lance-flashing

Should we continue...?

I haven't posted this until now, because I didn't want to jump the gun. It's still entirely possible that I am, but we shall see. It seems that since we got a new server for the content filtering, we have been able to access LJ again, which means that I can and will be able to post and run this again...if there's still interest. That's what this is about. If you're interested in continuing, starting over, or anything else, leave a comment. Even if you're not interested, leave a comment, just so I know. :)
  • Current Mood
    pensive pensive
last unicorn

OOC

*in a small and quiet voice* is there anyone out there, who can aid in our lonliness, who can answer the call with a voice?

Or is this another dead site at this point? *crosses fingers against the possibility*

Due to circumstances beyond my control...

I have decided to leave this text rpg.

I have always believed that "Trust is a must, or your game is a bust.". And based on this, I'm afraid that I cannot put my entire effort into this endeavor. And if you can't give something 100% or more, than what good is the effort? What do you gain by giving something less than your best? Aren't you cheating those people that depend on you?

I'm sorry. I feel like I'm letting people down. But considering the lack of posts here, plus the apathy shown over the last few months, I can't take much more.

I wish you all well in the future.

-Blackravendwm
amy

(no subject)

"Have before. Twice, in fact. Pissed me off, too. Takes forever, and hurts like hell. I took a long time with the bastards that tried that one." Amy looks him in the eye "I'm sorry it hurt so much." She sounds and actually is perfectly sincere. "Pain, I can handle. Growing my hair back...that, I hate."

"Indeed. What would you like to know about me?"

"Why the hell do you care about me?"

She raises an eyebrow "Because I value all life." she says simply "even you."

"Heh. Well, mine will last a while, so I guess you don't need to worry so much about me."

Her eyes grow strangely intense "But yours I care about most especially at the moment. It worries me more than all the ones I'll never see again." He stares at you. "Why?" "No one should have to go through centuries of pain for one error in their past."

"Yeah, well....I'm used to it."

"Not even Reis deserved that, and I helped kill him."

"You tried to kill me."

She leans back "No, I didn't. I tried to stop you. There is a difference."

Slayer leans in very close. Ridgar, I think it's about time... he's done playing my game, and is now starting his. "Remember when I spitted that girl on your sword? Which one was it again?" His eyes travel down to the sword at her side. "Did you ever wipe the blood off?"

Her voice fills with controlled anger, but a surprising lack of fear "Do realize I hadn't even been on your continent for 2 days? That I was starved & storm swept? That you and that poor girl were the first people I met?"

"Well, I apologize. I should have said welcome."

"You said it quite effectively. You know, in all my years of being a Rose & Cross, you were the first person I ever took a vow for."

"To stop me or die trying. And you know what?"

"Let me guess, you want the time for me to die trying to be now?" She hops over the counter and moves to start clearing a little room away from the bar. "No" he suddenly says from right behind her. Shit, I didn't even see him move! He grabs the back of Amy's neck and pins her wrist around the her back. Slayer pushes her head down on the bar, and pulls her arm up behind her back, just short of breaking. She holds back a cry of pain. He leans in close, and says.... "I could kill you now. I could have killed you then. But, I won't. For two reasons. Number one. You intrigue me. You don't bore me. You're full of surprises. And that's a rare thing, for me. Number two. As long as you're alive, you'll get to see what I do. The people I kill. And know, you didn't stop me. You cannot stop me. The day you bore me is the day you die. Unfulfilled. Your vow broken. That's why I don't kill you." He lets go, and stops in the middle of straightening up. With a look of disbelief, he stares down at the trident poking through his chest. A sharp twist and it is pulled out. He turns to see Kalim standing over him. Amy goes to her friend. She turns to Slayer as they leave, and says "One other small difference Slayer. I have people who will miss me. And that is what makes life worth being around for."

They walk out together. Amy smiles at Ridgar. "Perfect. We have a place to start working on his downfall. He has earned his black stone, and when his time comes, he will plague this world no more. Let's go rescue your sister."
amy

(no subject)

Slayer quaffs his mug of ale "Sure, why not. What did you have in mind?" She leans against the back wall and polishes the remaining glass "You." He chuckles. "I'm that memorable?"

"Frankly? Yes. Not quite on par with Ries, but fairly close... you puzzle me."

"I won't even ask who Reis is. What about me puzzles you?"

"Why you do it. The killing of people whom you've already said you see as chattel, and who obviously can't even give you a moment of challange."

"Boredom. Do you know how hard it is to find someone who CAN challenge me?"

