[Closed] Depths Of Madness

Gior's galdori temple city and also most populated. Home of the ruling Gioran family as well as the center of Gioran education with both the Temple and the University in the same location.
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Athrym Bruthgrave
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:30 pm
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: Welcome to Brunnhold. Now go home.
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Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:45 am

5th Ophus, 2718
THE DEEP | MID MORNING
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Athrym screamed as the leathery, sinewy body slammed into the wall that Naul had put up, backing up with her fiance as her green eyes were wide with disbelief.

This was impossible. A hatcher, a beast of myth and legend, as old as time itself according to the tales told by the Anaxi. They had records, of course they had records, but they weren’t real. They were metaphorical monsters, childs horror tales to keep them in check.

Yet, here they were, barely visible in the dim glow of the spheres left in the crypt with gnashing teeth and elongated necks and wicked rending claws. The mist followed them as they moved out of the room, swirling against the red heads sphere and thickening as growls and hissing snarls echoed around them. The beast lunged again, and the blonde couldn’t think, her field a shattered mess. Nauleth’s voice pulled her from the panic, telling her what to do. They were alone now, the other galdori dead or gone, and at least two hatchers snarling in the mists.

“Breathing. Seeing. Yes.” The Gioran stammered, dragging herself together and finding the monite for Deep Vision, altering the last of the syllables to plead with the mona to encompass them both. Both of them would feel the rush of mona, as though the sentient particles themselves were relieved to be away from the strange tear that seemed to tug on their fields, and eagerly they responded to her spellwork. Eyes lighting up light glowing beacons, the couple would see the darkness around them brighten vividly, as though the middle of the day.

“Oh Gods—” The petite woman breathed, backing up as Naul moved, summer gaze flicking from the large murky grey beast that tried to breech the Wall, to the injured and bleeding one that struggled behind. More sounds came from the crypt as they stepped back onto the perilous ledge that led along the Maw.

More were coming.

Catching her breath, Athrym ignored the fear chewing through her as the vicious creature tried again and again to get through, and in a moment which she would think about later, it appeared as though intelligent thought ran through the beast. It looked like it would climb the sphere. She shouted the monite for Clean Air, filling their bubble of safety with fresh air to charge the mind and clean the lungs. As she ran, the woman felt the Anaxi let her go, stopping in her tracks and turning with terror.

“Naul! Imaan no, no, no!” She cried, watching the lead hatcher turn to the stone wall, it’s injured follower turning as if of one mind. One hive mind. They were going to go up the clocking rock! The taller man paused, speaking to her with effort and exertion, before he dragged his spellwork together to do something unfathomable. Something stupid.

“No don’t!” The pale Gioran cried in horror, feeling herself move back out of the sphere even as Nauleth bolsted it. The hatcher didn’t have any thoughts as it shared the space with the galdor, eyes glinting green in their enhanced vision. It opened its mouth wide and screeched a vile sound that hurt the ears, and sprang at the man, claws swiping at his side and teeth tearing through his opposite shoulder. The force of its lunge sent the creature toppling to one side, dragging teeth and claws down the man where it fell to the stone ground. It was just enough of the break they needed for the sphere to hold the beast and let Naul go. It snapped to its feet and slammed against the Wall, the Anaxi’s blood dripping from its mouth.

Feeling a surge within her chest, Athrym lifted both hands, physically gathering her field and the mona in tightly before barking the Push spell. The very dirt lifted from their path as her spell gathered everything around it and shoved hard forwards. Nauleth would stagger, should he still be standing, as the pressure rushed past him, and the hatcher screamed in rage as it rolled over the barrier and tumbled into the Maw. The second beast snarled, stumbling and falling lay on the rocky floor with short wet gasps as the Gioran ran to her partner.

“Oh my Gods, my Gods I…I…I don’t…” She stammered words, sliding to a stop beside the man and pressing her hands to the blood that was flowing from his side and his shoulder. The glow in their eyes was fading, and the air was stale.

This is where they would die.

“Naul. Naul I am so sorry I brought you down here. I am so clocking sorry. I didn’t know about the hatchers. No one knew. I…I’m so sorry!” The blonde sobbed, lifting her head as more snarls and growls sounded from the pathway they had come from. It was hard to tell how many were coming, but she couldn’t hold them off alone. Looking at the man, Athrym grabbed his hand tightly and closed her eyes, wishing she’d learned anything other than Living as a fucking major.

