504-03-31 Demon battle upon Mists
March 31, 504
Duke Regent Raziel Devonshire leads a strange group of warriors, indeed, calling the lessers that have gathered upon Mists out to battle.
Duke Raziel stands within the vauge center of a large meadow just north of Dragon Lake, itself. Upon one side, there are fifty slee'mo'ray warriors, and the Sanjin. Upon the other side, fifteen high mages, and a few ranks of elite legionaires. Power is about the Duke Regent, and he seems near to casting a spell.
A lone figure appears on the outskirts of the gathering of forces, so obviously out of place among human /and/ Slee'mo'ray. He sticks out like a sore thumb, really, but makes up for it in grace and strength with the ornate longbow slung upon his back. The elf has chosen to join this fight.
Malachi, never one to be the lone hero if it can be avoided by any means, moves toward a grouping of his brother magi. He begins chanting quietly to himself, rolling up his sleeves, before reaching into one of the pouches at his waist. He withdraws a small brick of dark green charcoal, painting his scarred biceps with the very-likely magical substance, but beyond that, doesn't do anything too flashy or obvious. He seems to be focusing most of his attention on the Duke at this point.
It is then that the Duke begins to change. And change, dramatically, at that. A spell he's practiced for a long, long while in careful privacy. A spell that proved worth it's weight in gold last eve, and one only Malachi (and Melody) are familiar with at this point. His skin turns jet black, mottled with hints of dark purple, as his height grows. A barbed tail, wicked in it's strength and appearance grows out from behind him, as do a pair of gigantic and awe-inspiring wings. Dangerous, flesh-rending claws upon feet and hands. Those few who are gathered here who have seen the form, the true form of the Greater Demon, cannot deny the authenticity of the Duke's illusion. There is a scent, then, upon the air. Strange, and surreal. And the voice changes. A spell is cast, by Silus, causing the voice to resound around the whole of Dragonlake. The voice, a song. A deep baritone, powerful, resonating and worshipful. "Gather to me," it calls, Commanding. "Taste the flesh of the weak humans who dare rise against me!"
One of the slee'mo'ray glances toward the elf, sniffing. Its jaws part and its serpent's tongue flicks out.
Coroliss removes his bow from upon his shoulder and gives it a slow looking over, as calm as a pond's surface on a still day. Once done, he checks to make sure his quiver is well-placed upon his back. Only then does he look around at the others gathered, ears attuned to the sounds around him.
The authenticity of Raziel's illusion goes beyond the obvious, even the inexplicable elements that are only sensed rather than cognizantly recognized all complete and perfect. The vibrant call of his voice across the lake echoes and resounds for miles. At first, there is no response to the Demon's Call, but Dragon Lake is a large, large area.
Melody couldn't let Malachi be all alone with these demons attacking! She is seen in a group of legionnaires, her cute little form encased in a leather jerkin and tunic, her short sword pulled out for protection, if she needs it.
Malachi, indeed, does not seem offset by Raziel's transformation. He reaches behind himself, carefully slipping his little white hand within his shirt, sliding out a curved, serrated dagger (from within a concealed sheath, one would likely suspect). He presses his bright red lips to the dull red sigils on the blade, as though blessing a favored love with his adoration, but doesn't move to carve himself up, as is his wont, just yet. He does resume his earlier casting, however, though whether it's for his own personal centering or actual mystical effect is not readily apparent. Only faint workings of the Breath can be felt by those in touch with it, likely.
Duke Raziel does not seem to question the authenticity of his spell, it worked last night. It will work tonight. With fleeting paitence, and some anticipatory twitters, he waits, listening, but, he waits nonetheless.
Some of the slee'mo'ray shift at the very, very skilled illusion. One starts to throw something toward Raziel, until he is beaten down by the slee next to him. A fight ensues in their ranks.
There are a few murmurs of appreciation for Raziel's casting from among the mages of the Council. One pipes up, "He does it just like his father does," but that person is quickly silenced by another.
Coroliss's head turns just slightly, listening.
