View Full Version : The Twisting Nightmare, Part One. (Presearing)
Arnok of The Catacombs
Part 1 of 4.
Kasha Blackblood moved at a hurried pace through the dark labyrinth, ambient light tapped from the eerie underbelly of Ascalon as it reflected off of her silvery-black armor. Rushing forward, she lunged from one rocky spire to the next as her determined gaze took in the student she'd sent back into the Catacombs.
In dire need, Arnok fended off no less than four Blood Fanatics as they swarmed around him. To the outsider -- unfamiliar with the denizens of this area -- it would be a wonder how he'd lasted this long. Kasha witnessed the speed at which he siphoned their undead lifeforce, finding it remarkable even if he had not reached his full potential. Time would tell just how much this simple Academy Soldier could accomplish were he to uncover the secrets of Blood.
"Watch yourself!" Arnok cried out as he took a swipe at the nearest opponent in a series of four. as Kasha landed flawlessly at his side, she lifted her Truncheon -- glowing madly as she raised it to aim against one of the Fanatics. A burst fled from the end of her weapon, slamming into the foul creature and sending it reeling.
One by one, the Fanatics landed in a heap. As the option to siphon from his enemies lessened, Arnok's wounds began closing alot slower and yet it was not enough to really phase his performance. The leftover cuts and scrapes did not make the young warrior back down cautiously in the face of fear and if anything Mistress Blackblood saw that as a sign that he was truly the makings of a Necromancer.
"You should lick your wounds, pup," Kasha uttered in short as she stood next to him, surveying the perimeter. She cast her gaze briefly over the grand statue of Grenth, lowering his lids in reverance to the Dark. "I told you that they would be formidable."
"I will bathe in their wounds, Mistress." The young man's recently-tattered face would only get worse in the coming battle. It might have been avoided were it not for his determination to see the fall of these traitors. Secretly, inwardly, he knew that the obsession that was their undoing would be his own as well. "Their is no need to lick mine when I could simply lick theirs."
"Be wary of the Vampire, Arnok. I made a promise to Nunne that I would return you in one piece so that you might complete your training. Our pupil would not make a liar out of me, would he?" Kasha looked over at the man as he gripped his sword and took the first few steps towards the next corridor.
"I need to experience this fear," he told Kasha plainly. "If I do not, how can I expect to be a better asset to the Ascalon militia?" He turned back to look at her inquisitively. The look she offered in return was that of doubt and suspicion; she anticipated his fall, incapable of realizing the truth that he would have to work up to his potential if his desire were to join the militia.
None could have seen what was coming. No amount of confrontation, no amount of preparation, no amount of forces gathered would enable them to push back the Charr when even now they operated to summon the Fires from parted sky. Arnok proved to be persistent and yet it might not have mattered when all was said and done.
The brave were often the first to die.
Awesome story, can't wait to see the next part. :happy14:
Arnok of The Catacombs
Part 2 of 4.
Arnok Ravenscourge trudged through the Catacombs, his Initiate's armor stained crimson by the caked blood of his fallen enemies. The last of the gargoyles guarding the lair of the Vampire dropped and he stood by himself at the opening. Grenth was all around in the atmosphere, as taken in through the nostrils by an appalling stench. How could the Dark God's message be so misconstrued?
The Vampire seethed with darkness, imbalanced by the horrors of Necromancy. There was a role that one was to serve when discovering the Dead Arts and the Vampire did not adhere to the rules. He'd been overcome by his lust for Blood. Arnok, on a similar path, ventured into these cryptic halls for the sake of taking from the beast it's power. He had come to prove to the foul creature that even the amount of power it had collected was not safe from all. He would steal from it the secrets of the curse.
"Hsssssss." A low voice taunted the soldier, amber eyes watching from the shadows. The fabled nosferatu gazed upon the one who'd slain his guardians, it's ugly maw stretching open as it uttered the words in an accent rarely heard in these parts. "You've come to take from me, Necromancer?"
Arnok swiveled in his stance, lifting the blade as he sought the shadows for sight of the demon. His own hazel pools were wide and wild in search of prey. The bloodlust was overwhelming, just as his victim once thought before it drove him to madness. "That's right," he replied, "I've come to take from you. I will take you apart and learn what I will from you..."
Without remorse. The Necromancer studied dead things such as the Vampire in order to better understand that which the Mistress Kasha first instilled in him. If he were to grow as a sorceror of blood it would be by confronting those frighteningly similar to himself. The vampire of the Catacombs might not have been the only variation of such a Blood Magic-stricken creature, but it was definitely the most easily accessible one. He'd already proven his ability to find the demon.
