The Underground

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Kelne
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The Underground

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:48 pm

(Since I've had this sitting in the land of back-upfor a fair while, I figure I might as well post it back up again.)

It had been a quiet week, spent relaxing, and unwinding from the state of perpetual tension in which he lived. Kelne had gone fishing. He'd been most annoyed when some idiot fish had gotten itself stuck on his hook, threatening to spoil the tranquility. But that annoyance had been short-lived. And with Enlil to act as Boss in his absense, the longer-lived annoyances that were known as Minions hadn't disturbed him once.

No doubt about it, he should go on vacation more often. Gods knew he'd had enough unremitting peril in his life over the past few years. Granted, there hadn't been many other people in a position to do anything about that stuff, but he still seemed to have attracted more than his fair share of trouble.

It was probably a consequence of living in Doma, he decided as he wandered up to the city gates. Half the trouble on this planet and a fair bit from others seemed to pass through the city. Heaven forfend the guards might stop some of it. Speaking of which, there was one of them now. Some sort of demon, by the looks. Again, only in Doma.

He was mildly surprised when the guard actually had the nerve to block his path. Come to think of it, there ws something off about the uniform. Definitely a guard, but not the usual type. That feeling of Impending Doom was acting up again...

"By order of Lord Malachias, all visitors to the city are to surrender their weapons."

"Never heard of him." There was no chance whatsoever that he was going to give up his weapons to anybody.

"Malachias the Vengeful, Lord of the Last Hell, Bringer of Darkness and," the guard paused for effect, "Ruler of Doma."

"Did he come up with all those stupid titles himself, or did he need help?" By this time, Kelne was in the middle of a large, empty circle as the rest of the traffic gave the suicidal madman a wide berth. Two more guards converged on him. Each was subjected, in turn, to The Glare. It didn't seem to have much impact.

"You have two choices, human," the original guard said, "The easy way or the hard way. You may live through the easy way."

"Funny. I was about to offer you the same choice." With that, Kelne produced a pistol, shot the first guard, and ran like hell. A quick glance behind revealed that two standing guards, rather than following, were gathering some sort of nasty-looking fire spell. Grinning, he turned and swung off his pack, opening it in a practiced move and bringing out a large carpet.

His world exploded in fire. But that was alright. Given the persistent efforts of certain parties to set him on fire, he'd enchanted his coat against that particular element some time back. By the time the guards realised their error, their target was standing on his carpet, and had flown well out of range.

Gods. I leave town for a few days, and everything goes straight to hell. Literally. Well, no one invaded his city and got away with it. The first thing to do was get inside the city, where he could find out just what was going on and put a stop to it. This Malachias person was going to pay for ruining his vacation...

---------------------

It was night in the city of Doma. This being the case, a good part of the city's population was at home, not wanting to violate curfew. Of course, another large portion, Domans being Domans, was violating the curfew as a matter of principle.

Within the Jade Dragon, all was quiet. Following the invasion, both owner and staff had boarded it up and left town. Thus far, the inn had been ignored. Well, almost ignored.

"Now," a low voice came from somewhere below the kitchen floor, "Let's keep the noise down, shall we? Dia's going to be mad enough as it is."

"Of course I'll be quiet. For I am SILENT LIKE -" THWAP "Ow."

"Does anybody else want to demonstrate their mad ninja skills?" the first voice asked acerbically, "No? Then get a move on."

"Right, Boss." There was a dull scraping, then some creaking noises, before several floorboards were prised upwards, revealing a dark hole beneath. From the depths emerged a helmeted head, which scanned the kitchen cautiously for vengeful skillet-wielding goblins.

"Place seems empty," #32 reported, clambering out of the hole. Kelne followed in short order, as did a small group of other minions.

After inspecting the front room, Kelne rendered his own verdict, "Looks like they left town a while back. So here are the ground rules. We disturb nothing, and we make no mess. When this is over, we make the kitchen floor as good as new." The chances of Dia killing him would be drastically reduced if she didn't find out he'd appropriated her inn for use as a base of operations. "And 85 finds somewhere else to stay."

"But why, Boss?" The so-called ninja of the group was genuinely puzzled. He truly believed the he was silent, and that neon green was a colour of camouflage. They'd used him as a source of illumination in the tunnel, for gods' sake...