Finally, there is a rustle, a whispering of leathery wings across the water. It sounds like the flight of birds at first, or perhaps of flying monkeys, one of those nuisances seen occasionally around Mists. But no, as the sun marches toward the horizon and the light of the comet becomes predominant, the infernal of demons (for, in proper terms, that's what a flying group are called) pulls into view, reflected upon the sanguine, still surface of Dragon lake.
Duke Raziel's 'wings' flex, as he himself grows somewhat restless. The infighting amongst the sleemoray doesn't go unnoticed, but then, then, he sees Coroliss's head turning towards the sight. And he looks, as well. He howls; those upon Gateway last evening will recognize the sound, but is beyond that, tuned with the baritone of his 'song' voice, resonating. Powerful. His wings flare outward again, as if to defy the crowd of intermixed peoples, and races, that surround him. He waits, for them to move into the circle, before rallying the cry of assault.
Melody is still standing with the legionnaires. She does look up as she hears the flapping wings, and she grabs her bandaged breasts for a moment, wincing, remembering the other night's fight.
Malachi fidgets a little, now, moving his weight from foot to foot, glancing quickly this way and that. He's rather like a young lad still at the Academy waiting for a duel to begin, or some such, frowning some as he waits for the inevitable clash. And then he gets what he's been waiting for; the demons, of course! Water begins to lap up from one of his pouches, congealing into spikes, as he inevitably slices into his jade-painted bicep. And then the other. His blood leaks out unusually slowly, moving to mingle with the water he carries, solidifying into crude shapes around his waist.
Coroliss reaches back to draw an arrow and ready his bow for firing.
With a bellow of rage, the Sanjin brings the fighting among the slee'mo'ray to an end. Likely he's helped by the sound of wings approaching. Growls and hisses start to roll through them.
Reports had indicated that a year ago there were fifty of these creatures. Fifty. Somewhere along the way, that number clearly changed, as the gathering of demons, an inky blot on the sky that draws closer rapidly, seems more in the nature of near a hundred, and none look to be younglings. Their approach will bring the mass down upon the assorted host in but a minute or two, the flight fiercely fast.
Duke Raziel's wings flare again, and he turns around, and around, as if assessing the ranks that are about to assault him - or, making sure everyone is prepared to recieve the ones they're about to do battle with. It might depend upon the perceptions of the individuals who see him doing thus. He's been preparing nearly a year for this day, this event. And it's all coming down. A silent prayer is said in his head, that things go well.
Among the mages in one circle of specialization, a murmur of direction is given. "Gather, we bring the winds. When they near, we will buffet them to the ground and make flying impossible. They must not keep the skies," instructs one voice, briskly.
Melody starts to tremble as she sees the sheer number of demons. Why did she agree to come to Mists in the first place? She could have stayed on Gateway, and helped with the aftermath there. The young girl grips her sword tightly, as one of the legionnaires gives her a spare small shield for her other arm.
Coroliss remains completely calm, eyes fixed upon the approaching demons with his weapon at the ready.
And then, the flap of wings, the surge of demonic forms so thick that it is two deep in its flight, dives down toward the group on the ground. It is here that the wind begins, fierce and buffeting, intending to break them from any hope of a graceful dive. Distance weapons have a moment before the creatures hit, but only that, and those are fighting the winds.
Archers among the legion and some spearwielders there and with the slee'mo'ray get their fast volley at the infernal of demons as they descend, some striking true and bodies dropping to the ground lifeless. But then, like a hurricaine of destruction, the winds and wings are among everyone, and battle is joined. The hissing shriek of demons and the sound of ripping flesh, the clash of swords, and the chanting of magic; these sounds rise up as the battle is joined, and the dark bodies are suddenly among those who are waiting. The winds do not cease, violently tearing through the air just above shoulder height to keep the demons from retaking wing.
When battle is joined, the slee'mo'ray are a roar as loud as any demon. Violence is a byword to them, and they meet demon claw and tail with similar tactics of their own. They are doughty fighters, and demon claws don't pierce their skin too easily.
Melody is short, so the wind does nothing more than just muss her already long, wild red hair. She brings the shield up to protect her head as demons start landing, her sword at the ready.