"Your abilities are attuned, but not so well as you might think. Pesky little Necromancer, you should be on the surface with your fellow Ascalons... Preparing for what is to come." The voice taunted further, followed by a sadistic laugh that trailed off into a gurgle. Long as the Vampire thrived here on the flesh of his gargoyle minions. He'd grown weak, but only compared to that of the famed Blood Gods.
"For what is to come?" Arnok asked as he stepped around the dark and dreary room, the dripping water and his own heartbeat the only sounds present. "Do you claim precognition, darkling? It's a powerful feat--"
"I claim nothing! You overstep your boundaries, underestimating what I am truly capable of. Treachery, Necromancer! Pure treachery!" The Vampire swooped down, his dark cape flowing around him as he landed just feet from the corridor -- blocking the path back out to safety. "Foresight is but one of the many powers I possess..."
"Good. Perhaps you saw this coming, then!" Arnok lunged, swiping his sword in a wide horizontal arc towards his target. The blade was quick and the little light present reflected off of it's broad side. Ravenscourge could not have anticipated that the Vampire would be so quick, reeling back as the weapon became wedged into the rocky wall.
"Pure treachery." The Vampire smiled and maintained a calm facade, his gnarled composure shifting slightly. Charisma was not beyond this unattractive beast. His voice was soft and commanding, simultaneously harsh as it struck those who listened with fear and regret. "You have come to know what I know? To see what I see?"
"Rrg," Arnok pulled at the sword hilt and yet it would not budge.
"Allow me to show you." In one swift motion, the Vampire brought his fist down on the weapon and it shattered in two. Arnok dropped the end that he held, stumbling back over the rocks as he landed on his rear. The beast was already on top of him, his claws raking into his armor and digging in deep whereas the Leech's jaws were already fastened around the Necromancer's neck.
The feeling was that of pain, although there was a certain amount of ecstasy involved in the bite. It was exhilirating as the disease of the Vampire's curse spread through one's veins. It hurt and yet it provided an awakening that was unparalleled. Arnok gasped and winced, but he could not struggle as the Vampire held him in place. Tears welled up in his eyes, threatening to trek down his face. That was when the visions began...
Nice. I like how you've incorporated some of the gameplay into the story. Look forward to the rest.
Arnok of The Catacombs
Alot of it is mere backstory. I intend to tie it in to events in gameplay later on.
Arnok of The Catacombs
Part 3 of 4.
Time slipped in and out of meaning as Arnok and the Vampire had the proximity between them grow shorter and shorter. It was when the curse had driven itself into his bloodstream that the nightmares brewed to their fullest. His fears, the fears of any other Ascalon, came to life in his mind's eye.
The large creature stepped beside his henchmen, an assortment of Charr Axefiends and Hunters. The beast's tusks stood out from the others, one of them broken off in the middle. It's single golden eye locked on to the weapon that had been brought up just ahead. The horrible warrior's other eye was a scarred socket, ravaged by battles with humans ever-resistant to their inevitable destruction.
The Charr's name was Tusk Ripflesh and the spiked maul it held was proudly marked in primitive sigils that represented it's victories over man. He led his platoon forward by the orders of Bloodfang and Burntfurr. He would bring his fighters forward while the Shamans gathered with the Stalkers, Ashenclaws working in concert for the onslaught that was to level those caravans and convoys heading to and from the capital.
Ripflesh had awaited this day for quite some time and now Vatlaaw Doomtooth, with his navigation of the catacombs, had finally made it possible. As the bird's eye view provided Arnok with insight into what was happening, he felt his body separate from his will. He could do nothing to prevent the amassing army, just as his friends in the Academy rushed to fight at the frontlines. The distractions at the Gates prevented the humans from discovering the agenda of their enemies.
"You see how meaningless your struggle is?" The Vampire's voice was still soft, although it cut into Arnok's unconsciousness and pierced through the nightmare. The Leech needed to remind Arnok Ravenscourge that he was ever-present as the Necromancer witnessed the visions of Ascalon's fall. It was a secret, but perhaps not as well-kept as one might have thought. Some creatures knew of this day while others anticipated it.
"You fight with me now," the Vampire continued, "but why do you wish to study my power when your martial abilities would be best utilized against the Flame Beasts from the North?" The Necromancer could not reply, only listen and wait for the next vision to come about. "I have seen them destroy the city. I have seen these Catacombs crumble and fall into nothing. I've witnessed through my foresight the laying to waste of this region in Tyria."
How can I prevent this!? Arnok asked himself the question, grimacing at the coming flashes of war. He saw his friends fall one by one to the Charr; he witnessed the valiant effort to hold back the advancing armies led by Ripflesh and his Axe Warriors. It was useless to present himself with possible solutions as he was one initiate now locked into the Vampire's grasp.
