to her barely holding together shroud and realized that over the past few months it’d become bloodier and bloodier. The originally black, and then faded somewhat grayish, and now dark crimson. This was the first one she’d used, long before she’d been a member of the guardians. It had faded to a dull grey just before she entered their service, and matched the espionage colors. Now, it was the color of blood, the color of guilt, the color of sin. Her mind wandered, as she thought of the past… Sitting in the tavern drinking and brooding, and then harassing the other fools who were sitting around had always been a favorite pasttime. Not many of them could take the harsh cynicism and unabashed criticism and name calling she spewed forth, and she always reveled when anyone decided to challenge her. The most amusing part was that it was just one more form of cover; a truly professional assassin would never sit in a tavern and laugh it up and draw attention to themselves, would they? Well, maybe now they would, with all these upstart fools who thought a successful assassination was putting a dagger in someone’s head at a speech. A true assassination is never known to be such. Anytime it can be confirmed as a spies work, the spy has failed. It was the rule. She placed a bloody hand out to make her way down the dark passage. She dare not light a torch, and broadcast her location. It was bad enough that she was probably leaving a trail of slick vermilion droplets behind her. She cursed in her head the fates that be, wishing she’d had a chance to have that one final confrontation she’d been looking forward to. But the Royal Guard had caught her first. She’d waited outside of Trinsic. Laurana was usually around about this time, but something must have happened. There were lots of people on the streets, and many people running quickly. She was dressed in her civilian garb, the one she’d worn one time before at the very first Bard’s Night she’d helped to run. As she heard a loud announcement from the crowd at the town square, she pushed her way into the crowd. “And the assassin that has plagued these lands and has committed these heinous murders has been caught! The one known as Lily no longer has any control over anything, as is plain to see!” Lily pushed a bit forward for a better look, and could see that the man had a woman on her knees, in armor slightly reminiscent of her own, with a black hood covering her head completely. She was tied to the ground, apparently. “She thought she could continue to get away with the slaughtering of Brittanian citizens, thinking that perhaps the Guardians whom she was friends with would protect her! But she was wrong. And I prove her error today!” With that, the man, whom she just recognized as the Head Officer of the Royal Guard in Trinsic, Thaddeus, lifted the hood covering the face of the ‘assassin’. She stood up, and the ropes came loose, and she pulled a weapon and suddenly Lily heard weapons being drawn all around her. And they were all pointing at her. “And as proof, we now charge Zora Liliana with the crimes of mass murder and treason. Do you surrender?” That seemed like so long ago, she thought with a smirk. They’d been very careful to cover it up in the Trinsic News, and no word of such a monumental failure came back. Well, she had to admit sourly, it hadn’t been a complete failure on their part. Lily’s response was simple. With a wordless smirk, she exploded into action as she dropped her legs out from under her for a split second as she twisted and as they all readjusted their points of reference she landed on her hands and sprang at one of them, kicking him in the face as she hurled two daggers out blindly, catching at least one target. She drew a smoke bomb from her pouch and sent the area into confusion. She ducked low and ran fast, pushing and slashing her way through the crowd and she ran for the walls. As she cleared the smoke she leapt to the lamppost, scurried up and over it onto the nearby roof, then bolted flat out for a gap in the wall and leapt onto Trinsic’s wall. She quickly tried to run for the South gate, but was blocked by a large contingent of guards. She doubled back and came to the dead end and leapt as far as she could, landing on the street with a roll and came up running dead out. She’d never make it out the west gate, so she did the only thing she could, and ran to the Paladin’s Isle, to the farthest tip, and jumped into the water. She swam hard and fast to Barrier Isle, and then leapt off again, using the prevailing currents, and she swam ashore right in front of Olympus. She dragged herself up out of the water and made her way to the closest safehouse which was behind Olympus and to the north, and got there just in time to be see two dozen of the Royal Guard. “Damn.” She said very softly as she hurled herself back behind cover before she was seen. Piper. A friend? What was a friend? Lily wasn’t sure she knew. But from everything she was told, Piper was her friend. The only one she had. Of course, this relation was quite awkward and didn’t work as well as it could have. A high ranking senator, friends with an assassin who officially didn’t exist. Piper had helped her on so many occasions. And she’d done her best to return the favor…but had she done enough? She