Duke Raziel's stomach knots, briefly. Then, he raises his hand, a signal that his servant was waiting for. Raziel, the demonified Raziel, is teleported back into the herd of mages. It is only then he drops the illusion, leaving the infernal of demons to realize they've been tricked. And there's no way out, now, for either side, except to fight. The green scimitar Raziel had once gifted Asha with, and she gave him last night in return is lifted, the Duke Regent's arrows forgotten. He nods his approval to the elementalists keeping the demons grounded. Recentering himself, Raziel raises his hand. Some of the lessers begin to take on human qualities. Smells. Sounds. These, however, are all nude, naked to the world, as to distinguish them to the fighters who would assail them. The Duke's purpose is the same as it was just last night, to lessen their ranks by making them turn in on themselves.
Coroliss is slight, but he does move quickly, this is obviously not his first battle. He does all sorts of impressive things as he fights off today's enemy. An elf in battle is an interesting thing to see. But there are a lot of interesting things to see in /this/ battle. Coroliss is just one among many.
To fight demons is to face the teeth, the claws, the wings. The legionnaires of Gateway are getting better at fighting them, now that they are equipped with cold iron or magic, and they have had a few encounters. Thus they spread around the casting mages and defend those who aren't. The initial onslaught breaks like a wave amidst them. The demons may actually be outnumbered by those present, but their first strike is sufficient to decimate the population.
It seems the battle of the previous evening, the injury sustained therein, and the expenditure of energy and magic to summon the lesser's here has drained the Duke Regent, more than he realizies. Oh, there is illusion, certainly. But it falters, and is too weak to fool the acute senses of the demonic hoarde assailing them. He tells the elementalists, "Cold. Attack them with cold, but do not hit our allies, the slee'mo'ray with it." Certainly there is enough fighting to hit a pocket or two of demons without touching the snake-men with it? "These are demons born of fire and heat. The cold disquiets, discomforts them."
Melody is fighting! She is actually fighting, and not instantly dying! The Guardian girl must have picked up some training somewhere, because she's giving as good as she's getting just about now. Indeed, she's actually doing better than the demons attacking her.
It's been a long time since Coroliss has faced a nemesis in battle! But even through some failed attacks, missed targets, and some small injuries, he continues to fight with the same fervor. It really is akin to watching a graceful dance, watching him weave through battle.
The howl of betrayal goes up from the demons, but their fighting only redoubles in violence.
Among the mages, there's a ripple of surprise at Malachi's words, and then the tenor of the battle changes. Wind and water, together, send a chill to the marrow through the field of battle.
A group of demons step forward to attack at one section and are teleported half into the ground, their dying screeches horrible.
A row of legionnaires is cut down, literally torn apart as the demons make a hard drive to get past them. Then, the vulnerable mages beyond, the transportation mages, are barreled into.
The elf attracts a few more demons then most other creatures, their attack a wall of black around him.
The slee'mo'ray and the demons seem close to evenly matched in bare-hand (-clawed?) fighting, but the poison of the demons' tails begins to show its terrible fate, and some of the slee as well as a number of legionnaires begin to drop to the ground from the piercing and poisonous tips.
The battle rages onward, so fast and furious that many are dead before they even realize it. On both sides.
The carnage of the battle is immense, and not missed by Raziel's eyes. He measures the battle before him, murmuring something to Silus, since he's too weakened to cast much magic, now. The servant by his side pauses, and looks to Raziel, before nodding mutely. A quick preperation, then the transportation mage expends his own energies, after spilling his lifeblood in an attempt to cause the weapons of the fallen legionaires to rise up on their own accord, and plunge into the bodies, the wings, the legs, the stomachs and heads, of several lesser's nearest the group of transportation magi.
Melody is in with the legionnaires. Seems she thought this would be a SAFER place to be. But NO. As demons and legionnaires start falling all around her, she redoubles her efforts, her sword swinging and trying to cut down as many demons as she can, while shielding herself from them with her small metal shield.
It sure is difficult to see what Coroliss is doing behind that wall of black that surrounds him. But there's still a ruckus coming from the middle of that circle.
Much like previous fights, Addison isn't actively jumping out and chasing down demons with the slender sword that she's carrying. What she does do though, is stab at any demons that come too near her and the mage that she's staying close to. Any time her blade connects with the flesh of a demon significantly enough to matter, she mutters a single word, apparently to the sword.
