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 Post subject: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:24 pm 
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The grin on Grandmaster Vulcan's face, as well as every Ranger's face, vanished as they looked at the warp gate that had been created behind the forces of the Rangers. The crimson portal pulsed with such dark energy that terror gripped the hearts of every single Ranger there. They all shared the same thought: that this would be their demise.

Guilt filled the Grandmaster as he realized he had made a terrible mistake: in his dream of rebuilding and leading the former Phoenix Guard to its erstwhile glory as the former Grandmaster had, he'd failed to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the men and women he led, and that in turn brought forth the inevitable situation he had found himself in.

But before he could submit to his fate, a Ranger raised sword, yelling "In death, I will have victory!" Another Ranger followed the example of the first, raising her sword and yelling the same words. Soon after, more and more voices joined in until the majority of the force was chanting the last phrase of the Ranger's Oath. And together, they rushed in to meet the demonic army that had been deployed by the warp gate.

While the Grandmaster looked on with pride in his heart, he knew that it would all be futile. However, he was not going to let his people die without providing a chance for them to escape. The Grandmaster threw up his arms and with an immense amount of focus that required years of training, created a portal of golden light.

Grandmaster Vulcan estimated the portal would last for about 7 minutes with the amount of remaining strength he still had. When he returned his focus to the battle, he realized that he had finally made the right move in creating a means of escape. Rangers were being slaughtered left and right. Some were tossed into the air like rag dolls by the lieutenants of the Ruinous Ones, while others were torn apart by the demons. Tears appeared in the Grandmaster's eyes, but he quickly shook himself out of it.

"RANGERS, TO THE PORTAL NOW!" He exclaimed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:45 pm 
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The world around her was chaos. It was bloody and messy, as battles tended to be. The Rangers had blitzed their enemy and, despite their inferior numbers, they had managed to push the enemy back and gain the upper hand, or so they thought. Astraia, however, knew differently. She had already foreseen this battle, as well as its end. Still, here they were, playing out the scene she'd seen before as she waited for what she knew was the inevitable turning point. She hadn't been able to see what exactly had turned the tides of the battle against them, so she didn't know exactly what to anticipate, but she knew it was coming, and soon.

While many of the Rangers grinned as they fought their enemies, knowing in their hearts that they had the upper hand, Astraia's usual smile was nowhere to be seen. In its place was an unusually serious, grim expression. She fought alongside her fellow Rangers nonetheless. If this was to be their end, then she wouldn't go down without a fight. She continued to push forward, her enemies falling beneath her might. Some found themselves crushed by meteors, others pierced by arrows of light, while others still were swallowed up by the water that had carried them to this place. No matter how many fell, however, it didn't matter in the end.

Before anyone knew it, there was a terrible sound, a loud crack that tore through the sky, striking terror into the hearts of those around her. There it was. A warp gate. This was it. This was the beginning of the end she had foreseen. Yet, even in the face of inevitable defeat, the Rangers never stopped fighting. Despite herself, she couldn't help but feel a sense of pride in her fellow Rangers. This made it both easier and more difficult to face the end.

Despite knowing that most of them would undoubtedly perish here, there was still hope. She had not seen every last one of them perish, so she wouldn't give up hope until the very end. As long as she was still breathing, she would do whatever was in her power to make sure that some of them escaped.

Thankfully, it appeared as though the Grandmaster had felt the same way, as he threw his arms in the air and began to create a portal of light. It was a skill he had taught her once upon a time, many, many years ago, when she had been his apprentice. It was a skill that they would only use as a last resort. It was incredibly taxing. It would drain everything he had. With the strength he still had, she knew that they had a few minutes, tops, to get everyone out. His portals lasted longer than hers would have, but they still wouldn't last forever.

With that in mind, she turned her attention to those around her, repeating the command given by the Grandmaster. "Let's go, people!" she shouted, heading towards the portal with the others who had been fighting alongside her. Alongside her were Seren, one of those few who she truly considered a friend, and a hand full of others. Not far from them, on a path to intersect with them very shortly, were the brothers, Kai and Ignius, as well as a few others who had survived thus far. "Seren." Astraia looked to the other woman, who gave her a smile and a wink, "You got it!" she replied, erecting a barrier around them as they headed towards the portal.

She looked past her to the brothers, who were now next to them, both of whom nodded. "Yeah, yeah." Iggy grumbled in the way he always did, knowing what she wanted him to do. He used his magic to hide them, while Kai used his magic to buff all of those close to him so that they could move more quickly. They were running out of time, so they needed to get to the portal as quickly as possible. While the three of them made sure they would make it to the portal safely and quickly, Astraia took care of any enemies in front of them, clearing a path to the portal for not only them, but the others coming from other directions.

Upon reaching the portal, Astraia ushered the others through, as she dared not go in first. She wanted to make sure everyone who could make it got through. Then and only then would she pass through. Seren lingered for a short time before passing through, keeping up the barrier around the portal for as long as she could, until Astraia insisted that she go through and save her strength to aid the injured on the other side.. Both Kai and Ignius also refused to pass through immediately, doing their best to hold off the enemies and aid what allies they could. "What a stubborn bunch of allies I have." Astraia smiled, her usual amiable smile, with a hint of fondness in her eyes, despite the circumstance.

Once Astraia was certain that they had made it through and the portal was due to close, she gave the Grandmaster a meaningful look. She got the feeling that he wasn't going to make it through. He was going to hold the portal open for as long as he possibly could, to save as many of his men as he could. That was what she truly believed. It was sad, knowing that it was the last time she'd see her old master. Even though they hadn't always agreed, he had still been her master. He was still a part of who she was today. Nevertheless, she wasn't exactly the type to show these things.

"You... You're the most stubborn fool of all," she said to him in her usual somewhat casual tone, her lips bearing that same smile, despite how harsh the words may have seemed. In reality, it was as much a compliment as it was an insult. In her own weird way, she was thanking him for giving the rest of them a chance. Rather than say anything else, or give any sloppy goodbyes, she took one last look around, then looked at the portal, which she knew would be gone any moment now, then glanced back at him. "Good bye, old man," was all she said as she gave him a wink and her token smile before she stepped through the portal and into whatever new future awaited her, as well as the other Rangers that remained.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:03 pm 

Suuuuper bored, hmu with RP ideas ^^

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Wren stands there confident in their triumph. They had indefinitely won the day. She glances to her sides at all of her allies and feels her heart swell with pride. After all they had been through, from Phoenix Guard to Rangers, they can still steal victories in great battles. She goes to pat one of them on the back when the very sky rips apart. With the thunderous, unforgettable crack, her face drops into a look of terror. A seemingly endless stream of monsters flood out of the tear and onto the field.

"Brace yourselves!" She calls out, hastily redrawing her blade. Within moments, they were consumed in battle yet again; swallowed up like a ship on a raging, stormy sea. There was no time to look around, no time to think. All she could do is press on and hope her fellow rangers were doing the same. No matter how many fell by her hand though, twice as many would reappear in front of her. Mere minutes on the battlefield felt like ages. As there was not chance or rest or relief.

With an effortful grunt, Wren swings her sword, cutting down another beast. There are far too many. The entirety of the guard is overwhelmed, and their numbers drop more and more by the second. She pants wearily as a bead of sweat drips off the end of her nose. Her muscles ache with fatigue from overwork. The weight of her already heavy broad sword only increases. Another demon leaps at her, but she quickly holds her hand out and sends a blast of fire at it, burning the creatures face. It lets out an earsplitting shriek and recoils.

"Rue!" A voice screams through the chaos. Recognizing a call for her aid, she desperately scans the crowd. Her eyes widen in horror at the sight of one of her allies bodies getting thrown across the field. Everything seemed to freeze as she finds her first moment to observe the scene. Corpses of so many of those she has fought alongside for years litter the ground. Right and left, more fall to the wrath of the demons.

"No, not again. I've lost too much, please... no more," she whimpers in despair. She looks up to the shattered sky, tears brimming her eyes. Long ago had she condemned her god, but in this moment she prays to each and everyone she knows of. The call of the Grandmaster pulls her back into focus. No, they can't retreat now. All the sacrifices made here cannot be in vain.