Quite suddenly, the room got warm. Not just warm, but hot.

The snarling was overshadowed by something else. A deep, rending, echoing sound that was something between a growl and boulders grinding together.

From behind closed eyelids, Athrym could see brightness of light, an orange glow that burned through the darkness. She opened her eyes, shielding them from the flicker of flames that burned orange and hot white in the space where the cavernous Maw once was.

“Imaan save us.” The Gioran whispered, hatchers forgotten and eyes locked on the vision before her. It was a great wolf, or at least that was the closest thing she could use to describe it, made of molten rock and thick black smoke. It’s eyes were fiery portals to the depths of eternity and its chest was skeletal, heart replaced with a great churning ball of fire. It stood taller than the side of the Maw, it’s head brushing the cathedral ceiling above them.

Daegerote.

The beast of legend turned its gaze upon the two galdori, and both of them would be filled with a sense of inspiration, a feeling of hope. Athrym blinked, looking away to her fiance and nodding rapidly.

“We’re going to get out of here.” She said forcefully, gathering her ramscott field with purpose. Focusing on the gash in his side, where the blood flowed most eagerly, the Gioran drew on her Living magic and called for the mona to Congeal the wound and cease the bloodflow. It would hurt, but not as much as the Stitch Wound she wove in. It needed cleaning, it needed pain relief, but right now it needed shutting. Her hand held his tighter, the other pressed against his ribs. Blood would clot, slowing from a torrent to an ooze to a seep, and the layers of skin would knit together, forcing the clots out as they did.

From the other side, the hatchers had stopped in their tracks, their green glowing eyes locked on the Daegerote as it looked down at them. There were no more sounds, save for the crackling of the hot flames that curled around the mythic beast, and the sound of Athrym’s casting. It seemed like eternity passed between the seconds that ticked over, before the hatchers seemed to make a decision. They hissed their displeasure, snarling at the galdori and the great beast, making feints as though wanting to run over and disembowel them.

“I need you to walk.” The blonde said, finally the syllables for Adrenaline as she tucked the man to her and started to move. Her voice lifted, and true to her people, the Gioran began to Echo Cast for Clean Air. She altered her tone, speaking deeper and more formally, opening her mouth wide and taking deep breaths of air so she could project clearly. The sound reverberated of the walls, bouncing around and collecting the mona as they moved, the air around them fresh and breathable. Athrym didn’t look back, keeping her eyes on the stairs as they walked, weaving in another burst of Deep Vision.

Behind them, the great flaming wolf held it’s ground, it’s presence a barrier in itself for the hatchers. They growled and hissed, violently angry that their hunt had been thwarted. One moved, leaping forwards, running up the trail towards the galdori as they began to climb upwards. The Daegerote rumbled, the sound of earthquakes, and with a shrieking cry the hatcher burst into flames. The others cried out, as though the pain of their brethren was their own pain, but no more did they try to attack.

“Just got to…keep walking.” The blonde said hollowly, her green eyes fixated on the path ahead, mind not willing to process what had just happened. Not yet, not till they were out of the Deep. In a daze, she moved, responding to Naul should he make a sound either to check his wounds or pause for a moment.

“Hello?!” A voice called out in the darkness ahead of them, some distance away. An unfamiliar voice in Estuan but holding a Gioran tongue. If both galdori looked up they would see pinpoints of torchlight.

word count: 1592

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Nauleth Siordanti
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:19 am
Topics: 16
Location: Qiereth, Gior
Race: Galdor
: Magus in the Making
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:39 am

5th of Ophus, 2718
The DEEP | THERE'S NO SUN ANYWHERE WE'RE GOING
While he'd begun his spell in the crypt among the bodies, standing there as mist curled about them and staring unmistakably at a hatcher as it attacked his Gioran companions, the mona had moved so sluggishly. It had grated against his words not because of his intentions, not so much in objection to his panicked casting, but almost as if it was held back by something he had no control of, as if, much like the mona in his field, the mona that was in the rest of the room had been trapped and pulled by the same strange, unknown force. While his wall held the first charge of the mythical beast back and allowed himself and Athrym to flee the room, the magical barrier felt as though it sprang to life, bolstered with strength, as soon as he stepped out into the long stairwell that looked out into the nothingness of the Maw.

