Showdown at Castle Town is the 9th chapter of Epoch of Disharmony Season 1.
In Plain Sight
Elizabeth/Castle Town Gates/Day 2
"I've gotten through these before while hooded and cloaked. If they paid me no heed as a Dark Rider, they will pay less attention now."
Nerisse nodded with a smug grin on her face. Elizabeth was hiding knowledge or else she wouldn't take a risk like this. Trade secrets too precious to give up. Too important to even share with allies.Their belongings were well padded in saddlebags, and no one had had their bags opened recently. It was worth the risk for now. And being in possession of darksteel wasn't a crime, nor obsidian armor. It just happened to be that the most nefarious outlaw in Hyrule wore and wielded it, but that also drove up sales in those rare materials. And Gerudo were known for selling high value goods at ridiculously higher prices.
The guards were cracking jokes after folks had ridden by. A few formal questions and an equine patdown or something similar was all it took.
"Hey, have you seen those women from the desert? They have curved swords. Curved. Swords. Look, there's a few now!"
"Didn't the Captain say to pay extra attention to those folk?"
Nerisse cleared her throat.
"We're standing right in front of you. And we're not thieves. We're just here to get supplies to take back to our people."
Elizabeth coyly chimed in.
"In times like these, there's no profit in making trouble. We'll be gone in less than a day."
The guards shrugged, though they asked the pale Gerudo another question.
"Are you sick or something? I thought you all were darker skinned than that."
Nerisse gave the guards a look that bored into their very souls. She was deeply insulted, but said nothing. They weren't looking at Elizabeth too deeply, either.
"I'm getting better. Think I'll go for a walk. With my curved swords."
Spears were lifted and horses were patted. No overt attention was paid, though the guards were complaining about the growing line.
Castle Town Plaza
It was a busy day in Castle Town. Merchants had quotas to meet. "Buy somethin', will ya?" echoed throughout the plaza, while others were more skilled in their pitches. Two Gerudo women didn't turn too many heads in an area full of other races. There was a strong temptation to shop, but seeing wanted posters everywhere with her face on it made Elizabeth think twice before going for uptown prices. She'd gone unmasked in the seedier parts of town before, and no one dared to call for the guards there.
A base of operations had to be established. There was a feeling of urgency in the air, so the two made their way from the plaza. Just as they arrived on a side street, bells were ringing all over town. Cries of horror, anger, and sorrow echoed from the castle. "Black Betty! Bloody Beth! She's on the loose within our walls again!" Armor was hastily donned. Weapons slung haphazardly about waists and backs. Civilians fled to their homes; some for shelter and others to form angry mobs, brute squads, and street sweeping crews. This was happening all around them as they tried to blend into the flow of urgent traffic. It was terrible that such a false alarm had sounded. Because Elizabeth Bryce was not in Castle Town.
"Does this happen often where you go?"
Elizabeth chuckled quietly and whispered.
"The very mention of her name causes hornets to swarm from their nest with the slightest hope of stopping her. It's never worked."
Nerisse nodded and followed.
"I know just the place to go. The guards will be too busy wasting their time uptown and probably even the Castle itself."
Elizabeth Bryce/Hyrule Castle Town/Day 2
It seemed as though the angry mobs and frightened folks paid no heed to two Gerudo women riding around and going against the flow. They feigned interest when they could, uttering curses about the outlaw allegedly in their midst.
All it took was one mention of her name to set the whole town on edge. She was successful in blackening her name to a degree she never even imagined. In places like Kakariko and Zora's Domain, this would be understandable. Even if she played nicer with the Zora than other folks. Only three casualties of their people compared to the other nations she'd murdered citizens of.
Elizabeth and Nerisse set up their base of operations at Telma's Tavern in a lesser traveled part of town. Folks usually headed there when they didn't want to be bothered or found. Well, at least the folks who had rooms there did. At night, it was a bastion of entertainment. And she used to perform there frequently during her times of popularity. It was assumed that Telma was from the Desert based on her skin tone and hair, but she never spoke too deeply of her origins.
The tavern was also a popular lodging place for the Gerudo. It was a fair price and had fantastic food and drink. A code of conduct unwritten amongst the criminal element also kept confrontations to a minimum. It was neutral ground. Even for someone like Elizabeth Bryce.
Once settled in their room and sure they weren't being spied upon, Nerisse and Elizabeth began to plot the demise of Constable Merton Felick. He would most likely stay holed up in the safety of the Castle and send minions to go after her, so he had to be drawn out somewhere. And still someone may have been doing copycat work. They could only hope that said copycat would lead them to their mark before a few knocks at the door interrupted them.
It was one of the criminal element, one Bryce recognized. Twitch.
"Ladies! Black Betty's back. Just a heads' up. Folks are formin' up parties to hunt her down. Up for some lootin' amidst the chaos?"
Elizabeth lightly smirked under her veil and walked closer to him.
"Little man, not all Gerudo stoop to such a level. But do be careful out there...Bloody Beth leaves no survivors in her wake. This is why we are staying put."
Twitch shrugged, blushed, and scampered off. He was mid-level in his expertise and never really good for much except average thievery. He even tried to pickpocket her! She was tempted to make him regret that.
Nerisse considered the previous offer. As the town was in a chaotic state, eventually their mark would have to come out. But Felick would have to die at Bryce's hand, not her cover identity's. Word had not gotten around about the agreement the Gerudo had with Bryce, and both parties agreed to keep it that way.
"I'm going to get some more information. You get prepared. Because if I see him out and about, pure chaos is the best cover. I'm not doing your job for you, miss Nocturna."
Elizabeth/Telma's Tavern/Day 2
While Nerisse was out gathering intelligence on the angry mobs, their movement patterns, and the general climate of things, Elizabeth started to feel the pangs of her dark masters stirring within. Her sorceries were hard at work with a securely locked door.
Her obsidian armor and darksteel chain underlay were being etched with runes of recall, to be triggered by command words. She was planning on going out as Talai Nocturna, but at some point, becoming the demoness incarnate. Nerisse wasn't going to like this plan, as the Gerudo preferred discretion, but it would draw Constable Felick out and leave him shorter by a head. Of course, risk was a strong element involved in this plan. She had been outnumbered and won before, but her bounty was growing larger by the day, and with the whole town on alert and looking for her, the longer she waited, the longer they'd be prepared for her if they hadn't found her yet.
And if somehow she managed to get captured, the only date she'd be having would be with the hangman or headsman. Provided she was rendered unable to escape. Rumors had it that she was immortal and profanely gifted with all sorts of urban legends. No one truly understood the source of her power, and no one had discovered her weaknesses yet. Staying away from holy places was fine. And few in Hyrule these days used Faith as their shield.
As soon as she'd finished up rigging her weapons to join her armor in their summoning, Nerisse returned and covered her face with her palm.
"They're looking for a ghost, Talai. And no sign of our friend Merton."
Elizabeth's eyes flickered with a hint of magical red glow, followed by her body shuddering heavily. This put Nerisse at more than a pause.
"They spoke to me. I am not hiding anymore. If the Law wants to take me out, they can sure try. But our friend will come running. And I will feast on his blood. Worry not, friend. Your people will not be implicated in this. Bloody Beth's blame is universal here."
"And they're claiming you killed a lot of people inside the Castle proper...so they're extra angry with you. Got copycats in your cult?"
Her eyebrows raised in surprise. She knew some of the members lived in Castle Town, but none would kill in her name. They felt unworthy to do so. This copycat had to be found and either recruited or slain. Nerisse explained some of the stories angry mobs were shouting about. Some sounded out of the realm of belief while others were more fitting her style.
"I will follow an angry mob around for some time before unmasking out of sight. The armor will be summoned to me and fit right to my body. After this happens, if you see Merton, tell him a general area to look. Or to start following the blood. Because the Dark Father cannot stand being defamed for long."
"Miss Nocturna, I'm not doing your job for you. But I'd be willing to run interference for you. Can't talk to him or else we are implicated. I know you never care about getting fingered for something, but us Gerudo prefer not to have seven figure bounties on our heads."
After completing the ritual and covering her armor in a securely locked truck, Elizabeth curtsied to Nerisse.
"This town has long deserved to be painted a distinct shade of crimson..."
Nerisse gulped nervously as they both filed out of the room and onto the street, where they parted ways temporarily.
"When it's done, meet near Lon Lon Ranch. Or if that is compromised, back in the desert. Perhaps at your Sanctuary."
Whether Gerudo, Goron, Zora, or Hylian, or anything in between, nothing rallied people together more than the hope of putting an end to Elizabeth's reign of terror. But why would she come to the very area where her defeat was the most certain? Her strength was the fact that she could not be found if she did not want to be. The mob she infiltrated consisted of mainly Hylians. Many of whom were touched by Black Betty's blades in one way or another. Family members, loved ones, friends, and so forth. Even dogs and other pets. But never cats. She always left cats alone.