Great claws suddenly slash against her back, cutting into her flesh and creating grooves in her armor. Crying out in pain, she knows she can't carry on, lest she become another corps on the dirt. "Forgive me my friends, I will continue to fight for you," she murmurs to herself. With a reinvigorated battle cry and slashes her blade across the beast's flesh. With a deep breath, she whispers a spell and disappears from view. She dashes through the carnage, cutting into all the enemies she can as she passes. The golden escape portal comes into view as she vaults over another monster. She flickers back into visibility as she stands before the Grandmaster. Her energy incredibly drained between the magic usage and physical fighting. There is a brief shared gaze. Wren looks at him sadly, the pain of loss and failure crushing her. She can say nothing, but bows her head briefly in great respect. With that, she clenches her fist and hesitantly steps through the portal.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:28 pm 

Got a new computer! WOOT!

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"I will gut you!" Yue screamed out, slashing her blades through her enemies at a fast speed, twirling her blades in her hands as another enemy came upon her. She quickly took them down and glanced around her. Her heart sank from her chest. Only just a second ago that wrap gate had happened and all hell had broken loose. All the Rangers were willing to die in this battle. They all knew they would. But to see her friends die. Her family die. The rage inside of her was probably the only thing that kept her alive this far, having used the blind rage to cut down anything in her path. A few of her Rangers were still around and she continued to try and keep them close by, sending buffing spells of extra speed and strength their way with a wave of her hand.

Only after a few minutes did she realized that her effects were futile. Most of her companions she had kept close to were quickly being extinguished. She winced at the site of a fellow Ranger being ripped in half by the hands of a beast. She yelled in rage, grabbing it's attention and jumped. She landed with her twin blades inside it's chest, it roared in pain and tried to claw at her but she started to climb it by stabbing her blades into it higher and higher, twisting them as she went which made the beast only scream more. Soon it fell back to the ground and she stumbled away from it, catching her breath. She quickly got up and pulled her blades out when she heard the yell of her Grandmaster.

Her eyes shot up to the great portal of light and the sense of dread that she had distracted herself from with the rage inside her lifted into hope. She called out to any Ranger that was around her, quickly sending buffing spells to them for speed and defense before they started to head to the gate together. She debuffed any enemy that came near, slowing their movement down so another Ranger could take it out quickly. It helped, but there were so many and she could feel a strain from the constant use of her abilities.

Before her group of Rangers could make to a portal an enemy lieutenant appeared with a demon, quickly swiping away her comrades. She barely moved in time but her companions were not so lucky. She watched in horror as they were torn apart and before the demon and lieutenant could turn on her she began to lift her arms high. "You will pay for taking away my family!" She screamed, the air turning colder around them before suddenly three large spikes of ice shot out from around Yue, two stabbing into the demon and one into the lieutenant's chest. He gasped for breath, before falling over along with his beast.

Yue fell to her knees, her limbs weak and shaking. She could feel her strength leave her and she knew she had to get moving. She would not let her Grandmaster's portal be wasted or ignore his command. She would get to that portal. She stood up unsteady and moved to the portal. She looked towards her fellow Grandmaster before she entered, her eyes filling with tears before one slipped over her cheek. She turned and walked through the portal of light.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:38 pm 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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Death had come to the battlefield. His warning to the Grandmaster had caused his leader to keep him and a few others out of sight and away from the main charge. Ithilnaur could do nothing, but watch as the Rangers had the upper hand in their valiant charge against the vast numbers of the enemy legionaries. He wanted to weep with such pride and anguish as his friends and companions went out to throw the enemy back into the sea. He knew, though. It was just an illusion. It was no more than a shadow of a victory that would never be. The attack on the moon grove just previous to this invasion by someone whom had used the Ruinous Arts to twist the mind of an Elven woman had told Ithilnaur all was not well. It had told him that someone was coming...or something, and had he not been there to stop her...the Elves would have lost their sacred moon grove to one of their own twisted by enchantments. Fortunately, he had, but then the call to this battle had come, and he had warned the Grandmaster.

Now, all he could do was watch the valor of his friends on the battlefield, because he had dared to challenge Vulcan over the idea of a straight forward attack. The storm came...it howled and crashed around the battlefield, and with it came the dark portal...a power of the Ruinous. From it came not more legionaries, but Lieutenants and Ruinous Ones...powerful demons, and the Rangers suddenly found themselves from hunter to prey.

Furious at this twist of fate; Ithilnaur noted the enemy gate was between them and their comrades. The Grandmaster having kept him back had perhaps given the youngest Ranger a chance to undo some part of this evil deed. Out swept Elthalion: the Elven blade gifted to him by the Elves, and down came the starlight upon his foes even now raining carnage on his friends. A moment later, a new gate appeared...one from the Grandmaster Vulcan, and Ithilnaur saw his chance. Calling forth the dozen with him; they charged the new enemy ranks with all their might and skill...briefly giving their comrades the respite they needed even as the Grandmaster called for them to retreat. Fury of fire and starlight came crashing down upon the demons from behind, and they were surprised...believing the Rangers had committed themselves completely to the battle. Small though Ithilnaur's force was; it was enough to break through the enemy ranks and scatter them for a moment.

But...no more than a moment...

He noticed Astraia near the golden portal with a few of her comrades as they fought and guarded the Grandmaster's gate. This was where he needed to be, and he saw the weakness he had created in the enemy lines from the counter-attack. Immediately, he summoned the remaining half dozen of his people into the fray along the weakest part of the path...cutting those down that still were not quite aware of an enemy behind them. Elthalion flashed in response to every new foe it slew, and a shield of flames wreathed around Ithilnaur in his fury. His small group cut a path to Astraia and her few survivors - aiding other Rangers as they did so. Only once he was close enough did he realize he alone had made it to her side. Not one of the other twelve had made it with him...all had perished in the counter-attack...to sacrifice themselves to save the few they could. Tears threatened Ithilnaur's eyes he went with Astraia into the golden portal, and then turned to salute the Grandmaster with Elthalion raised high.

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Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
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κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:58 pm 
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The Grandmaster gave Astraia a sad smile as she called him a stubborn fool. The many memories they shared, both happy and sometimes violent, were some of the best Vulcan could recall. As his apprentice, Astraia had always been one to question him on every subject he'd taught her. And while it mainly irritated him due to the constant and seemingly endless stream of questions, it had also proven to help him look at ideas with a new perspective. Vulcan grimaced as he realized he should've listened to his former apprentice's advice. With that said, he looked her in the eyes and whispered, "Go forth, Daughter of Heavenly Water. Rebuild us."

As Astraia stepped through, Wren was the next to follow. As she bowed before him, the Grandmaster gave a soft laugh. The same person who had been known to create the most elaborate tricks and pranks in the Phoenix Guard was now bowing, showing a deep amount of respect for Vulcan. However reckless she could be, Wren was certainly a critical member of the Rangers. Risking her life in order to inflict massive amounts of damage, she had definitely earned the respect of the Grandmaster, as well as his anger on several occasions. As was the case with Astraia, the Grandmaster looked Wren in the eyes and whispered, "Go forth, Daughter of Twilight Fire. Avenge us."

After Wren's departure, Yue appeared before Vulcan. The woman had experienced some difficulties in the beginning due to her weak affinity to the element of water, as well as coming from the nation of Riveria. But both those problems were eventually solved: one with the encounter of aether and the other with time well spent among the other Guards. Yue was truly a strong and powerful individual that would help to ensure that the Rangers survived, especially with that perfectionist mentality of hers. Although she could work on her gullibility, but the Grandmaster was sure that Yue's allies would assist with that. Nonetheless, Vulcan wiped the tears on Yue's cheeks and looked her in the eyes as well, whispering, "Go forth, Daughter of Shielding Ice. Defend us."

Shortly after Yue, Ithilnaur, or Ithy as the Grandmaster liked to jokingly call him, came into sight. The young man had been in odd and unusual addition to the Rangers. He'd been rescued from the agents of the Dark Ones and gifted powers through Sapphira, Goddess of the Elves. He was always known to favor the elves, but that did not create a problem for the Rangers, for there were some Rangers who were formally elves before transitioning. Vulcan had to admit, Ithy was an extremely skilled fighter that could possibly grow to be on par with some of the ancient elites of the Phoenix Guard. Vulcan then also realized that Ithilnaur had advised him as well and yet, he had done nothing but kept Ithilnaur away from the battle. Although the Grandmaster was filled with shame for not keeping an open ear towards all his members, he look Ithilnaur in the eyes and whispered, "Go forth, Son of Celestial Fire. Requite us."