"Because." It was the all-purpose answer for Minions and small children both, vulnerable only to the counter 'because why?' Thankfully, that counter was not forthcoming tonight.

"Right. I want the tunnel extended into the park." While its emptiness made the JD a good spot for a base, it didn't help with his main goal in coming here - information. And he couldn't exactly walk out the front door, so the tunnel would need to be extended.

Thankfully, the one thing the minions were good at was digging. "And no surfacing under the lake." Common sense was another matter.

--------------------------------

The park at night was largely deserted. Hardly unusual, really. It was more of a daytime destination at the best of times. Kelne clambered out of the latest tunnel entrance, brushing dirt from his coat.

"Make sure the hole's concealed," he said, "I'm going for a look around." With that, Kelne crept off into the night. He soon discovered that 'largely deserted' did not equate to 'completely deserted'.

There, in the middle of the park, stood a blindfolded woman looking skywards. It wasn't even as if she was making an effort to hide.

Blind woman stargazing with demons about. Typical Doman.

"YOU THERE! WOMAN! YOU DIE FOR BREAKING CURFEW!" This voice came from another one of those annoying demon guards. Annoying they might be, but that didn't make them any less deadly. Easing his sword out of its sheath, he got ready to intervene.

For her part, the woman lowered her 'gaze' to the demon in question and simply snapped her fingers. It vanished with a faint pop. Nodding to herself, the woman went back to her stargazing.

... Yep, typical Doman. Making a mental note not to disturb that person under any circumstances, Kelne continued on his way.

---------------------------------

#32's log, day... Something-or-other. Or should that be night?

The Boss seems annoyed. Then again, the Boss always seems annoyed. Still, this is a bit worse than usual. He's been muttering about 'take over my city, will he?' and similar stuff.

I think he might be going to do something nasty. And with miss Enlil gone, there's no one who can talk him out of it.

But we got to dig a tunnel, so it's not all bad. 85 was being silent like the ninja, but the Boss thwapped him so he stopped. We're staying at the Jade Dragon, but we have to keep things tidy or a dragon will eat us.

Update, morning: Day whatever plus 1

#93 tracked us down today. She wanted to help with the fighting, but the Boss said Hell no. He said that he wasn't getting any kids involved in something like this, even if they were over two hundred years old. 93 didn't take this well, so the Boss shoved her in Rabbit's hat (he took Rabbit out first) and had 96 carry it off somewhere safe.

Update: The Boss says that everyone and his cousin would have formed a resistance cell by now, it was just a matter of finding one of the more competent leaders. This gave me an idea. I'm putting up signs for people to join the Doman Underground (This is a pun, or play on words). They get a free badge and shovel. We'll be tripping over volunteers in no time.

Also, Rabbit seems to be doing well. The fresh air and blood of demon guards is good for him. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kelne>Kelne</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/10/06 19:48

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Kelne
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Traps

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:50 pm

The sign had attracted a certain amount of attention. Most people, on seeing it, hurried away. But a couple of patrolling guards came over for a closer look.

"Join the Doman Underground," One read, "Overthrow Malachias. Free shovel and badge?!"

"There's an address here," the other said, moving in for a closer look, "Let's find out where they are and bring in some backup to crush them."

"These are just the small fry though," the other said, "Hardly worth our time to eliminate such fools."

"I quite agree," A new voice interjected, "Still, I have my reasons." There was a loud click, and the ground beneath the pair fell away, plunging them into darkness.

Kelne arrived just as the guards were getting to their feet, perusing them from the other side of a set of sturdy bars. "Before you get any silly ideas about blasting me or something similar," he remarked almost conversationally, "You may wish to consider the fate of your predecessors." He indicated several heaps of charred bones, unquestionably demonic in origin, scattered about the cell.

One of the demons seemed inclined to try, gathering a crackling ball of lightning in his hand. Kelne simply regarded him with a flat stare. After a few moments, the demon let the lightning die, shivering at whatever intimations of his own mortality he'd seen in those terrible eyes.

"Wise decision. Now, pass the weapons over to 32 here, and help yourselves to a nice magic inhibiting collar." Kelne indicated a couple of collars hung neatly on the cell wall. They'd cost him a bit on the black market, but most of the demand was for fake ones, so it hadn't been too bad.

