The First Blight: Curse of Dumat [RP/Closed]

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Still staggering and clinging onto his consciousness, the elven rogue turned from one fallen demon to the next Shade. Though he was not capable of attacking this one as vehemently as the previous one, he still managed to cut into its side. He staggered back gasping as his second dagger slashed across the demon's upper arm, though it didn't cut in as deep as his first strike. Surly his injuries were affecting his abilities. He knew it was starting to affect his vision, the world itself was spinning around him as he tried to keep standing.

Another spell fired off and slammed into the Shade. It's upper half suddenly jerking to one side before it struck the ground. Sulahn'nehn huffed. It was wearing on her physically and mentally and the other demons were refusing to stay down or go back from where they came. The fight was beginning to leave her.

The Shade was nothing but smoke now, but there were still two fiery rage demons remaining. Maddened by the scent of the Wardens' spilling blood, they charged the party in a frenzy. But the rip in the Fade grew wider, and something greater and more powerful forced its way out.

The Pride demon was enormous, stepping easily over the entranced Thaedrin and the body of Diocles to face the four Wardens. Its frame was covered in violet spines, its flesh hardened like rock around its shoulders and arms, armoring it. It towered over all of them, with eyes glowing with the power of the Fade. The molten masses shrieked and sought to defend their prize from this predator, but the Pride demon crushed them in mighty fists and slammed them against the ground. What was left of the rage demons bubbled on the grass.

"The Dreamer has summoned me to fetch a corpse," its voice was deep and beastly, its words soft around the edges due to its heavy, cumbersome jaw, "It will serve me well, to tear the human world asunder for all my kind!"

[Ignore this.]

Alrik stared up at the Pride demon not with fear or even surprise, but something closer to resigned acceptance.

"Before meeting Tevinters, never see demon in my life. Now, demons constantly. More demons than people. Ten demons per mage."

Shaking his head, he hurled himself for it, sprinting, heaving his axe over his head and making a mighty strike into the demon's shoulder, almost taking its right arm clear off. Black ichor, thick and stinking, sprayed from the wound.

It bellowed with rage, leaning in and clamping its enormous mouth onto Alrik. Shaking him like a terrier shakes a rat, it tossed him into a tree, the trunk shuddering with the impact. He landed in a heap on the ground, unconscious or dead, his chest a mess of jagged fang wounds.

Sulahn'nehn's eyes went wide. A demon of Pride had made it's way out of the Fade and stood before them. It easily dispensed of the remaining creatures; it was a testament to the whispers she'd heard of a Pride demon's power. Her chest ached as even the one residing in her took notice of it's presence. The Wardens were tired and beaten, if the towering demon lifted even a claw at them she doubted they would last long.

How right she was, within his first attack, the male barbarian lay motionless on the ground. Ulrin looked as if he would follow Alrik soon and she did not know if Ghil had any strength left. She was terrified.

The elf let out a shout, blasting the demon but she did not see make so much of a flinch.

Ulrin watched as the barbarian lunged forward toward their new adversary. the elf himself was still shocked by the sight of the thing. And the demon took Alrick down with such ease. Tossing him aside like he was nothing...

"This- this must be the end." The elf gripped his knives and rushed forward, managing to barely keep his vision focused he dug his weapons into the demon where he could.

"What is this devilry..."

Ghil was stunned, the fearless strength sapped out of her at the sight. It wasn't until her comrades attacked that she regained her senses. Two elves? She had to protect them. She charged forward with a scream of frustration, swinging her greatsword to cut into its side with as much power as she could muster.

The Pride Demon growled and hissed as it bore the onslaught of attacks; Ulrin's strike managed to sever its right arm completely, the massive limb hitting the earth with a thump.

The demon took a deep breath, calming itself.

"Why would you summon me here and then stand between me and my right?" It looked from Ghil, to Ulrin, and finally to Sulahn'nehn. "I shall kill you one by one. And the last? The last will be eaten."

True to its word, it leaned down quickly and wrapped a heavy hand around Ghil, picking her up as if she weighed nothing and then smashing her into the ground with all its force.

The barbarian did not get back up.

"You and me," the Pride Demon laughed, "and the devil makes three. Who is next?"