Just as Ithilnaur entered the portal, Authryn appeared. With hair the color of a brilliant white, the young man had cut down quite a few demons with right hand, while he unleashed bursts of lightning with his left. When Authryn halted in front of the Grandmaster, he grimaced as his hair reverted to its normal black. "Is this really it, old man?" He asked.

"Afraid so, Authryn."

Authryn softly laughed. "You haven't called me by my full name since the day I gained these powers."

The Grandmaster raised his eyebrow. "Great power does often demand great respect, does it not?"

"Suppose so."

Little did anyone know though, those two ending phrases would shape the world in a way unimaginable.

Just as Authryn was about to step through the portal, the Grandmaster quickly pulled his arm back. "Before you go, I need to grant you a...blessing if you will say. To help guide you on the road to come. You may not need it, but I have already granted it to those that came through before you. There are also two more that have gone through, but I was not able to stop them quickly enough to grant them the blessing, so in my absence, I will have you grant the blessing to them." With that said, Vulcan whispered into Authryn's ear the blessings that he would have to grant onto the missing two. "Now, as for you Authryn..." The Grandmaster looked Authryn in the eyes and shook his hand. "Go forth, Son of Lightning. Unite us." Nodding his head, Authryn stepped through the portal and into his new life.

The portal closed and with it, the Grandmaster made his last stand. Though he fought valiantly, Vulcan was overpowered and killed with a sword through the heart by the hand of a Dark One. With the Grandmaster feeling his life force slip away, the Dark One wickedly grinned and whispered, "We will find those who have escaped. You will all be slaughtered."

...

Authryn landed on his stomach. Turned out that the portal seemed to have a pushing eject effect when entering it. He stood up and dusted himself off, taking in his new environment. The white cliff coastline gave away the destination at which they'd arrived: Henglewend.

The young half-elf turned around as he confronted the group that had come prior to him. "I don't know about you guys, but I sure am hungry. Maybe we should find a tavern to eat at?" The Ranger said, seeming oblivious to the disaster that they had managed to barely survive.


Last edited by iiReaper on Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Astraia looked her former master in the eyes and gave him a firm nod, her eyes showing an unwavering conviction, determination to do just that. She wouldn't let this be the end of the Rangers. She wouldn't let his sacrifice go to waste. She would do everything in her power to ensure that they survived, that they rebuilt, and that they protected this world from this new threat. It wouldn't be an easy task. She knew that. But it was the task she had been given, and one she would have chosen for herself. True, it seemed like a lot more responsibility than someone as seemingly free-spirited and carefree as she was would normally take on, but regardless, she would do it, and she would succeed, no matter what.

As she passed through the portal, she felt the push from the portal, something she knew to except, given her previous experiences with portals. Unlike many of the others, who landed flat on their faces, their chests, or their bellies, she landed relatively gracefully on her feet. She looked around at the world that had now taken shape around her. Before her lie a white cliff coastline stretching in both directions. So, they were in Henglewend, then. She took a few steps forward and held out a hand for Seren, who was still on her hands and knees. "Come on. Up you go," she said, giving her friend one of her token smiles, pulling her up and then looking to the others who hadn't gotten up yet, either.

Iggy and Kai had unusually sullen looks on their faces, as did the others who had fallen through. Had they not gotten up because they were hurt? Or because they had lost the will to do so? She didn't know the answer, but either way, she knew that they needed to. It was the first step forward for her downcast comrades. "Same goes for you lot. It's time to get up," she encouraged them, her voice a bit softer than usual, despite the rather firm nudge she was giving them.

As she looked around, they all began to rise, one by one. Some of them began to talk among themselves, expressing their grief, or their gratitude. She nodded to herself and then turned her attention to the portal and the others who had made it through. Wren, Yue, Ithilnaur, Triarc, Turge, and finally, Authryn. This was truly all the remained of the Rangers. She really would have her work cut out for her. Then again, they all would. Each and everyone one of them would have to work hard in order for them to survive and rebuild. It wasn't impossible, though. It would no doubt be difficult. It would be a struggle for all of them, but it was not impossible, and she wouldn't let them give up hope.

She helped anyone up who needed it, watching as Seren checked them all for anyone who needed her healing, then looked to Authryn when he suggested they find a tavern to eat at. From behind she heard someone ask, "are you kidding me?" She looked back to find Ignius with an expression that sat somewhere between a scowl and a look of disbelief. "We almost died. Most of our comrades weren't so lucky. And all you can think about is food?" he asked with a voice that desperately tried to hide the pain he felt.

"Iggy, don't. Just--" Kai spoke up, putting a hand on his brother's shoulder, which was quickly brushed off. "No, don't. Don't tell me to calm down. We're the only ones left, we--" he retorted with frustration evident in his voice, but was cut off by Astraia. "Ignius," she spoke in a voice that somehow managed to warn him to stop, while remaining gentle and calm. "I understand how you feel, but this won't help anything. We're all frustrated and tired and hurt. We lost a lot of friends and comrades, and with them, I expect some of us lost hope," she replied with a gentle sigh. "But we can't give up. We can't lose hope. If we do, then we're already doomed," she added in another unusually serious string of words, "We have to keep moving forward."

"All that said... I could really go for some food," she smiled at Authryn. "Besides, we could all use some rest, even if you aren't hungry, so it's best that we find ourselves somewhere we can rest for the night," she suggested, eyeing each of them to see if anyone had any objections. Ignius seemed resigned to accept her words, although she could still see the tension in him as he fought to hold back everything from pain to frustration, and Kai and Seren nodded in agreement. She just hoped that the others would agree, too. No matter what any of them were feeling, and she knew that each one of them, herself included, were likely feeling a great many things, they had to keep moving. They had to at least get somewhere safe where they could rest and those who were wounded could be cared for and healed properly.

Now wasn't the time to let their emotions run wild. Now was the time to press on despite those emotions. They could, and she suspected that they would, confront their grief and sorrow, their pain and anger, and all of the other emotions they felt once they settled in somewhere.

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"The line between what brings us pain and what sustains us is far thinner than one imagines." - Klaus Mikaelson.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:53 am 

You have nothing to fear, But Fear himself

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Turge woke up laying on his back, slightly disoriented. The last thing he remembered was being kicked into the escape portal by a Dark One, the Orc was lucky it was just a boot he received to his face and not the sharp side of a sword. The whole of his battle a Haze, the only thing he remembers clearly was the one sided massacre of his brethren. His hand lifted to his torn cheek, rubbing it gently. A small groan escaping from him as he slowly drifted in, and out of consciousness. He struggled slightly to get to his feet, utterly exhausted from the battle. suddenly a splitting headache all but made him kneel, his hands clutching at his head. "Turge's Head hurts, It feels like a Hammer was taken to Turge's head." he then proceeded to look around to see who made it. Astraia, Wern, Yue, Ithilnaur, Authryn.

A bellowing chuckle soon erupted from the Orc. "Of course It was us, well Turge knew Turge would live, but the rest of you Turge had his doubts." one of his famous horrible jokes to lighten the dark mood, which would more than likely backfire in on the Orc in every way imaginable. He dabbed at his head, feeling a wetness run down his forehead. As he pulled his finger back to look at what was running down his forehead, his finger was covered in a crimson liquid. It looked like that kick did a bit more than the Orc though it could, the Dark Ones were truly powerful, and the Turge respected that. He sat playing with his one life force, feeling it between his thumb and index finger. "Turge has not felt his own blood in a long time." his normal cheerful demeanor quickly disappeared. It was time for him to become serious. He looked around. "so uh, how do we decide who leads are small band, unless The Grandmaster named a successor." He was not even sure if the Rangers or what was left of them would even stick together. "Turge Guesses he could always go back to the Highlands, but this is all Turge knows, Turge does not think he could be a good Orc."

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:06 pm 
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"They just keep coming!" The young Ranger cried out to his comrades as the horde of Orcs that surrounded him seemed like a never ending sea of foes, each one cut down quickly replaced by another. The desperation in his voice is palpable as he deftly wields his one handed blade but is quickly losing stamina. It was a feeling that many of the younger Rangers were feeling as they were not yet battle hardened enough to endure a battle such as this...but they must.