"I know what you are now thinking, Necromancer. You want to know how it can be stopped?" Soft laughter chimed in his ears and a whisper followed: "There is no more future for Ascalon."
Overwhelmed by rage, the Necromancer felt his blood attunement and the heavy burden placed upon it by the curse. Boiling, festering, seething with the passion to set things right might not have been enough as it was the same focus held by every man and woman in the city. Still, something in the curse was envigorating. Even Mistress Kasha was not aware of the benefits it carried; most Necromancers refused to study that which could possibly cripple their perceptions of the other Dark Arts.
Finally, Arnok had realized that he'd attained the very thing he came here for. The Vampire's curse grew strong in his blood, assimilated by his own will as he reached for his broken sword and jammed the jagged edges into the Vampire's gut. Driving the weapon deep into the Leech, Arnok awoke to the shrieking sound the abomination made. The Vampire released him, but the vivid precognition still remained even after the link was severed.
Ascalon was dying all around them as the prophesy began to hold true. Sharp rocks fell through the caverns, one of them right in front of Arnok. It landed with a sickening crunch, piledriving the Vampire into the soil. As Arnok glanced around him, he felt his new strength and the price he'd paid for it -- with his own survival waived for newfound power and immortality.
"No," he murmured as he watched the entrance to the lair become blocked. "Mistress Kasha!" He cried out, although she had most certainly reminded him before he descended into the Catacombs that she would not follow. As the Earth shook and the heat from above baked Ascalon itself, rocks assaulted the Necromancer's back and sent him to the floor of the cavern without much hope.
The wave of flame proceeded to scorch the land and Arnok no longer breathed as his former brethren. He'd become the beast he hunted, spared from annihilation at the hands of the Charr and yet condemned to this dark graveyard where hope was raped from it's denizens.
The surface seemed so far, light only reaching the Necromancer by the thread of dwindling dreams.
Arnok of The Catacombs
Part 4 of 4.
Arnok woke up from his nightmare, his face ashen-white. Covered in soot, he shakily stood to his feet and then fell back down once again. Angrily, he crawled forward. Left weakened by his hibernation, he'd wondered how long he was unconscious. Looking around, his blurred vision began to clear as he took in the wreckage that was once the Catacombs.
He could hear voices nearing and he grasped for a blade that was not there. He cursed himself for being so wreckless. Surely Mistress Kasha would be displeased with the results of his meddling with ancient things that should have been left alone. He'd defeated the Vampire, however. . .
. . .only to become one.
He felt weak, drained by the sands of time as they slipped through an intangible hourglass. As his mind started to assemble into coherant thought, he'd realized he'd been trapped down here for quite some time afterall. He grumbled as he crawled towards the surface, the voices coming closer. Their source would soon be upon him.
He heard movement, felt it growing all around him, and he smelled the blood of man. As the debris blocking the cavern was pushed aside, he could see several figures nearing him. He'd be foolish to take them all on in his weakened state. As they approached, a Ranger knelt down and became clear to him.
"Easy," came a soft yet commanding tone. "I am John, and these are my Guildmates. Jaxim and Andevious."
"The Charr," Arnok murmured as he collapsed once more. The Ranger stretched out to Ravenscourge with his open hand, patting him on the shoulder. Arnok looked up through tears of blood in his yellow eyes, causing his vision to blur once more. "Am I... too late...?"
"The Charr?" John asked.
"He's been down here for a while," the Mesmer -- Jaxim -- noted audibly, gesturing to the rubble. "He might not be aware."
"They... are... coming," Arnok warned them, still delirious. He had not known that two years passed between his confrontation with the Vampire and the current era. Bringing himself back to focus, he sacrificed a good portion of his remaining lifeforce and started the Blood Renewal so that he could at least carry conversation with these three men. "They will destroy Ascalon if we do not do something."
"My friend," Jaxim scoffed in sad amusement, "it's a little late for that. Ascalon's been in ruins for the last two years. They blackened the sky and ripped apart the Wall. I'm sorry." The Mesmer rolled his shoulders into a shrug and then gestured towards the surface.
"Come with us to Old Ascalon." The Ranger stood along with Arnok as the Necromancer rejuvinated himself and prepared to witness what was left of his home in Tyria. All that mattered now was revenge.
And in the distance, a Charr named Ripflesh wore his scars proudly while leading his soldiers forward against the humans. He bellowed out loud, his battlecry piercing the permanent, smoke-clad night for the men to hear and cower.
This make me wonder will arnok betray
anyone now that he is what he hunted. :eek:
and what happen to Kasha, And does she know that he's a vampire?
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