For those in battle, small scratches, deeper cuts, these are the byward of the day, with combat happening in such close quarter. Among the legionnaires, the fighting is so close that one is as likely to be destroyed by an enemy as by a friend. A dead demon falls with full force onto Melody, seeming to indicate a trend for her. Addison's reactive fashion of combating demons is resulting in many bursting into flame. Near Raziel, the transportation mages who are being overrun by demons do transport a short ways away to work their magics from a distance just beyond where demons have spread. Some of them do, at least. Some are dead already. The weapons that rise up slice wing and bone, but the humans are close within the fighting, and the danger is clearly obvious. The slee'mo'ray have a drop in their numbers, but then something odd. The demons within their ranks begin to shriek in rage and pain, and the silver sigils wrap about them. In a twinkling, they are gone, as if they were erased from existence. The slee'mo'ray give a bellowing shout and charge towards other areas of combat.
Giving a brief, if not quizzical, then impressed glance to the disappearing demons amongst the slee'mo'ray, Raziel exhales again. He senses the demons nearing his own position as they try to both cut down the humans, and make perhaps a break in the ranks. His green scimitar rises, to slice off a clawing hand that comes towards him, even as Silus begins to work a magic to cast he and his Grace back some yards from the fray, and behind another set of legionaires.
A flash of blue from within the circle of black that surrounds Coroliss is briefly visible, giving a very fast glance toward the disappearing demons before he is drawn completely back into battle.
A falter in the fighting of the demons ensures when a large number of their ranks disappear. It's rather like the middle of battle when someone glances over and says, "What the bloody hell?" excpet demons don't talk the same language. It's only a few heartbeats of pause, and then their ferocity is redoubled. One other side effect, though. When the slee'mo'ray race toward them, the demons seem to be doing their best to pierce into the ranks of humans and get away from it.
Melody is too busy to notice all those disappearing demons in the middle of those weird creatures who are temporary allies, it seems. She does take advantage of that pause, though, and try to take down one or more demons who are distracted.
Addison isn't paying attention to any oddness happening either, she's too busy stabbing at yet another demon in that temporary pause. Just as before a single word is uttered once the blade is planted into the beast, and again she jumps back to the mage to watch for the next unsuspecting pin cushion.
With the demons surging in and among the ranks of humans, some are cut down more easily, and some do more destruction as lines that were not meant to be hand-to-hand fighting are forced into that situation. The demons around the elf fall back, away from it, hissing and shrieking. They aim for easier targets. What was a hundred attackers is now forty, but what was near three hundred defenders is down to under two hundred. Those losses are mostly human, legionnaire and mage.
And as the demons close in tighter, one does get a goring wound with a claw at the back of Raziel's shoulder, before he gets taken down by the duke's blade.
But not elf! It is clear when Coroliss comes back into view with the demons backing away from him that he did suffer some hits, his garment sliced open in a couple of places with traces of blood beneath. He's still as zen as he was when the battle began. One of his ears is clipped into along the bottom edge.
The last swing of the scimitar seems to be all Raziel can muster. The Duke Regent wasn't born for direct battle, not physical battle. As that claw sinks into the Duke's back, the pain of it, the blood loss, the shock, and the fact he's already drained from the previous night causes Raziel's body to fall, unconscious. Luckily, his servant is near enough to pick him up, and teleport him further back behind the lines of legionaires.
There's a surge from the fourty remaining demons, tearing through the ranks of people with the violence born of desperation and the ferocity of their species. This is what panic does, when a creature knows that they face their potential death. Like a tide of claws, blades, and death, they surge through the crowd. One grapples with Silas just before the teleport goes of, wounding both him and even more, Raziel, with wild flurry of clawed strikes, and as Melody turns one rakes down her back and flings her bonelessly aside. Addison manages to get away with just being stormed over by a demon, his foot and a bit of claws digging into her stomach. Coroliss goes Matrix on those mutherfuckers (that's a direct quote from Coroliss's player, page him if language offends!). The thing is, the numbers tell the tale. As the demons fight so brutally and some of the wind wall wavers, there is a definite attempt to escape. What was forty is thirty, and of those only a third can take to the air.