"Then we keep fighting," came the call from Triarc who was placed several meters to the north of his friend, trying desperately to keep the group of Rangers that had gathered around him in high spirits as the battle looked as if it will drag on for much longer than anticipated. Though they were winning the fight, the Rangers were vastly outnumbered by the army of the Dark Ones and even superior fighting skills and magic had its limits when dealing with numbers of this magnitude. However, Triarc, who has seen many combat situations on both extremes of large and small, knew that this is perhaps the most important battle the realm has come to see, at least for the sake of the Rangers as it is meant to prove to the world that the Phoenix Guard still held prominence as the shield that protects the people. For Triarc, this attempt at glory for the guild seemed a bit rash on the part of Grandmaster Vulcan when he opted to face the legionnaires in open field combat rather than take a much more strategic defensive position at a pass that was not too far off from where they were now and would have provided a narrow area to easily pick off the invading forces. Though he had not been around for the last invasion that was staved off by the Guard, he had heard the stories by surviving Rangers who spoke of the great depletion of warriors after numerous attacks on the orders of the Grandmaster, a history that Triarc was hoping would not be repeated here but his hopes of that destroyed once the splitting of the sky let out a thunderous clap which disoriented both the Rangers and the orcs during the battle, even so much as knocking some to their backs that were too close to the portal as it opened up.

A few moments later, which felt like an eternity as the immortal shadow warrior thought for sure his life was forfeit once his back was exposed from being pushed to the ground onto his stomach from the concussive blast of the portal breaking apart the very fabric of the sky it had replaced. As he stood up he realized just how lucky he was as the group of young Ranger who was surrounded moments ago was a mess of blood and meat, along with the Orcs he was fighting, as the portal had opened up right on top of them where the sea of foes was quickly becoming an ocean. "It was too easy," he quietly murmured to himself as he instinctively stood in shock, taking in the scene of Lieutenants of the Ruinious Ones flooded the battlefield, much stronger, faster, and more skilled fighters than the enemies they had just been facing. Couple that with the element of surprise, the battle quickly shifted and was now in the hands of those who look to conquer the world and bring it to ruins; all is lost, as it would seem. Despite this feeling, Triarc firmly grips the handle of his broadsword, Eulid, and charges once more into the thick of it all, knowing that even though he will die he will take many of these demons and orcs with him as he can, and it will be remembered that the Rangers did not die easily this day.

Even with the superior skills of the Ruinous Ones Lieutenants they were cut down one by one and at even multiple foes in one slash from the power of Eulid's thick blade. "You'll have to do much better than this if you want to match the skill of the Phoenix Gaurd!"

"You're as good as dead," cried out an Orc who attempted to block the blow from Triarc who came down with a vertical slash that easily broke through the inferior blade, as well as the helmet and skull of the now dying creature. Several more fill his space as well as a few of the Lieutenants, who all get cut down in a series of well placed strokes of the powerful fortified steel that braces Eulid.

Regardless of how many he cuts down, however, Triarc's quick survey of the scene shows him that his efforts aren't gaining any sort of ground as the rest of the Rangers within his vicinity that either aren't as skilled or battle tested are putting up a hell of a fight but are being brought down nonetheless. "Do not give up," he attempts to sustain the morale of his group while gathering them into a tight circle, backs towards each other and weapons pushing out to provide defense for each other while capitalizing on their skills, "we will cut down every single orc that comes near us."

"There is a chance to escape," cries out a voice from the circle with an air of relief and excitement mixed in with fear.

"There are too many to try and retreat," retorts Triarc as he focuses on a Lieutanent that makes the foolish mistake to come within reach of Eulid and pays a heavy price for his bold move.

"No, Triarc, look.." calls the voice again who firmly grips the shadow warrior's shoulder guard and turns him around. The voice is accompanied by an arm set in the direction of a light portal that has been opened back towards the main body of Rangers where the Grandmaster was located.

Disbelief flashes for only a brief moment in the eyes of Triarc as he gathers his wits and realized that there is a chance to escape this slaughter, though it will be a slim one as the portal is quite a bit down the way from where this small group is located but a chance nonetheless. "Alright," he belows out over the noise of the battle, "we have a way out, friends, but the way is quickly becoming overrun by these damn orcs and Lieutenants. We have to push through now if we want to make it or else all will be lost. Are you with me?" A cry of assent rises over the clash of steel, the cries of dying warriors, the crash of magic, and the group begin to make their way towards the portal, knowing that as powerful as the Grandmaster is, even he can hold it for so long. As they push through the countless waves of enemy forces that meet them, Triarc realizes that many, if not all of them, were going to die before coming close to the escape, as the numbers of the enemies are proving far too much to even attempt the retreat. Sadness and anger floods his otherwise playful demeanor and a whole new side of him erupts from within as he goes blind with fury and the bloodlust of battle fuels him. Taking charge of the group he spear heads the formation and viciously hacks through anyone who stands in his way of trying to keep his comrades from reaching their only means of survival, losing all sense of self-protection and caution as the blade he normally wields in an expert fashion streaks through the air as if held by a madman. The scene is barbaric enough that even some of the orcs and lieutenants cannot help but find themselves freightened and at times stunned to even try to move away from the deadly blade.

Finally, after was seemed like an eternity, a small clearing is made and Triarc can actually see the base of the portal where several Rangers are making their way towards, some of them making it through already, and then of course there is Grandmaster Vulcan trying to keep it open as long as he can to let the remains of his Guard escape the poorly executed battle. Triarc can't help but feel a bit resentful towards the man that so desperately wanted glory for them all that he would make such a blunderous mistake in the choice of battle locations, leading to an unnecessary lose of good Rangers. Quickly he snaps out of this moment of judgement as the pass that was spotted is starting to once again fill with enemy bodies, leaving only a narrow alley to run through. Looking back to make a call for his troops to sprint through, he takes in a gruesome scene of mangled bodies where his small band of warriors should be, all but one of them fallen to the attacks of the orcs and this last one, a middle aged man who has seen only a few fights in his time, clutching desperately to his side trying to slow the flow of blood that is pouring from a slash in his ribs. He will not live through this, thought Triarc to himself as the bloodlust the occupied him only moments ago quickly drains out, again replaced with calculation and mindful tactics. Another look at the pass shows that it is now or never to make it to the portal and with that he throws Eulid to the ground, grapples the younger Ranger firmly, and makes a dash for their escape. As they run, he uses his shadow powers to turn both he and his dying friend invisible so to make it to the portal unseen. The tactic works as they push through the remains of the heavy orc forces and quickly march through to life on the other side, Triarc giving one more quick glance towards the commander of the Phoenix Guard, knowing he would not be coming through with them.

Once on the other side, after being pushed through harshly, as he was always told what happened with portals but this was his first time actually experiencing it, he carefully removed the armor of his fellow Ranger to assess the wound and, just as he feared, the damage done to this man would end up killing him. "There were so many," the dying Ranger quietly spoke as his life quickly drains, a broad toothy smile playing across his face as the color leaves him, "but I got a good many of them on the way out." Those were his last words before his eyes gloss over and his head falls limp, the smile stuck on his face in death. With a quick nod of the head, Triarc stands up, dusts himself off slightly, and looks around the area to see who else made it through, the first thought from this was just how few there were, though he was glad for anyone at this point.

Astraia made it and Authryn, he thought to himself, that bodes well for the life and leadership of the Guard. Yue, Ignius, Turge, Wren, Ithilnaur, Seren, Kai; you could do a lot worse than this group to survive, that's for sure. He gathered himself with the remaining forces of the Rangers and stood quietly as everyone seemed to be trying to do the same, some coming to grips with the situation quicker than others; the half-elf, Authyrn, suggesting a trip to a tavern to sate an appetite that I'm sure they all feel even if they don't recognize it at the moment coming from the horrible situation they are in at the moment though it is slightly better than where they were just a few moments earlier. Though he understood the grief pouring off the group, especially Ignius who spoke out against the idea of eating so soon after losing his brethren, finding something to eat to refuel and take their minds off their suffering was something they did need. "This isn't over," he finally called out to the group, "the invasion has just begun and you can be assured that the Ruinous Ones are preparing to move their ranks as we speak. Right now, we are all that remains of the Rangers and the only ones living who know of the portal being opened up. We are tired and some food and rest will be good for us in preparation for the battles that will come soon. Finding a tavern to regain our strength is what we need to do as well as inform the citizens of the world about the threat that is coming their way." He looks to betweem Astraia and Authryn for confirmation; the question from Turge on who should lead the remnants of the Guard seems like an apparent choice of either of those two, if not both.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:10 am 

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Although the Grandmaster was filled with shame for not keeping an open ear towards all his members, he look Ithilnaur in the eyes and whispered, "Go forth, Son of Celestial Fire. Requite us."


