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A note from Ela

Late is late, life happens. Pretty sure this shows schedules at the moment outside of my work schedule are pretty pointless. Next one will be posted eventually, I will be keeping to my noted length requirements at least.

  They stand against the beast that comes for them, the elves, no longer bearing the mark of Gaia stand as one. Shield to shield they stop the assault, they defend against the battering of her scream but only just. Those with the power of magic gather to them their ideals, their thoughts and with what bravery they can muster in the face of the enemy they have chosen, they let the spells fly.

  Fire and lightning lash around, her armor smolders under the assault and she smiles. As the magic touches against her skin the glyphs that make up her form glow, and in the light it seems she gleams, like lightning captured in a bottle she sparks and flares and continues forward. Her sword scrapes against the ground, so cold it seems to waver, like winter given an edge she stalks forward and finally something changes.

  The sun rises before her eyes and her mind is hammered, for a moment, by the oath she swore at worship, by the promise she made to Helios and she realizes, he wanted this. She can see the greedy false god and before him stands Nulen, Velen’s right hand. Of course the rat Velen would be gone. He screams at her “You are by your own words a maiden of Helios, sworn and promised to the sun until you come into marriage with a husband. You will abide your oath and kneel before his priest!” Again the blaze enters her mind, and tries to find something to cling to, something to make her kneel.

  But she is no longer little Rose, she is no longer the maiden that swore herself to the sun every morning until she would be wed to a man. A man to represent the marriage Helios in her marriage, her being the Green Lady. The name Helios had chosen to make Gaia forget as she slept. However, there was nothing left for that light to cling to. Nothing there to make Neziah, Queen of the Northern Mountains, Empress of Change and the Avatar of the Coming Storm. No, this little man and his light would not make her kneel...not with the threat to herself and her people he represented.

  She stopped for a moment and smiled at Nulen, a kind smile before her scream rang out again. “You dare? You dare remind me of what I was? Of oaths made in ignorance while you yourself have been declared guilty in MY KINGDOM!” The rage within her voice projects outward, following her scream and shatters sword and bone, shield and stone falling before her as she stalks forward. “You attack me within my land, knowing the old laws Nulen, knowing that I hold Authority within my land. Knowing you could do not but lose. Velen will be gone, but you will die stupid and that, at least, makes me chuckle.”

  As she talks that sword flashes out, towards his neck and for a moment there is shock, before she smiles at the small elf blocking her strike with a gleaming spear. “So you’re not just mice, there is some rats with you that dare bare their fangs. Good, I’ve been awful bored.” The elf jumps back, just avoiding a slash from Neziah before she darts in again and Neziah laughs as she grabs the spear, her hand burning from the light it casts. “Come then, fight! At least amuse me before you fall! At least show yourself to have existed, leave proof of your desires! Come forth and try!” Her cry howls around them, mocking and taunting as she moves forward towards their ranks, tossing the woman aside and breaking her spear in to. “At least meet your death with honor!”

  They came at her immediately with this, knowing their only chance, their only hope was her end but meeting her in combat was simply an execution for most. Her sword moved in simple strokes, simple but sure, with the strength of a mountain storm behind them, still the one with that had wielded that golden spear moves against her and delays her. She holds a gleaming sword now as she moves forward, a beautiful face with empty eyes, and something broken behind it. Neziah is sure then that this women is naught by a vessel, and she changes her focus, her sword moving with brutal surety as she screams, forcing the women before her when suddenly her neck sears with agony. Looking she sees a golden necklace and her mind seems to dull as Nulen pulls back on her chain...her mas-...she shakes her head and changes tactics with a smile.

  “You surprise me M-...” She sneers “Nulen, you’ll not make me kneel with something so simple...let me remind you who is Empress.” With that she takes a breath and shouts a word, a command, the word roughly translating to a demand to leave, the intent being banishment. The word is distorted by the power within it as she flares for a moment, and her body droops, seemingly spent, her eyes wide and glassy. Nulen stares and laughs “I’ll be the first to share you as a prize before passing you around little R-” A scream from behind him startles him as he turns, a mortal scream, but something primal even as the chain in his hand shatters and he turns to see them, that band of orcs and something else, something monstrous standing before an ogre, covered in reddened crystal and seemingly dripping blood. “Red Cap...oh dear Helios protect it’s a berserker.”

