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A Dark Soul 
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:14 pm
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Location: WA (Land of lots of trees)
Post A Dark Soul
A Dark Soul

My footsteps echoed down the slope I traveled, despite my caution. I could hear… or rather feel the vibrations form the armor I was in. Looted straight off a dead corpse and thankfully I had not the nose to smell it for who knew how long it had lain their next to the cesspit I had come upon. Bloat flies had driven me away from my intended path only to have me stumble upon it. Gritted armor rusted but still useable was better protection than the cloth I wore which had protected me none against the bloat flies poisonous blood. Its Acidic properties I had reasoned were to melt their prey down into something digestible through their narrow mouths. I shivered every time I pictured the scene.

The armor was heavy and I had been forced to leave my shield behind and swap to a lighter weapon otherwise by the end of the day when I found a campfire I might have been fatigued beyond what was already inflicted. As it stood I carried a shortsword in my right hand and dark essence in my right. I didn’t trust it fully as a shield for it never did block everything incoming but rather slowed it down. Not only that but it belonged to a servant of darkness, but it was the closest I had come to death in awhile.

If it had not been for that orange glowing spirit, a follower of the lost son of Gywn. The sunlight warrior’s magic power, with the ability to perform miracles such as healing and throwing bolts of lightning. I was glad to have stumbled across his name written on the wall. Almost out of view, it’s dim glow hard to have found. The glowing spirit’s name had lit up and appeared before me after I had but touched the name. Lancer, and when he appeared in full it was clear by his name of why his name was thus. The Dark Wraith we had encountered had almost gotten the upper hand on me, bringing me so close to death before Lancer had flanked him and stabbed him from the back just before he landed the finishing blow on me.

Death, well a form of it. Each time I was cut down the cursed Dark Sign would bring me back. The first time it had been disorienting. I had run into my companions trying to catch up but they didn’t understand my condition and attacked on sight despite my attempts convince them otherwise. They still had their humanity, and I? Well I was left with this husk of a body.

I had wandered then in search of answers, I had thought the world clear before but now I was drowning in a world of grey. I had thought the Undead as little more than a spreading plague that my companions and I had sought to find the source. This had lead us to Lordran, the city of the Ancients were Gywn the Fire Lord had once ruled from. We were a distant kingdom, of unimport and I shall not bore you with a list of past histories. It was by chance that I came across another intelligent Undead.

He wore an outfit of the great swamp, and was a pyromancer by trade. Cheery enough, and he had explained that the Dark Sign was spreading and more and more were becoming Undead. With each successive loss of life however, each Undead was becoming closer and closer to chaos. He called it the ‘Diverge’ or the separation of who we once were, being torn away from us. He bid me farewell but not without a gift to help me on my journey. I kept it secret and kept it safe, so those that invade worlds with hostile intent would never find it. They hunted those that appeared human, so I had given up maintaining any semblance of humanity and instead remained in the husked form of Undead.

It hadn’t been long for me to realize that I was able to return to my form before, but its relief was only momentary for if I died in this abysmal place, I would wake up hours later at a bonfire. My husk form returned and along with it the feeling of inevitability sinking in. This place was unforgiving, almost as if the gods had cursed the land to damnation. So there I traveled down the path, cautious, slow, methodical, and as always hesitant to take that next corner.

Turning that corner in the stone paved pathway, I came upon the armored appearance of a knight. Some would think this would bring hope to my mind, but instead it did the very opposite. Upon seeing the black on black tints, on an all too familiar armor I raised my shield getting ready for the fight that was too come. The black knight was wielding what most would consider a great sword, but in its hands it was nothing more than a side sword. He had seen other black knights wielding even larger weapons, sometimes even one handed. Their strength was inhuman, and whatever lay beneath those helms had claimed more deaths at their hands than most other creatures I had found in Lordran.

Edging forward the knight watched my advance as if carefully judging when the correct moment to strike would be, and it seemed that I crept forward inch by inch yet still it remained still. Time distorts when you are focused so intently, that I scarcely could guess how long it took or how close I got before the black knight came forward to large bounding steps and a thrust forward.

