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ValentineDavis21

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  1. Whatever physical pain Barghast was in was replaced by the possibility once again he was too late - when it came to the matter of Crow he had always been too late. He had been hoping for a chance to fix things. For Barghast, the physical pain such as it was, amounted to nothing. He was a collector of scars. One such scar was his lover Lucas, the man he had told Loras about. That scar would never fully go away. It would forever be there, a mark of his guilt and the betrayal he’d committed ag
  2. Seeing the town of Annesville brought back memories of Loras’ own hometown. With its wooden buildings and frost-covered windows it easily could have been mistaken for Caldreath. She was stuck in the past again, in a different time when she had been younger and powerless. She remembered the memory the demon who’d possessed Greta had shown her. Demons, if they were powerful enough, could show you memories but they could also twist the memory into illusions and make the memory seen real. What t
  3. The woods wrapped him in a cloak of familiarity. He breathed in the smell of pine coming from the trees, ran his hands over the rough-hewn bark of a trunk, feeling the grooves and cracks. Every little detail brought back a sense of the solitary child he'd once been. I used to come out here for hours, he thought. Aunt Lena would fix me breakfast, then I would leave the house. I'd climb trees, build traps, listen to the sound of nature. This was my church - my sanctuary. Crow hiked for an
  4. Crow stayed off the main highway, sticking to the back roads where he thought he would have less chance in bumping into a passing Eurchurch patrol team. He let Broana move at her own pace, no longer in a rush to reach Annesville. He no longer truly cared if he made it to his hometown or not. The land was peppered sparse with abandoned homesteads like the one the Stray Dogs had slept in after escaping Fort Erikson; he slept in barns and hayloft, foraging through houses in search of food. Mos
  5. Lora’s Aspect stood in Strabetha Vacuity’s office while her body remained hundreds of miles away. Strabetha’s office was not as large as her own, nor was it as furnished. Her advisor sat at her desk; her face was grim. “I have some bad news for you.” Loras sighed, squaring her shoulders. Preparing herself. “Alright, let’s have it.” “It’s official. Pope Drajen sent out the flyers a week ago. They are being passed throughout the hellscape right now. He has sent out a hundred patrolmen in s
  6. Crow woke up the next morning and stretched. He yawned and looked up at the ceiling. The only thing that would make this morning perfect is a joint, he thought. He’d had several rolled up, stashed away in his pack but the thieves who had attacked him had probably smoked them all by now. The audible growl of his belly motivated him to get out of bed. He went to the wardrobe and pulled the doors open. Shit. What am I going to wear? Except for a few wire hangers the wardrobe was completely empt
  7. Crow and Broana continued their journey north. He was unsure of why he was heading in the direction of home rather than away from it. It was as if his heart’s desire had no say in the matter. When he stopped for the day to let Broana rest, he hunted. Building the snares brought a sense of nostalgia, reminding him of who he truly was and where he came from. I haven’t forgotten everything Aunt Lena taught me. At night he would sleep by a fire, breathing in the open air. Before going to s
  8. Loras stormed into her office and slammed the door behind her. The air was thick around her and crackling with static energy, making the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She wanted to lash out at something, anything, to make this anger go away. It was too dangerous. She needed to alleviate it. And she knew just who to alleviate it on, too. She summoned Strabetha into her room. “I want Barghast and Jack in my office right away,” Loras said. She was hunched over her desk, her ha
  9. Thousands of people stood in the chill of the new morning - people of all ages. No one was exempt from seeing the bloody spectacle that was about to take place. An hour before, a platoon of Red Wraiths were sent throughout the city, kicking down doors. Most of the people didn’t need persuading: They’d already trekked out into the cold, unwilling to risk the might and wrath of the Scarlet Church. But of course there were those who refused and they were shot down in a hail of gunfire that ech
  10. Benedict watched the woman stand. She was beautiful - blonde hair, high rosy cheeks, good body. Very beautiful indeed. But there was something about her that made him uneasy. Frightened him even. Perhaps it was her eyes. They were almost silver. Inhuman. He exchanged a quick glance with Lucijan Markelj. The chief of security looked equally frightened. The woman spoke in a high clear voice. She held up a sheet of paper. “What are these names?” she asked Damen. “Those are people who ar
  11. C’thla climbed out of the basin, water dripping from her body. Her body, curvaceous and perfect in every way (apart from a few fading bruises from when Sara had inhabited this body), gleamed from the water. Her fingers were all pruney. She dried herself off with a towel. Back in her room C’thla put on one of her new dresses, one she’d yet to wear, made of a beautiful light blue satin. The bottom of the wardrobe was lined with shoes. She slid into a pair that matched the dress perfectly with
  12. ValentineDavis21

