All the same, she tested the strength of her bonds and found them completely insufficient to the task of binding her. Chains were an affectation only. They made little different to her, as those who had taken her had known.
They passed through ancient streets left in disarray, passing other patrols. Imperials, every last one of them and that to their toenails. She glanced back and noted the man she had fought alongside being drug by his arms, blood trailing down his cheeks from a deep gash in his skull. She had watched him brained into senselessness by the hilt of a sword, wincing at the sound of metal meeting bone. He would survive, but it would be a near thing perhaps.
Casting her gaze ahead, she could see the heavily armed and armored Dragon Guard, and knew that which she was to be presented to would be found within that forest of pikes and bared steel. She had a fairly good idea of what to expect, of course.
Men in iron helms that completely enclosed their faces parted ways before he and her contingent of guards. As she was led through, she found herself on her knees, swift kicks behind her knees dropping her effectively to the ground. She heard more than saw Larit tossed to the ground beside her, stale dust drifting in the stagnant, ancient air. When she tried to look upwards, to see the face of the leader of these Imperials, she earned a rough cuff to the back of her head and a growl of warning from one of her guards, standing behind her.
SHe immediately thought of how she would kill the man, savoring the details. She did not act on any of those ideas, an essential difference between her and most of her kind.
Trousers and flat-toed shoes entered her vision, the cloth of a fine cut and fabric and heavily embroidered with gold and silver.
Ah. She glanced fleetingly at Larit. I really hate high nobility.
Tandric examined the creature before him with a twist of distaste etched on his face which, aside from the disgust tinging it, was cold as stone. The creature - he would not use the word woman to describe such a violent animal - was indeed as voluptuous as any others of her breed, tantalizing to the eyes. The animalistic characteristics only seemed to enhance the seductive nature of the Bloodborne. Delicately taloned fingers and toes, faintly present fangs.
Of course, he had seen the bloody orgies of death they seemed to revel in. It seemed they could only conceive in circumstances of extreme violence, and they were just so utterly passionate about it...
He turned away and resumed his study of the figures marching through the street from the disheveled encampment of battered soldiers within their perimeter. All ways in and out had been sealed off as effectively and efficiently as troops of the Empire could manage, which was a sight quicker than anything they had encountered in years. Probably a lot of year.
Tandrics mind scuttled away from the timeless, detached nature of this world. It was a safety blanket, of sorts, preventing contemplation on things that could drive a sane man mad.
The two intruders of interest approached at a quick pace. At first he and the others had assumed it a child and her parent, but as they drew closer, the man resolved into that bearing a strong semblance of a sell-sword, a low and ultimately common sort of ruffian that killed for coin. He had employed them himself, of course, in the past. There were sacrifices to be made in maintaining the rule of Empire, and the Emperor, may he live forever, cared for his people. By extension, those who served as members of the upper nobility in service to His Imperial Majesty also valued the safety and assurance of prosperity that the people of the lands enjoyed.
Of course, now that they had been cut off, and with so long to think, Tandric had begun to have thoughts far exceeding his station.
The girl had turned out to be an extremely short woman bearing an ageless maturity that made it difficult to tell her age. As she drew ever closer, though, the eyes told their own story. No child, that, with eyes that looked as if they had seen down a long dark tunnel, all the way to the beginning of time itself. They could also see ahead to the end of time, and were weary with the knowledge of life. Something was wrong with her, though Tandric couldn't pick out what, exactly. It didn't matter.
Dragon Guardsmen stepped aside as the pair approach, but hands remained on hilts, bodies tensed for sudden, lethal motion.
Tandric opened his mouth to speak.
She tsked to herself as she continued along, limping lightly. The strain of holding this world for so long seemed especially oppressive today - a symptom, perhaps, of the inevitable end that was in store. Soon. But she didn't click her tongue in distress at the unbearable pressure that was slowly building; that was reserved for the ignorant young man that followed with her.
"Have we truly been gone so long that everyone has forgotten the glory, power, beauty, and terror of the Art?" The words were murmured as if spoken to herself, and yet loud enough to carry. "Miracles were commonplace, once." Her words were stronger, louder now. Not a murmur, but a voice full of cool confidence and self-possessed assurance. "We are not stuck here. I hold the delicate strings that bind all of us to this place, and this place to existence. Such existence as it has, of course."
Oh, if she died there was no telling what could happen. This place could wink out and deposit them all the Gods' alone knew where. The darker side of her thoughts imagined them dropping into an ocean, or appearing underground, encased in stone. Or it could simply vanish with her passing, losing the coherence of her conscious mind. And take every single one of them with it, all vanishing into nothing. But.
It was also nearly impossible to control her here. She was, after a fashion, a Goddess in this place. Its maker and controller, the power that made the place be a place. All within it were subject to her will whether or not they liked it. Until she released them.
"That other army is an issue for another time. The one here is no threat, either. They are Imperials, and will obey the Imperial Rule no matter what thoughts the High Lord entertains within the confines of his own skull. The Commander can deal with him, in any case, as hers is the higher authority. Tandric merely thinks to succeed the throne; his claim is strong but even being nobility by birth does not usurp the Royal Succession. The Commander is higher up that list."
And, she mused to herself, [/i]neither of them even realizes that the Empire is dust on the wind, its people gone and its glory forgotten. Even the Gods and Goddesses of the day had succumbed to time and, perhaps more appalingly, to convergance of power.[/i] She looked up, and stared the High Lord straight in his cold, calculating eyes, her own flickering the barest moment to the form of a man on the ground, and a blood-eyed wench on her knees.
She chuckled ruefully to herself. After all, power calls to power, and blood to blood.
Is it not the most ancient truth, seldom discovered or fathomed by the short lived and short sighted? And even the ringmaster must bow to the whims of Fate.
While heavy torsos that heave and hurl / will crunch like nuts in the mouth of squirrels.
Yeah, its Seska. Start running now, bitch.
A clawed hand reached out to him from the darkness, one of the three fingers curled and beckoning him. Behind, the eyes glowed red behind them and they were filled with a cold passion that far surpassed anything that Larit ever witnessed. Memories shredded as it drew closer or was he draw closing to it?
He found solace, a peacefulness as the void around him was drawn within and pushed the memories back to the recesses of his mind. The emptiness within was a welcome thing, something he had drawn upon on more then once when retrieving relics or scrolls. The hand was the source of the calm. It was his salvation.
Still the hand beckoned.
Only for a moment he hesitated before reaching out and grasping it strongly. Bone met claw in a blinding flash of light.
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