Once he was free from the mist, once he was out of range of the strange shimmering rift, the mona he could sense with such familiarity flowed and moved with much more urgency to his commands. Had he at all been capable of analytic thought in this moment, with that beast, here in the middle of this mountain, perhaps he could have made some observations. As it was, the young Siordanti just wanted to get the clocking hell out of the Deep alive and in one piece with his fiancé.

Always a quick—impulsive, really—thinker known for his risk-taking in duels both during League competitions and on the Lawn, Nauleth was quite aware of the choices he was making as they struggled to flee up the stairs, his gold-rimmed gaze watching as another hatcher crawled behind the more agile first, bloodied but persistent.

He heard the petite blond yell for him, planting his feet and gathering what resolve he could summon even though he could hardly do anything but react, full of adrenaline and terror and the deafening rhythm of his pulse. The two creatures moved in unison, but, again, Naul was far too focused to take notes on the matter, Monite shifting into a leybridge, his pleas for safety begging the mona to form a tight, protective sphere. As the wall shifted, however, there was but a handful of heartbeats that the Anaxi galdor stood facing the mythical beast, trapped in the spell of his own making.

Naul could only keep casting, unwilling to risk a brail in this moment, unwilling to invite backlash. He knew what those things were like, but this? This was the clocking unknown! And it was insanity! His voice wavered, raised in defiant volume as if his words could hurt the creature, but instead his spell was drowned out by the horrible screech. He quipped the last line of Monite, the syllable hitched and dragged into a gargled noise of pain when the hatcher leapt for him, all gnashing jaws and powerful limbs.

Sure, unlike most of his kind, he'd not been without any suffering, but this was so very different than his youthful mistakes. As razor sharp teeth tore into utterly unprotected flesh, there was something strange about physical contact with the hatcher—it wasn't just nauseating because he'd never experienced this level of bodily trauma and pain before, but it was also a sensation of overwhelming vertigo and a momentary chill as the mythical beast ripped into him and seemed hells-bent on snuffing out his field like some helpless little candle.

Just for a heartbeat. Just forever.

But he felt it! He really did! The pressure of some totally different, totally familiar presence, familiar in a primal sort of way not unlike the level of pure horror and searing pain he was experiencing. It wasn't as if his field was negated as if turned away with a counter-spell so much as it was completely overpowered, smothered by a force he'd always known but never touched. Suffocated by something indescribably alien and yet curiously not.

Claws raked his side as the creature rolled away from him, the hatcher crashing against the rock wall with the force of its charge even as Nauleth staggered backwards, already raising one arm again as if he could even attempt self-defense. He saw it's bloodied maw—his blood!—and felt the snap of his spell hardening the air between himself and the beast, the mona obedient to his will as it tightly coiled into a shimmering sphere of hardened around the beast just when the force of Athrym's Push spell rippled through the air from behind. The ginger professor could only grunt, her strong, panicked magic shoving him against the wall even as it tossed the hatcher over the railing and into darkness.

Naul left a bloodied smear as he sagged to his knees, freckled face pale, spattered with red, and his lopsided expression a mask of panicked disbelief. Shock took hold almost instantaneously, and the fiery sensation of his injuries meant very little while he stared at the second hatcher, watching it collapse succumb to its injuries much as he suddenly wanted to, too. He glanced down, panting, staring as Athrym appeared in the fog of his vision and reached her hands toward him, gurgling at the press of her palms against his side, which was flowing, not gently oozing.

"Ah—no. Help me up." He whined in denial, tasting that metallic tang as he spoke, eyes blurred with tears. Fingers curled into her coat, the tall Anaxi attempting to pull them both up but failing, slumping further against the mountainside instead, and a helplessness washed over him in a wave of sharp, horrible pain,

"N-no. I came on purpose. We both did. Now, you must tell everyone not to come back here—"

He rolled his head to one side, aware that without her concentration, her spells that were supposed to be keeping them alive were fading.

Well, why bother keeping him alive, anyway? The walk was so far—

Sweet Alioe.

This was not how things were supposed to go at all. Surely, this wasn't even real—ooohhh, but it felt real.

He didn't want to die here in the depths of the mountains of Gior.

Darkness was settling heavily on them. Breathing was even more challenging than his bloodied, torn up side was making it already. He shuddered, "I can't—you should go—I'll cast another wall. Keep them back. 'Cause I really, really love you and you should go. Without me." He leaned in with another wet, pained gurgle, pulling Athrym closer for a moment, growling with the effort it took to wrap arms around her, uncaring of how much it hurt or the blood he marred her coat with. It was difficult to hug her and he whispered while attempting to gather his scattered field, unwilling to accept that they both had to die here, "Leave me. Like your people said—don't come back for me!"