"Then why do you work under someone? You don't seem like the type to take orders from someone weaker than you."

Slayer throws his head back and laughs. She arches an eyebrow and waits paitently for him to stop. He wipes tears of laughter from his eyes. "Who said Caladon is weaker than me?" "You said you couldn't find any challenges"

"I pick my battles. Now is not the time to take him on."

"So you plan on taking him on some day. What are you waiting for anyways." She reaches over with the bottle & tops off his drink & pours a little for herself in the process. "The right time, of course. Meanwhile, I content myself with whoever has the bad luck to piss Caladon off."

"Ahh. Mind if ask you something a little more personal?"

"Why not? You haven't bored me yet."

Amy smiles. "How on Thea did you become, well, like you are? And I'm not just talking about the whole immortal thing. What were you like as a child?" Slayer looks at her incredulously. "What?" Amy puts the rag gently down on the bar. "I'm sorry, which part surprises you? My questions or the fact that I'm asking?"

"Both, actually. Do you have any idea how long I've been alive?"

"I've heard at least a couple hundred years, as I have friends that can place you back that far." She sips her drink, never letting her eyes leave his face.

"I've been alive for well over a century."

"Not as old Matushka, but definately a decent length of time. Can you even remeber your childhood any more?"

"Barely. I don't even remember my real name."

Her voice is calm and soothing "So, how far back can you remember?" Slayer shrugs and takes a drink. "Why the interest?"

"Do you actually care?"

"Not really. I'll just kill you when I'm bored with talking."

Amy smiles again and replies simply "I ask because I care. So, how far back do you remember?"

He laughs again. "Yeah, right. You care." He takes another swig of the wine. "I remember playing swords with a friend when I was a child."

"How old were you?"

"Oh, maybe 8."

"Do you remember your parents at all?"

He's silent for a moment, then reaches out, takes the bottle and a huge drink from it. "I remember them. I killed them."

"How old were you?"

"13"

"Do you remember why?"

He sits there silently, staring at the bottle. "No."

Amy nods and lets the silence sit for a moment. "Do you ever miss them?"

he considers for a moment. "Not really, no. Haven't even thought about them in, oh, few hundred years."

"Is there anyone you do miss?"

"No."

"Anything you miss from being a mortal?" Amy takes down a different bottle, one that is half full, reaches into her pouch, and pulls out a powder, and dumps it in the bottle, and starts shaking it.

"I can't think of anything. I mean, what is there to miss?"

"Well, your obviously tring to drown out the memory of something, or else you wouldn't inhabit all the bars from one end of the continent to the other.' She looks in the bottle, and shakes it some more, "I mean, why else get drunk?"

"I don't get drunk."

"Never, not for a minute?"

"Can't. Same thing that keep me from getting killed won't let me."

She smiles "Ever miss that?" she sets the bottle down.

"Sometimes, I do, yeah."

Her eyes wander from Slayer to the bottle and back again. "Hmmm. Problem is, I don't know if it'll work on you...."

"If what will?"

She waves at the bottle "It won't kill, you, it won't even kill a normal person. It's a concoction from back home. Try it if you like." He looks at it, and shrugs. "Why not?" With one fast movement he drinks the half bottle down.

"so, how did you become immortal anyways?"

"Well, I was helping these elves....I accidentally killed one. Was, ironically enough, drunk. So, his dad cursed me."

So that's why he hates elves... "He cursed you to live forever? Sounds like a rather stupid curse to me."

"He thought it'd teach me to be more responsible. Yeah, right!"

"How would living forvever help you learn what's right?"

"He thought it would teach me the value of life. What an idiot."

Amy just falls silent at that. After a couple of moments she finds her voice again. "So, life has no value to you?"

"Not really, no."

"Then why were you helping the elves in the first place?"

"I was a soldier. We were helping guard...something....don' know what...."

Soldier, 1000 plus years ago, guarding something for the elves, killed one and was cursed. Ridgar, I hope you're getting this. "Do you remember where?"

"nuh uh......whass..happ'nin'...?"

"I belive its called being drunk. I take it you don't remember the feeling anymore?"

Slayer looks around stupidly "been...a'while....*hic*..."

Amy weaves her hands together and leans back on the wall "Any thing you'd like to ask me?"

He grins, a little sloppily. "Better not....bein' drunk makin' me....*grins*...well, you know...."

"I'd cut them off first." she says with a smile that promises immense pain to any one fool enough to test it.

"They'd just grow back....." His voice was steadying.