wondered if she’d ever know. She did know that she had a new duty now that her friend was Empress…to finish her final duty, and the one that she had to fulfill as an assassin. Remove all targets that were still on the previous list. Give the new one a clean slate. And there was only one way to do that. Her friend…It wasn’t fair, was it? That was another rule. No friends. You can’t trust anyone but yourself… Heavily armored Royal Guardsmen and women were holding position at the safehouse. Daggers would be very hard to kill them with, and her kryss was inside. She wasn’t going to go down to Hades without a damn good fight, and to do so she needed what was inside the safehouse. She figured out a plan and she ran back to the castle near it, and she went inside and climbed the tower. She knew this was going to hurt, but she couldn’t do anything else. She got a running start and leapt as far as she could, and crashed through a second story window into the small house that had been ‘abandoned’ and locked for years, supposedly. She quickly threw the bolt and slammed the barricade down as she stripped to her underwear and then pulled on her real armor. She grabbed her weapons, armaments, potions, put every dagger she possibly could on herself, and then donned her shroud. She grabbed the bag of smoke bombs and tied them to her waist, and drew one out. She looked outside the window as they broke in the house and all rushed in, and she leapt back out onto the swampy marsh and hurled the smoke bomb at the ones still outside. She ran as fast as she could, and made it to the road without too much more of a hassle. She ran as hard as she could for the Britain moongate, and found another party waiting there for her. Unluckily for them, she was in a bad mood. She’d known this was the way it had to be. She’d known several years ago, when she first started doing what she did. It was around the eighteenth kill, she realized, that she no longer was surprised at the blood. It was some time after that that she stopped being surprised at the looks in their eyes. How long had it been since that little girl inside her had stopped trying to win her back, and just how long had it been since she’d stopped believing in a just and righteous world? Longer than she could remember. The only way to rectify things was with force; and even that didn’t prove who was more correct, just who had superior fighting abilities. Would there ever be a world where what was right was what was true? Her vision swam as she turned in the pitch blackness of the dungeon, and she edged her way along the outside of one of the insidious traps that lay in it’s depths. It’d slow them down, at least. She smiled just a bit as an old saying came back to her. There’s no such thing as retirement for an assassin… She wasted no time with the Guard at the moongate, and immediately threw a smokebomb off to the left, along with a rock to make them think it was where she was coming from. With their attention diverted, she leapt into the gate and vanished instantly to another moongate. She repeated the process about seven times, to make sure there was no way to trace it, and she wound up in Moonglow, because the gates refused to take her to Magincia. She stole one of the small boats off the coast near the telescope and started to make her way to Serpent’s Hold, and once she got enough supplies, she could go to the Serpent Pillar and hide out for a while. Then she….a cannon’s blast echoed over the water, and an explosion rocked the ship she was in from a near miss, as water drenched her boat. Of all the stupid luck, it was pirates. She did her best to outrun them, but knew it wouldn’t be enough. As they got closer, she realized it wasn’t pirates, but more of the Royal Guard. Apparently, they were quite serious about taking her down. More and more shots were fired, and eventually her boat had been hit. Luckily she was within sight of Serpent’s Hold, and she leapt off in time with one of the blasts and it gave her an added burst of momentum, and she rode the Serpent’s current to the bay, with the guard right behind her. She heard faint shouts and could see very dim flickers of torches behind her in the tunnels, searching for her. She was down to a very few weapons, completely out of smoke bombs, and had used every last one of her recall scrolls. There were too many of them, and they were too well organized. She estimated she’d killed at least a dozen or more that day, but she couldn’t know for sure. She stopped right in front of the final trap, and the one she’d been waiting to get to. As she heard them getting closer, the lights grew stronger, and she waited for the final confrontation… The voices in her head returned with a vengeance as she entered the town of Serpent’s Hold. She ran and ran, and she came to the entrance of the dungeon and she ran through, knowing the guard knew her path and that they would be right behind her… Voices. In her head, in her memories, and outside of her head. Voices of herself, of those she killed, of those coming to kill her, and of her friend. It was all a game, all this time, and every game came to a conclusion. Fairytales from her childhood, telling that good always triumphs over evil. The lines cross so much there hardly is good and evil anymore; Do