I dropped the dark shield obscuring my view as rolled to the side to avoid the blow. I cursed myself for leaving, a physical shield behind. Perhaps in allowing myself the comfortable encumbrance I had doomed myself in other ways. Rolling back up to my feet as the knight turned towards me I dared a counter attack to put the knight on defensive. My blow was a swift thrust straight into the plate of knight’s armor. It slide in and for a moment I dared to hope.

All fell away when the black knight brought its sword above its head to bring it down. I pulled my sword back, and raised my hand defensively. Luckily, the dark hand’s energy shot outward in a sphere of black energy protecting me from most of the blow. It felt like someone took a large metal bat and decided to test out how a ‘light blow’ would feel. It was discomfort able to say, minimal about the solid blow. Not letting up the Knight’s second attack came in swiftly but slowed upon hitting near my outstretched hand.

The blow knocked the wind out of me as I stumbled backwards. Impossibly the Knight’s blows just kept coming and I had no choice but to use my stumbling momentum to roll backwards. Distance would be my only salvation. Falling onto my back and kicking my legs up as quick as I could to try and complete the roll… somehow I managed to find myself back on my feet.

I lifted a flask to my mouth; it was brimming with a yellowish orange essence known as Estus. It seemed to heal those afflicted Undead, and just after the first sip I began to felt energy returning to me. Dropping the flask back to my belt, I stood up straight squaring my shoulders. I had to end this quickly, and if I could time it just right…

As the knight came forward he came with his shield raised and I send a blow out to meet the knight trying to bait him into attacking between blows. My sword almost recoiled off the shield, and the black knight took advantage swinging in. I was prepared for his speed this time however, and the black distortion was up well before the knight even got close to hitting me. Flinging my arm wide with the dark hand I thrust my sword forward this time aiming for the head piece. Surprisingly the dark hand had a burst of power completely deflecting the blow and my sword struck its mark. White essence fell from the black knight and absorbed into me.

Souls… yes that was the currency. I dared not ask how many souls had perished before, and with the growing number I was able to obtain… I was horrified that they were used to barter with the few merchants I could find. Even they were few and far in-between. None of them had yet to appear mentally stable. I wondered if that was because some had thought to kill and take the merchant’s items rather than barter, which would explain their afflicted condition. Though perhaps, they were deprived to begin with. Even worse, I had used souls to increase my own skills.

I had once heard of tales speaking of beasts, and demons that could move faster than any mortal, those that could swing swords as if they were little more than wooden counter parts. I hadn’t believed that until coming to Lordran, and I dared to hope that the white substance known as ‘souls’ did not entail what I thought it was. The sheer amount that I had sacrificed in order to better my own chances of surviving this chaotic and unforgiving place would shatter the mind.

Pushing the black knight off my sword I didn’t bother trying to lift the armor or weapon from its corpse. It was far too heavy but the shield, yes. I was glad to have an actual shield on my arm even if it was a battle just to hold it up straight. I’d prefer steel to magic any day. Magic had the bad habit of failing you at the worst possible moment, and even some of the more powerful spells he had seen had limited use or duration. Steel? No that had much longer limits, and though I had broken a rusty Uchigatana found towards the beginning of my journey, I still put my faith into it.

I reached the end of the hallway I had been walking, and looked back for a moment. I hadn’t realized how long I had been walking this hallway that I could not see my point of origin. Lost in thoughts, I mused. Wondering if that was in essence what became of the Undead who wandered attacking and acting simplistic. Perhaps they weren’t insane but on autopilot…. I decided that didn’t make very much sense, and proceeded through the archways before me.

The room gave way to golden walls embroidered in silver, but under the scorn of time most of these were dulled. Despite this tarnished look I could marvel at what this place could have been in ages past. How long had it been since people had dwelled here? Walking forward, I pulled forth a talisman and holding it into the air to cast the one small cantrip I had picked up along the way, light issued forth in an orb to hang above my head. I had found plenty of scrolls detailing spells most were beyond my grasp. This one had proved useful for the dark catacombs, and labyrinths I now found myself wandering.