Sulahn'nehn was enraged. They seemed to be falling left and right and she had no way of immediately knowing if any of them were going to ever get back up. Her friend had just been brutalized and from the looks of things, both elves would suffer the same soon if they could not stop it. She screamed with effort to tear the demon down.

Ulrin attempted to curse, but all that happened when he spoke was a terrible cough. Now Ghil as well! The Creators were cruel weren't they. He charged forward again raising his knives over his head to stab into the demon again, but with his blurred vision he only sank one into its flesh.

The Pride demon looked dead on its feet; puddles of black liquid pooled beneath it. But it was grinning-- the elves did not look much better.

Rearing back, it rammed its head into Ulrin, impaling him through the belly on its horns. It laughed uproariously in its deep, gloating voice before hurling him away, blood cascading through the air like rain.

Now it turned on Sulahn'nehn.

"I am going to eat you. I am going to start with your legs, and I am going to take my time. And then I will take your dead friend and wear him like clothing."

Sulahn'nehn looked and Ulrin's body with as much shock as she had for the others. She was the only one that remained standing. If they still breathed, she could not let the demon go any further. "You! You will do nothing but wish you never left the Fade!" It looked as if it had one foot in the grave or at least she came to that conclusion as she put her hands before her and visualized ripping the bastard in two.

"You- Die- Here!" The elf strained to make the visualization become a reality, her magic pulling at it in opposing directions. She only managed to tear part of at it's neck from it's shoulder. She fell to knee, breathing heavily.

Tarry blood splashed over Sulahn'nehn as the Pride Demon collapsed, its body quickly beginning to bubble and dematerialize.

But she could not have peace-- not quite yet. After only a few breaths, she began hearing a voice in her head. This was not the deep, mocking voice of the demon-- this seemed much more pleasant, more reasonable. It was not unlike her own voice.

"She is a child of Elvhenan, and a vanquisher of demons! She is of the proudest and most ancient lineage!"

Seemingly not of her own accord, her eyes turned to Thaedrin, still totally unaware of his surroundings-- and untouched from the combat.

"But if that is so, why does she suffer such treatment from a slaver? Why has she let this man abuse her? Even now the best funeral rights he can give for Diocles are to soil the world with demons, demons that have hurt-- or killed-- her only friends. When the slaver returns from the fade, will he show remorse? Will he apologize for this, or for anything?"

Her eyes turned to spot one of Ulrin's knives lying in the grass, very nearby.

"Is she still a slave, too afraid to fight back? Or is she a child of Elvhenan, and a vanquisher of demons?" the voice spoke, slowly fading away. Once it had vanished, it was hard to say whether it had been something from outside, or merely her own thoughts.

Her eye flicked from the glinting blade and back to the blood mage. Sulahn'nehn walked towards and and scooped it up, each action seemingly to take a decade to pass. For a long while all she did was look at it, turning it over in her hands. Thaedrin had caused so much death, was he too like her master; A mage that should be punished for all the pain he brought to others. Would spilling his blood be right?

To the others, Thaedrin was as still as stone, his eyes fixed on some distant location, his aura roiling with the effort of holding open the Veil. Within the Fade, however, he was lucid and in complete control. For all the demons that had stolen into the mortal realm, there were many that he was yet restraining, waiting for one powerful enough to accomplish the task he had set before himself. The Pride demon overwhelmed him, and then, finally, when it was thrown back into the Fade, weakened, he reached out for its essence and pulled--

Magic surged along the ground like a shockwave, though only Sulahn'nehn was there to feel it. It resonated with flesh and blood, healing, rebuilding. He used the demon's power like he would have used his own life force, fueling his abilities beyond the scope of mere men. The barbarians, the elves, and the corpse in front of him: their torn flesh was mended and their bones pieced together. Though it did not leave the skin as good as new, their wounds were no longer a danger, no longer threatening to end a life.

Thaedrin snapped back into the waking world with a sharp gasp and a shudder; when he saw Diocles had been repaired, he hurriedly held his hands to his chest to feel for a pulse. There was a breath of relief... But it was temporary. When he looked at the archer's face, suddenly all the fury came back to him and he struck a blow across the man's jaw with his fist.