  Erisa stands there, staring down at them with nothing by promises of violence as her voice raises in an incomprehensible song, the orc in gleaming gold behind her bares her teeth. “You have been judged and found wanting. The Lady’s consort is seemin a wee bit miffed with ya, I’d be running if I was you honorless lot.” She sniffs then, her loud voice quieting before she moves her troops fan out. “Try not to engage if you don’t need to, just don’t be letting the rats out of the cage. They forgot something...there it is.” She says this as Erisa crashes into them, rock and earth flowing from her, as if dancing to her song as blood flows just as freely from those elves she crashes into.

  As this happens Neziah seems to finally come to, standing tall as her sword lashes out, nearly taking Nulen’s before that golden corpse of a fighter intervenes once more. Out of patience seemingly she slams her sword into the ground and pulls a flask from her belt, tossing it at the ground of the fighter before her. The woman moves, jumping to the side even as Neziah smiles and pulls her fist back and slams it into the chin of the woman with a sickening crack before pulling another flask out and crashing it against the side of her face. As she does the woman’s skin quickly takes on a sheen before taking on the white and grey color of good quality granite, her strike slowing to a stop as the petrification finishes rapidly.

  With a smile Neziah strides through the battle, watching Erisa wreck havoc on the group before she finds Nulen and pulls out two more flasks and cracks them, her claws seeming to harden even as they take on that same chill her sword exudes. Seeing this he takes a step back as he seemingly expects his guardian to return, but he has no such luck as Neziah moves and starts to pound the elf with closed fists rather than sharpened claws.

  As this happens the battle around them thins and dulls, coming to a stop as those still alive surrender, and watch as their commander, their glorious leader, is pounded into the dust with a rather unrefined but unrestrained brutality. They hear her then, Neziah and an angry whisper working its way up to something more.

  “You thought to bind me to him? Again? You thought that I would simply be meek and accept? That somehow, you had some right to take from me the only thing I had remaining in that place, my own will! MY OWN MIND! You would make me another such as her, that poor woman was nothing more than a victim at this point, what choice in this did she have? You’ll no die until you answer, and you’ll soon find that is no reprieve, only a cruelty.” As she talks she lashes out with a booted foot, catching him on the inside of his knee, dislocating it with sick pop. She screams again, wordless this time and Nulen tries to defend himself, a sloppy blow thrown at her face, her response was simply to grab his wrist and pull him forward, pushing back on his head with his arm stretched out straight behind him. He tries to free himself, but only gets a calm, freezing hand placed on his elbow and quick push down snaps the joint as he screams.

  “We’re done here, round them up, anyone tries to run, kill them. They were already judged, I’ll figure out what to do with them when we get back.” Neziah shakes her head as she talks. “This has left a sour taste in my mouth, killing puppets is not to my liking. If anyone can grab the statue without breaking it, please do so.”

  She turns away from them now as Erisa walks up to her, breathing heavily as the stone falls away. “I want a reminder of what could have been, and why I can’t be like him...ever.” She shudders “I’d rather be stone than have that happen to me, I’m not sure if that can even be fixed. I have to try though, if only to see if I can’t rob that bastard of warriors if for nothing else, and worst..worst case to make sure I can reclaim my own people should that happen to them..”

  Turning back she looks at Nulen “As for that sniveling thing...for what he intended I’ll return the favor. It sickens me be the punishment will fit the crime. Nulen will be changed, and he will know the change occured but he will never remember why...only that he was judged and punished for his crimes. I’ll work the details out...later.” She shakes her head and sighs as she looks towards the sky with a grimace “The war hasn’t even started yet and still..still they sicken me. There was no honor to this..."

"For any of us."

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Ela

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Dragrath @Dragrath ago

Yeah free will or the lack there of complicate matters. Mind manipulation via indoctrination ect do nasty things. Really a counter propaganda method or avalibility of repuable information via education is probably the only way to fight such tactics effectivly. Simply slaughtering them will only serve to reinforce those beliefs. Its always quite complicated sigh.