Light shown almost giving a green sheen to everything as I walked past pillar after pillar listening intently for any sound that might betray the stillness down here. The stillness I could akin only to death, yet it was interrupted by my metal footsteps as I pressed ever forward. It wasn’t long before I saw someone up ahead, metal armor staring at a mural painted onto the side of a wall.

From this distance I was able to make out serpents on two sides of a spectrum. One pale another black with red eyes standing out. A man held a lightning bolt aiming the spear like weapon at the dark serpent. Without a doubt it was about the past when Dragons had ruled the land. If my memory served the pale serpent must have been Seath the Scaleless a dragon born without scales. Despite knowing this the black serpent remained unknown to me.

I approached with my shield up wondering if the figure observing the scene was friend or foe. He wore armor that reflected my light well and there was no way he couldn’t tell that I was just ten paces behind him yet he still remained focused before him. I let my shield drop slightly to the side and reached up a hand.

“What do you think of this piece?”

The knight turned looking at me through his visor before turning back. His feet never seemed to move as he shifted, I noted a longsword strapped to his side and a sun emblem upon his chest. The old god of War, almost none had faith in him anymore ever since loosing his deity status though I had heard rumors that there was a brotherhood that still clinged to the old faith. Perhaps this man was one of them.... or maybe he killed one of them and stole the armor. I could fault him for that... I had done the same.

"Well..." I started hesitantly. "Looks like its based off ancient lore, though I admit I never really took much notice of such things beyond the casual study..."

Silence pressed on for a time as the man continued to admire the mural and then he seemed to have had enough and turned to me throwing his hands wide and laughing.

"Haha! Forgive me where are my manners!? I am Solaire of Astora, and it seems at least for the time being our worlds have crossed." he says briefly glancing between me and the mural. "So tell me my friend what brings you here to the land of the ancients?"

The man's emotion hit me like a tidal wave. He had seemed so solemn before, but now he was as cheery as could be. For the time I had been here, in this cursed land, none had seemed happier than this man. In fact I wondered if I had had a reason to smile ever since arriving. Had I forgotton how to smile? I couldn't remember the last time I had! Seeing that this man was no immediate threat to me I dropped my weapon in front of me and rested my hands upon the top of it.

"Well I came with my companions here to find the root of the spreading Darksign," I said wondering if that is why this.... 'Solaire' was here as well. "I'm afraid I found it almost too readily. The Dark Sign has now grasped ahold of me, though I know not why. I'm only glad my friends, may they rest in peace have not shared in my fate."

"Do not fret friend, there was a reason you are still here. Something perhaps left undone, I am here searching for my own Sun." said this man Solaire.

"I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you find him," I said thinking he was talking about his descendant.

"Haha! I have not lost friend, no I am merely on the path of finding. I can see it too, your looking for your own Sun as well," said Solaire. I realized he wasn't talking about blood, now. "A light amongst this darkness, I know it exists but where? You will find it just as I will, we must for there is no other way."

"Then shall we journey together perhaps? I think it would make the trip much easier," I suggested and at that his shoulders grew heavy through that armor.

"If I didn't know better I'd say you've taken a liking to me," said Solaire half laughing at his jest. "Alas our time is coming to a close I can already see you fading like a wisp on the wind. I will lay my name down so you can summon me ahead. Someone lies ahead, and in your world he hasn't been defeated yet..."

"Who lies ahead?" I asked but Solaire was right he was fading fast, and his only response was to raise his hands into a Y shape. A sign of worship in foreign lands? I had seen this done with a few of the spirits I had summoned. Was each world thinly connected like this? Each spirit a person like me? A shiver ran through my spine as I looked down the hallway ahead.

'Someone lies ahead, and in your world he hasn't been defeated yet.'

Something about the way he had said that, didn't sit right with me....

There's always something to lose.

Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:50 pm
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