Hearing the stories amused her in the most sadistic manners. She wanted to make another one right there, but she couldn't sell the Gerudo out. Even so, getting a feel for the land, she found that the main law enforcement was sticking to castle grounds after the murders there.
"Why do you think we're doing this? Because they couldn't give a **** about us commoners out here! One of us couldn't take her, but if we overrun her, we might just get it done right. Scum like that doesn't deserve a trial or a public execution. She gives street justice, and she should die by it too!"
"I don't care how beautiful she is! I'm gonna look her right in the face, spit in it, and bury my fist in her ribs!"
The possession was starting to churn harder within her. She was feeling such strong urges to start killing. But she had to wait. It wasn't time yet. Once an opportunity to slip into an alley or otherwise away from that mob, then they would all die. They could choke on their hate and be well-ventilated.
Elizabeth/Midtown Streets - HCT/Afternoon 2
After parading around and assimilating well enough into the crowd to be believed not to be Elizabeth Bryce, the self-proclaimed dark messiah stayed with them for a while longer. She fed off their feelings and decided in a very calculating fashion who to kill in the rapidly growing angry mob and who to try to convert. Her diatribe on mutual and equal destruction would work nicely on some in this crowd; that their feelings about what happened are no different than her feelings toward their plane of existence. In sharing this pain and anguish, a new evangelism would unfold, and blood would run so thick that the sun's rays would blot out.
Rage was stirring within Elizabeth. Her bloodlust had grown to a point that she'd never experienced, and she had to split apart from the crowd. While others filed in, she filed out. Being the only Gerudo, she had a feeling someone might remember, but at this point, they were either all dead or destined to be dominated. Running for an alley, Bryce started to pant heavily and growl. Her eyes flickered a magical deep red shade for a time. The Dark Father wanted to see through her eyes...
After making sure no one was around, words of profane origin were uttered. The language was angelic in nature, which she used for some of her rotes and techniques. She was able to subvert divinity and bend it to her will. Tracing patterns over her body in the air matching sigils on her equipment, it began to materialize on her frame while her Gerudo equipment took its place back in Telma's Tavern. Her hair began to weave into a single braid down her back with a few loose strands in front as she drew Apocrypha from its scabbard, pulsing in her hand. Readying her other weapon, she recited segments of the Black Mass.
This place we now desecrate To dishonor the Triune and all who serve them May this ground be watered by virtuous vitae May discord and despair arise from it Glory to our Dark Father!
A few onlookers witnessed the change, paralyzed in fear. Elizabeth cared not for their existence. They were merely the spark that would start this sanguine blaze.
Dripping with the blood of the innocent, her blades hungered for more. She walked quickly and confidently to the main street, right into the path of the very mob she had infiltrated.
"Din's tits! It's her! Now's our chance, people!"
She did not move another step closer, but instead readied her blades while enveloped in a pale green aura. Her face was scowling as she shouted at them.
"How eager you are to die! How eager I am to slay you all!"
One lone man separated from that pack, readying his pitchfork and foolishly charging Elizabeth. She casually sundered his improvised weapon and slashed him through the heart in one graceful movement. When he dropped to the ground, spilling his passion everywhere, others tried to overrun her. She moved so quickly that it appeared to be a blur. Other hits merely grazed her or were stopped cold by her obsidian armor. Few in that group had proper weapons. She took glee in sundering many of them. One right after another found their way to her. They had their chance to meet her in combat and had their moments of courage shredded apart.
Bodies started to pile up before a few other groups found her. Seeing that sheer numbers could wear her out, Elizabeth drew her aura's energies into her right hand, jumped about ten feet into the air, and slammed it into the ground upon landing, unleashing a caustic shockwave of Profane Light. This judged many unworthy souls, sending them to their blessed Triune much earlier than they should have been. This also caused many to flee in terror, knowing they were up against a true monster. Bells were ringing. People were screaming. Elizabeth had the most sadistic grin imaginable, cackling as she chased down some who were trying to run.
She hadn't slain this many in a very long time. This event would be known as the Midtown Massacre for years to come.
It was only a matter of time before word reached the Castle of this. On-duty guards provided a mild challenge amidst the constant weaving and bloodletting. She was soaked in delicious deep red at this point. But to avoid burning out, she had to take a break. Tapping into her dark energies once more, she broke into a breakneck dash, leaving desecrated ground in her wake. Foul fumes rose up, causing survivors to retch and vomit while others were visibly uncomfortable. She ran way too fast for them to give chase, but she couldn't do that forever. After a good ten seconds, she found her way into the alleys once more, waiting to pounce on another vigilante group. But for now, she caught her breath.
Never Underestimate Anyone
Xiaber/Near Castle Entrance/Day 2
Alarms sounding off everywhere made Xiaber jump out of his laying position. After making sure he was nowhere near any castle guards, he found a tree to lay under while waiting for whatever it was to happen. He had eventually fallen asleep, not too worried about getting caught by someone, and only finally woke up to the alarms.
Xiaber instantly looks toward the castle to initially see nothing out of the ordinary, but then notice the larger amount of guards patrolling the walls. "It's like a prison lock down, but the opposite," he mutters, trying to get a better view of it all.
After a long time of watching the guards patrol, screams of what sounded like bloody murderer came off from somewhere in town. Instantly, the guards' activity changed as some barked orders to others to figure out what was going on. Xiaber instantly hides behind some bushes as the guards march past him. Well, I could go figure out what's going on... but I think I'm safer here.
Soldat/Hyrule Castle/Day 2
Soldat arrived to find the city in an unexpected chaotic state much to his annoyance. Finding a single girl in this mess would be next to impossible. Though it did appear very few guards were at their proper posts meaning it might be easy for him to get the castle, which is where he knew he had the best chances find information about the time stones.
"Master Soldat du Ceil!" an unfamiliar voice called out from the crowd gaining the Paladin's attention.
Soldat looked up to see two men approaching in though the crowd. One was a rather large framed muscle man with several scars, though none seemed to be from a blade. The other was a slender fox eyed individual, whose posture mannerisms and dress gave any on looked an impression of a laid back personality. He neither recognized nor knows how they could know of them. "Do I know you?"
"Ah, heh I suppose not then. It's been quite a long time since either of us has been home," the fox eyed on said will rubbing the back of his head. "I'm the Azul Enlace, this is Rojo Enlace. You're probably wondering how we knew you were-"
"Why are you here?" Soldat asked cutting Azul off.
"Ah, that depends on-" Azul started to response but was once again cut off by the paladin.
"The Azul and Rojo Enlace are our liaisons to the Zora and Goron. You are the order’s eyes, ears and even voice to those nations so why are you with the Hylians and where is Amarillo Enlace?" The Knight said with the slight anger a superior would have if he were to find his subordinates away from their posts.
"Because it is impossible!" Rojo finally interjected with a booming roar of a voice that could rattle stones.
Azul finally continued after the brief pause Rojo's shout had caused, "Right, uh, to elaborate. The current political situation keeps use from living in those alongside races besides the Hylians. Oh, yes and Amarillo, right. He's at home with looking after Violeta Enlace. Clairvoyance can be tasking at that age and all, but it is how we knew you were coming. Besides it would be a problem for a wizard like Amarillo to let loose in the castle."
"Let loose? What do you mean 'let loose?' What is going on here?" Soldat asked growing ever more suspicious of the liaisons.
Azul seemed almost relieved at the Paladin's question. As if there was something much worse that he was expecting to here, "Ah ha, see I'm very glad you asked. We-"
"We want you to kill Bloody Beth." Rojo said bluntly cutting in.
"Well I suppose there was no point in easing into that." Azul said with a slight smile.
Soldat was starting to grow annoyed with the whole conversation, "What are you two talking about?"
"Oh, right I guess you wouldn't know," Azul smiled before continuing on like a public service announcement. "Bloody Beth is the reason the cities in a stir right now. She's a mass murdering psychopath that has continue to elude capture, but we figure you can change that."
"Local issues are no concern of mine. Let the Hylians deal with it," Soldat scoffed
"And you call yourself a knight!" Rojo yelled as he grabbed Soldat by the collar of his breastplate. "Look at these people, look at them! They're scared, they're angry. This whole city is about to tear itself apart because somewhere around here there's a nightmare waiting to kill them all. Yet you would act as those troubles are beneath you because their troubled by a mortal. Tell me Master Paladin, what difference is there in defending the weak from a spectral demon then a real one that you would ignore the horror brought on by the latter?"
A tense silence overtook the conversion and Soldat and Rojo glared at each other. Azul stepped in hoping to defuse the situation before either of the two exploded, "Um, if you don't mind me saying so I think there's something being over looked here. Master Soldat du Ceil, if I recall your mission here involves finding the time stones. Well the Hylian royalty might be a good place to start, but if some random person show up out of nowhere and starts asking about such a sensitive matter I can't see it going over well. Now, is the man who defeated the nation’s number one criminal were to ask."