Son of Celestial Fire...it was, he supposed, an apt description of himself from the Grandmaster. To requite, though, was not a word he heard often, and it added to the solemn pause he had once the portal had vanished. Tears continued to threaten his eyes, but Ithilnaur blinked them away savagely. There would be time for tears later. And, there would time to further discern the Grandmaster's words. For the moment, they were hurt, tired, hungry, and their morale had taken a huge beating. Authryn had mentioned finding a tavern, but Ithilnaur did not like the feel of that...though food was certainly important. He never remembered feeling so tired as he did at that very moment. So many had died...so much was lost, and more death was still to come. Others had suggested something similar in agreement, but Ithilnaur said nothing as yet. Tired as he was; his senses were still taking in the scene he now found himself in...the remaining Rangers gathered together thanks to the sacrifice of their Grandmaster. The question of leadership came up from Turge, and it was one more thing Ithilnaur took into himself...for the question was valid.

'Requite us,' the Grandmaster had told him. In some context, it might mean to return the Rangers to their former glory...or even to the tower from whence many of them came. In other context, it could just have easily meant for Ithilnaur to avenge that which had taken place this day....the death of so many Rangers. Coming from the Grandmaster; it could even mean both things. It would be something he would need to consider.

For the moment, greater things needed his immediate attention. It did not escape the youngest Ranger's attention how Triarc was giving extra consideration to Authryn and Astraia, and Astraia was agreed with Authryn about rest and food. It seemed to be the general consensus, but still Ithilnaur did not speak up...not yet. Even as exhausted as he was; there was still something wrong with the plan of a tavern. It nagged at him...like an annoying mosquito that wouldn't leave him alone. His emerald eyes took in the rest of the Rangers before moving directly towards Authryn and Astraia. Only once he was before these two did he salute them with his Elven blade, Elthalion, and then bowed his head to them in respect.

"I agree with the general consensus. We must find food and rest, and then we must warn the various realms of this impending threat. However, I do not think a tavern would suit us right now. The Enemy force we faced was well organized. It is possible they have spies waiting for us at the nearest tavern...if not to catch any survivors...then to listen for news so they may better act against the realms. I do not believe in our current condition that we can take such a chance. I suggest we come up with a course of action that is less obvious to our foes. The last thing we need to do is give them another chance at us so soon," the youngest Ranger explained his thoughts. "All of us know this land...far more than they do. It would not be hard for us to rapidly find a natural refuge for us to rest, eat, and mend. From there, we can decide better our next course of action on how to best warn the realms of what is coming, and other such things that need discussing."

Though he was facing Authryn and Astraia...he was speaking to them all....his voice weary with battle fatigue and grief barely held in check.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:48 pm 

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Yue fell through the portal, landing on her side with an oomph. She laid there for a minute, staring at the ground beside her and trying to catch her breath. The last words from her Grandmaster echoed in her head in whispers. "Defend us..." With those words echoing in her head appeared images: a replay of all the events that happened. The coming victory at the beginning before the portal opened and crushed all thoughts of victory for her fellow comrades. Her Phoenix Guard. Her Rangers. Her family. The pain she felt in her heart was unbearable and tears rushed down her cheeks as the thought of all they had lost. Dread filled her and she laid there for awhile, letting the grief consume her.

At the encouragement of Astraia and other Rangers she slowly sat up along with others. She quickly brushed off the drying tears on her cheeks and took a deep breath to calm herself. Her body felt weak and exhausted from the fighting but also from the emotional burden that weighed down on her shoulders. That weighed down on them all. She heard them speaking but most of their words went over her head. She felt liker her head was underwater and her surroundings were slowly fading into the background.

She quickly shook herself from her thoughts. There was no time to grieve those that they all lost, as much as it hurt not too. It was difficult just to be able to move her limbs at this point, let alone focus her mind on her surroundings but she pushed through it and turned towards her remaining friends.

"Astraia is right. We cannot argue and bicker with one another at this time." Yue spoke up after Astraia calmed down Ignuis from Authryn's comment. "We should try to regroup. We may be safe for now but we do not know how long that will last." She looked towards where the portal use to be, her heart sinking at the thought of those they left behind.

Her hands clutched into fists as she fought the sadness that threaten to overwhelm her again.

She listened to the people around her. Many of them were turning to Astraia and Authryn for guidance. At this point she realized they were all alone. There was no guidance from their Grandmaster anymore. No one to turn them in the right direction. The thought chilled her to the bone. She knew they could take care of themselves but without a person to lead and to keep them together, could the Rangers really survive from this? They were already fighting among themselves. Astraia may have calmed it down for now but would she be strong enough to keep them united?

Looking towards her remaining Rangers, she honestly didn't really know who would be best fit for guiding them. Authyrn was strong and capable and Astraia was wise and a natural born leader that Yue greatly respected. She also knew of Ithilnaur, who she turned to when he spoke up. She could already tell that a few of the surviving Rangers would support Astraia to the end, and if they were divided over who leads them.... Yue bit her lip and stared at those in front of her. The fear from before had now turned into a nasty fear of what would happen to the remaining few of them. All three of her fellow Rangers seemed good candidates for leading them but just the thought of their Grandmaster being replaced so soon made her eyes water up again. She did not want to follow another so soon after the lost of her friends and family, but she didn't seem to have much of a choice.

She pushed the emotions back quickly and took a deep breath. Now was not the time. She had to focus.

Yue stood up slowly, wincing at the soreness in her limbs. "I agree with Ithilnaur. We must be cautious with where we go. We cannot assume we are completely safe. I suggest we try and find shelter and food. We need a place to lay low while we discuss what our next actions may be." Yue spoke out the words, nodding in Ithilnaur's direction. "If we are to venture into a town or tavern, we should consider getting a change of clothing to bend in and conceal ourselves."

"It also wouldn't hurt to try and get some info about what we are facing." Yue's teeth ground together and her voice came out low as she spoke. "We need to be careful, but we should also try and gather whatever information we can. Rumors are bound to spread and getting an idea of the direction our enemies may be headed or any information on their whereabouts could help us determine our next course of action."

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:26 pm 

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"Avenge us..." were the last words Wren heard as she flew through the portal. She lands solidly on the ground on the other side, stumbling only once. She clenches her hand at her side as she sees how few have made it. This will not stand. They will pay for what they have done to her friends... her family. She vows quietly to herself to use whatever means necessary to bring her enemies to their knees. Vengeance drives her now, past all the pain of loss. No one was going to get in her way.

She quickly looks over her shoulder at Authryn at his insensitive comment. Most of their comrades had just fallen in battle, those that survived are heavily bloodied and battered, and what he thinks about is food? She opens her mouth to snap at him right along with Ignius, but Astria already interjects with calming words to deescalate the situation. Astria was always rational, and known to be quite sufficient at handling heated situations. Usually, Wren admired her for it, but now, it seemed woefully inappropriate to her. Rage, despair, pain; they were all reasonable responses to the current situation, and it didn't sit right with Wren to see them be so quickly hidden away.

Wren just sighs in response to Turge. "You won't have to go back to the Highlands, don't worry. We'll right ourselves then fight to enact justice," she mutters and helps him back onto his feet. Seeing someone usually so boisterous appear downtrodden only added to her distress. As for the question of leadership, she simply did not want to think of such a thing. No one standing here could replace their Grandmaster in her eyes, but there are a few she would follow into battle.

"I agree with Ithilnaur. Now is not the time for taverns. We need to set up a secluded base, heal our wounds, then come up with a plan for retaliation as soon as possible. We need to take action and find a way to destroy the foe entirely before their influence becomes widespread. I know we are all weary, but we have no time. We have to think of ways to wipe them out immediately," she finally speaks up and addresses the group. Her posture is tall and her voice is clear despite her wounds and fatigue constantly threatening her fortitude. She would not let such things wear on her or her motives.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:37 am 
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Authryn raised his eyebrows at the mixed ideas and words that they had all stated. But there was, however, one idea that resonated with them all, a natural hideout to rest and plan their next moves. It was vital that this be accomplished first; most, if not all, of the Rangers were extremely tired and weary from the battle they had managed to survive. While he wouldn't admit it, Authryn himself was rather fatigued as well.