evil actions for good reasons mean they are good or evil? Or good actions for evil reasons? Evil actions that result in good actions? Good ones that result in evil? What’s it all for, in the end? “Be a good little girl, kill them all, do a twirl, they’re so small, they don’t matter, just wait for it all to shatter.” The voices in her head and of herself told her, as the first guard rounded the corner, and was met with a dagger to the forehead. This left Lily with only two daggers and her kryss. The five remaining guard rushed down headlong into the corridor as Lily carefully plotted how to kill each and every one of them. Whoops, two lost to the spike trap, what a shame. The remaining three engaged her at close quarters, and she draw a dagger for defense and her kryss for offense as they struggled valiantly to overcome the psychotic murderess that stood before them. With a sick gleam in her eye, she gutted one of them with the kryss as she blocked the blows from one with her dagger and elegantly dodged a blow from the remaining guard with a spin. With the two of them left, she turned as if to throw her dagger at the guardswoman and instead let it go early and it implanted in the guardsman’s shoulder, and was followed up by her final dagger into his heart. The Guardswoman screamed out in rage and attacked with a ferocity that Lily had never seen, and couldn’t keep up with… “Yes, a path set before you that I was at the start. You took my identity, and ever since you’ve been using it to hide your guilt and your sin. But tonight it all comes to an end, as your past catches up to your present, and punishes it as it should be. Farewell, little girl.” The guards blows hammered down onto Zora, and she felt each and every blow of metal on metal as she was beaten back to a wall alongside the corridor, taking several flesh wounds from the Royal Guardswoman, as she relentlessly rained attacks down upon the frightened girl who just wanted to run away, and to save herself, to stop this path of misery and violence that she had set foot upon so long ago… “It’s time to pay for your crimes, Assassin! For all the comrades you’ve killed and for all the people you’ve slain, DIE!” She couldn’t take it, and she let herself fall backwards, triggering the trap she’d waited in front of. The floor fell out from underneath them both, and she landed on her back as the wind was knocked out of her and her left arm made a sickening snap, and she sat there struggling for breath, her bloodied kryss in her right hand, and her vision swimming around her. As consciousness started to lapse, she struggled to hold on, to at least meet her end with dignity, and the guardswoman drew the halberd from her back and raised it over her head, looking down upon the face of a young girl who was only able to watch on in half interest as her death approached. "I told you to get better already.” A voice said in her mind. Her eyes sharpened, and her mind stopped going all over the place. A single thought, a single moment, a single memory. A single word was said by both of the women at once. “Endgame.” A strange look came over the fallen woman’s face, and the guardswoman hesitated. But only for a moment. The halberd sang as it cleaved down through the air, and then impacted heavily, embedding it’s blade into the now bloodsoaked ground. The woman’s head remained for but a moment, and lazily rolled off her shoulders, and rested. The fallen woman died at the bottom of that pit, and her body was dragged back up and out. The next day, under a bright shining afternoon sky, the Trinsic Branch of the Brittanian Royal Guard released a notice and placed a body on display. ATTENTION BY DECREE OF THE ROYAL GUARD, AND AFTER MUCH VALOR IN THE FIELD, AND HARD SACRIFICES TAKEN, ZORA LILIANA, AKA LILY, AKA L, AKA Z HAS BEEN SLAIN. HER BODY LIES HERE AS TESTAMENT TO THAT FACT. ________________________________________________________________________ The case contains the body of a young woman, of slight stature and figure. The head is missing, and the body is wrapped in an obviously old, worn out shroud the color of dried blood. A purple dagger with no markings lays bare across the body’s chest, gleaming with poison. A lone figure approaches the case, in the garb of a Royal Guardswoman. She kneels down, and she takes a moment of silence to pray for the dead woman’s repose. She then walks away, holding onto her broken left arm with care.
  13. It had already been several days since they'd taken her body to Ice Island. "So what now?"? the soft voice asked. There was no response from the motionless figure. "You've got to do something." Still no response, as the motionless figure was slowly covered in the falling snow, his black cloak and red hair peppered in white. The arctic waves lapped gently against the ice, and every now and then a large one would send a freezing spray at the man. And still there was no reaction. "Snap out of it, you fool!"