"Fine, let us find this killer then." Soldat said as he pushed himself away from Rojo. "You two now this city, lead me to where I might find her. Oh, and when this is dealt with, we will discuss that supposed clairvoyance of the Violeta Enlace."
Azul and Rojo both cringed nervously at the mentioned of Violeta. It seemed the Paladin had picked up on something they had both hoped he wouldn't have.
Elizabeth/HCT Midtown/Afternoon 2
While gaining her breath, Elizabeth kept her blood and sweat-drenched self at a steady pace skulking about alleyways. Most folk who saw her ran in terror, though she did not give chase on them. She was hoping to draw out one man and one man alone and then leave town in a profane display. Sure, it was deviating from the mission of making it look like someone else did it, but she was able to take blame for many things she didn't do and remain unscathed.
Heading further through the alleyways and keeping folks off her scent as best she could, she headed to where the official forces were the thickest and began to look through and listen. No one really checked where she was going. This was her trade secret of getting in and out of Castle Town in the past. And then of course there were those passages in the sewers that only the most loyal to Dromund knew about...
Constables had their own specific sets of medal arrangement. A silver hylian crest along the collar with two triforce underneath. She couldn't see any until some military shouting broke forth a few streets over from her.
"Holding per the Constable's orders! Lord Felick, where do we redirect her search?"
Elizabeth rushed closer to listen more about what he was planning. He had been drawn out.
"We have reason to believe she is no longer in the castle, men. At least fifty have died to her blades and foul sorcery thus far. Numbers are the best hope we've got. Some of you will most likely die. Know that your death will free Hyrule from her tyranny forever if we succeed this day!"
The Constable's subordinates roared, not fearing their end. Their deaths would have less merit for the Fallen One as they were willing victims at this point. Nonetheless, anyone who drew weapons against her had to have their blood spilled. It was part of her Oath. Any and all who opposed her had to be destroyed.
"I will take Din company myself and head to Midtown. The rest of you, sweep out Lowtown. That's probably how she got in. I've got Nayru Company covering the Plaza."
Felick wasn't joking around. He had three of the best military companies on the move now. She could take one at best and rile up the Hylians even more. As long as she wasn't traced back to the Gerudo.
Her breath was back. Well, enough to take on her mark and possibly the rest of Din Company. They may have been professionally trained to be the best of the best, but adversity drew out more of her Dark Gifts and their blasphemous benevolence. She followed them to Midtown where bodies had not yet even slipped into rigor. Felick gave the order to spread out and scout about at that point, and that is when Bloody Beth sprung her trap.
Etching a sigil on the ground with Apocrypha, it let out a pale viridian glow which got the attention of one gruff woman soldier. She reached down to touch it, and it erupted in a foul dark green explosion, vaporizing her yet leaving her bones and armor. Elizabeth grabbed the skull and threw it toward where Felick had set up a makeshift command post. Smoke still slowly leaked from it, and he immediately rose to his feet seeing his nemesis arrogantly emerge from between two buildings.
"Elizabeth Bryce! You are bound by law to stand down immediately. Your crimes are beyond listing. Surrender immediately and you are guaranteed a quick trial and summary execution."
She put her hands on her hips and went into hysterics.
"Constable Felick, you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept."
He became aggravated as he readjusted his helm and drew his blade.
"I'll take that as a no. Now pay with your blood!"
Elizabeth readied her blades and circled her foe. How easily he had been drawn out. Now if only he'd die faster so she wouldn't get overrun. Sword and board. He'd favor one side over the other and try to tire her out. Faking him out would be the best way, but crippling would also work. Medium armor lent to allowing more mobility in exchange for less protection at points his shield arm covered. Thigh to neck while crouched.
But she had magic while he did not. Completely mundane. Useless to her.
"All I wanted was you, but you were busy. Had to invite you to dance instead."
"The blood of the innocent is no proper invitation, Bryce. Die now!"
He struck at her with a side slash, which was parried nonchalantly. By now other soldiers were watching. They were paralyzed with fear, as she had started to permeate pure terror throughout the area.
"Don't just stand there, men! Help me!"
They weren't coming. Elizabeth countered with a hard strike right at his shield arm, causing him to recoil. The Potency in her blood had been temporarily awoken. Following up, she connected with a slash at his side; his armor only absorbing part of the blow. Blood started to seep through his mail on his right side. But she became fixated on the blood for too long and let herself take a grazing blow on her left arm, drawing a small amount of her blood. A light gilded glint seeped to the surface as it trickled down. It was no ordinary color. Red mixed with gold as bright as the sun. It mystified Felick too, causing him to lose all focus.
"What are you-"
Before he could finish his question, Felick's head was hewn clean off in one Apocryphal stroke. While it was mid-air, Elizabeth took to the air and backflipped, kicking his still-aware cranium into the crowd of soldiers, causing many of them to disperse, overcome by their fear. Others began to engage her, filled with indignation at the easy demise of their leader. Sadistic glee filled her as they approached.
"You are all part of my petty vengeance!"
Soldat/HCT MidTown/Afternoon 2
The trio's search for the infamous mass murderer came to a sudden stop and the found the street of mid town filled with a battalion of solders. Azul started to look for a path to the roof tops as a means to bypass the amassed troops but stopped when his attention was drawn by a flash of magic at the distant front. "Hm, you know I think found her."
"I suppose you mean she's at the front of this none sense," Soldat sigh growing ever more impatient with this side distraction. "Putting aside how ridiculous of a notion it is that one woman couldn't be handled by this many solders; how exactly do you suggest we get past?"
"I plow through them." Rojo said while gritting his teeth is a desperate but failed attempt to hide his rage. "They'll thank me when they are alive at the end of the day."
Rojo's frustration did not go unnoticed by Soldat. The man was so clearly anxious for this fight that he was shaking. It was clear that there was something more to their reason for dragging him into this, something personal.
Azul stepped forward placing his hand on Rojo's shoulder hoping he'd calm down a bit, "Um, actually I think I have a better idea, we'll throw you there.
A slight smirk broke through Rojo's scowl upon hear the idea. The large man then reached down and placed his hand on the hard stone road behind them. As he calmed himself and began his limbs and soon his whole body began to transform as they took on the properties of the stone.
"What?" Soldat asked flatly.
"Throw you," Azul said with a charlatan's smile as he began casting a wind enchantment around the Paladin. "Don't worry though; we use to do this all the time. It's uh, safe-ish."
"What!?" Soldat asked again slightly worried as Rojo lifted him off the ground with a single stone imbued hand. The Rock Colossus pulled back if arm and with a single powerful pitch launched the Paladin in to the air as his companion boosted his efforts with another wind spell.
The Knight swored over the battalion, annoyed but admitted impress. Enough so for him to be confident that initial wind enchantment that was cast would break his fall. His faith did not go unrewarded as he landed gently just a few feet behind Elizabeth Bryce and drew his sword. "I suppose you are this Bloody Beth I keep hearing about?"
Xiaber/ HCGates/Afternoon 2
"This is taking way too long," Xiaber muttered to himself. His impatience had started to grow bigger than mhis fear. Even the soldiers were fidgeting while keeping their ranks. "There can't really be a point in waiting for something if it never shows up." Xiaber's fear pretty much disappeared then. He jumped up to his feet and grabbed his bow. It was time to prove himself to the world.
He runs by some guards who started to shout at him, but a higher up got them to shut up. After Xiaber entered the city and ran around several buildings, he stopped and gagged. So many dead bodies. Not just soldiers, but civilians, everywhere. That fear that he thought had gone away, well it came right back out again. Thinking that he could be safer on the roof, he tied some more rope to an arrow and climbed up a building just like he did to the gate earlier.
Running and jumping on rooftops was something that Xiaber would practice when he was young. He thought that archers would be better at such positions. Because of that, he was traveling pretty quickly over the rooftops towards the source of chaos going on. He eventually got to where alive people were. It gave Xiaber a bit of strength to see that not everyone had become a victim to whatever was doing this. Though for how long they would stay alive, he had no idea. Finally, he stops on a rooftop overlooking an alley. A Beautiful woman with blazing red hair wielding a deadly looking sword just decapitated an official looking guy while surrounded by soldiers.
Xiaber could feel his face pale just from looking at the woman. She was definitely not some ordinary mass murderer. Just then, a man came falling from the sky and drew his sword. He looked different then all of those around him, more superior. Though if he was like the last guy, he wouldn't last long. "I suppose you are this Bloody Beth I keep hearing about?"
Bloody Beth, that name sounded familiar to Xiaber. She seemed to be pretty popular. If Xiaber were to take her down, he would definitely fulfill his wish of becoming a hero. "All right, Xiab, you have one shot at this." He takes out his bow and draws an arrow. Now to wait for the right time.
Elizabeth/Midtown HCT/Afternoon 2
Surrounded, outnumbered, and in a highly escalated situation where odds were not in her favor. To Elizabeth Bryce, this was only a detail. She'd been in worse situations than this before and lived. The majority of her crimes were her responsibility, and she estimated that less than an eighth of them were improperly applied to her record due to not finding another suitable culprit who was good for it.