"Not in time." Shit, that was fast. Two minutes tops. And I gave him enough to make him drunk for 4 hours.

"Interesting. That would normally make an able drink drunk for an hour at least"

"What's this all about, anyway? Looking for a weakness? I remember your vow, you know."

"Do you actually want to know why this time, or are you just trying to be polite?"

"You got me curious."

Amy shrugs "Sure, I'll tell. I don't kill. Or, to put it more acurately, my entire order doesn't kill. There are VERY few exceptions made in this seemingly simple rule. I'm hoping I don't have to make you one of them."

His mouth widens in a grin. "You couldn't if you tried."

"And why is that?" Don't you want to believe you could ever be good again?" Her smile has a slight twist in it. He leans in close. "I was never good." "Everyone has some good in them. EVERYONE." She pours another round of drinks. "Not me" he knocks back the drink. Amy sighs "Pessimistic, aren't you? And to actually answer your other statment, Ridgar did it. He just wasn't very thorough about it."

"You couldn't be thorough enough. It's been tried. Believe me. Better than you, better than that group of misfits."

"So what, you just can grow back from ash even?" She pours him another drink.
amy

(no subject)

Ridgar looks at Amy for permission, then scans her mind. "You're crazy. How on earth do you plan on getting him to...." he pauses as flame dances in Amy's eyes and her thoughts solidify. "I can't let all those people die, Ridgar. Not if I can stop it. Are you going to help or do I try it alone?"
Kalim looked between them. "Amy, you're not going alone, no matter what it is you plan on doing. Although it might help if you let us in on what you're thinking." Amy took a deep breathe, "All right, here's what I was thinking..." The group gathered around as Amy outlined her idea. A few minutes later, everyone took off at a jog to get to the town faster. It's a good thing I can't read minds. That plan sounded crazier aloud then it did in my head. Here's hoping. I just have to know for sure.
They reached the town in record time, and headed quietly to the bar. Luck, or Theus, was with them, as Slayer had not yet started to kill. Amy tok one last look around, nodded to Sarah & Tearza, stared at Ridgar for a moment, smiled at Kalim, and stepped inside. About 30 people, plus any the bartender and anyone in the back. This had better work. She walked over to the bar and waved the bartender over. "What can I get you Miss?" he said politely. "There is a man in here, over at the other side of the bar. I need to talk with him. Alone. And I'd rather it was alone in a clean bar then in a blood filled one. He's called Slayer." she waits for his eyes to recognize the danger, "Start getting people out of here. Two young ladies will help you once you get started." She hands him a small bag that clinks. "For the loss of buisness."
Amy switches places with the bartender and picks up two glasses, a cleaning towel, and a large jug of wine. She walks quietly towards him as the bartender starts herding people out the door. With a practiced hand, she sets the glass down and pours him a drink. His gaze slowly goes from his glass to the new one in front of him, and travels up the hand to a familiar face. "Hello again" she says with a small smile, "So good to see you around. Care to talk?"
  • Current Mood
    curious curious

OOC first...

I don't know everything that's going on with this group outside of RP'ing. But I want to keep trying to RP here. It's gotten kinda slow...or stopped, over the last three months and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's a number of things. In my case, it was a matter of priorities away from RP'ing. I've missed each of you and want to keep this going. And so...

Back IC:

Jake used his short swords to keep the huge spiders away. He tried to keep his fears in check, but there were just so many of them...seemingly everywhere. He continued chopping at them, wishing they would go away. He remembered what happened when his little sister got bit by one...how she nearly died from the bite. He gritted his teeth as he kept at it. A few moments later, they disappeared...skittered away, as if something scared them off. Jake could still see them all over him and he kept slicing at what he saw, trying to rid himself of all those horrid and huge aracnids.

"Ummm...Jake?" Birk said, looking rather stunned, "They're gone, you can stop swinging your swords."

He stopped and looked around, noticing that not only was Birk right but that he, Qailin and the others were looking at him with shocked stares. Embarrassed, he cleaned and sheathed his swords and tried to look more dignified.

Qailin snickered for a bit, then looked around saying, "Hey, Mala's not here. Anybody see where she went?"

No one remembered seeing her leave, so Qailin ordered a search of the caverns. Each member would take a corridor and follow it, seeing if they find Mala. "Take about five minutes and then return back here. Use some of the pebbles or chalk marks to show where you went so you don't get lost. Okay...five minute search and then back here. Let's go!"