? She seized her staff and went to hit him and she connected. His head snapped sharply to one side, and he returned to his original stance without a single other reaction. Kitty didn't know what to do. Nothing she said would get through to him. Something inside him had simply broken. She'd tried everything she could think of, and nothing could break his stoic silence. His mind was even blank, a clean slate almost. To Kodoz, it was anything but. A million doubts filled his head, but only one constantly sprang to mind. The second time it's happened. Two women, the only two he loved without condition, both fallen unfairly. Both dying when all logic would've taken him first. Was it some sort of cruel joke that the Gods were playing on him? Or perhaps it was Jantzor taunting him from the past. Whatever it was, it wasn't right. But the universe didn't care much about right, did it? He'd seen so much suffering, so much injustice, and so many times that all the force of all the right and all the just could muster were quashed under the weight of evil. He wondered if the Virtues really did matter, and really were the answer. Or if the Gods really mattered, or really were the answer. And he wondered if maybe it had all been about Ronjaz and Jantzor to start with. Or if it was nothing at all, and he was just looking for a meaning where one didn't exist. All he knew was he didn't feel anything; nothing but empty. "Stupid fool"? She muttered as she threw a heavy blanket over the former Emperor. She built a fire there in the snow, and warmed herself. She may have been many things, but she wasn't the type to abandon one of the few she called a friend to his torment alone. Especially not where he was going to die of exposure. She tried again to read his mind, but it was fruitless again. He was entirely in his own subconscious, and had no conscious thought. He sought solace. He sought answers, meaning, and most of all he sought her voice. But it wouldn't come to him. The silence was overwhelming, and oppressive. Her voice was gone from him. Just like her life. She'd been the longest constant he'd had; Good one, that is. But it seemed that all that had come to an end. What would happen now? Nothing. There was nothing more to do, he told himself. The mantle had been passed on. And now the owner had as well. But he was still alive. So what now? He had no idea. And then a soft, calm voice interrupted him. "Still trying to take it all on yourself, Red?"? Suddenly and with no warning he was in motion, he whirled about searching, looking, glancing around; trying to find something. And then just as quickly he stopped, looked straight ahead at nothing in particular, and fell to his armored knees in the snow. Kitty rushed to his side and put her hands to his face, but his vacant stare had now been replaced by a glassy eyed one, and he coughed violently several times, hacking blood onto the pristine white snow, and onto Kitty's skirt. He started to fall to his hands and knees but Kitty supported him and held him as the unknown disease wracked his body with the cough. Kitty did know something about the disease, but she hadn't wanted to tell him. She knew that the pain he was going through and the coughing fits would get worse, but he was still probably a long ways off from dying. He leapt up from his reverie and looked around for the source of the voice, one that had been lost to him a long time ago, and one he hadn't heard in so long, and he couldn't find the one he sought. He saw a fuzzy, unshaped image form where the voice seemed to originate. He saw a large gap between them, and he fell to his knees as weakness set in. He stared unblinkingly towards her. "You never will change, will you Red. You're thinking of giving up, and letting it all fall apart. You just want to run away and take the easy way out. Is that it?"? He started to retort but instead coughed violently, blood spattering the ground, and then suddenly he felt her hands supporting him as he fell forward. Kitty had no idea what was going on, but she could hear him trying to form words, but he couldn't give voice to them. She knew that something was happening, something deep within. She knew that there weren't a lot of people that could deal with something like this, and as much as she preferred the former Emperor's company over many others, she also knew one fact with undeniable clarity; he was still a child in many ways. She was unsure if he could even deal with this kind of thing. "It...was supposed...to be me...just like with you..."? he got out as he remained on his knees, held up by the vision in his head. "Two times...both times the one I loved...died when I should have...why..."? he asked hoarsely as his voice gave out. The glowing silhouette shimmered from where she was supporting him, and her voice came out once again. "It's not fair, Red, is it? The things you can't change. The things you can't fight. It's what life is, though, and you need to get on with it. You almost let it break you when I died. That was when Lora found you and saved you by giving you a purpose. Remember?"? Kodoz tried hard, remembering the first entry into this world of Brittania, and how Lora had unwittingly given him something to do, thinking he had to rescue her, when in actuality she was just waiting on her allies. He looked to Niharika's shimmering specter expectantly. "Red...I'm sorry, I don't have that purpose for you. You have to find it on your own."