Soldiers of Din Company were moving to engage her when she heard a very soft landing behind her. If it weren't for the familiar sound of plate mail moving, she would have assumed it was only a breeze. And she was right enough to assume it wasn't a friend when she heard a sword being drawn. Before turning around to take a glance, she had a few hunches.
A Light energy signature of the holy variety. No ordinary foe, and not a bounty hunter. Turning amidst parrying strokes, she drew further assessments of the man who called her Bloody Beth.
Elizabeth had not seen his kind before. But ideas were flooding through her mind amidst blind-fighting two soldiers with her back turned. If she was the epitome of evil, this fellow was her exact opposite.
"You are correct, holy man. Who dares take their chances with the Devil's Daughter?"
She turned briefly, unleashing two swirling, sweeping slashes finished off the nameless mobs trying to do her in. As they hit the ground, Elizabeth moved into a balanced stance and regained focus on her new opponent. Uttering a brief blasphemy, the eldritch huntress began to emit two faint glows of viridian and gold. She deemed it best not to strike first, and best to at least let him be polite and introduce himself.
Whoever he is, if he wants to dance, he'll get one just like all the others.
Soldat/Mid Town/Afternoon 2
The woman's response told him everything he needed to know, "you are correct, holy man. Who dares take their chances with the Devil's Daughter?" That claim if demonic origin, whether it was true or simply a boost of propaganda meant he could long assume this fight was some scheme by the two Enlace. Engaging this woman was now his duty.
"I am Soldat du Ciel," he said as he swung his sword downward and behind himself, firing a sword beam into the ground in the process. "There is nothing further that needs to be said."
The knight charged forward with his shield at his front ready to deflect any counter. He stopped hard once the gap was closed and attacked the demonic wench with a powerful upward swing, loosing another sword beam in the process."
Elizabeth/HCT Midtown/Afternoon 2
Light Up the Sky - Thousand Foot Krutch
Nothing more needed to be said. He was focused, and most likely immune to any taunting words she had to offer, or simply wasn't one for conversation while locking blades. In either event, Elizabeth was aware she had met a foe with formidable skill. There was no room for playing around.
Tapping into her planetouched vitae once more, Beth became a blur for a moment, sidestepping the first beam and barely missing the next as her opponent charged. She could feel the divine radiance cause her skin to lightly sizzle under her armor while rolling to her right. This burning sensation was a mild discomfort now and far worse if it were to fully connect. She had to be cautious at engaging in close range.
In an attempt to flank, Elizabeth drew Black Wind deep into her lungs, assumed a defensive stance, and let forth a dark wave of unrelenting force; a staggering shout that kept its foul nimbus as she burst it forth. It had no desecrating properties other than knocking lesser men prone or otherwise disorienting them. The ground under her feet started to release fumes of dark green smoke as her blur faded, and she hoped her opening spell would level the field a bit. More so because continued exposure to true light would limit her to swordplay alone.
Soldat/Castle Town/Afternoon 2
The demonic woman dodged Soldat's attack allowing the sword beam to smash into the ground behind her. She counter by unleashing waves of darkness that forced Soldat to jump back while guarding himself with his shield. The wave slammed again his shield while he was still in mid air pushing Soldat back slightly farther.
"So you do use dark magics, I had suspected as much," Soldat said as he fired a sword beam off to his side. "That's why I prepared this."
A small pillar of radiant light began to glow over the three places Soldat's sword beams had hit. A line of light fired out from each one traveling along the ground to the next forming a triangle. Soldat, standing in the center, thrust his blade into the ground, "First Seal." A circle of same light appeared around the triangle as soon as the Paladin spoke, completing the seal.
"Oh, well that's rather cleaver isn't it," Azul mused out load as he and Rojo watched from a nearby roof top. "Well I suppose we should get ready to join the fight."
"Or we could just watch and let them kill each other." Rojo responded without a hit of humor.
Azul laughed uncomfortably, "Ha, hm. No, make sure Beth is killed is much more important, the master paladin will pay for his sins in another way. Besides the old man told me a few things about that guy, seems he has a habit of channeling spells through his sword so I'm pretty sure that seal wasn't form to purify the ground. Um, well assuming he even noticed that."
With a wide circular motion Soldat pointed his sword to the sky. The seal on the ground began to lift into the air and slowly spin until it was level with his blade. Without any farther command the floating seal rapidly shrank down and embedded its power into Soldat's sword enhancing it divine power. "Hm... weaker than it should be. It must of lost power purifying the after effects of our last attack. Would be futile to ask you to avoid tainting the ground?"
Despite his power up he knew he was to far way to charge the woman without leaving himself open for a counter attack. Instead Soldat readied his shield and entered a defensive position hoping is opponent would give him an opportunity to end this with a single strike.
Elizabeth/HCT Midtown/Afternoon 2 Baten Kaitos - The True Mirror - Guitar Version
Her suspicions were confirmed as soon as consecration had been conducted. It was an antithetical situation that called for her to draw on more unadulterated darkness. Elizabeth could feel the Seal reach out to her soul and try to sever her connections to the Fallen One, and she also noticed Apocrypha assume its true form for the briefest moment.
When the seal faded slightly, Apocrypha let off a glimmer of violet white light and framework of Felis Minor in the autumn night's sky traveling up its blade. The blink was as momentary as a breath, and cloying ebony metal crept back around it. This disturbed Elizabeth and she hoped no one else noticed it, as the blade made her feel most uncomfortable for that time as well.
"It seems our faith has equal strength. No promises about the ground, holy man."
Elizabeth smirked wickedly as she prepared to charge. Before beginning her stride, she channeled the Black Speech once again. And as before, the ground around her began to corrode, but in a less dynamic fashion.
"Lam Xecod Sulegna Hetbazlie Edaj Siesyrb!"
Her blades both began to emit a strong viridian aura with her main hand pulsing violently. She knew he'd be waiting to counter attack anything given the defensive style he'd shown thus far, but stalemates were never becoming.
Black Betty charged with a ferocity many knew to fear, and led with her darksteel offhand. The opening overhand strike, however, was a feint. Her true attack was a low, sweeping blow targeting her opponent's legs with a profanely infused Apocrypha.
"It seems our faith has equal strength..."
The ground seemed to shake just as the woman started her charge. Soldat was uncertain if she was the cause or if it was the Rojo Enlace landed behind her and taking up a rock form. The woman swung twice, once high and once low. He blocked the first blow with his sword, catching the blade with its hand guard. The second slammed against his shield, and with the first blade trapped by the parry he forced the locked blades down on the other and twisted the tip of his own the lock it under his shield.
The conflicting energies of the sword formed into a torrent of magic the raged in-between the locked foes. "There is nothing equal about us." Soldat said as two streaks of holy magic launched from his blade diminishing his contributions to the torrent and giving an advantage to the darkness.
The two streams struck Soldat's allies. The Mark of the Divine appeared on the back of their dominant hand noting the fact they've each been bestowed a third of the power that was placed in Soldat's sword by the first seal. The two attacked without hesitation, already having had intended on doing so regardless of the Paladin's intent.
Azul unleashed a now divine charged micro-burst over the primary combatants to hold them in place, while Rojo, in full rock from, charged at them ready to decapitate Beth with a single punch.
Elizabeth/HCT MidTown/Afternoon 2
Caught in a blade-lock and faced with direct exposure to pure Light magicks, Elizabeth found herself in a most unfavorable position. She was not quite aware of two others coming at her from behind; her main focus was breaking her weapons free along with herself. Thankfully, the dark magic she had channeled as a part of her Codex rote acted as enough of a buffer to allow her to keep composure.
Or, in other words, not get cut off from her dark artes.
One of her most glaring weaknesses was being caught as a sitting duck. Being mobile was her best defense, especially against folks who hit harder than her. Phantasy Star Universe - Contamination (Fire)
Struggling against the locked blades under her own power proved to be pointless. Soldat didn't budge. And she had to keep her concentration lest she get her avatar flayed. That would end the fight and her journey. But after a third tug at the blades, an idea popped into her mind. It was a huge risk.
"As you shall soon see!"
She wasn't able to sustain it for long, but Elizabeth dug deep into her tainted vitae and gained a burst of Potence. She could feel the stress on her muscles, joints, and bones cascade throughout her frame as she gave one final hard jerk to get her weapons free. With what energy was left over, she redirected the tempest surrounding the battlefield into a swirling mixed energy nova from her location using Apocrypha as her focus.
Her body was burning up with a sanguine fever. And as she was spinning, Elizabeth saw two others entering the fray. After sacrificing most of what was left into her desperation move, she had to get out of there. Being surrounded by her enemies would make this quite difficult. But either death or capture was imminent if she just stood there and took what was coming.
Finding her footing, she rolled to avoid being in the center of the three assailants, not fully aware of where she was positioned. Visibly shaken up, Elizabeth stood fast, but weakened.