Jake chose the closest tunnel and went out looking for her. He soon hit paydirt as he saw her footprints in the dirt. He followed them until he got to a clearing. There, he saw Mala trying to touch a butterfly. He noticed something about the insect, though...Since when does a fly give off magic?

He backed away and behind a rock wall. A moment later, he heard singing and started to feel his emotions ebbing very slightly away. It was slow, but he knew this was a magical effect. He could only guess what was happening to Mala...her emotions being drained until she had none at all. What then? With no emotions, she'd be easy prey for this monster. He lifted a single dagger, turned to face the insect, took a second to aim and threw his dagger straight and true...the effects of the song became even worse when he saw the flying insect again. He held his ears after throwing the dagger, trying to block the music...but his own emotions were being drained. He fell to the ground as the song continued in his mind.

Meanwhile, the dagger flew towards the butterfly, closing fast.
ridgar

(no subject)

OOC: This is the conversation alluded to by Sara when she was talking with Ridgar.

After they had set up camp, Tearza approached Ridgar and spoke softly in his ear. "Ridgar, could I speak to you in private please?"

He nodded. "Sure. Do you want to go somewhere, or..." He pointed to his temple.

She gently grabbed his arm, leading him off to an area away from the others. "I don't want to do anything that might wake her." She explained in a hushed tone.

Ridgar nodded. "Understood. What's on your mind, Tearza?"

"Ishtar and I talked earlier. She told me quite a bit of things I did not know and did not expect. Some stuff I think that you should know...just in case something should happen..." Her voice trailed off and she glanced down to hide the fear in her eyes.

"Hey..." He tilted her head back up with a finger under her chin. "I won't let anything happen to you. I promise that."

She frowned a bit. "I...it is not myself that I am worried about. It's all of you. Look, you are taking a huge risk by keeping me with you. Everyone is in danger as long as I am around. Ishtar has to have a human host or else she will be returned to the Abyss and I do not think she will be imprisoned again without a fight."

"If it comes to it, we'll figure out some way to deal with her."

"Ridgar...my father was an angel. My mother was a siren. I'm the only one of us who can contain her without burning up in the process. She's a very powerful demon. Even I had to be built up so I could contain her. And if I die...she'll move from person to person until she finds someone that can hold her. I don't want any of you to suffer because of me."

"There's always the sword," he said grimly.

"I guess you're right, but...she could have taken over me before...when I was so weak from the battle. But she didn't....and...I think I should leave the group. I want to help you. I mean, Shaee is gone because of me, but I am afraid that I will do more damage then good..."

Ridgar shook his head. "You've done a lot of good. You saved my life, remember?"

"She loved my father...the same way I loved Immozel. I could be just like her if the cards had fallen the way for me they did for her. Even after all she has done to me I cannot help but feel sorry for her. If you were to use the sword...what exactly would happen to her?"

"The stories and legends are unclear on details, but the gist is...her soul would be trapped in one of the gems. She would exist in her own little universe, only one where everything is against her. Whatever she would consider to be the worst possible fate for her would seem like a picnic to what the sword would do to her."

Tearza sighed and looked down at the ground. "Do what you must do if something were to happen. I'll try my best to stay alive but...if for some reason...watch out for Kalim. She'll go after him first thing." She glanced over at Kalim then back at Ridgar.

Ridgar nodded. "All right. It might be better to warn her to watch for him, though."

"Ridgar..." She placed her hand lightly on his arm. "Thank you for everything. I know what happened before...when Ishtar was controlling me. I sort of came in and out of the conversation. I know that you offered to host her and...thank you. I don't really understand why you would do something like that but...thank you for offering at least. You are very kind."

He smiled a bit and looked down. "I'll not let anyone else be harmed, if I can do anything to stop it."

Tearza smiled. "So much has happened in such a short amount of time that I barely even know who I am anymore. You're the only person, besides Immozel, that I've ever felt comfortable talking to. It makes me wonder what things would have been like had I met you under different circumstances." She laughs a bit. "We'd probably detest one another knowing how things tend to work in my life. Most people either detest me or do not notice me at all."

"I don't see how that could be...there's nothing to detest about you, and you're too beautiful to not notice."

Tearza looked shocked, and she blushed crimson. Then she grinned. "Well..I suppose the mindless acts of slaughter have a little something to do with that." She laughed, a thin and somewhat uncomfortable laugh.

"That wasn't you," he said quietly.

"I know that...and you know that...but not everyone I've run across has taken the time to find that out."

"I know...it must be hard on you."