It felt so damn good that he just kept punching.

Sulahn'nehn's chain of thought ended abruptly as she felt what seemed the world shifting. What happened? She shook her head, trying to remember just what had been at the foremost of her mind. Something about her people, and demons, and-

Diocles was being beaten. Had Thaedrin gone mad? Sulahn'nehn rushed forward with Ulrin's knife in hand. She pulled at Thaedrin from behind, wrapping her arm around his and brandishing the blade. "You will stop!" she shouted. "Have you no shame?! You have killed us all and you will let him lie in peace!"

Diocles awoke on the first punch. His eyes opened on the second. By the third, he realized what was happening. He was alive. He had been winning, and then he had died in an instant, stolen away to something.. Other. And Thaedrin had brought him back, had risked everything to do so. He was still a son of a bitch, but he had earned a few free hits.

Regaining his strength, the archer shot forward his arms around the blood mage. He pulled Thaedrin close, crushing the man against his chest in an embrace, removing him from Sul's hands.

"You idiot. ... You blighted, scale sucking, bloody, Toth-burned, idiot."

Sulahn'nehn dropped the blade in fright. Diocles' corpse just grabbed Thaedrin and spoke. She stumbled backwards onto her ass. She stammered, hardly able to get the sentence out of her mouth, "Di-...But- Y-You're alive!"

Thaedrin didn't move for a moment, he was shocked half to death. Then he twisted sharply out of the man's grasp, shoving him away.

"Get off. Gods. ...At least one of us can be relied upon."

If Sulahn'nehn hadn't already been falling all over herself, he would've given her a shove just for the joy of it. As it was, the moment he pulled himself to his feet and stood upright, the blood loss and fatigue put him right back on the ground. Two steps and the first syllable of another snide remark were all he'd gotten out before he had to take a knee, gasping.

Ghil sat upright, apprehensive. She looked around wildly for sign of the demons, but even the grass had recovered all its burned bits. "The demons--where did they go, escaped!?"

Ulrin stirred as well. The elf gasped and groaned. He expected to cough up more blood and was surprised he did not. The rogue put his hands on his chest and looked around confused... "W-we are alive? How are we alive?"

Alrik, holding one hand to an enormous bump on his head, grinned at Thaedrin.

"Knew Constable Thaedrin must have good plan! ...Actually, thought had gone insane. But was good plan."

He walked over to inspect the Pride Demon's remains, running his hands through the rapidly evaporating goo.

"Too bad Alamarri not see. Die of fear. Bow to us."

Her heart rate jumped again when she heard Ghil's voice. She lived too! Perhaps they all were. "Dead. They're all dead..." She had the biggest urge to hug the giant tightly and probably would have if she were not so far away. Though that feeling did not last long when she looked at Thaedrin, "And this sodding blighter nearly got us all killed!"

When Ulrin spoke she knew they were all fine. At least they were now. "If I must guess, it is by this one's blood magic." she spat out her words. She was thankful that they lived, but in her mind she was quite reasonably upset.

"I am."

Diocles grinned at Sul, running his fingers along the new, somewhat gruesome, scars on his chest, and the line of half-healed flesh across the bridge of his newly restored nose. He felt drained and weak, but he was alive. He sprung to his feet, energetic with pure joy. He swept the female elf into an even more powerful hug than he had given Thaedrin, picking her up off the ground in his arms.

"I am, I am, I am!"

Sulahn'nehn continued screaming exactly how she felt about Thaedrin's choices until she's been scooped up and it ended in a squeak. What was happening now? Was that a hug? That was definitely a hug. Did humans actually hug elves? They must if it was happening now. What was she supposed to do with this new...thing.

No, no, no. She was angry. She was angry and they would all hear about it for quite some time and- oh well, she tried.

"You're alive. And you're an idiot." She returned his hug though she could not muster the same strength.

Over Sulahn'nehn's shoulder, Alrik smiled and nodded at Diocles. He then began gesturing as to how he suggested the pair should reunite. Some of the gestures were very forceful.

Diocles grinned at Alrik, making sure to take the time to give Ghil and Ulrin happy glances and nods before he was ready to set Sul back on her feet. Still he hardly gave the elf her personal space back, keeping his hands on her shoulders.