Xiaber/HCT MidTown/Afternoon 2
Xiaber watched in partial amazement and partial horror at the scene that was unfolding underneath him. The man and woman that were fighting had immense power, and they were using it. Xiaber wasn't sure which one was the bad person, or if either of them was a good guy.
After watching them fight for a bit, Xiaber noticed that they both seemed to be weakening a bit. His chance was coming up. After the red-headed woman stopped her spinning attack, two more people showed up, looking to be on the side of the man. The woman was killing all of those guards, so at least she was evil. He wasn't going to let the others win the fight and take the roll of the hero from him. Xiaber readied the bow and aimed it at the dazed looking red head. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he says, still in disbelief that he was in such a position. With as much careful precision he could muster, he checked one last time on his aim before letting go of the bow string. The arrow went flying down below, straight towards the target.
Soldat/Hyrule Caste Town/Afternoon 2
The woman's efforts to break free knocked Soldat off balance and into Rojo's path. The mass of the man's rock form kept him from avoiding the paladin and the two crashed into each other giving demon woman a perfect opening if not for Azul.
Hovering above the fight the fox eyed wind mage had changed his expression to a menacing gaze that took in every same detail. Details such as Blood Beth's now exhausted state, and the nearby third party nocking an arrow. Seeing a perfect opportunity before him Azul boosted the arrow with his power as the man loosed it. His winds both increasing its speed and accuracy while also surrounding it with the divine power Soldat had loaned him.
Elizabeth/HCT MidTown/Afternoon 2
Epica - Guilty Demeanor
There wasn't really much time to think in this situation. It was a three-on-one with little chance of survival. She didn't have the speed to turn tail and run, and she didn't have the strength left to defeat everyone. Surrender was not an option. Death before dishonor. Martyrdom would only strengthen her cult if she were to fall. If only she could get high enough to take out the blue fellow in the sky first; he was appearing to be the most troublesome.
Taking up a defensive stance, Elizabeth sized up the situation as she felt the ground shake under her feet with more intensity than before. Light rumblings were explained off as displays of power and resonance.
A light hum could be heard in the distance. She wasn't sure what it was, but as the ground shook, she focused on regaining her footing and not losing focus on her opponents.
It was at that moment that she felt a searing, sharp pain in her left shoulder. It went right through her darksteel chain and it was where her obsidian plate wasn't protecting. One of the few weak points in her armor. A high velocity arrow sent her staggering backwards and dropping her to a knee. She could see the fletching and the long stem, and also that it did go all the way through. The gilded aura to her vitae was excessively bright as it began to coat her chest. She cursed loudly in the black speech and snapped off the back half of the arrow. There was no time to wonder where it came from.
Things were not looking good at all as she staggered to her feet and readied her blades for one final suicide charge.
Soldat/Castle Town/Afternoon 2
Soldat regained his composure as the witch dealt with her new arrow wound. Rojo was still having trouble getting back on his feet due to his mass and the constant short tremors. The woman, despite her injures seemed to be readying herself for one last assault, "So you intent to die fighting. That's some what admirable, I figured you'd try and run at this point."
Soldat readied himself with a defensive posture. He had the upper hand but was not foolish enough to charge a cornered beast and decided to stick to his strength and wait for the woman's assault. Though before a single step could be taken the ground began to raise and crack with another short tremor. Another quickly followed and another soon after. With each shock the mound grew larger and the cracks spread wider. Until finally a large serpent like monster erupted from the ground bellow.
The creature, seemingly stuck, trashed around smashing into Azul and sending him flying a few blocks back.
"What the hell is that!" Soldat yelled having never seen a creature of that type before.
Rojo respond with a belittling a tone as possible under the circumstances, "Don't get away from home much do you. That's a moldrom, not sure what ones doing here though, or why it has armor. Shouldn't matter though, I've seen Vertias split those in half with a True Blade Strike so you can take it out."
"What makes you think I'd bother learning such a wasteful technique." Soldat replied rather indignantly. Rojo was about to respond, is expression already showing his shock and anger, but before a word could be uttered the moldrom came smashing down at them forcing the men to dive away in opposite directions.
Elizabeth/HCT/Late Afternoon 2
Phantasy Star Online Episode III - Via Tubus
As Elizabeth had prepared to take flight in one final charge against Soldat du Ciel, the ground burst forth with a monstrosity she'd only read about in libraries growing up. And this one had thick plating! Soldat and his friends could play with that, she thought. It would be the perfect distraction.
The murderer said nothing. No grand exits were needed here. Self preservation being first priority and a tenet of the Eclipse.
Above all, living to evangelize one day more is one day more in which our Dark Father may benefit from your zeal. If you must die, seek martyrdom to atone for the days you cannot be a witness of His glory.
Pain from the arrow began to increase in its potency. And with her enemies distracted, she sheathed her offhand and made haste in an opposite direction. Everyone else had to be occupied with the larger threat. She could slip out virtually unnoticed. Had she had more strength, that beast would've been the perfect sanctuary sentry. Indoctrinating a Moldorm would prove to be a fatal mistake when she was this weak.
Angry mobs tended to be less angry and more concerned about their survival. They scattered upon its rather vocal introduction. This gave Elizabeth an even better opportunity to keep herself out of the chaos and to try to find her way out of the city. She navigated the alleyways and tried to stay out of wide open spaces in case whoever sniped her decided to try to finish her.
Unfortunately, her vitae had a rather radiant gilded tone to it, and she was leaving an intermittent trail as she ran with a staggering gait. There had to be a way out of here nearby. And then there had to be an unfortunate victim, because she could not sustain herself for much longer. She began to crave. And she had to find a way to get the arrow extracted.
Saying Xiaber felt ecstatic would be an understatement. He would have been jumping up and down in joy if he wasn't on a roof. He hit her, he actually hit her! Sure, the arrow kind of acted strange while flying at the target, but he still hit her.
Before he could set up the next arrow, an earthquake started up and out from the ground appeared a huge worm or centipede. The earthquake caused Xiaber to lose his footing and fall off of his rooftop perch into the chaos below. He hit the pavement with a sickening crack. Xiaber moaned as he looked at his left arm, which was forming a large bruise. Touching it only made it hurt even more.
Thankfully, the monster was focused on something in the other direction. After putting his bow away on his back, Xiaber got up and ran away while holding his arm steady. A few blocks away, Xiaber looked on in surprise as the red head was also running away. How can she possibly be moving so much after that fight? Xiaber pondered on just how much endurance that woman had as he followed from a safe distance. He might not be able to use his bow because of his arm, but he might be able to find someone to stop her. Just in case, he took out his other weapon, the knuckles, and put one on his right hand.
Elizabeth/HCT Alleys/Late Afternoon 2
Heart pounding with sadistic need. Body trembling with excruciating pain and searing compulsion. Everyone was running. No one was paying heed. And someone had to die for her to keep living. The survivalist tactic she had used to deal with the damage her frame had suffered was beginning to wear off. Elizabeth used unholy Resilience to soak up some of the holy exposure. And the anguish was starting to mount. Very few things could heal her. Holy magic would kill her, and she was too resistant to Dark Gifts to use them for restorative benefit. This left two alternatives, and she was fresh out of potions...
As chaos crashed around Hyrule Castle Town, Elizabeth clutched at her wound with her sword hand while she staggered along at a fairly good pace. Someone had to be around that was huddled up, scared, hoping that things would all go away. Or maybe there were fatalists out with no cares in creation. Or folks who liked to watch the world burn. But those were most likely Crimsonites, and now was not a time for decimation.
She wanted to rip the throat out of anyone that crossed her path and drink until she was sucking on a dry, dead artery. Sanguinary cannibalism with conspicuous consumption had its benefits. In the eyes of society, most civilized people wanted to see her dead on sight, so sinking to a new low was most likely not possible. Of course, there were tales of creatures who did imbibe the lifeblood of others in this manner. And strangely enough, the Fallen One bestowed a predatory gift to his most loyal follower. One she did not teach her cultists. She could gain sustenance and some healing from the suffering and demise of others. And there were a few ways it could be done.
There was an inkling that she was being followed. But she did not care. An unwilling victim had to be around somewhere, and the alleyways twisted as a never ending maze with deep red streaks filling her vision. Her breathing began to grow shallow. Minutes remained until she fell unconscious without relief.
And then she was in sight. A blonde teenaged Hylian girl Elizabeth saw out of the corner of her eye. Dressed as a peasant. Most likely lived on these back streets. Someone who willingly suffered and hung on to life with all her might. She would do nicely. Turning back out of her dash, the murderer approached her victim, who realized what fate had befallen her.
Looking directly into her eyes, Elizabeth focused her penetrating gaze and uttered a few soft words.
"Do not struggle, and your passing will be quick."
