Devil's Due

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Banzai's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2014-08-15 16:45
Devil's Due

"Evil uses man, not the reverse."
- Fara, ex-paladin of the Zakarum


Act I
In which one commits treason against himself, and a mighty devil falls from disgrace.

Act II
In which a remorseful angel traces back her footsteps to find the pieces of a missing puzzle.

Banzai's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2014-08-15 16:45
Act II - Continued

"SU! No! We need you! Come ba--!"

From the moment she crossed the mighty doors into the war room, Succoria knew there was no way back. Her mind would at least wobble in confusion as she entered a place that was simultaneously the highest tower and the deepest chamber of the city, a place of flesh and blood and dark, terrible stone. The cavernous walls were lined like a ribcage, and the stony floor ran over the bulging muscles of the city's gargantuan legs. Lines of beautiful images in vibrant stained glass pierced the bleeding skin of the hall, depicting scenes ancient beyond counting, and schemes that had yet to be planned. Some of them were undescipherable, some were maddening, and they seemed to be ordered in an ever-changing pattern: at first it was chronological, then by merit, and finally by causality, until one realized that many were both cause and consequence at the same time - and had either to look away or assimilate the loth's thought patterns, with all the risk that entailed.

But despite the battle raging outside, everything in the war room was eerily quiet, calm, and orderly. There were no bodies, no signs of violence: only the multidimensional charts of many cosmologies and, standing at the center of all, the General of Gehenna, facing his foe in silence.

Because now could she see him, even though it seemed he'd been standing there for ages: Archimedes, of the mighty Seven, the tome archon, her commander. He stood tall and broad, feathery wings spread in a demonstration of power, the holy light that made up his body blazing beneath the armor and the eagle-hooded cloak of purity. The rivals stared at each other, locked in a contest fought not with the body, but with the spirit itself. Such was their bearing that the air seemed heavy, and its pressure would soon be unbearable.

Archimedes stood tall, feathery wings spread wide

A hand touched Succoria, and the scene suddenly changed: blood bathed the hall, the bodies of dying fiends littered and writhing around. A short, beautiful elven maid of green hair lay dead in a pool before her, her burnt hand gripping the holy symbol that hanged by her neck. A few paces away, the wounded ranger shot his ballista-like contraption up into the air, his heavenly canine companion and the broad, heavily armored paladin keeping the yugoloths at bay. On the other side, the monk pounded down a veteran marilith with calculated brutality and cold perfection. Her face expressionless, she shined a powerful outsider on her own accord: she had achieved perfect harmony of body and soul, and her technique was more than enough to outmatch the fiend she fought. Above, Achimedes and the General exchanged blows, their blades (broad and colossal on the celestial's part, thin and twisted on the fiend's) ringing with the deafening clash of right and wrong. So hard to follow was their fight, that just looking at them hurt the eyes. A squeeze of the hand that had gripped her brought Succoria's eyes to her waker's face.

"Succoria, I need you to focus." said Ariella, her eyes boring into the lesser angel's. She was a throne archon, Archimedes's second in command. As such, her features were impossibly beautiful yet terrible to look at, as righteous wrath and vengeance was flesh onto her, and her skin was lit with golden flame. She suddenly shoved Succoria aside, her weapon clashing with that of the General, who seemed to be in two places at the same time. The force of the blow drove her back against a wall, cracking it, but she parried the attack nonetheless. The general's blade grew and twisted and shot about like lightning made metal, striking repeatedly like a vicious needle.

On the other side of the room, the paladin's blade found its way into the thick torso of a dog-headed winged fiend, but the beast died gripping it. Weaponless, he fought off the infernal beetle warriors with only his gauntlets. "Ro, cover me!" The ranger did his best, his cross-shaped crossbow firing up to four consecutive bolts before the mechanism jammed. A hissing mezzoloth fell on him, forcing him to rely on his jagged dagger, while the paladin grasped a yagnoloth by its little arm and delivered a series of heavy punches to the fiend's stomach. The golden hound jumped on the insect that had pinned his master, ending its life with a rabid bite - at the cost of a trident cleaving deep into his side. "MELCHIADES!" His master bellowed, but the dog was already gone.

Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2013-01-31 22:53
The world around her moved in

The world around her moved in slow motion as the shove sent her reeling. The Paladin cornered; the ranger pinned and both other celestials locked into a battle that moved faster than she could comprehend. Minutes must have ticked by as her fall took her face-to-face with the fallen elf, and brought with it a pang of dread that flickered through her bowels and turned her mouth to ash. What was that feeling? Horror? Rage? Guilt? A lifetime of thoughts flooded through the celestial as her feet - moving through the motions of a practiced warrior - came under her and righted her stance. In the end one thought alone lingered, processed in but the span of her pupil's dilation.

We have already failed them..