? With that, his head sagged, and he finally let all the energy pour out of him. Kitty felt him go limp, and she grunted a bit as the full weight of his body and his armor leaned into her. It was difficult, but with a bit of leverage she got him on a small makeshift sled and started dragging him to shelter. She had felt that last bit, and had felt his mind simply break. He was in the absolute depth of despair, and there wasn't anything she could do about it other than be waiting. She knew that she didn't have the answer this time. As she dragged the sled towards the shelter, she saw a tiny glow near the building. As they neared, it was the lit end of a hand rolled plant being burned and smoked. She scanned for a mind, but didn't sense anything other than an absence. They approached and she made the woman out clearly for the first time. Clad in a loose fitting chainmail tunic covering a tight, formfitting onepiece snowsuit, and with a quiver full of arrows and a bow slung across her, and a rapier at her side, the woman looked every bit the outcast she seemed to be. She had two daggers that Kitty could see, and knew she had more. The woman's hooded head was adorned by something that didn't match the rest of her equipment and looked oddly out of place. And for some reason, Kitty couldn't read her mind. She'd been trying since she sized up the woman, and she felt very uneasy. She wouldn't have the edge she normally had, and the woman was obviously an experienced fighter. She let the lead line of the sled drop from her hand and she held the staff at a three quarters angle in front of herself in a defensive stance. "Why are you here?" Kitty asked in her normal harsh tone. The woman took a long drag on her handrolled cigarette, and then she put it out with her gloved fingers and tucked it into a breast pocket. "Well, Whaddyaknow, finally found a reliable source. Whaddya say we get right to this? He's coming with me." Kitty changed her defensive stance to an aggressive one. "And just what makes you think I will let you?" The woman chuckled good naturedly as the shamaness got into a combat stance. "Didn't expect one of Shaska's to go without a fight. I noticed ya seem mighty uneasy. Ya been trying to get a read on me, haven't ya? Sorry, but we learned 'bout ya tricks. Got us protection."? She tapped the hard circlet of some odd material around her forehead. "Oh, and just so ya know...the second I hear ya doin' any of those chants fer ya spells, I'm going fer tha kill."? She drew her rapier in a long deliberate motion, watching Kitty's reactions carefully. "I do not know whom this Shaska is other than from the memories of the Emperor. Nor can I allow you to have this one." "Then I reckon we got what ya might call a problem here." With that, the woman quickly leapt at her, slowed somewhat by her heavy clothing and the snow, while Kitty was hindered by neither. She quickly blocked the rapier's first few strikes but was forced back. The woman was good, almost...no, just as good as Kodoz had been in the few times she'd fought him. And with the loss of precognition, it was even harder. She was tagged on her loose clothes several times as the snow fell around them, helping to cause them both to slow their movements. Kitty was able to knock the womans hood aside so that the falling snow obscured her vision more so than Kitty's, and they were again on almost equal footing. "Ya fight pretty well, fer one a yer kind...mages, ya call 'em? Well, I may have ta take back what I said 'bout not killin' ya. After all, Gale ain' the type ta stay down long less ya done sumthin' ta him. Let's finish this, eh?"? Kitty gritted her teeth as the woman suddenly turned on her heel and ran, back to Kodoz on the sled. Kitty kicked off with superior footing and was closing the distance as she drew back and went for a killing blow with her staff to the woman's neck, while the woman grinned and turned with the rapier for a disemboweling attack. Time seemed to slow as both women's weapons inched towards the others. The rapier and the staff both stopped their trajectories. Not intentionally, of course. At least, not by the women's intentions. Covered in snow and with his hair dripping down his face, his damp cloak dragging heavily in the snow, Kodoz had one weapon held fast in each hand, with the rapier digging into his hand and fresh drops of crimson red blood dripping down it, while the quarterstaff favored by the shamaness had been stopped with a bone cracking suddenness. The eyes of the former Emperor seemed dark and clouded to the shamaness, while the eyes of the former mercenary were a somewhat familiar sight to the woman with the rapier. "What in the name of Hades and Jantzor are you two fools fighting over. If you want to fight, I'll kill you both. If not, then stop this idiocy."? His voice harsh and guttural, as if it had been put through a meat grinder before issuing forth from his mouth, was enough to widen both their eyes. He ripped the weapons from them both and threw them to the snow before glaring at each of them once in turn, and then stalking towards the shelter that Kitty had been dragging him towards. Kitty and the stranger glanced with distrust at the other before following Kodoz inside, where he promptly collapsed once more.