"You'll pay for this, human. Lord Malachias will come down on you like a ton of bricks."

"Over you two? You do have an exaggerated notion of your own importance, don't you? I doubt anyone will even notice you're gone for a couple of days. Now, less talk, more unconditional surrender."

"You know Boss," 32 remarked some time later, "The museum curator is gonna be really annoyed with you about those skeletons you took..."

"If he didn't want people to take his stuff, he shouldn't have fled to Nekonia."

"Actually, he left a week before the war to check out some old ruins."

"Details, details..."

-------------------------

Kelne overlooked the city from a spot atop the museum roof. At the moment, his mind was occupied by patterns. Not so much patrol patterns of the guards - he'd figured those out ages ago - but the patterns of the minds directing them. He thought he had a handle on the way Malachias thought, and by his reckoning, the demon lord was doomed.

Oh, he was a fairly decent schemer, and he certainly had the raw power thing down. Witness the fact that he'd come this far. But, like most creatures with eternity to plan their elaborate revenge, he tended to use that time. His foes, by contrast, didn't have anything near eternity to work with, and would be thinking far faster.

Still, while Malachias might well be doomed, his downfall could well take considerable time, in which who knew how many innocents would be killed. So Kelne intended to speed things up a bit.

"Hiya, Kelne." At the sound of the voice, Kelne whirled about, hand going for his sword. A second or so into the move, the identity of his visitor registered.

"Hello End," Kelne said to the familiar draco-moogle standing before him, "For future reference, how did you find me?"

"Oh, I ran into #32. We got to talking and he said I could find you up here."

"Ah." Kelne was tempted to ask whether the idiot minion had made the slightest effort to discover whether he was talking to the real End. But opening up that particular can of worms again would only lead to trouble. "Well, it's rather fortunate that you've found me. I'd like to get your help on a little project of mine. It involves looting."

"Cool. Can we stop off somewhere along the way? I'm hungry."

"You're always hungry."

End nodded. And Kelne's point would be...?

"I have a plan." Four words which, coming from Kelne, spelt trouble.

"Kelne... Is this gonna be another one of those plans where you end up nearly losing half of your face in return for a thing that a Minion had already done?"

"I very much doubt that a minion has devised a cunning scheme to imprison Malachias for all time."

Elsewhere, a large cardboard box had been propped up on a stick with a long rope tied to it. Visible inside was a straw dummy with a label reading "Will Baseton."

-------------------------

The present inhabitants of Doma Castle were walking very softly indeed. Their feared ruler was the volatile type, and today had not been a good day.

Within his throne room, Malachias steamed. Didn't these accursed Domans know when they were beaten? No matter what he did, still they fought him. From one end of the country to the other, in groups ranging in size from half a dozen to whole armies. Even here, at the very center of his power, he felt the constant pinpricks of his enemies.

It had all seemed so simple in the beginning. Eliminate those whose lives prevented his return, shatter the monarchy, and let the country fall into his palm like a ripe plum. It hadn't worked out that way.

And now, this... this... This. A greasy stain on the floor was all that remained of the poor unfortunate who'd delivered the news. Malachias was a great believer in vapourising the messenger.

Somebody had dared to make a mockery of him in this fashion. In the middle of the town square, no less. This... Thing made the derogatory graffiti and posters plastered on walls across the city pale into insignificance.

To be portrayed as someone not only mind-numbingly stupid enough to fall for such a trap, but weak enough to be held by it was more than his pride could bear. People would be snickering about this for weeks to come. Never mind that it was long since ashes, the tale would only spread and grow.

This was not acceptable behaviour from his subjects.

Storming out of the throne room, the Pit Lord accosted the first guard he encountered, seizing the hapless demon by the throat and glaring into his eyes. "I want whoever was behind this found and made an example of," he snarled, "I want their head on a pike, do you hear me?!"

The guard nodded desperately, and fled to do his lord's bidding as soon as he was released. He only hoped he could find someone to tell him what his lord's bidding was. After all, Malachias wanted so many peoples' heads on pikes...

The idea that the person who had set the trap might have seriously expected it to work never even occurred to Malachias. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kelne>Kelne</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/10/06 19:52

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Kelne
EXTERMINATE!!!!
 