A wave of profane awe overcame the adolescent, and she began to quiver in place, unable to move. Elizabeth had done something, but she wasn't sure exactly what it was. Urban tales spoke of Black Betty paralyzing mere mortals with a glance and stripping them of any will to survive. Some form of mental domination or emotional projection. Well, the legends were right.
Standing less than a foot from the helpless victim, Elizabeth traced magic into the air and a deep red sigil separated the two. Suddenly, with the flick of a wrist and a whisper of the Black Speech, it sublimated into a fine red mist which enveloped them both. She put her hand on the girl's neck, and the young lady began to scream in a repulsing manner as her lifeblood began to travel from eyes, nose, mouth, and ears rather quickly in the form of a similar crimson mist. Said mist funneled into Elizabeth's mouth, and she sated herself in a way that could only be described as perverse and heretical.
Waves of euphoria began to fill Bloody Beth as she consumed the unwilling vitae of her hapless mark. She could feel the pain subside as she watched the life in front of her wither into a desiccated husk. Fatigue left her. If only there were two or three more to harvest in this manner, she thought. But the problem with the Rite of Sanguinary Respiration was that it took time. Something she didn't have much to expend.
"Her heart's fluttering was a symphony all its own. But even beautiful songs must end."
What remained of this sickening mist dissipated from the cloudy shape as every last drop went into Black Betty's mouth. After the freshly exsanguinated corpse hit cobblestone, Elizabeth took flight once again, this time pounding her right gauntlet hard into her left shoulder where the broken arrow was sticking out. She hit it hard enough to push the shaft out, and much of her pain returned. However, she wasn't bleeding nearly as much. Harvesting a victim allowed her to stabilize just enough to not fall unconscious. But this was a new kind of pain, and one she did not wish to experience moving forward.
And the alleyways still refused to bring her any kind of reasoning. There had to be a manhole somewhere; the sewers always had a way out if the town was locked down.
Xiaber/HCT Alleys/Late Afternoon 2
A wave of nausea hit Xiaber as he watched the life get sucked out from the girl. His knees instantly became wobbly and he had to fall on to one of them to keep him steady. "If this woman isn't the embodiment of evil, then I don't know what is," Xiaber whispers to himself. And yet... he couldn't run away. Something kept him from moving away. With the fright from the monster woman in front of him also came a sense of anger- anger and also excitement. The anger was directed at how frightened he was; the excitement for fighting this woman.
It was as if the second Xiaber saw her from his rooftop perch, he knew he had to fight her.
The woman finished her ritual and began to run with a new vigor. She even pushed the arrow out of her shoulder. Xiaber quickly got up and ran after her. No matter where she went, he decided that he will follow and fight her.
Elizabeth/HCT Alley Maze/Late Afternoon 2
Though the initial part of her euphoria was starting to level off, Elizabeth actually started to feel better. Her confidence was coming back, even though she was still irate that she left Soldat standing and was forced to flee from battle. That hadn't happened in a while. Her Lord would understand. Martyrdom was for initiates and neonates. Not the Herald of the New Age. The Order couldn't survive without her yet.
Still, Elizabeth had that funny feeling like she wasn't in the clear yet. Not because she wasn't out of the city yet, but because any time she went out in public, there was always that one person who tried to be a hero. It never got old, and it was the reason she never got careless. She could be careless when she slept, but her darksteel shortsword was always at the ready in those situations also.
Flickers of foreign memories tried to grasp at her mind.
Her vitae calls to me. I ripped her life away, and now she is using her final form of revenge. My nightmares will be hers tonight. The price I pay.
Her pace slowed a little as that continued. It almost became a fixation before her survivalist side ripped her away from it. She could hear footsteps that matched her pace. And they weren't armored. The temptation to look behind her was strong, but she resisted it for another minute.
But there was always the lure to take life. Apocrypha wasn't going to unseal itself. It needed more souls to fully corrupt it...
Baten Kaitos - Supreme Ruler of the Nine Heavens
And so, she stopped running. Soldat was probably too busy playing with his armored wurm to try to find her, and anyone else in this town would be most unwise to confront her, even in this state. After seething and cursing in Black Speech, she readied her weapon and turned around to find a boy in green with bow and quiver. And a fist weapon. He must have seen what she did. Maybe she killed his girlfriend.
"Oh, did you know her? I'm sorry. But if you take one step closer, I promise I'll re-introduce you."
He had a bow. Could he have been responsible for her wound? Either way, he had gotten her attention.
Xiaber/HCT Alley Maze/Late Afternoon 2
Soon after she began to run again, the woman quickly whipped around, too quickly for Xiaber to even try to find a place to hide. "Oh, did you know her? I'm sorry. But if you take one step closer, I promise I'll re-introduce you."
Xiaber furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, but then realized she must have been talking about that girl she just killed. "N-no," he felt like mentally slapping himself at how scared he sounded. "I-I've come to- to kill you!" Xiaber let go of his broken arm, letting it dangle at his side, and readied his good arm for attack.
She looked amused by him. He'd just have to show her what he could do, though he's not quite sure what he can do. It didn't help that everything was becoming blurry to him. He felt even more exhausted... everything was going dark...
Xiaber(?)/HCT Alley Maze/Late Afternoon 2
The first thing he did was stretch his back, legs and good arm like he just woke up. He tried to stretch the broken arm but stopped as he felt the pain. He gave off a curse. “What did he do, fall off of a building or something?” He finally put his attention on the woman in front of him. “So you’re what’s been giving off all of this power?” He laughed a bit. “I was not expecting that.”
He began to analyze her, trying to figure out just what she was. “So what’s your name, hot stuff?” He then looked around at his surroundings. “And where exactly are we?”
Elizabeth/HCT Alleys/Late Afternoon 2
Something was very different about her opponent. He was tinged with a bit of madness; similar to those who followed her to a degree. However, running at this point would be dishonorable. She readied Apocrypha in her right hand and held it completely upright in front of her face as an unofficial duelist's salute before taking a very aggressive single-blade stance. Her wound began to seep less, but it still showed as a glaring weak spot.
Death before dishonor. Smite him in my name.
Hearing the whispers of her victim eventually bleed into those of her Lord, Elizabeth was more than happy to oblige. He already had a broken arm, and though underestimation was not being conducted here, she still let loose some demoralizing words.
"Come to kill me, eh? We're in Castle Town. You must have been living in a hole for the past year."
Hot stuff? Awareness of her energies? Either he was already possessed or she'd send him somewhere to ensure it'd happen.
Delain - Hit Me With Your Best Shot
"I am Elizabeth Bryce, and I fear nothing; least of all you!"
Bloody Beth closed distance quickly and brought her blade down in a fierce diagonal overhand slice. Cloying onyx matter trailed the swing, piecing together untold horrific mysteries in its wake.
The world strobed with a brilliant silence and Henrietta clung to Ella and the unconscious man, fearing to lose them to... whatever this was. It all lasted but that a small flash, and the trio burst forth back into reality as though no time had passed. But, as was quickly becoming all too unsettling common, time had flowed by of its own volition in some random direction. As the normal laws of physics once more gripped the time-travelers, Henrietta lost her grip on Ella and the armored man. Those two burst away from her, leaving her by herself.
She blinked, laying on cobblestone and looking up through buildings at a swiftly darkening sky. Sounds of panic could be heard in the distance, but a closer sound was the soft sound of painful groan, some coming from Arand as she pulled herself upward. To her left, Ella was entangled limb-to-limb with some young man. To her right, the armored man had landed atop...
Arand jumped to her feet and grabbed Ella, pulling her away from the slowly rousing man. The poor young girl was bleeding from a rather nasty gash in her forehead, and seemed to have bee knocked cold. Arand managed to get a good enough grip to drag her, and made toward the armored man and Bryce. The young man found his way to his feet and had a crazed blood-lust in his eyes. Bloody Beth was extricating herself from the male time-traveler, a similarly violent look about her. And, to add to the fracas, a group of guards, whose numbers Arand had no time to count, came running down the alley.
Bryce managed to free herself from the weight of the armored man, and was pushing him from her. Arand's voice took on a tone of command. "No time. Just grab him and run. I'll explain later."
Bryce, as expected, shot a haughty glare at Arand and her mouth opened, no doubt ready to retort against being given orders. Arand interrupted before Bryce could make a sound. "Don't argue, Bryce. The Master commands obedience from us!"
At that Bryce's features hardened. She nodded, grabbed the armored man, and beat a hasty retreat alongside Arand. Henrietta lead the group to the Fine Goods Emporium, which, given the lateness of the day, was just preparing to close. The owner, wearing his characteristic red suit, turned from behind the counter.
"I'm sorry, we're just about to- Merciful Goddesses! Bloody Beth!"
Xiaber(?)/Late Afternoon 2/CT Alleys
Just as he was getting ready to dodge the attack from Elizabeth, a girl came out of nowhere and smashed into him. Just as he was coming to his senses of what just happened, the girl, who he noticed was bleeding from her head, was pulled off of him. He got up in time to see the girl, Elizabeth and two other people run away.