  14. Mikhail wondered exactly what was going on. Obviously, the target was ailing tremendously. She continually vanished for long periods of time, and seemed to be getting closer and closer to capture. That was good news for the ArkDaemons, because it meant this mistake of a mission would be over soon. Mikhail in the past week had grown thoroughly more and more concerned about the state of the Leaders sanity. He'd never been the most stable person, but he had always been cold, calculating, and cruelly efficient. Since the incident in Rock Dungeon, his concentration had slipped; his cool demeanor replaced with a fiery hatred and impatience that had cost them several skilled agents and on top of that, at this rate, the Leader would end up killing a messenger out of fury. It was time something had to be done, but he didn't have what he needed to succeed. Perhaps, he thought, It would be as easy as... _______________________________________________________________________ It was time to end it. There was too much collateral damage. She'd nearly had to harm her own friend, and she'd already been forced to attack her allies on several occasions. Was survival truly her only goal? She was haunted by dozens of questions. Not the least of which stemmed from a single thought she'd had that scared her to her core, and convinced her she was losing herself... If they had found me again, I wouldn't have hesitated to go through with hurting Piper to get away alive. She wasn't sure if the thought was hers, or a thought of one of the voices in her head. It was becoming harder and harder to distinguish them. Why did she have the voices? Why was she more than one person? What was it that drove her to do these things, and made her do everything in her power to survive, whatever the cost? Would they go away? Did she need them? More importantly...Did she really, truly, think she could get by without them? Was surviving really worth it with nothing else to look forward to? Was it really worth any sacrifice of anything else, or rather anyone else, as long as she was still alive? Were there really such things as a friend, or was it as she had said in the tavern...That all things are merely assets, and when they become liabilities they must be cast aside? "Yes. There is nothing more important than our survival." She whirled suddenly, dagger drawn and her breath caught in her throat. She'd always heard the voices in her head before, but this one came from beside her. She staggered backwards at the sight before her. Her dagger slipped through her suddenly clumsy fingers, and the figure before her gathered it up with a familiarity that shook her to her core. She fell to her rump and scurried backwards with her hands, shaking her head back and forth. "This isn't real, this can't be real, you're dead, you've been dead for a long long time, there's no way this is real..." The person...the creature before her cackled softly. The dagger being slowly twirled in her hand. As she walked slowly into the light, she grinned as she watched the girls back hit the wall. She gave a soft, mockingly concerned sounding "Oh dear", as she cornered her prey. "It seems this might be the end of the line for the little girl, doesn't it?" Her face was exactly as she had last seen it. A contorted grimace, but still a haunting smile. Despite obviously deadly wounds all over her, far more than could have possibly been necessary, the specter before her continued her slow, but steady approach. Up against the wall, she closed her eyes and then opened them, hoping to find it all a lie, but nothing had changed but the distance. She trembled as her assailants approach brought them face to face, the bloody baroness mere inches from her as she kneeled to bring them to the same level. "W-why aren't you dead..." "Oh, but I am quite dead. You killed me, remember? Not that I blame you; I was planning to kill you all the same. Of course, you were nothing but a pissant little thief at the time, and you happened to stumble upon what you thought was an abandoned castle. And then, luck of the draw, you killed me. But honestly, did you truly think that someone as...clever as myself would ever go without a contingency plan?" She lightly, almost caringly caressed the terrified womans cheek with the pink dagger that bore her initials. Her eyes slowly widened, as understanding dawned upon her. In an instant, so many things that were fuzzy had become clear. In an instant, the situation had changed as well. The mortally wounded individual had drawn her weapon arm back. "Ah, So you finally remember...A little too late, perhaps. A few years past, perchance you could've stopped it. But now, to do so would mean one thing." Her hand clenched happily on the dagger. "This." Her arm struck forward. The last thing she saw was the tip of the glistening, poisoned dagger striking forward, as it pierced her eye and she fell to the ground.A scream shattered the calm of day in the forest, a scream muffled by it's distance underground, but even so animals fled from the entrance to the cave. Her breath came in short gasps as she struggled to strike the hideous imagery from her mind, as the last vestiges of the dream were swept from her. Soon, she thought to herself, this would be finished. She was going to have to have her confrontation with the Praetorian. Maybe she'd get lucky and be killed by her sword. She wouldn't be making it easy, though.
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