"Alright, alright, no tavern. There's a forest up north from here. Within it, there is a cave that is usually used by other Rangers in order to find shelter. I believe most of you know the cave of which I speak, yes? It's the one in which strange runes were found there approximately 50 years ago. It shouldn't be dangerous for us, as we still have our magic to help aid us in case we encounter any hostiles. There is also a town west of it in which we could gain information and understand what exactly has happened while we've been recuperating", Authryn stated as he stretched out his arms and legs. "But before we head out, the Grandmaster wanted me to do something very quickly."

With that said, Authryn walked to Turge, forcing the orc to look him in the eyes. "Go forth, Son of Fortifying Earth. Preserve us."

Authryn then proceeded to walk to Triarc and did the same. He forced the man to look at him and spoke the words of blessing. "Go forth, Son of Shadows. Aid us."

With that said and done, Authryn turned back towards the entire group. "Any questions, or do you all understand the task at hand? We are the last of the Rangers. If we die, the Varricus Imperium wins. Life as we know it will be subjugated and enslaved. I don't know about you, but I don't look very good in chains. So are you with me?" Authryn then extended the palm of his hand towards the group. It was their choice whether they would place their hand on top of his and join him.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Astraia listened quietly to each of the others as they spoke up, wondering who would lead them, suggesting that they take shelter somewhere outside of town to avoid any potential enemy spies, and suggesting that they try to find a way to retaliate as soon as they were healed. She understood where most of them were coming from. While the potential for enemy spies this far in seemed unlikely, all things considered, the possibility could not be ruled out, so going into town in their shape and attire was certainly ill-advised. She thought it better to avoid completely isolating themselves from the outside world, but she understood the desire to lay low for the moment. After all, they were all tired and some were injured, so they were really not in any shape to face an enemy right now, nor could they risk their position being exposed. Thus, hiding out somewhere outside of town seemed the best choice.

"I think that the discussion of who will lead us can wait until we've had a moment to rest," she replied to Turge's question. "I do agree that we need to decide soon, as I suspect we will need a leader before long. Still, it can wait until tomorrow, at least," she added, hoping that everyone would consider this and at least begin thinking about it. She understood that it may be hard for some to think about it when they only just lost their Grandmaster. As much as she wanted to sympathize with them, they had a lot ahead of them, and without a leader they would get no where. It may not be necessary to discuss it at this very moment, but it couldn't wait forever.

On that topic, she wasn't sure who among them was truly best suited. There were a few of them who were capable. Some seemed like they would support her, others Authryn, perhaps even Ithilnaur. Whomever was chosen, it needed to be something that they could all agree upon. Someone they could all support, even if they weren't necessarily their first choice. The last thing they needed right now was was be divided and fight among themselves. In the end, she'd rather step aside and let one of the others lead if it meant keeping the peace. Whatever it took to ensure their survival and ensure that they were rebuilt, she would do.

It seemed as though it had been decided that they would not go to a tavern, but rather a cave within the forest to the north. She knew of it. It seemed as good a place as any. Plus, there was a town not too far from it where they could gather information. "Sounds good to me. At least this way we won't be completely isolated from the rest of the world. Once we've recovered enough, whoever is in the best shape can go to the town and try to gather some information and get some supplies. Then we can discuss what happens next," she replied with her own suggestions before falling silent while he gave Turge and Triarc their blessings from the Grandmaster.

When he turned back and spoke, she immediately placed her own hand on top of his, followed shortly by Seren, Ignius, and Kai. "I look good in anything. But chains aren't really my thing," she joked with a light smile before adding, "We won't fail. That's not an option," she added in a more serious manner. They couldn't fail. Which was why they had to keep it together. Why they couldn't give in to their emotions, because decisions made in haste and in anger would only lead to further death. She wanted to avenge their fallen comrades as much as anyone else, but she knew that they didn't have a shot as they were now. They needed to take their time and gather their strength, find ways to get stronger and gain numbers, and then they could talk about a plan for retaliation. For now, they needed to focus on getting to the cave where they could rest and find something to eat. Everything else could wait until tomorrow.

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"The line between what brings us pain and what sustains us is far thinner than one imagines." - Klaus Mikaelson.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:03 am 

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Ithilnaur listened to the discussion going on around him. In the end, an agreement had been made to go to a cave in the forest to the north, and setup there for the time being. There was a town close enough to get news and supplies from. He nodded in agreement with Astraia and Authryn. Still, the need to act against their foes also called to the youngest member of the Rangers. They could not afford to rest for long. To do so was to allow the Imperium time to consolidate their power, expand, and thus be harder to dislodge.

"We should go now. The longer we wait and discuss this...the more in peril all our people will be. Further debate must wait, I think. There will be no chains for us...now or ever," he told the group simply before wiping his blade clean on the inside of his cloak.

He took in the gazes of each of the remaining Rangers present. They were now so few, but even with the defeat they had taken - they were still themselves. Ithilnaur knew his own eyes showed resolve mixed with weariness. He would not let his friends be further slain by the Imperium. He had to have faith that the Goddess had granted him the powers of the Rangers for a reason. Now was not the time for doubts. They were tired, wounded, and a bit demoralized, but they were Rangers...they would overcome in the end. With a nod to Astraia and Authryn; Ithilnaur turned towards the path they needed. As if this newest action had somehow restored a bit of his strength to go on; Ithilnaur smiled in defiance of the events that had taken place. The Goddess had blessed him, and he would do all he could to help. They would not fail!

And so, the Son of Celestial Fire began to forge ahead to the cave they now were to rest for a bit. Time was not on their side. Delay was kin to disaster. At first his strides were slow and long, but with each step grew a new strength in this course of action. Eventually, Ithilnaur began to jog...making his way towards the place they needed for the immediate moment. He did not look back to see if the others followed. They knew what must be done...they knew delay was wrong, and they knew where to go. It did not occur to him that this action might make it look like he was attempting to lead the Rangers. He simply knew they must go, and thus took the initiative to do so first. There would be time for further debate after they had rested, and were more clear of thought and heart.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:46 pm 

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Yue listened intently to the conversations. She nodded her head, smiling as a plan came to light. The cave would be perfect and information gathering shouldn't be too difficult with the talent they possessed Watching Authryn give out their Grandmaster's last words to other members broke her heart. A flash of his face appeared, smiling down at her and brushing away her tears. Similar words he spoke to her echoed in her mind and in her soul. Her heart rate sped up and she closed her eyes as she tried to get the emotions that raged inside her to calm down. She could beak down later, for now she had to move on.

They had to move on.

Back to the conversation of leadership was a difficult think to even consider at this moment. Yue couldn't even begin, even if it seemed important it was just too hard to even consider. Their leader was their Grandmaster. The one that saved their lives. That was their leader. No one could replace him. She frowned at the idea, staring at her last of her order in front of her and began to think about if this was the last of them. Could they really survive this? They would indeed make sure their enemies paid and the world was safe again, but afterwards what would happen to them? Yue's doubts clouded her mind for the moment listening to their conversations while her heart and soul bleed for those they lost and for the possible end of the Rangers. Of her family.

Without speaking a word, Yue followed suite, leaving herself to her thoughts as they seemed to consume her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:45 pm 

“Even if you can't see me, even if you can't hear me, I'll be by your side.”

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Deep in the woods, dense brush and trees surrounded a well-hidden cave that not many knew about. It was secret, a treasured spot of the Rangers, and of the Gods themselves. Far from society, far from the reaches of mankind or any other sort of intelligent being, it stayed tucked in the dark, the limbs of tall and ancient trees reaching high to form a dark canopy, barely any sunlight trickling through the greenery above to create a dim lighting to see by. The whole place had an air of mystery, magic, and lore, of old days and history as far back as the creation of time and the world itself.