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Schemes

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:54 pm

Kelne had split up with End, intending to meet him at their destination. While Kelne could walk the streets relatively openly, End was a tad more conspicuous, but he'd been avoiding the Doman Guard for years, and had his own little ways to move about the city unobserved.

For his part, Kelne spent the trip plotting, brooding and feeling an annoying sense of impending doom. He had the impression he was being watched.

Still, he reached his destination without incident, finding End loitering in an alley to one side of the building. Like so many in Doma these days, it was boarded up and abandoned. Still, the name was clearly visible above the main door. "Meph's Joke Shop".

Run by a talking cat, this store was ground zero for all manner of magical trickery. And it was here that Kelne's need for a convincing disguise had brought him. Of course, there wasn't really anything that would turn someone into a demon in there as far as he knew, but he had a good idea what could be modified with sufficient effort.

Breaking in wasn't all that difficult. Almost suspiciously easy, in point of fact. Well, it wasn't like he had a better plan, so he'd just have to chance it.

First things first, put a large bag of money behind the counter where it would be found. This attracted End's attention.

"Kelne, you said there'd be looting. How can it be looting if we pay?"

"Do you want this guy after you? I've got enough enemies to deal with as it is."

"Point."

"Anyway, see if you can find some interesting stuff. Distractions, disguises, that sort of thing." So saying, Kelne scooped up a handful of rings from a particular spot on the shelves. After a moment's consideration an amulet followed.

End, meanwhile, had encountered a box of leaves and picked one up. "Says here 'adhere'", he said. The leaf promptly stuck to his hand. Considerable effort failed to find a way to dislodge it, and resulted in a small amount of snickering from Kelne.

Still, he did pick up the box. He had a plan for those leaves... The final item was a box of coins. End, still trying to get the leaf off, didn't contribute anything further.

"I think we're done here," Kelne said, exiting once more. End followed, seeming a bit disappointed that the looting hadn't been everything he'd expected.

Once outside, Kelne slipped one of the rings onto his finger, instantly gaining a coat of light blond fur. This seemed to surprise him, and he removed the ring.

For about five seconds, he was back to normal, then the fur returned. Glaring at End as if to dare him to make something of it, he nodded his farewell and headed off down the street.

When, five minutes later, the fur was still there, he began to look somewhat more worried. It took him a few moments to realise the ring was back on his finger.

It was at about this point that Kelne began to understand the insidious nature of Meph's trap. People could steal his stuff, but they'd be forced to suffer the effects of it.

Considerable swearing marked Kelne's passage as he continued onwards, making another effort to remove the ring. It didn't take him long to work out that he'd just put it right back on again afterwards.

A distinct cloud of annoyance and barely contained fury now surrounded him. It figured. Heaven forefend he might actually get away with something. Godsdamnit, he'd paid for the infernal stuff! And furthermore...

"Will you stop that bloody drooling?!" He snapped, rounding on a woman who'd been following him for the past couple of blocks. This seemed to have no impact on the look of blissful happiness on her face.

Fuming, Kelne stalked off, leaving an extremely happy mazokou to follow in his wake.

-------------------------

It had been an eventful few days. The myriad parts of his plan were in place, revised due to circumstances, and ready to go. Today found Kelne on the roof of the museum once more, contemplating the city as he went over his plan, trying to pick apart any flaws.

Malachias, the sadistic bastard, had complicated matters somewhat. After all, leaving the children in demon hands while they killed the pit lord left them open to retribution. Griff and End hadn't liked it when he'd informed them they would be running the rescue operation, but somebody had to do it, and Kelne had made it abundantly clear that the alternative was him.

Griff had actually been angry enough to say 'good luck, then,' before he worked out that Kelne's presence was integral to the plan to finish Malachias. With considerable grumbling, he had eventually acquiesced.

Kelne hadn't revealed the second part of his reasoning behind the decision, though. Put simply, he didn't have an exit strategy. Moronic Malachias might be, with his announcement that he was going to destroy everyone on the planet, but he was sitting in the middle of Doma Castle, whose inbuilt security was formidable. If everything went horribly wrong, Kelne didn't want Malachias getting both himself and the leader of the resistance in one stroke.

There had to be a way out, but he was damned if he could see it.