He felt the strangest rush of warmth but assumed it more evidence of drifting deeper into shock. Forcing his eyes open and staring into the consuming black of the Maw, listening to the sounds of approaching beasts, he saw the glow. Gripping the petite Gioran tighter, he hissed in surprise as warmth became heat and the glow became obvious fire,

"Oh—Gods—" He groaned, the whole cavern suddenly illuminated by a molten beast of smoke and flame, now aware of just how large the Maw really was,

"Daegerote."

He whispered the words with a sharp inhale through grit teeth, revealing a hint of his fascination with mythic beasts as a child, beasts he'd already dismissed as nothing more than bedtime stories before they'd attempted to kill him. Fear burned away like kindling, and he exhaled the ashes with a quick breath, far more desperate to live than he'd been just mere moments ago.

Surely he was hallucinating.

Perhaps he'd already died.

Professor Meakan was, conveniently, nowhere to be seen during the entire harrowing event—he missed their rescue, too. Nauleth was going to make sure that man felt the full brunt of a Lashing spell. Later. If he lived.

This was all so very strange that when Athrym promised they'd both be leaving, he could only nod ... before he dissolved into sounds of agony. Her Living spells were meant like a hasty bandage, cast with a quick desperation that was nearly as painful as when the hatcher had crunched into bone and sinew and muscle with its jaws in the first place. He couldn't help but cry out, not ignorant of what she was doing but unable to keep himself from writhing and whining. The young Siordanti had never felt any of these sensations, had never heard within his head the sound of his own flesh growing back together.

He managed a panicked glance at the hatchers, at the glowing, flowing wolf-shaped beast, at his fiancé's face, barely hearing her words as her body shifted and she began to heft him to his feet. He leaned heavily against her, looking over her head to watch as hatchers were literally held at bay by Daegerote's presence,

"What in all the Circle? Ath—" He wanted to ask questions. He wanted to watch. He wanted to say thank you. But she was moving and he had no choice but to follow, reliant on her support, dragging their way up so many clocking stairs he was sure they'd just never end. Nauleth had to stop more than once—at least once to dry heave, twice to catch his breath, and one more time to spit blood. Her magical fixes held for the most part, though his shoulder oozed, soaking his coat, dribbling down his fingers while his arm refused to do much of anything other than hang at his side. He hoped his notes were safe.

He was tired. He was cold. He mumbled rather emotional things, rambling as they climbed, spilling his heart as if he feared it would be his only chance to do so ever again. He ranted about the hatchers. He theorized about the ancient Monite. He gasped about Daegerote's existence. He sobbed in indescribable pain. He wanted to stop, but at the same time, he couldn't. Not anymore. He was certainly delirious by the time they'd trekked for so long, and the flicker of torchlight filled him with a rush of hope, quite sure he'd never look at any source of flame the same way ever again,

"Stop! Don't come down here! Fetch a doctor!"

He groaned, weak-kneed and getting heavier and heavier against Athrym, "Stay there! We'll come to you! It's too dangerous! They might be coming after us!"

The Anaxi professor fought for consciousness but shouted anyway, breathless and trembling now as the long, horrified trek had drained adrenaline from his system and the trickle of blood stealing his energy entirely. He'd grit his teeth and force himself to keep going, "Stay back!"
This isn't Brunnhold anymore, ersehat, and you're not going home.
word count: 1926
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Athrym Bruthgrave
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:30 pm
Topics: 2
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:24 pm

5th Ophus, 2718
THE DEEP | MID MORNING
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"Stop it. Stop talking like that.” Athrym whispered, uncaring of the tears that were blurring her vision or the blood staining her coat, shaking her head as the Anaxi uttered words she couldn’t take the time to process now in pained gasps and wet gurgles.

“I’m not leaving you.” She’d growled, holding his hand tight as she closed her eyes tight.

Then, the Daegerote appeared.

The Gioran barely heard Naul’s whisper of the mythic beasts name, but she knew what it was. Any galdor worth their weight in concords would know, the text books describing each Beast in detail from the limited encouters there had been over the centuries. There were speculations, about each creature, and Daegerote was supposed to reveal himself in times of complete despair and desperation. He—whether he had a gender at all was not known but it had stuck—he was supposed to inspire even the meekest heart with his voice.