And waiting there, were envoys of those said gods, in the form of two young men, one with silver hair the other with black, wearing unique looking outfits, both the same but different colors. One was completely black, while the other was white. They were positioned on either side of the cave entrance, one sitting on top of a stone pillar, crosslegged and somehow to keep himself from falling over, despite the fact the pillar he was sitting on wasn't large enough on the top point for him to be steady, though it was tall, reaching a height of nearly ten feet tall, with runes are written diagonally across the stone, glowing softly. The other one stood with his arms crossed over his chest, leaning back slightly against the stone wall, his eyes closed partly.

These two are known as Airis and Zephyr, twin brothers and sons of the high god Zarandur.

"Is there some reason we have to sit around and wait? It's been several days now and there is no sign of them in the least...I wanna go out and drink...or get laid." Airis looks down to his brother, a bored expression on his face, a half grin on his lips at the last bit he'd said, tilting his head to the side so his silver hair swayed in its ponytail. They had been indeed sitting around at the cave for quite some time now, and it was starting to get boring. At least, it was that way for Airis. On the other hand, Zephyr just looks over at Airis with a dull expression, his lips a set line on his face and his eyes held no amusement or any sort of reaction at all to what was said. At first, he said nothing, before turning his face away, shaking his head slowly. "You know full well that Father told us to come here and wait for the Rangers. We are not to move from this spot until we provide them our assistance and aid. If you leave now, you're going by yourself."

Airis groans, letting his head fall back in a dramatic way. "Why do you have to be so boring?" In response to this comment, Zephyr simply rolls his eyes and shrugs, not bothering to say anything. "Ugh, I don't know why I bother..." Airis looks up again, before jumping down from the pillar, landing nimbly as his feet hit the ground at the base, standing up straight and stretching his arms over his head, giving a satisfied sound as his muscles pulled nicely, sighing in relief. "I don't know how you do it. You have WAY more patience than I do. I'm going for a walk."

Another shrug was all he got, Zephyr closing his eyes now, silent and morose, making Airis huff slightly, turning and walking away, his hands at the back of his head. "He can be such a jerk sometimes..." As he made his way through the trees, his thoughts wandered, thinking of why they were told to come here, why Zarandur wanted them to stop their own journey to aid these 'Ranger' people. Despite having some doubts, he was going to do what he was told because it was rare they heard from their Almighty father. The guy never talked to them unless it was absolutely important and VERY urgent, so it must be something that only they could do.

Well, until they actually got there to the cave, Airis would only be left to wonder...because his questions could only be answered by the Rangers themselves. And for now, thinking and roaming the woods would have to do for his amusement, because as much as he wanted to, he wasn't going to leave his brother behind. Being too far from him made Airis uneasy, and he knew that Zephyr felt the same way...it was a special connection.

In a place far from the twins, in a dusty city of dirty morales and even dirtier streets, was the wandering grounds of a certain young man of unknown status, stature, and lineage. He'd called the Kingdom of Shirbi his home for as long as he could remember, but "home" was probably not the right term for his case. More like...cage. As the city of Nagashi was a dark marketplace where slaves and other such 'property' could be found.

And Orphan just happened to be one of those said pieces of 'property'. Or at least, he used to be. Up until a couple days ago, he'd been owned by a particularly nasty person, forcing him to do whatever awful things the guy could think up, and some weren't too...pure. For too long, this went on, until Orphan snapped, deciding to end things once and for all, turning on his owner and breaking free, leaving behind a rather messy and gruesome scene.

He had been on the run, after breaking the chains that kept his legs from moving far, the links broken and trailing behind the cuffs at his ankles and wrists, along with the larger collar at his neck. Underneath the large and heavy iron shackles, the skin was torn and raw, black and blue bruises, blisters and calloused skin, some festering with puss and others bleeding freely. But by this time, Orphan didn't feel it, he was used to the pain. So focused he was on getting as far as he could away from what he had done, he hadn't the time to try and wash, but now...after a few days of not being caught, and quite far from that horrible place...now was as good as time as any.

Kneeling down in the soft mud at the riverside, hiding beneath a wooden plank dock, he washed the blood from his hands and arms, watching as the crimson red flowed away down in the water, feeling much better as it scrubbed from his face and skin, getting it out of his pale hair. There really wasn't much he could do for the stains in his clothes, knowing at some point he would have to get new ones...but for now, just getting what he could wash off would have to be good enough.

Having finished washing up, he sighs, leaning back and just sitting there in the shadows of the dock, staring out at the water, resting his chin on his knees, holding his arms tight around his legs and pulling them close to his chest. He longed for freedom so long...but was what he had done to gain that freedom worth it? Was killing the answer? He didn't know, and he didn't want to...but as he sat there, he couldn't help but feel the fear that welled up within him. What he did know was that he would always be on edge. Never truly calm, never truly safe. But it was better...than going back. He would fight, and fight, and fight some more. Tooth and nail, he would struggle for his freedom, no matter what.

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夢はこの部屋の中で
優しい歌をずっと君に歌っていた
何がほんとのことなの
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静かに寄り添って
何処にも行かないで
窓辺で囀って
何を失くしたって
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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:31 pm 

What matters is not what you've been given, but what you've done with what you've been given.

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(The Dream: Part 1: Garyn)

Garyn stood near the front of the Rangers, grey head and beard shining in the early morning sun. As it always did, pre-battle exhilaration shot through his body. Over the millennia many things had changed; he had been hardened by the death of friends, honed by countless hours of practice, and enlightened by the experience of war. But the exhilaration never left him. It was war; time to kill or be killed, and at that moment, Garyn Tanarsil was immortal. And why should he not be? After tens of thousands of battles and skirmishes death still had no grip on him. Nor would it on this day.

Glancing over the Rangers behind him, he picked out the faces of friends and comrades. Humans passed away, he was so old now that even the trees passed away. But the Rangers lived on. He could make out Wren down the line, bright red hair almost as fiery as her temper. Toranil of the twisted lip was honing the tip of his spear. And behind him a stones throw, Authryn had managed to find some open room on the field and was going through the graceful movements of water dance. Beside him, Triarc the Young stood invisible to all but the best trained eyes.

Cordoran, the Elf-Lord, was leading a small contingent of his people in a protection song. Their voices, unearthly as ever, rose and fell in perfect harmony. Garyn's skin prickled as he felt the song's spell weaving through the army. Beside him on his left, Yue was perched upon a tree stump, inspecting her twin short blades with a critical eye, although they were definitely already in perfect condition. Varunel, stood to his right, eyes closed, likely thinking of Ilenya, his elvish wife. He had lost his taste for war centuries before, and when this final fight was done, Garyn knew he would return to craftsmanship and never lay finger to a sword again.

A short distance from the main group, Garyn could barely make out Ithilnaur. A stab of anger shot through him. When Vulcan had proclaimed his plan to the council of war, it was Ithilnaur who had opposed him so strongly. Admittedly, his plan was better suited to the Rangers style and numbers, but was there any force on the face of the earth that could truly stand against the Rangers in their might? Division was the only way they would lose, and Ithilnaur had pushed them to the brink. Garyn had exchanged bitter words with him over the matter and they had parted on bad terms.

In the centre of it all, aura as strong as the sun itself, stood Vulcan. Wise and powerful, it was he who had taken over the reigns of the Rangers and would lead them to glory this day. Victory was written upon his face as sure as the air they were breathing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:38 pm 

What matters is not what you've been given, but what you've done with what you've been given.

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Garyn: The Dream: Part 2

It was the weather that changed first, the sun losing its glow, though the sky remained cloudless. With it there came an unearthly chill, that crept up and down Garyn’s arms. Then came the clouds, a thick dark wall that stretched from the ground to the heavens and far and wide in either direction. From where the Rangers stood it looked like the clouds slunk forward, but by the expanse that was covered they must have been moving many times faster than the crow flies.

It swept through the Rangers, catching up flags, hair, and anything unfastened. The elves still sang, but beneath their fair song there was a deep, gutteral roar that grew louder as the enemy approached. Dark shapes began to take form. Felhounds and dire wolves let forth their howls while demons and other nefarious creatures chanted to the tattoo of baritone drums. There was a rage in that chant, a hatred so pure and dark that it threatened to break the will of the hardiest of men. As Garyn listened he wondered how many armies had crumbled long before they had crossed blades with the army of the Dark Ones. The elves resisted them, their battle hymns rising to meet the cacaphonic onslaught as the rest of the Rangers joined in.

