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Chapter Twenty-Three Part Two: Divine Scion
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Kalanna Rai

Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:05 am    Post subject: Chapter Twenty-Three Part Two: Divine Scion  

And now to conclude our two part chapter. Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty-Three Part Two: Divine Scion

Blood spattered across the wall, hot and thick, a stench many were familiar with and many were not. A woman, dressed in some impossible confection of silk, was torn nearly in two as the man next to her bubbled like fat over a fire. His skin melted away, revealing a black and terrible form undernieth, long tongue flicking out to lick away the gore and blood that ran down his talons. Around him the same was happening to others and the nobles rushed forward, screaming. A few, warriors at the core, drew swords. They were swiftly cut down as several of the guards, eyes black pits in their leering faces, lashed out.

A creature faltered, a slim silver dirk handle sprouting from just under it's chin, Tessa's eyes hard as she lifted a slim hand with an identical dagger between two delicate fingers. With a curse Kevrem drew the sword he'd carried with him out of the south, taking it in a two handed grip as he whirled and parried the blow of the nearest guard. From the corner of his eye he could see Alasdair, the massive blade of his great sword already dripping black as he clove the second of a pair of guards in two.

The screaming was deafening, making it hard for the southern prince to think. His dark eyes narrowed. How had he missed them? These demons in human skin? How had they slipped in so well hidden? Perhaps because he'd allowed himself to become unforgivably distracted. By Tessa. By his own worries. So busy watching his younger brother he paid no attention to the guests around him? He'd sensed them but they'd used real humans as a shield, blocking his direct sight. He'd never let this happen again. A flavorful southern curse fell from his lips as he caught the blow of a possessed guard at the same time a demon struck downward, forcing him to hold his blade at an unnatural angle to prevent either attack from striking.

"What's wrong bastard child? Where is the fabled strength of the Black Lord? Where is your precious Legion?" It's amused hiss was insulting but Kevrem had been the target of worse. He lifted a booted foot, kicking the creature square in the stomach and launching it backward. A flash of silver caught his eye and Tessa's other dirk suddenly sprouted from the chest of the possessed guard and the man toppled backwards, black ichor bubbling out of the wound. His weapon clattered free of his hand, the blow he'd been about to deliver to Kevrem's arm forgotten. He turned to smile at Tessa in time to witness something amazing.

Lukan had been attacked by the two guards standing attendant to the throne, managing to dispatch both of them with nothing but the ceremonial short-sword he'd had clasped to his belt. Now he reached out, seizing hold of the Storm Spear. There was a deafening rush of sound, a solid wall of noise that staggered everyone in the room driving the demons, even Keverm, to their knees. Sparks danced around Lukan's head, a halo of crackling energy, the Spear in his hand like living lightning. Across his skin and in his eyes, a storm danced.

The roar of a blizzard wind deafened them all and it was a fight for Kevrem to regain his feet, his illusion fracturing piece by piece in the face of Lukan's unbridled power. With a low curse he gave in, removing the ring entirely and hunching his wings against the onslaught. Over the roar, Alasdair's voice boomed suddenly.

"Son of Rhes, your Hall is under siege, stand with us!"

"With pleasure." Lukan's smile was almost unsettling as he lifted the spear and brought the butt down against the dias with a thunderclap. Lightning arced through the hall and for a moment Kevrem thought that it was as aimed for him as it was the other's like him. At the last moment the bolts seemed to jerk aside, sliding past him to connect with the ichor bubbling from the bodies around him. The odor of electrified flesh filled the air and the bodies jumped like puppets. A moment later there was naught but ash in their places.

Slowly the remaining nobles looked around and Kevrem knew it was only a few minutes before they realized who he was. There was nothing left to do but be proactive about it. He stepped forward, hooves neatly avoiding the few prostrate nobles around him. "Lukan, they've barred the doors from the outside. Likely in case they failed to slaughter us and assume our likenesses. I can sense a few dozen of them loose in the halls outside."

Luminous eyes turned toward him as Lukan shakily descended the stairs, doing his best to look in control before his nobles but Kevrem knew his half-sibling well enough to note the fear in the other. He walked toward him, lowering his head close. "Trust me...I understand. But now is not the time for shock. Your people need you, need your power. You are not alone. We're still here."

Lukan took a breath, nodding gratefully. "I-I can sense them Kevrem. They're...dark spots in a web of light. Ash and char on a field of snow..." His expression suddenly hardened and Kevrem stepped back as the Storm Spear crackled menacingly. "My people are dying we-"

There was an echoing boom as one of the massive doors hit the ground. Alasdair stood over it, chest heaving, black scales racing up his arms from fingers that ended in golden claws. "Door's open...shall we be going?"

Kevrem smiled, watching as Tessa pulled a ribbon and the panels of her dress fell away to reveal some very versatile looking breeches and her little court slippers. Stooping, she picked up her dirks and took the sword from one of the guards. Kicking aside the material of her dress, she caught his eyes and returned the smile.

Alasdair's claws had vanished, his sword held in one massive hand, the blade resting on his shoulder. Blue eyes flicked between the two and he inclined his head slightly. "And so the old council of war is reconvened. Men, Gods, Demons, and Dragons against the coming darkness. Shall we be about it?"