Kelne's musings were interrupted by a loud rumbling, followed by the giant image of Malachias appearing in the sky above the city. Wonderful. Another one of those annoying bloody speeches. Who would Malachias be declaring war on today? Loracia? Ayenee?

Malachias looked annoyed, pacing back and forth. Then again, he always looked annoyed. For some reason, he insisted on announcing his setbacks to the entire country and vowing horrible revenge.

"Alas, it was destined. I still have my main troops, so it's alright. However...you seem to have forgotten something." The pit lord waved to the side, where a group of children were bound.

Kelne went very still, icy rage gripping his heart as he sensed what was coming next.

Giving a long pause to let everyone watching draw their conclusions, Malachias drew his sword. "It is time. There are some people I wish to talk to. It appears killing them isn't good enough." If there was one thing Kelne had learned over the years, it was that nobody seemed to stay dead. Why should Malachias think his enemies were any different?

"If the ones known as Jak Snide, Hakaril Silvar, Rai'm Tymminson, and... Ara du-Mythril do not come to my castle...there will be hell to pay. And just to show I'm not joking..." He sliced the arm off one of the kids.

The rest of the speech registered only vaguely on Kelne, though he would force himself to recall the exact words later. The image of the child's dismemberment, however, seared itself into his very soul. There would be a reckoning for this, and for every other death he caused before Kelne could get to him.

"No remorse." The image faded.

Like it or not, he was going to take a few minutes to get his emotions under control. Effective or not, horriffic or not, he was not going to let such a piece of blatant theatrics cloud his judgement.

His inner struggle was interrupted rather abruptly by a massive discharge of raw magic. Ordinarily, his astral senses were limited to things he could touch, but on this occasion, even he could sense the sheer power at work.

Doma castle vanished in white light.

Looking into that white hell would have likely damaged his eyes, but the instant it faded, he was staring at the aftermath. Though the shockwave threatened to knock him off his feet, and dust filled the air, still he watched. All his plans seemed to have gone up in smoke, and he was still too shocked to even feel incredibly happy about it.

Half the castle was gone, reduced to shattered piles of rubble, still visibly glowing with residual heat.

"WHO DID THAT?!" It seemed, more was the pity, that Malachias had actually survived the blast. Though he looked decidedly the worse for wear.

"I regret to inform you that I survived. However, those children I had in my castle... Well, they ended up being nice shields. Alas, also... General Ungrak gave his life to protect mine. Let us have a moment of silence." Another of those pauses of which he was so fond.

"I don't have any generals left. LUCKILY, I HAVE THIS!"

What 'this' might be, Kelne wasn't entirely sure. Malachias was certainly gesturing dramatically. Probably something was going on elsewhere, but from Kelne's perspective, he just looked faintly absurd.

The image faded out, this time for good.

You may not be seeing those people, Malachias, but you will be seeing me.

His schemes were back in place. Adjusted, as always, to fit circumstances. Whoever had let loose that bolt of raw power might not have finished Malachias, but they had given him an exit strategy. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kelne>Kelne</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/10/06 19:57

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Kelne
EXTERMINATE!!!!
 
Posts: 3604
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Location: New Zealand

The Fight

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:56 pm

Darkness, an enclosed space, and stale air. It had been trapped in here for far too long, lured by promises of blood and unable to escape. They couldn't keep it trapped in here forever, though. Sooner or later, it would be free, and there would come a reckoning.

Even now, the muffled voices of its captors could be heard as they spoke amongst themselves. Let them talk. The creature cared not for their words or silence, only for their bright lifeblood.

Then the prison shook, sending the creature tumbling about in its confines. It growled, a low rumbling sound to chill the blood of all who heard. There was a momentary cessation in the conversation, before it returned, with an element of some nervousness to it. Oh, yes. Soon they would learn the price of imprisoning such as it...

The seas would run with the blood of its prey, and all would fear its very existence. Lost in this happy reverie, it didn't notice the passage of time so much.

Eventually, something caught its attention. A narrow crack of light had appeared around the cell's entrance. Then the entrance opened entirely, flooding the prison with light.

-----------

The look on Malachias's face, Kelne reflected as the small, fuzzy white rabbit leapt at his throat, was classic. Of course, his allies looked equally flabberghasted. Not that any of them had truly believed that the box contained Griff's head, as they'd claimed to the demons. Well, maybe Cho had. But whatever they'd been expecting, it hadn't been Rabbit.