She shrugged. "I don't ever remember things being easy. My life as I know it started with Ishtar...and it will end with Ishtar as well. It's almost as if we are one and the same sometimes."

Ridgar smiled. "It sounds as if you have a twin. Shaee and I are the same way."

Tearza laughed. "Which one of you's the bad one?"

He grinned and chuckled. "Mostly me. She's smart enough to never get caught."

"She sounds like a very nice person. I hope I have the opportunity to get to know her better. I'm sure she has plenty of stories she could embarrass you with." Tearza's smile turned into a bit of a frown, the light leaving her eyes. "It must be nice to have family."

"It is." He looked at her. "You know, it's the custom to consider very close friends to be part of one's family."

Tearza fidgeted a bit, looking down at her hands. "I guess I worry too much to get too close. Everytime I do fate intervenes. That's the main reason why I haven't really spoken to anyone else. My social skills are not what they should be I'm afraid." She looked back up and smiled.

He returned the smile. "Perhaps practice?"

Tearza laughed and looked around the party. "I wouldn't even know where to begin. And...well...Ishtar seems to have an...affinity for you, so with you I don't have to worry about her trying to kill you...or at least I hope not." She curled her mouth up in a faked look of confusion then laughed again.

"Don't worry, she'd have a hard time killing me," he grinned.

Tearza stretched a bit, a few dark blue feathers fluttering from her wings. She laughed when one of them floated in front of Ridgar's face and he blew it away to keep it from landing on his nose. "These things can be a bit of a pain sometimes," she said, seemingly grateful for the chance to change the subject. Ridgar could sense embarrassment rolling from her, for some reason.

"Can...you fly, with them?"

"A little.." She gestured with her hands to emphasize little. "I haven't had them all that long and...well...I'm not really used to them just yet."

"You weren't born with them?"

"I was born with wings.. not these but with wings. They were removed though. These...well...I drank the blood of a very powerful dragon hybrid creature thing. I am not sure what he was really. Anyways, they grew afterwards."

He looked thoughtful. "Interesting. Dragons have been gone for a long time."

"This was in the world I came from before I was here."

"I see. How did you come to be here?"

"We, Tyriel and I, found a book that contained a stone in the cover. I tried to get it out but I couldn't. Later on though, when I tried again, it came right out and the next thing I knew I was here. I still don't
know what happened."

"Tyriel?"

"The dragon guy I mentioned before. He came across me in this village. Ishtar had slain all the people there..."

Ridgar nodded. "Okay."

"He was looking for some sort of gauntlet. It was supposed to make him into a god. I don't know if he ever found it or not. I mean...he was okay I guess. Things just seemed to always go wrong around him. It was like he was cursed."

He grinned wryly. "I know the feeling."

Tearza grinned back. "Oh no this was even worse. First we started being chased by a storm of phoenix fire, then some secret sect of warriors came looking for the book, and if that wasn't enough there were two demi-gods after him trying to keep him from finding the gauntlet as well as a few other people who were out to either find it for themselves or destroy it. It was hell. I was kind of glad to get away from him." She laughs.

He gaped at her. "I'd say so!"

She laughed even louder still. "I'd never imagine my stories causing such a...shocked reaction from a seasoned warrior such as yourself."

"Warrior, yes. Artifact hunter and personal enemy of gods? No."

She giggled then smiled, remaining silent for a moment, then shifting her gaze down, her cheeks a bit flushed. She cleared her throat then looked back up, having regained her composure. "What really made it an adventure was the fact that Tyriel was allergic to feathers."

He slapped his forehead. "Oh, that must have been interesting."

"Yeah...he was always cursing his blood for bringing on such a plague...in between sneezes that is."

He laughed. "I had a ferret once. Shaee was allergic, apparently. Once, I went off to fight in a war, and when I got back, he was gone. She said he'd run away. Yeah, right. Heh."

Tearza smiled and chuckled a bit. "Shaee's really lucky to have you for a brother. I mean...not many people would go to so much trouble. And, I dunno, it just amazes me that all these people who do not know her are willing to risk their lives to help her.. to help you."

Ridgar looked slightly uncomfortable. "Good causes attract good people, I guess."

She frowned a bit. "Did I say something wrong?"

He shook his head. "No, why?"

"I don't know...you just looked as if...well...you were...suddenly uncomfortable talking to me."

"No, never! I truly enjoy our little talks."

"So do I." Tearza smiled but it faltered rather quickly, her brow drawing up in concern.

He looked concerned at her concern. "What's wrong?"