The odd thing is, the blood spilled upon Silas's front opens up power, portents within himself. Or, at least, that's what he believes. Blood is the focal point of his power. Summoning what he can of his strength and power yet, he casts a powerful spell, a bubble of crackling power above the demons leaving, in the air. And if his spell proves true, it will open up at the feet of the ground, causing them literally to crash headfirst into the hard earth. As for Raziel, the good Duke Regent remains unconscious, bleeding. He will have his share of scars, from this fight, certainly.
Melody lets out a yell of pain as she is raked across the back, her leather jerkin left in shreds. As she's thrown to the side, she lands hard, her shield and sword flying from each hand.
One of the mages shouts, "They must not get away!" and points to those in the sky. "Cold! Now!" Several of the weather mages focus again, trying to get enough gathered force to take them from the sky, but not all fall to the surge of magic.
If there is a demon remaining living in Coroliss' reach, he does what he can to fight it to the death. He moves with weightless fluidity through the forms of his fighting style, the years of experience very apparent.
Addison yelps in pain as the claws catch her stomach and she stumbles back, falling onto her backside as one hand clutches the cut on her belly. She groans and gets to her feet slowly, holding onto her sword with the other hand. She's being even less aggressive now, pretty much just holding her position by Harper.
The Sanjin stays back, watching the field. This time there's a clearer view of him as he sketches silver-green-black sigils in the air, scarring reality with his force of will. There's another wave of that strange warping of existence, and a few more of the demons disappear. Sadly, this time a few dead ones are gone as well, and a few of the human mages who were in the area. oops.
Harper's lips move smoothly, uttering flowing incantations as he fights along side Addison, sweeping in front of her in a more protective stance as he holds out a hand towards the assaulting demon. Lips curling back in a wicked snarl while tongues of flame leap from his hand towards the demon.
Duke Raziel remains passed out. The bloodied Silas rests his casting, signaling and recieving Raziel's mage-guards over to the body of the Duke Regent; they stand guard over the Duke, with Silas, armed, ready, watchful for any demons who might break ranks and try to flee again.
The ten in the air suffer beneath the cold cast forth, and only seven have the strength to escape. Of the twenty on the ground, maybe a third disappeared with the Sanjin's magic, and the rest cannot withstand those who still remain against them. Around a hundred and fifty humans and slee'mo'ray remain when the last demon is destroyed. The violence finally begins to come to a close.
Melody has stitches on her breasts and hips from the other night, and now, with the fresh gashes on her back, she is having a hard time getting off the ground. Her movements are slow, as she gets up on her hands and knees, reaching out for her sword before she kneels up.
Or does it? As the demons are dead, the slee'mo'ray are among the humans, close at hand and filled with violent rage. in the last moments of battle wtih the demons, there are several who turn to the humans that remain. Particularly the mages. A few will even land blows and start their own fevered battle before the Sanjin's voice whips out in another tongue, a scalding reprimand that draws the mighty serpentine warriors up short, panting.
93 demons dead. 12 slee'mo'ray. 160 humans. Thus reads the butcher's bill. Stupid slee'mo'ray.
Silas slaps a nearby legionaire on the arm, pointing up to the fleeing demons, the seven, in the sky. The ducal servant, and friend makes a quick motion, as if to signify shooting bows. The seven must die, and cannot be allowed to escape. Of course, Silas is also a mute, and can't call for it.
Where did the elf get a sword? Who knows? But he has one now. At least for the moment as he looks around slowly, to make sure there's no more threat. If he sees the signal from Silas, there is no indication of it. He does nothing to shoot at the fleeing lessers.
The archers are swift, but switching from hand to hand back to bow and getting that sort of bead on creatures as swift in the skies as the fleeing lessers is hard to tell. A couple of swift shots feather one of them, but none of the fleeing ones go down. Even a few mages are trying, the cold stretching after them, but the only ones to fall are the three who already were taken from the skies while fleeing.