"What... just happened," was all he could say at the strange occurrence. Hearing footsteps behind him, he looked back to see a troop of guards rushing at him. If we're in Castle Town as Elizabeth says, those must be the royal guards, then. The boy quickly runs in the direction of the four. I'd rather not be sent to jail or worse right now.
After running through a few streets, he could see he couldn't run forever. He couldn't see any guards behind him, but the tremendous amount of footsteps wouldn't die out. Those four couldn't have gotten that much farther. The girl that landed on me should be unconscious from that head wound. It might not be a good idea to be even near them, but what's dying in combat to rotting in a cell?
He turned one more corner and finally spotted the others barging into some store. He inwardly laughed at the surprised and horrified expression on an employee's face. "Hey, wait for me!" he said, only loud enough for them to hear him. Sorry, Xiab, but I don't think your dream of becoming a hero will come true today, or maybe ever. After that thought, he smiled at what next came up in his mind. That girl that fell on me was pretty cute.
Elizabeth/HCT/Late Afternoon 2
Sometimes the Dark Father has blessings in disguise. Other times, faith is needed. Doors open when things appear the worst for the most faithful, or so Elizabeth often preached at the Black Masses. Something told her the upcoming battle was going to be unique. Or at least take a lot of time that she didn't have. Because out of nothing came flying a Hylian guard, an armored man, and a girl. She recognized none of the three. One was an everflowing chalice of profane energies.
It was the man who knocked her out of the charge. Her blade grazed his side in a superficial manner; nothing to cause serious pain. Upon hearing what the guard had said, this was the one marked by her Lord. But the searing pain in her face didn't give her much time to think. She'd hit her nose off the cobblestone street; sanguine torment flowed in a mildly generous manner. Thankfully it wasn't broken. But her appearance had been altered, and probably not for the better. Add one more thing to the list of remedies.
How dare anyone give her orders! Or so she thought. Again, no time to question. The footsteps in unison grew louder and they had one thing on their minds: ripping Elizabeth limb from limb for her numerous crimes. Hoisting the man whose essence cascaded with holy energies over her healthy shoulder, the adrenaline was surging throughout her as she churned out the paces.
Either the Dark Father was saving her or it was time for her last stand. Again. There was no in between.
When she got to the shop that the nameless guard led her to, she dropped her package and saw a merchant about to soil himself upon seeing her. It never really did get old. And he seemed useful. Killing him in a wanton manner didn't seem like the best idea yet. Maybe he had something she could rob later. Or she could indoctrinate him...
"You have two choices, peddler. Follow directions and be given over to release, or I shall paint the floor of your shop with your very essence."
She didn't even need to turn on the charm for this. From the beading sweat that began to run on his face, the urban legends were fact in his mind. Indoctrinating him would be easy provided no one else killed him. But then she heard the same young man's voice shout out from the street. If only they had remembered to shut the door; it wasn't fear that enraged her but that she couldn't send her message as strongly as she'd hoped.
Turning to the door, Elizabeth wiped her nose and scowled. Her offhand was pointed at the shopkeeper, and her main pointed at the entry. She stood readied and strafing, ready to lash out at the first hostile action coming her way. It was at that point that a wave of supernatural Awe and Despair began to permeate the room.
"Couldn't stay away, eh? The Dark Father's mercy only extends so far. My blades deliver His vengeance! Shall I acquaint you with them?"
Xiaber(?)/HCT/Late Afternoon 2
"Couldn't stay away, eh? The Dark Father's mercy only extends so far. My blades deliver His vengeance! Shall I acquaint you with them?"
Elizabeth readies a sword towards the boy. He began to come to a stop, but urgent footsteps coming from behind him told him he couldn't hesitate. He, instead, gained back momentum and ran through the door, closing it as he stayed as far away from Elizabeth's sword as possible.
"Please, don't flatter yourself so much. Not everyone comes running after you for battle." Even with his sarcastic tone, everyone in the room could see how heavy he was breathing and how wary he was of getting closer to Beth. "I just didn't want to get caught by those guards since they saw me with you. Better in a group than alone, right? Especially if that group has you." He realized what he just said and slaps his forehead. "Well, I guess I'm the one flattering you now." He gives off another smile.
Elizabeth/Fine Goods Emporium/Evening 2 Phantasy Star Online - Revolution to the Origin Part 1
Elizabeth was raging internally. This demeanor began to seep over into the external. Whoever this young man was tried things that others had before. Appealing to her beauty seldom worked unless there was something she could gain from it. He was asking to be slain. Normally, without a thought she'd take life. Her eyebrows were twitching violently. Sweat trickled and glistened over bulging veins in her forehead. Her normally pale skin became red in anger.
"First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me."
Beth motioned for her mysterious guard companion to neutralize the shopkeeper. Both blades were now trained on the flirtatious one.
"You're right. They did see you with me. And normally, I would kill you. But you still have purpose. If you truly admire me so much, show purpose as an honorary member of my Order."
Leaning in closer, she whispered in his ear.
"I'll most likely kill you in the morning if you don't."
Winking at him, Elizabeth shut the door, locking and barring it. If the guards were to come, she still had one other trick up her sleeve. She hadn't killed the shopkeeper yet either, and he was the only one that would be able to call off the guards.
Her intent was to indoctrinate this time, not kill. This was a useful safehouse, and adding to her ranks did fulfill another goal of hers.
Xiaber(?)/Fine Goods Emporium/Evening 2
A smile was kept on his face as Beth threatened him. Not even he was sure whether it was because he was actually happy or because he's so used to smiling. All he knew was that he had just made an enemy that he would have to watch his back - and even more, his front - for.
"Sounds like fun," He said as he walked further into the store. "Now I hope you have a plan to keep us hidden." He looked at whom he guessed to be the shopkeeper. "I'm guessing you plan on scaring him into hiding us?"
Henrietta Arand/Fine Goods Emporium/Evening 2
Alauth observed in quiet amusement as the newcomer and Bryce had their back-and-forth. While the banter was entertaining something needed to be done to avoid any further entanglements with the Guard. So it was that Henrietta stepped forward with a budding ploy to terrify further obsequiousness out of the shopkeep.
Arand slunk forward to Bryce. "Well, there is something that can be done, if Bryce has been fulfilling her duties, to bring us our dark salvation."
Her fingers stroked the sheath of Apocrypha. "And you have been doing your duty, haven't you dear?" It was almost as though she were talking not to the wielder but the weapon.
With a coy little intake of breath, she pulled on Apocrypha's hilt to reveal the desecrated blade. Then a coquettish smirk played over her lips, and she pulled the weapon free. Bryce's eyes narrowed; she quite obviously did not take well to the idea of another handling a sword tied as much to her legend as her own name, but Arand continued regardless.
"Oh, yes. What a fullness! Not quite complete, but it will serve our purposes, with the work I've also completed in the Fallen One's name."
She turned the sword, presenting its hilt to Elizabeth, who took it into the grip it naturally desired. Then, Arand enveloped the blade with her hands and pressed it against her gut, staring into Elizabeth's eyes. "Tell me, faithful daughter, are you prepared to meet your Father?"
Alauth peered into Bryce's mind, seeing images flash across her fore-brain as she contemplated this question. An explosion of darkness. A sprawling darkness shrouds the world. Black Betty kneels before the one thing that can bring her to her knees. Yes, that was it.
Arand slid her palms down the length of Apocrypha's shaft and grabbed Elizabeth's hands, her gaze still locked on Betty's eyes. "Please... be gentle with me..." Then she pulled Bryce's wrists, and the tip pierced her flesh.
"Ah..." Henrietta let out a faint whimper, and pulled harder. There was no blood, only a thick oily darkness as Apocrypha bored its way through her abdomen. She shared a small, painful, satisfied smile with Bryce and looked down at the blade impaling her. "So it's true. It really is engraved with Truth."
Then she disappeared under a cloud of darkness that swept across her from the two wounds left by the weapon, and Apocrypha's pommel was sent ramming backward into Elizabeth's torso. An unholy scream rent the air. The entire room fell under a pall of darkness for a handful of seconds, and when vision returned to its occupants Arand was no longer present. In her place was something that could only very loosely be described as a man.
It was well over six feet tall, with mangled wings that drooped under the weight of decaying ethereal chains which hung across its body. It was draped in robes that shifted and shimmered from white to black and back again. Its skin was a pure porcelain white, like new-fallen snow, save a strange sigil branded into its forehead, which matched the markings on Bloody Beth's own body.
His tattered wings spread out behind him, briefly straining against the chains which bore them down. Then they fell once more as he sagged forward to lean his weight leisurely against the gnarled cane in his hands. When his voice came, it was a quiet sound that demanded unmitigated attention.
He smile dotingly at Beth. "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
Elizabeth/ Fine Goods Emporium/ Evening 2
What unfolded before the Herald of Doom mystified, shocked, and brought copious amounts of awe. This possessed guard was indeed different. Whatever energies were held within her began to surge.