Kevrem hefted his sword, glancing over at Lukan who stared back at the three of them for a moment. Then the youngest sibling sighed. "I have questions when things settle down."

Alasdair gave a dry chuckle. "And I may have answers." With that the four of them marched out into the hallway that Alasdair had opened up to them.

The storm that had been brewing for days had broken outside, flashes of lightning and peals of thunder ripping across the sky. One bolt forked down, shattering a nearby window in the hallway to touch the Storm Spear. Kevrem felt the surge in Lukan's power as it happened, the storm energizing the young godling even further.

Kevrem had a moment to reflect that had he been just a bit younger, or perhaps had he even been the man that had escaped from Jhadir to plot a life as potential king of Leyond, he'd have been jealous of the other. Divinity, no matter how many generations removed, was better than the demonic heritage that Kevrem laid claim to. And yet some part of him was very satisfied with what he had, an even larger part of him grateful that he was not divine in any way. Kevrem had no standards to measure up to, only depths to which he did not wish to sink. Lukan, conversely, had a bar that was now set so high it reached into the heavens.

Blood spattered the walls, the demons outside of the throne room had obviously been busy. Here and there were shredded corpses. Guards, servants, poor passersby who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. A few of the lesser nobles, unable to earn a place in the throne room but important enough to have a plate at the dinner had also been cut down. In the dining room a grisly addition had been made to the feast.

Piles of limbs and entrails were heaped here and there. Skulls and raw bones laying about like decoration. In some seats sat demons in human skins, gorging themselves, looking up at the newcomers. Their flesh filled toothy grins slowly faded as they realized what was standing before their eyes. They hurled their gruesome delights toward the four and Kevrem felt a sick sense of pleasure at the fear that welled out of them.

He stretched forth a grey hand on instinct, flexing his black talons in the air. Nobody was more surprised than him when they caught on something solid and he jerked his hand back, yanking one of the helpless demons toward them. He'd caught ahold of it by it's terror and used the emotion against it, the force of it's flight impaling it on Lukan's outstretched spear. "Perhaps I have some questions still as well."

Alasdair's chuckle was dry. "And again, perhaps I have some answers. I'm a Dragon. Not a Demon. Not a Demi-god. I can only tell you what I know and my knowledge does have limits."

"What about an Oracle, are you one of those as well?" Tessa's voice was wry as she seized a bow and quiver from near the corpse of a mutilated guard. "He's wet with water...he was coming in off the walls to warn us..."

Kevrem flexed his wings, glancing at the large windows of the dining hall. "Perhaps we should split up. Two of us continue to clear the halls, two of us take to the fight on the walls. Alasdair, you and Tessa outside. Her arrows and your dragon form-"

"I'm still too weak for that. I would suggest that Tessa and Lukan take the walls. Lukan can wield the storm against them. You and I can clear hallways and rooms just fine as we are."

Tessa nodded and Lukan gripped his spear resolutely. "I'm not sure about wielding the storm but I'll do my best. These are my people, they deserve nothing less."

Kevrem walked up to the window, shattering the glass with a kick of one large hoof and gesturing to the raging fury of nature beyond. "Allow me to fly you both to the wall?

Lukan crackled with energy as he walked to the gap, glass crunching under his boots. As they looked on he extended his Spear toward the turbulent skies and his cape flared as the winds lofted him. Kevrem shook his head with a chuckle, watching as his younger sibling seemed to grow wings of snow and electricity, circling higher and higher. "Tessa? Are you suddenly going to-"

"Shut up and fly me out there before I re-evaluate our relationship."

He laughed, sheathing his sword and grasping her lightly around the waist. "If I get shot-"

"Then you'll deserve it, hurry up before Alasdair does all the work himself."

Kevrem shook his head. If this was an indication of his future...well, he'd think about the future when it go here. He was no Oracle after all. Spreading his wings wide he pushed off, almost getting blown into the wall of the Keep by the strong winds. He squinted, holding Tessa close, touching down on the wall a few heart pounding moments later. With a gentle smile he ruffled her hair and was almost utterly surprised when she caught hold of his hair and jerked his skull down for an actual kiss.

"For luck." She whispered.

He laughed and returned the kiss. "I don't need luck...I have a dragon. You need the luck." And with that he lifted off, fighting the storm to return to where Alasdair was skewering a demon that had been hiding under the tables.

"Sorry, it's hard to fly out there."

The dragon merely looked at him knowingly. "Here's a piece of advice. As the husband of a strong not get over protective. Even when they were clearly not in control of the situation, never argue when they say they 'handled it'. Just keep your sword ready and a protective wing over them when they're not looking."

"Duly noted." He glanced around, making sure that all the demons in the room were actually dead, before hustling after the dragon. "Alasdair...thanks."

"Thank me when we see the sunrise. Until then, there's still the good chance I'll never see my wife again and you'll never have one."

Don't forget to stick around for the epilogue folks. I hope you liked.
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Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 503
Location: Penna, having a hot cup of tea

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:18 pm    Post subject:  

Excellent! I can't wait for the epic conclusion!

Epilogue, epilogue, epilogue *continues chanting*
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