    Sail

    The past several weeks had been damnation on Loras’ nerves. She couldn’t stop pacing, couldn’t stop thinking about what might be happening in Fruimont. It kept her up at night and no amount of jalasa tea could help her relax. She cursed the First Disciple day and night for it was his fault the technology that had existed in the days of the Old World was no longer of use. It was said in the days before the hellscape people could easily communicate within seconds across great distances. And while
  13. They all sat around the kitchen table: Crow, Barghast, Benedict, and Sheathia. Benedict had the older woman, who Crow assumed was either the grandmother or the nanny, take the children to the back bedroom. Benedict’s daughter kept glancing back at him with open-faced curiosity, the boy with suspicion. Crow took Benedict through a watered down version of what had happened at the Scarlet Church. Even as he went through the events, doing his best to keep them straight in his sleep-deprived mind
  14. With a shout at the dogs, Duncan brought the sled to a stop before the gates of Fruitmont. Several guards stood watch. Each was armed with rifles. The biggest one in the group, a middle-aged man with a greying red beard approached the sled, his breath misting the air. The hood of his jacket was rimmed with fur. Duncan got up, patting the head of one of the dogs, and grinned cheerfully at the sour-faced Wraith. “Good afternoon, sir. Cold, isn’t it?” The Red Wraith grunted and peered over the
  15. The four remaining Stray Dogs trekked through the snow, huddled together as one. The wind shrieked like a banshee, blowing snow in their face. It slapped at them as if trying to hold them back and keep them from reaching the dead city. It was everything Crow could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. A steady aching pulse had formed in the center of his skull. The blood and snot running from his nose had turned into sickles. He was using the last of his mana reserves to keep th
  16. Crow stopped, leaning against the wall of the corridor. He was dizzy with euphoria. The demon’s lifeforce flowed like honey through his veins, making his skin glow. How much did I take? The rush he felt was even more powerful than when he had fought Yov’olbh. Just then he heard two voices coming down the hallway towards him. Two Scarlet Priests were heading in his direction. Before they could see him, Crow appeared to vanish into the wall, but really it was only a glamour spell. Crow fo
  17. Crow went out to the barn to retrieve Broana, their trusty mare. She whickered at him from her stall as if delighted to see him. The smell of straw and wood was strong in the barn, a familiar comfort after the oppressiveness in the house. He tried to think what it was that had been bothering him. He had seen something but now he could no longer remember what it was. Oh well, it didn’t matter. He had to go into town; the fresh air and the journey would do him good. He grabbed the saddle and
  18. The woods were still and silent, the trees standing tall like vigil guardians. Crow moved through them, snow crunching beneath his feet. Two dead rabbits dangled from a piece of cord strapped to his belt. As soon as he got home he would skin them and prepare them for stew. After dinner he would give Aunt Lena a bath and get her ready for bed. For almost a year it had been this way, day in and day out. He got up and fixed Aunt Lena breakfast. His life had become a repetitious cycle of tasks a
  19. They moved through the maze of hallways cautiously, always stopping to peek around the corners to make sure a legion of the possessed weren’t waiting for them. Every second was excruciating, nerve-wracking. The catacombs were too silent for Crow’s liking. He followed Viktor, hoping the former commander of Fort Erikson wasn’t leading him deeper into the catacombs in an attempt to trick him. If someone had told me I would be relying on a Red Wraith for survival I would have told them they were
  20. Crow stood on the hill, looking down at the grave he’d just dug. He’d made a cairn out of stones. He hated the sight of the grave: it was crude and he didn’t feel it was fitting for Aunt Lena but it was the best he could give her. The town Eurchurchman had refused his Aunt Lena a proper burial. Now he threw the shovel down, his hands blistered. He had never felt so thoroughly exhausted. He turned away from Aunt Lena’s grave and looked around the valley. The mountains huddled around him. It w
  21. For many a millenia C’thla had existed in a dream-like state. Though the previous body she’d inhabited had been burned to ash and sealed in this tomb long ago the essence of her being were very much alive. Mostly she traversed the terrain made of memory and dream. These memories were often altered by her subconscious (if demons truly had a conscious or if that only came with having a human body she didn’t know). The dreams were vivid enough she felt as though she was reliving these moments.
  22. Ever since she’d woken up in her cell, Sara had unable to tell if she was dreaming or awake. Things had not been great to begin with. The things she’d seen in Fruimont - the things they’d all seen - were the things nightmares were made of and everything else she’d seen or done paled in comparison. Just when she’d thought things couldn’t get any worse they had. Surely the Infernal Depths can’t be much worse than this, she thought. She gaped at the spot where Crow had been standing just second
  23. Crow sat by the window, looking at the dead city miles away; the Graveyard of Forgotten Things it was called. He’d always wondered what it would be like to see one and now he knew. There was a dead beauty in the Ubrios Waste. There was so much white - nothing but white. Anyone exposed to the cold for more than a few hours, without adequate clothing, would die. The only ones who came out here were scavengers. They would venture out into the Wastes in snowmobiles and camp out in the rotting
  24. Barghast slowly surfaced from the darkness with the sensation he was rising. At first his mind was foggy, unable to comprehend what his eyes were seeing. Then the terrifying realization something was wrong, he was not where he should be, drove into his mind like a nail pounded in by a hammer. His body began to catalog senses: He was laying on a cold, hard surface. His body ached all over. Before he realized it was happening bile surged up his throat. He was quick enough to roll over and vom
  25. Crow’s thoughts were racing in so many different directions he thought he would go mad. Sara was probably at the hideout by now telling Barghast, Lydia, Jack, and Rake what had happened with the crone. And what would Crow tell them when they demanded the truth - assuming they didn’t rip him apart first? Would telling them the truth only make the situation worse? All at once Crow felt small, like an atom. He didn’t belong in this place, he didn’t belong anywhere. This has been a day straight
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