Elizabeth did not take kindly to having her weapon drabwn by another. Only she had the right to pull Apocrypha from its scabbard, bound in obsidian, darksteel, and Ordonian Goatskin leather. Her lips thinned in anger as her eyes narrowed. Unholy Potence filled her muscles as a precaution.
But there was no need for any of that when the Messenger handed her weapon back. Elizabeth did not respond to any of the words as her skepticism was not yet alleviated.
An all too familiar pleasure came over her as the guard allowed herself to be impaled. Sure, Beth had been amused at the innuendo; she had known the enraptureing feeling of both men and women. Still, something felt off.
Beth was not prepared for the recoil of whatever force came from her mysterious companion. Apocrypha's hilt was thrown back into her hauberk and she was knocked back to one knee.
What cleared from the shrieks and the blast defied all logic. But Elizabeth adjusted herself to a kneeling posture of utmost reverence. Her Master stood before her, summoned by an act of Murder, just as the prophecy foretold. But it came much sooner than expected! Still, this was the moment she fought for since she had been fourteen.
With Apocrypha held in both hands pointed downward, Elizabeth responded to her Lord's malediction.
"You honor your Herald, my Dark Father. How may I carry out your will further?"
The only being who could command the Scourge of Hyrule stood before all in a shop in Castle Town, of all places. Thus began the Prophetic Second Chapter.
Xiaber(?)/ Fine Goods Emporium/ Evening 2
As the unknown woman stabbed herself with Beth's sword, the young boy wasn't sure what to expect. He finally lost his smile when a piercing shriek echoed throughout the room and darkness covered everything. When the darkness lifted, a scowl appeared on the boys face at the sight of the figure that took the woman's place. Could this really be such a powerful entity? After hearing Beth's response, he gives an internal sigh. I will have to wait awhile before I decide if I should act.
Dark Father, The Fallen One/Fine Goods Emporium/ Evening 2
The Dark Father reached forward and stroked Elizabeth's cheek with a gentle caress. A flicker of amusement shot through him at the sight of rapture the touch brought to her. Inside this persona, Alauth cheered itself. The Great Hylian Scourge was wrapped metaphorically around its pinky. With her, and the armored time traveler, Alauth had a much improved chance to regain its history.
"To further carry my will, dear child?" asked the Fallen One. "You have done so much already. You have carried my will to this point. Rejoice!"
He stepped back, and with a flick of his wrist bid her rise. "But this place will serve no such celebration. We must go to my people. You will bring me to your base of operation, along with my... retinue." At this he indicated the young Ella and the nameless man. "They are mine, and mine alone, dear Bryce! Neither you, nor any under your charge, will do anything to them without my presence or permission."
Then, Alauth took a gamble. It was, perhaps, a risk to entrust such a danger to the greatest criminal mastermind and degenerate murderous psychopath ever counted among Hyrule's mortal species. But, on the other hand, she was technically under the thrall of the Dark One, for the time being. And Alauth was, for the time being, the Dark One. So, this in mind, the Dark Father's tattered wings curled forward, encompassing his torso behind a ragged veil of decrepit feathers. A brief flash of cornflower blue light blinked through his feathers, and then the wings retracted behind him once more.
In his hand was a small dark purple stone. He extended it toward Beth. "Do you know what this is, my child?"
Her eyes widened in surprise as she inspected it. "A timeshift stone!"
The Fallen One smirked. "Very good. Yes. Consider it an additional token of reward for completion of the task appointed to you, and use it wisely to bring us forth from this town. I will return to the woman's form, to ease our extrication."
He turned to the young unnamed boy who had followed them, leveling a stare at him that seemed to bore through his eyes. "And you, young one. What will you do? I sense... something off inside you. Indecision. Should you bolt for the door now? Will you stay and worship me? Perhaps you want to stand side-by-side, hand-in-hand with my preeminent emissary?" He shrugged, and turned.
The same cloud of darkness swirled around him, and when it faded, Henrietta Arand stood once more in the Fine Goods Emporium. She was hearty and hale, save a hole at gut level in the front and back of her shirt revealing a nasty looking scar. She smiled briefly at Bryce, winked, and then walked over to Ella, who was just starting to stir and wake.
"Shh, shh, Ella." she whispered to the young woman. "You'll be okay. We made it back home. Somehow" She brushed her hands over Ella's face, tucking Ella's hair behind her ears. When her fingers crossed over her eyes, a thin film of... something was left behind, which seeped beneath her eyelids and coated her eyes. Ella's eyes fluttered open, but were pure white orbs.
"A-Arand... I-I can't see!"
Arand nodded. "I think something happened to your eyes. Just... hold on to me, for now. I'll keep you safe. And... I think, by now, you can call me Ria. My friends do, and after what we've been through, I think you qualify."
Ella smiled as Henrietta helped her to her feet, and clung to her arm for guidance and support. "Alright, Ria. Friends."
Elizabeth/Fine Goods/Night 2
Doing well in the eyes of her Lord, Elizabeth had a renewed confidence amidst her fatigue. She agreed not to touch the two mysterious folks and began to consider ways to escape the predicament before them.
Such an artifact held untold possibilities. And Beth's blood magic only added more. Within sanguine life force held the will to survive. And no one could match her in that category; not with her infamy.
Elizabeth had begun to loot the store for supplies as the shopkeeper had passed out. Leaving a copy of her enchanted cult recruitment pamphlet in his hand, she then searched for healing items.
Helping herself to a Blue Potion and then filling it up, Beth observed what her master was doing. She could not reveal her identity to the woman even if blind. Tricking her for too long would be a challenge.
But it sure felt good to have her wounds close and her body knit after a day like this. Yet rest was far from her.
Ria, I am working on getting us to safety. Just say when you are ready to move out."
Xiaber(?)/Fine Goods Emporium/Night 2
OOC: Takes place before Tristan's latest post.
The boy listened to what he could only consider a monster. As the monster finished, the boy brought a smile back to his face. He shrugged and turned away from the monster. Worship you or not, stay with you or leave, it is all the same to me as of now. If you can not trust me, well then we are both the same in that sense. He wanted to say all of this, but was too distracted by what the monster gave Beth. A timeshift stone; he had never heard of such a thing, but could only guess what it did by it's rather simplistic name.
There were then many reasons why he was drawn towards Beth as she started their escape. He never would have guessed that Xiaber would somehow find a goldmine of circumstances when entering Castle Town.
Elizabeth/Fine Goods Emporium/Night 2 Final Fantasy X - Between Ordeals
OOC: This is Elizabeth's "Move Forward" post. If there's anything anyone needs to do before proceeding to the next scene, permission is granted to retcon.
After looting and giving the shop one more quick sweep, Elizabeth did not feel the need to check with her Lord in which manner was best to make her escape. Doing much to carry His will also gave her the empowerment of acting in the group's best interests. Sure, it was either her deity or his embodiment on this plane, but handling the Timeshift Stone had her concerned. She recognized the symbol on it all too well.
There had to be a buffer. Directly touching it was one thing that made her uneasy. She was aware of different temporal artes and magicks, but had not ever used them. The shopkeeper would be useful once again. He wouldn't miss a little bit of blood.
Holding the Stone in her left hand, Beth made a very light wound in the shopkeeper's leg. She then traced a protective rune on said stone, which began to react with it strangely. It turned from red to blue almost immediately. Cocking an eyebrow, she used a Black Prayer to secure her warding. If the sigil already in place used holy energies, her counter-ward would have to hold or she would surely die. Not even her Lord could save her from that fate.
"If he dies, that's all he was in the end. Just a prick. Anyone coming with me needs to stay within two meters of me. If you venture too far away, you will be seen. Do not let anything you see fool you. We are leaving Castle Town and returning to the Crimson Sanctuary."
Resuming her incantation, those capable of understanding the language she spoke would know it was a double measure of warding and travel boons. Sure, the Dark Father stood before her in this very shop, but ritual was important.
"All I have to say is three more words and this stone will activate. Ready yourselves. Dark Father, grant me fleetness of foot."
Shutting her eyes, she heard footsteps moving closer to her. And then she whispered the command words.
"Days Long Gone."
The fact that the blood on the stone turned blue before the stone matched its shade was a good sign. As was the fact that the bubble projecting outward gave a good three meter radius instead of two. Elizabeth's will was strong. And when she opened her eyes to look around, all she could see was open fields under the night sky. Twenty minutes worth of walking would be safe enough of a distance away to be clear of the town. But this required extreme concentration. And Beth kept the stone in her left hand while Apocrypha was drawn in the right. Sweat was beading, taking a lot of the dried sanguine tinge from her skin. Her breathing was metered and quick, and she made sure she was pointing due South before starting any of this. Under moonlight, the landmark she sought was the river that Castle Town was built behind. And that was going to be the hardest part when she got there.
Well, here goes something. Not every day my deity walks with me. Once near in Spirit, now near in Body.