Was that rumble the voice of the Beast?

Everything happened in a whirlwind after that. Casting hasty spells. Dragging Nauleth to his feet. Every fibre of her being, every breadth of her field said you can do this. The Anaxi’s screams of pain registered, and a weaker woman might sob or cry, or stop. But she was Athrym Bruthgrave. She was Gioran. She was not weak and she would not stop.

“Just keep moving.” The bloodstained blonde whispered as they stumbled through the darkness, her spells becoming less and less effective as the adrenaline left her system and exhaustion took over. The taller red head was heavy, and delirious with pain and—

Imaan what had just happened?

Each time they had to pause for the injured academic, the blonde would chance a glance back behind them, for the first time in her life the yawning darkness making her terrified beyond reason. Her heart would race, and her skin become clammy, field drawing closer. Only the immediate danger of her fiancé’s very real and very painful death kept her together.

Onwards they walked, a slow process that threatened to never end. Nauleth rambled, theorised, wondered, and Athrym listened with a few nods and enough return conversation to keep him going. It was too much to process here, in the dark under the mountain. They hadn’t yet reached The First Archieve when they heard the faint voice, torches flickering still so far away. Looking up, Athrym felt relief and panic wash through her all at once.

Oh, but ever the protector. Ever so brave and so much more Gioran than she would ever be, Nauleth was telling them to stop.

But she couldn’t.

“Wait! Bede Imaan, help us! help us. Ey can’t—Nauleth I can’t…I can’t keep going like this.” She stumbled under his weight, crying out as they both came down on the steep stonecut stairs, the small pale Gioran doing her best to avoid hurting him more. Sitting awkwardly with the bloodied brave Anaxi in her lap, Athrym finally broke into a sob.

Weak. Weak. Weak.

Bede tedaah Eternal, aghdaayte daayyal happened daahthah? Where eyyal Braeth?By the Eternal, what has happened here? Where is Braeth? It was Turek and Illustrious Peak, followed by a small group of people who clearly hadn’t been prepared for a bloodied mess on the stairs. Shouting, too loud in the tunnels, a flurry of Gioran instructing for Healers and stretchers.

“She’s dead. They’re all dead. The Hatchers. The Hatchers!” The young woman sobbed irrationally, peterbed by the shock and concern on the faces of her people. People who didn’t show their emotions externally. Her hands clung to Nauleth when they tried to take him, and the young passive priest gently placed her hands on the blonde’s wrists, holding her as the rescue party carefully lifted the red head.

Athrym. Eyte eyyal okay. Aghah ay daahthah zeeuagh, aghah agheyarar bring deeueh teu tedaah surface. Most Esteemed Siordanti agheyarar beah teaykay straight teu tedaah Church dy aghah daay ayaraydyde sent hu healers. Ay deeueh injured?Athrym. It is okay. We are here now, we will bring you to the surface. Most Esteemed Siordanti will be taken straight to the Church and we have already sent for Healers. Are you injured? The galdor shook her head, summer gaze following the body of her fiancé and trying to stand.

“No he needs me. We just need to keep moving. I need to get him out. I need to!” Illustrious Peak held her firmly, moving to let her rose gaze capture Athryms panicked stare.

Daah agheyarar get euehte, aghah daay daeye. Aghah ay daahthah. Seeueah, look ayte eah. Look ayte eah.He will get out, we have him. We are here. Come, look at me. Look at me. Reluctantly, the terrified woman turned to finally meet the child’s gaze. She smiled gently, holding her hands tightly.

Aghah zeahahdy teu get deeueh euehte teueu. Se deeueh stand?We need to get you out too. Can you stand? Athrym nodded hollowly, trying to find her feet unsuccessfully. Illustrious Peak nodded to one of the Guardians who had accompanied them, and the woman gently moved to help the Ambassador up, her petite form dwarfed in quartz arms. As they followed the procession up the stairs, the blonde looked back behind the Guardian, waiting for gaping mouths with sharp teeth to spring from the darkness, or for a fiery set of eyes to suddenly glow in the pit.

Neither happened. And neither would as they were brought up out of the Deep and into the proverbial light. The woman closed her eyes once she was sure Naul was out, resting her head against the giant woman that carried her, letting exhaustion take over.

There would be time for talk after.

word count: 1001
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