------------

Ah, the sweet taste of blood. First this one would fall, and then the others would follow. A frantic grasp saw Rabbit torn away from his prey's throat and hurled aside. Mad red eyes glared at the towering foe. So. He wanted to fight back, did he?

The rest of the fight passed by in a blur. Others followed its lead, attacking the large one with considerable gusto. Fools. Didn't they realise that they would merely be the next to die?

As blows rained down on its prey, the being retaliated, unleashing a massive wave of the accursed holy magic. The blast vapourised one of the other attackers, and sent two others reeling. There was some frantic twittering between the others, but Rabbit ignored them, latching onto its prey's arm and chewing its way upwards towards the throat.

Then, suddenly, it all changed. The three remaining combatants vanished, leaving Rabbit alone in the fight. Without the distraction, it was only a matter of time before it was wrenched loose. Mad red eyes regarded the prey for a few moments before it was flung against a wall and dissolved into a red mist, back to the hell from whence it came.

(As I'm a lazy so and so, I include a link to the RP in question.) <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>Edited by: Kelne&nbsp; Image at: 10/10/06 23:13

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Kelne
EXTERMINATE!!!!
 
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Aftermath

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:59 pm

"Word of advice, Kid. Don't annoy the person who'll be keeping you alive." Those words kept coming back to him. Granted, the kid had been an annoying little idiot, but that didn't really help Kelne feel any better about having led him to his death.

He could tell himself that it had been worth it, given that they'd distracted the hell out of anyone within earshot, clearing the way for the rescue party. He could tell himself that the world was probably better off with one less 'chosen one' with a shaky grip on reality. Survival of the competent and so forth. He could even tell himself that casualties of war were inevitable.

Nevertheless, Ben's face would join countless others that haunted him on his worse nights. That haunting might come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his ruthless outlook on life.

The truly damning part was that he'd do it all again in a heartbeat. Somehow, it was never his life which was sacrificed in a cause. He'd come close to death on more occasions than he cared to remember, but he was still here regardless.

And, while he was here, he would ensure that no life was sacrificed in vain. Choark and Deeum had taken the opportunity to catch some sleep, as had the mage who'd teleported them all out through the castle's shattered wards. All of them had certainly earnt it, even if Cho's snoring from his spot on the floor was a distinct source of irritation.

For the scheming mastermind of the group, however, there would be no sleep. Not, at least, until he was satisfied that his backup plans were as solid as they could be.

Sealing the portal through which Malachias got his reinforcements was going to be a tricky proposition. It would have to be done quickly, because idiotic as the demonic forces might be, they would certainly notice magic on the kind of scale necessary to do so.

Still, given the help of Hirisk, the spatial mage he'd been fortunate enough to recruit to his cause, it would certainly be possible, if rather more time consuming than he might like. Given a week or two of solid work, he'd have it done. In the meantime, from what he'd been able to gather, the demonic presence in the city was dropping as more troops were transferred to 'the front', as the patrol they'd encountered had termed it.

Such a reduction in force certainly presented more than a few openings which a prepared mind might exploit.

To an outside observer, there would be nothing to indicate the schemes within schemes within schemes being hatched by a lone man sitting at a table in a boarded-up inn.

--------------------

Aekold was, to put it mildly, pissed. Firstly, he'd been killed. Always guarranteed to put a crimp in one's day.

But, by the time he'd regenerated in his own little corner of hell, matters were infinitely worse. So far, the demon had had to deal with five separate attempts on his life. He'd taken refuge in Lord Yisal's realm in the fifth circle. Nobody would expect to find him here. After all, the fifth circle of hell wasn't the sanest of realms at the best of times, and as for that portion of it that Yisal claimed...

How, Aekold wondered, shivering bitterly in the icy wind, could anyone put up with this sort of weather? Ice and snow as far as the eye could see. Heavens, Yisal's castle was built out of solid blocks of ice.

Yisal's plan, as Aekold understood it, was to freeze the entire fifth circle, so that mortals would be forced to do things that they'd promised to do only when hell froze over.