"An idiot. Yes, definitely. I am, I am, I am. I nearly died before I did this."

No longer afraid of proving Thaedrin right, the archer pulled his friend close, pressing his lips into hers as if they were lovers meeting after years apart.

"Did wh-"

Sulahn'nehn was at a loss for words. This was not simply because the archer had embraced her, but that was certainly part of the reason. Onlyfor the briefest moment did you consider resisting. This was just something that didn't happen, at least it didn't happen in public. Not with an elf anyway. As it turned out, she couldn't have cared less at that moment and she quite eagerly reciprocated.

It was nice to enjoy things for a change.

As Ulrin got to his feet he looked about, surprised and happy to see his comrades were also alive and well. The first time he looked to the archer and Sulahn'nehn they were merely speaking; the female elf standing over Theadrin damning him as they all should. He then turned to the barbarians nervously smiling. They had survived hadn't they, it was a great feeling. It was strange to be so happy to be alive.

However when eh turned his attention back to the celebrating human and the elven mage he felt that joy was smacked out of him and replaced with shock. Just what was Diocles doing? What was Sulahn'nehn doing? Had nearly dying driven them both mad? The rogue fell back into his seat on the ground rubbing the side of his head. Perhaps it would be best to just stay on the ground before he managed to cough up whatever was left of his internal organs.

Thaedrin made a visible attempt not to vomit.

The barbarian woman crossed the grass to her Constable and wrenched him upright by the arm. "You would have left us all to the dying."

"Then you wouldn't have been doing your jobs." Thaedrin bent his arm out of her grip and dusted himself off, no less arrogant in spite of the party's collective near-death experience. He scanned the surrounding area with dissatisfaction, "The horses are gone, most of our gear left behind in our tents. We'll need to find our bearings, get to a town we can scavenge from."

"Where are we to go? Not back to the Alamarri. They would kill us all on sight." Ghil leaned down, offering Ulrin a hand up next. She could see he wasn't in the best of moods, either.

Ulrin reached up and took her hand. He nodded to her slowly with a slight smile. "Thank you, Ghil...I I must still be dizzy after all of that." He lied to her, though he was sure she knew it was the sight of Diocles and Sulahn'nehn that had knocked him back down to the ground.

No one (aside from Diocles...maybe) was in quite as good as mood as Sulahn'nehn was and as soon as she'd broke away from their prolonged kiss she remembered why. At least Ghil seemed to be as upset as she was about the summoning of demons. It was a bit of an odd spot to be in. She'd gotten a fairly clear sign of some form of interest from the archer but she couldn't exactly inquire about it with more pressing matters to attend to. Nevertheless, she hadn't moved away from him. They could figure all that out later."

You risked the lives of everyone here on the off chance that we would survive? Your plan very nearly failed. Please inform us before hand when you wish to tear the veil." Sulahn'nehn heaved a sigh. She had obvious issues with Thaedrin, but she could not honestly say she was upset over the end result. "So we're to just wander in hopes that we run across a town."

Maybe if they were lucky they'd stumble across food and water too. And a bath. Being covered in demon blood didn't improve the mood much.

Diocles pulled back from the kiss reluctantly, giving Sul a brief smile before turning back to his other comrades.

"Right. I think I've had enough of being killed by the Alamarri for the day. Did, ah.. Anyone get my bow? I'm feeling rather naked."

It was obvious that despite his shirtlessness and lack of armor, Diocles was not joking. He loved that bow, and not having it at hand was difficult to say the least.

Sulahn'nehn grimaced. Everything she had was gone and they had gotten away with so little. "No." she said, letting the tone of her voice drop. "We didn't. I'm sorry. What you see here is all we have." 

Which in her case, was a fat lot of nothing. She would thank the Creators if they could find their way out of the woods and into a town quickly and with little hassle. 

"...Right. That's fine, it was only a weapon."

It was clear it meant much more to him, but he wasn't about to complain. He was alive, they all were.. That was the important part.

"I can make a selfbow fairl-No. I don't have my knives. No carving, no weapons.. This isn't good. We need to find a town, you're right. Which way was that river? Arlik, Ghil?"

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