A cool rage welled inside her, and like the wind she was across the room, appearing suddenly as if she had been there from the start and had never moved at all. In her mind she knew the Yagnoloth would be trouble, but it was Ro that she went to first. His companions needed him.

Her hand came gently upon his shoulder, but was urgent in its movement as she pulled him free from the body of his animal companion. As his halcyon green eyes met hers Succoria saw his confusion, his sudden hesitance and felt his grief burn deep. His sorrow weighed up on her, and for an instant the being worried that she had lost his mind to to the pain. But as fast as his emotions had welled she had calmed him simply by being near; her aura seemed to have strange effects on mortals.


His name brought his senses back into the room, and he suddenly realised he had been holding his breath. His warrior eyes turned to the room, focused on the General and narrowed, and in an instant the young archon saw what she was looking for; the fury that danced like a flame behind his suddenly steeled jaw.

She seized it.

"Use it. Hurt them." Her voice was calm, but steely as it rose above the drumming of the Ranger's elevated heartbeat.

"When you kill them down here.." She told him, "they don't ever come back."

And then Succoria drew her axe and was upon the Yagnoloth, teleporting upon the fiend in a blaze of angelic fury. As her blade cut through the creature, slicing through flesh and shattering bone, the enraged warcry of their ranger echoed against the bloodstained halls behind her.

Gods be willing. She thought.

I will not fail them twice..

Banzai's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2014-08-15 16:45
Shoot the General

"Shoot the general, Romulus! I'll handle the rest with the celestial!" Two lesser daemons jumped on Succoria as she finished the yagnoloth, but the paladin was about as fast as he was durable. He met the infernal beetles with the metal of his armored shoulder, sprawling them on the floor and piercing one's chitin with an enchanted dagger.

Above, a myriad of Generals fought his celestial foes as what seemed to be the "true" ultroloth watched in silence, floating like a rippling shadow. It swirled and shifted as the ranger's bizarre ballista opened fire once more, with a salvo of burning metal rods flying at it in quick succession only to sear into the wall's fleshy structure. With a silent hiss, the General's crooked fingers closed in the jewel that hung by his neck - a blood-red stone that beated with unholy malice - and a horrible transformation took place.

As the monk relentlessly pounded her marilith opponent, a fiendish spark ignited in her expression. She was in perfect synchronization with her foe's ever weakening attempts to attack: her mind was one with the marilith. Her mind was one with her body. And as the jet black arc of pure Evil shot out of the Ultroloth towards her, that wholeness, that unity of matter and spirit was her undoing. With a scream that defied the very definition of sound, her body bulged and metamorphosed. Her skin burnt with sigils that predated time itself, and began to waste and shed as she collapsed into a quivering, spastic madwoman.

"That will be the last soul you claim!" The Tome Archon's massive blade glowed like a star, and with a powerful swing blew away the darkness, opening the way for Ariella to attack. But as the fiery angel came down with vengeance, a dark shadow crashed against her, unleashing her strenght in a mind-boggling flurry of blows: the monk, now a lesser yet lethal aspect of the Ultroloth.

"Ariella! Do not--" but a powerful silence spread through the room as Archimede's blazing armor cracked. The thin tip of the General's metallic blackness, the same the throne archon could barely parry before, shot from the yugoloth's jewel and pierced the celestial through. No words came from the General's mouth, but for once his eyes were transparent - and they were satisfied. A bubbling, greenish corruption began to spread beneath Archimedes's armor as he was slowly, painfully subverted.

And the fires of Good that briefly burned and threatened to consume the Crawling City were extinguished as though one blows dark a candle.

But as the dark closed in, another candle, dim behind the Tome Archon's own light, suddenly became visible. The Paladin's hands glowed and bled and smoked with a sickening hiss as he gripped the black spear that penetrated Archimedes. His body was covered in sweat, his muscles were tense beyond what was humanly possible, but his expression showed his unwavering determination. "This is for Lin, you freak." With a deafening crash, he shattered the corruption apart, and used it to bring down the General. One, two, three fists of light and revenge crashed on the ultroloth before he coiled back like a snake, and his dark weapon struck the knight down. But behind the corpse, the ranger aimed a metal rod, dipped in the celestial blood of the fallen canine. And shot.

The General shrieked, and in a whirlwind of shadow he began to siphon himself thought the walls in an attempt to escape. With a powerful stride the ranger jumped forward and grasped the jewel - and darkness exploded. Visions of everything that had transpired before and after the encounter became vivid, tangible and real, flashing faster than thought towards the chamber. Succoria saw the birth of dead men, a world burning, piles of bones that reached into the sky; she saw devils and pigmies and corrupted angels; and she saw Archimedes himself chained in the depths of Hell. "MY SWORD, SUCCORIA!" the Tome Archon yelled at her through time. "STAB THE SWORD INTO THE FLOOR, OPEN THE PORTAL! SAVE THE MORTALS!"