Harper takes a knee as arrows start to fly over head, turning to face Addison "How bad?" he asks quickly and simply, pulling a dead beetle from one of his pouches as he begins a quick shield incantation as a precaution against wayward arrows, falling demons or slee'mo'ray.
Melody finally gets up into a crouch, and finds her shield. If any demons come near her, she attacks them with her short sword as best she can. Her flayed back is bleeding pretty good.
Silas glances around, frowning, blood staining the leathers he's wearing across the claw marks that scored upon him. He watches the fleeing lessers for a time, scowling in what could only be a thought of several unkind curse words, before he moves to tend to the Duke Regent. The horse, alive or dead, is sought out for it's pack. Cloth wrap, apparently prepared beforehand, is pulled out of one of the packs and Silas begins to apply the bandages in typical battle medicinal fashion. He says nothing, makes no thought, towards the countless dead amongst the number still alive. Too many mages, legionaires dead. And a few 'allies' of the slee'mo'ray to boot.
"I'm okay," Addison answers vaguely, "Isn't that bad.." She wrinkles her nose a little but seems to be able to stay upright now, though he does keep a hand pressed over the wound to help stop the blood flow.
One of the mages points sharply to his counterparts. "You. Scry after them, don't lose their location," he instructs, and begins to stride among the field, taking stock of the dead and wounded.
Coroliss throws down the sword when he is sure the battle is over and then starts making his way around to wounded, to see how he might help those in need.
The Sanjin gives another swift command, and the slee'mo'ray begin to melt back from among the ranks of humans. They come to their king, settling into ranks behind him, neatly ordered. Those of their kind who have fallen are picked up by others, so that none remain on the field, nor their weapons.
Harper glances around the numerous people and bodies littering the floor and those still living moving about the field. "Not that deep? we'll get a look at it in a moment. C'mon shouldn't stay here less we want to get trampled. Find you a healer and anyone else that needs one." Guiding Addison with a hand to her back as he regains his feet and finally notices the guards and Silas around Raziel while he's being treated, footsteps instantly taking him quicker towards the fallen Duke.
A group of the legionnaires are trained in healing, and they start moving among the wounded as well. One takes to Melody pretty quickly, undoing their satchel and instructing, "You'll be fine, girl, give me just a minute to get you bandaged."
Melody straightens up, and whimpers in pain. However, she slowly starts to make her way over to where the Duke is located. She pushes her wild red hair out of her face with one hand. Her jerkin is not only ripped up the back completely, but is stained with blood and gore pretty much all over. She's definitely not looking like a cute serving girl now.
Eventually, the Duke stirs. He's lost a lot of blood, but he's alive, at least. He clutches at Silas's jerkin, and asks, quietly, "Tell me we got them all?" Silas pauses, shakes his head, and holds up seven fingers. Raziel sighs, and closes his eyes, muttering a silent explitive. But, he's too much in pain to move much, yet. A claw at his side, his previous wound across his gut, and one on his back.
Melody stops when the legionaire asks her to wait. She's a little unsteady on her feet, but at least she is ON her feet. Much better than a lot of people on this battlefield.
Coroliss keeps moving from one person to another. He doesn't wield a lot of magic, leaving the healing to the human healers. But he does spread his own brand of assistance, keeping those injured calm as they wait to be tended.
When the slee'mo'ray are gathered, the Sanjin looks through the crowd. He frowns. "Sarasis! This gift I give you, for what you shall be for me in times to come. I know your Measure, your warp and weft!" His odd magic, the equations of existence that flow from his hand, scorch the air with their brightness. His sussurating laugh sounds, and then all of his own and he vanish in the recrafting of the world.
In the aftermath, the legionnaires will go through and bandage people, sew them up, apply healing ointments, do what they can. The surviving mages will do much the same, and will then help everyone back to Polaris Port.
Strange. As Raziel falls back into unconsciousness, the Sanjin's magic hits him. Those closest to the Duke will notice a faint patch of blue hair, suddenly. It could be a trick of the light, or battle stress, but his ears seem more pointed. And, the eyes more slanted. Weird. Silas sees that the Duke is put upon a horse, and stays with him as the Duke, and the other wounded are taken to Polaris Point, for healing, and tending to of wounds.