From the midst of their ranks, a dark, shadowed figure rose upon unfurled wings. Tall and swathed in black. As he took to the sky he slowly raised his arms, and as one, the enemy fell silent. With one final chorus the Rangers grew silent as well, their last few chords fading into nothingness.

Garyn took a deep breath. Experience told him that the moment was nearly upon them. Each second they waited was equally exhilirating and painful. His legs longed to move and his hands played upon the hilt of his sword. The demons and other fel creatures across from him shuffled in their rows while the Rangers looked on, impassive. One final time Garyn looked down their line. Young, immortal faces; brave and beautiful.

The sweet cry of a horn pierced the silence, followed by another and another. With a shout the Rangers charged. Garyn ran, iron shod feeting clanking against the turf. He held Aurin, his hand-and-a-half sword, in both hands. As he neared their lines, Garyn picked out his target: A lesser demon with a two-handed Battle-ax. Its red face snarled at Garyn and it held its axe high, preparing to strike. The blow never fell, for when Garyn came within five paces, he suddenly sprung forward, leaping the final distance and cleaving through the battle axe and the startled face of his foe. The following backhanded slash took out an imp and was arched around again to parry the whip of a dreadlord. The whip caught on, and its owner tried to use it to pry Aurin from his hands. Garyn let go with one hand, slipping a dagger from his side and hurling it at the face of the dreadlord. It caught the dreadlord straight on, toppling him, and Garyn pushed forward. Over the next few minutes, the initial charge slowed, and the sound of horns signalled the Ranger retreat and reforming of the line.

The Rangers backed away under cover from their archers and spellcasters. A quick survey told Garyn that all had gone well. Few of their own were numbered in the dead, and beside them hundreds of enemies had fallen. As he and the rest of the Rangers backed up in retreat, Garyn found himself standing beside Varunel. Garyn clapped him on the shoulder. “A rout! Just like old times!”

Varunel smiled weakly, face pale. “Aye,” he responded, “But l hope it’s over soon, Ilenya begged me not to go, she’s afraid l won’t return.”

“Nonesense!” said Garyn, and he pointed to the enemy lines, “Look at them flee! We’ll have them scattered and running before nightfall. Here! Stand up straight, we’ll be charging again in a moment!” And so they were, the Rangers had drawn up their lines again and were preparing to charge into the enemy. This second charge proved even more successful than the first.

“It seems strange,” remarked Varunel when they retreated from the second run, “Why do they keep lining up in the same position to be slaughtered. Something’s not right here.”

“It is strange,” said Garyn, “But remember, they haven’t had millenia of battle training like us!” Varunel nodded but looked unconvinced.

The horns sounded for the third charge and the Rangers, untouched by fatigue, ran at their enemies again. Garyn targetted a felhound this time, catching it through the throat, then hurled its carcass at a demon and carved out its chest before it could react. Stepping over its body Garyn raised his sword and blocked an overhead stroke from a demon, kneed it in the gut, and was about to finish it off when a horn sounded in the distance. Garyn’s heart sunk at its keening voice; it was far too soon. Something was terribly wrong. The enemies line hadn’t been broken, retreat was incredibly dangerous. The battle turned chaotic as the Rangers tried to move back and the demons pushed in.

As they slowly backed away, Garyn risked a look behind him. What he saw drained the life from him: From a large gaping portal behind them, demons poured forth on the unprotected Ranger vanguard. Garyn knew they were undone the moment he saw it: The Rangers were surrounded.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rangers
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:28 am 
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Authryn quickly took charge of the matter just as Triarc expected him to, giving the lingering strength of the Rangers an objective to head for which will boost their morale and give them something to look toward, which they desperately need right now to keep from letting the loss hit them any harder than it already is. Although he agrees that it is a good idea to find the cave designated as their safe zone, Triarc still thinks that there needs to be some sort of haste as far as going into towns and getting any sort of information on what is transpiring. Who knows how many portals have been opened up and if Ithilnaur is right and this attack was as well orchestrated as it seems to have been then there could be spies all over the lands as well as other areas under attack that could use help. But what help can we really provide now, as few as our numbers are? "No," he shakes his head violently to get the thought of surrender out of his mind but as much as he tries to push it down the feeling keeps rising back up and threatens to consume him which was something he has not felt in a very long time. Sure, the Rangers were some of the most highly trained individuals in the world in regards to combat and survival tactics but to have their numbers brought down so low that they are on the brink of extinction is hard to come to terms with.

"No doubt the enemy forces are going to be looking for us," he addresses the group while watching those preparing to head toward the cave, "they wanted to kill all of us but as it stands our Grandmaster was able to outmaneuver their attack and gave his life to see that at least some of us made it out alive. That means that the Phoenix Guard will still defend these lands...as long as we are willing to defend it. As much as I would love to rest up and relax, we must move with some sort of urgency as we are still very much in the dark about this whole situation. Avoiding taverns to keep from spies makes sense, we should be sure to do that as a group but as soon as we are able to manage we should seek out and gather information from the neighboring lands; warn the kingdoms to prepare their armies for battle against the Ruinous Ones."

With that, Triarc raises his right fist and clenches it tightly as a sign of growing determination and checks his gear before moving on. Reaching up over his left shoulder he takes off the leather scabbard that is meant for his great sword, Eulid, and tosses it onto the ground accompanied by a soft sigh as he watches it kick up a small cloud of dirt, "I won't be needing that anymore." He then checks the two slots on his belt where he normally keeps his daggers to find only one of them in place, the shorter of the two, best suited as a throwing dagger or to be used to kill someone silently at very close range. The longer of the daggers, as he remembers, has been left lodged inside the lung of an especially skillful orc who managed to disarm Eulid from Triarc in the middle of battle, a feat very few foes have been able to accomplish in real combat.

The orc was proving to be a menacing enemy as nearly a dozen Rangers, half of them still very young and green to combat, were slain single-handedly by this single threat, some of them going down two at a time. He had just decapitated his last young Ranger when he caught Triarc pushing back a small group of 4 orcs with relative ease. Having boosted its sense of spirit with the Rangers already slain from his hands, the orc decided to charge in on preoccupied warrior and claim yet another victim in this battle. He was too slow, however, as Triarc was able to slay his enemies before the superior orc was able to interfere, though that would not deter him from attempting to behead another member of the precious Phoenix Guard. With a fury fueled by blood lust and adrenaline, the orc attempted to get a quick finish with one heavy cleaving motion of his battle axe to take out the Ranger right at the neck while he is distracted, only to have his attack miss as Triarc ducked under the massive chunk of sharpened steel just in the nick of time. Before Triarc could follow up with an attack of his own, the orc proved why he was so menacing on the battle by showcasing the strength of his arm, quickly bringing the giant blade across yet again for a follow up attack that would normally be too slow and clumsy of a move to make as it forces the holder of the axe to break off the momentum of the first horizontal swipe and bring the arm back for a 2nd horizontal swipe, a move that requires not only a lot of strength to perform but also quick reflexes, precision movement...and just a tad bit of luck, which the orc did not seem to possess any more of. He reached back with the 2nd strike but Triarc was anticipating the 2nd move and used his sword to block it which gets knocked from his hands due to the sheer force of the strike which almost broke one of his wrists. Unfortunately for the orc, even though he was able to disarm Triarc, the purpose of the 2nd attack is to kill the opponent or else it leaves the entire body open for attack and having a living opponent standing directly in front of your exposed midsection never bodes well. Without hesitation, Triarc pulls the larger dagger from his belt and drives it into the body of the orc before he is able to come back across with another massive swing. The two of them fall to the ground and struggle for several seconds before the orc goes limp underneath the body of the Ranger who just manages to avoid getting his head smashed in by a war-hammer wielding orc. He quickly rolls out of the way and manages to roll right over his sword, picking it up in one smooth motion as he gets back to his feet, slays the orc with the war-hammer, and continues on with the battle, leaving the dagger stuck inside the body of the stronger orc.

"Well, this will just have to due for now...and I have the hidden one still," he places the smaller dagger back into its slot in the belt and then checks the location of his hidden dagger to be sure that it is in fact there, grunting with satisfaction because it is. He gives the rest of his gear a quick look over to make sure everything is as it should be. Aside from some minor nicks and cuts as well as dinged up armor, everything else seems to be well enough. "So," he finally addresses the group again once he finishes everything, "about this cave."


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