Aekold wasn't entirely sure that such promises were binding, and they certainly weren't worth enduring this sort of discomfort for. The Hells were meant to be roasting infernoes. Anything that fell from the sky should be soot.

Not that he had any intentions of relaying these sentiments to Yisal. At the moment, the somewhat eccentric (The powerful weren't referred to as crazy by anyone who knew what was good for them) demon lord was standing (albeit unwittingly) between him and Malachias, and Aekold wasn't going to antagonise him.

Yisal was vaguely aware that there was a war on, but had no interest in taking a hand himself. 'It'll never last, you know. If demons could conquer Gaera, we would've done it milennia ago,' was his attitude. Others were adopting a 'wait and see' attitude, with a bit of surreptitious military build-up in case Malachias decided to strike at them from his new power base.

Aekold certainly hoped Malachias would be occupied for a good long time. As the 'architect of a treacherous plot to assassinate Lord Malachias', a phrase that screamed of the involvement of his old rival Egrimn, his head was rather valuable to people other than himself.

It had taken him some time to piece together what had happened. Apparently, a group of demons, led by someone who had stolen his face, had infiltrated the castle, gained an audience with Malachias, and set some kind of furry ball of death on him. And they'd actually gotten out alive, impossible as it might seem.

When he found out who had destroyed his (relatively speaking) good name, there was going to be Heaven to pay. Assuming that he ever dared leave this frozen wasteland.

A few seconds later, Aekold was rather forcibly introduced to the concept of the 'snowball'. A concept he could very happily have gone eternity without discovering. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Kelne
EXTERMINATE!!!!
 
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Endgame

Unread postby Kelne » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:03 am

Once again, Kelne regarded the city from atop the museum roof. Every time he climbed up here, the museum seemed a tad emptier. A suspicious person might think that someone was systematically looting the place. A well-informed person might suspect a certain moogle.

Kelne was both, but he wasn't particularly interested in calling a halt to End's fun. Everyone should have a hobby, after all.

Anyway, he had bigger fish to fry. Today, one way or another, it was all going to end. Of course, he could wait for the armies gathered outside the city to break in and finish Malachias. But that wasn't going to happen. It was, after all, a matter of principle.

With the demonic forces distracted by the armies besieging the city, the way would be open for the resistance to smash those remnants lurking in the castle and finish Malachias himself. And then, a decent vacation. Heaven help anyone who so much as considered interrupting it this time.

-------------

Today, Kelne reflected as he repeatedly stabbed the giant rat attempting to bite his face off, was not going well. Not only was Griff late, but he had to deal with oversized rodents. Aside from End.

A short distance away, the minions seemed to have their own rat well in hand. Two were bashing it with shovels, while the third was attempting to net it. It figured that some of those other minions would still be lurking about. At least the damned rat finally seemed to be succumbing to the multiple stab wounds he and End had inflicted on it.

And bleeding on him.

Ah yes, the perfect day. Now all he needed was for the idiot in the castle to play some kind of trump card and deliver the usual booming speech on how he'd have his revenge on everybody. Possibly featuring maniacal laughter.

As if on cue, a loud rumbling permeated the city.

-------------------

#32's log, day x, where x is equal to 2y and y is undefined and my head hurts...

Malachias jumped up and down on the city today.

I always thought he was smaller. Makes you wonder how he got into the castle in the first place after seeing him step all over the city...

Anyhow, the Boss totally shot him with a giant crossbow thingy, and a bunch of other people hit him as well. #85 totally flipped out and kicked him in the wall. We're not sure what part of the anatomy the wall is, but he knocked out a bunch of bricks.

Anyway, we were going to lure him into the Really Big Pit Trap, but he fell over before we could and squashed the Boss's magic crossbow thingy. Oh, and most of the city, too. The Boss said it was just his luck when we told him we'd all gotten out alright. He's always been lucky.

The demons all ran off after that and there were a bunch of celebrations. The Boss didn't stick around for those - he went straight off on vacation.

A bunch of us get to stick around and help rebuild the city. We get to dig foundations and stuff. Life is good. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Kai
Fighting the Iron Law of Oligarchy Since 2006
 
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Re: Endgame

Unread postby Kai » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:36 pm

Very liking much. Thanks for putting this up! <p>-------------------------
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit and the emperor remains an emperor." -- Sandman "The Kindly Ones" </p>


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