She frowned a bit, biting her lower lip in a contemplative manner. "I'm not sure how to put this but..." She looked at him a moment, a soft but serious expression upon her face. "I really like you. I think you are a wonderful man and one of the few truly beautiful and kind people I have met in my life. I'd like nothing more than to know you better and to become good friends, but...I am always going to be cursed. Things are never going to be..." She blinked back a few tears. "...normal for me. I have accepted that. It's just the hand I was dealt. And the people that I have become close to in my life have suffered the consequences of doing so. And I don't want that for you. I hate to be so...blunt about it, but I'm a lost cause. So I think it would be best if we were to just...think of one another as...business partners...members of the same side and nothing more..."

"That would be a shame," he said quietly. "I've come to value you as a friend, at the least."

"I'm sorry..." she said, her voice barely above a whisper. She blinked back the hot tears forming beneath her eyelids. "I wish things could be different."

"They can be, if you choose."

She looked away quickly, fighting the urge to cry. She cleared her throat before looking back. "Ishtar is waking up again." She says, not very convincingly. "I think I should..." She gestures away. "...go."

"If you feel you must..." he said in a voice nearly a whisper.

She turned to go, then turned back, fidgeting a bit indecisively. She leaned in and kissed him softly on the cheeks, pulling away quickly and placing a finger upon her lips. She glanced up at him then turned and walked away, slowly at first, then sprinting away to be by herself for a while.

Ridgar sighed and watched her run off, then went to Kalim and arranged to take the second half of the watch. He was about to turn in when he saw Sara playing with some familiar pink ribbons and putting out a definitely smug feeling. He walked over and sat next to her.

After conversing with her, he got up and turned in for the night. Kalim woke him for his turn at watch, and the rest of the night passed uneventfully.

It was midmorning the next day before something happened. Suddenly, Amy doubled in seeming pain, and nearly collapsed. Kalim was there in a heartbeat, helping her back to her feet. "Amy? What is it?"

Ridgar felt it before she said it. "Oh, no."

Amy nodded. "Yes. Slayer. He's in that small village ahead, no more than an hour's walk away."
mala

(no subject)

Mala sprinted after the rest of them, cursing Qailin in her head. Damn fool! Even if nothing ambushes us on the way, we'll all be exhausted when we get to her! Nevertheless, she ran on.

They soon came to a path winding into the mountains. Not even pausing for a rest, Qailin began climbing the rocky path. Mala sighed, and brought up the rear, following behind everyone. Soon, they came to a large open area, with several paths leading in different directions. The paths became cavernous passages a few feet in. Qailin paused, unsure which one to choose.

The decision was taken from him when hordes of spiders, ranging in size from that of a small dog to that of a large horse, came pouring in from all directions. The group found themselves fighting for their lives, and it wasn't long before the spiders had separated them as well.

Mala found herself backing into one of the paths, scimitars slicing through spiders with every swing. Suddenly, the spiders were just gone. She'd killed many of those that pushed her here, but most had rapidly retreated. She began to make her way back to the clearing, but stopped when a loud rumbling began. Rocks began to topple all around her, and she dived out of the way, further into the cavern.

Dazed, she tried to pick herself up, but couldn't. One of her legs had been trapped by the falling rocks. She flexed the muscles in it, and tried to move it. It hurt, but wasn't broken. Well, that's something at least. She sat up, and had just begun to try to shift the boulders pining her, when she heard a strange sound behind her. She half-turned, unable to turn fully due to her trapped leg, and froze at the sight that greeted her.

A huge butterfly floated a dozen feet away, beautiful multicolored wings barely flapping, as if it were using something else to fly. The sheer beauty of the creature made her want to weep, and she reached a hand out, as if to touch it. Pulling her hand back, she shook her head. Something was wrong. Her body, her soul, still cried out to touch the creature, but her mind held strong. Then she saw what was wrong. On the head was a round mouth ringed with razor sharp needle-like teeth. It was obviously used to attach to a victim and suck...Well, something anyway, and nothing I'd want to share, either! Old stories and histories came back to her, and she knew what this beast was.

The byoune, seeing that it's compulsion wasn't working, began to sing. Mala covered her ears to try and block it, but the song of the byoune is not a physical song. Rather, it enters the mind of the victim and feeds on their emotions. Once they are all devoured, the victim is left as a soulless shell, not dead, but not truly alive. All this ran through Mala's mind as she tried vainly to block the sound. She could feel herself slipping, her emotions draining away. She desperately tried to reach her scimitar, but it lay too far away, inches shy of her grasping fingers.