Author Topic: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity  (Read 23910 times)

Offline Tyler294

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"Wait... why would we want to breach the chambers...?" the lead guard rubbed his chin.

"Good question. I guess you can ask yourself that when it's been done." Tarek replied, suddenly firing a mixed blast of lightning and wind toward the lead guard, hurling him back into the chamber entrance with enough force to cause the heavy wooden doors to crack slightly.

"S-s-stop them!" the lead guard sputtered, his back broken but his will not.

The rest of the guards, after hesitating a moment, brandished their weapons and went after the remaining people in the strike team.

Offline Shawnex

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"Think we should retreat?" Wondu asked with a worried look.

Offline Tyler294

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"Never! This is our one chance for victory! CHAAHAHAAAARGEEEE!!!" the fanatical rebel screamed, raising his sword and charging the guards.

The others followed-suit and the brawl was on.

Offline DeadJim

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The others... except for Melvyn.

"Don't mind me; I'm only observing." he stated as he leaned against the nearest wall.

Meanwhile, Marliea had moved on from her last "fight" and was busy trying to cut down as many guards as possible. She didn't seem to be as effective as she had in earlier conflicts, though her skills were still superior than her current opponents.

Offline Tyler294

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Indeed, the guards were were pretty easily defeated, and only one of the rebels suffered significant wounds. After losing half their ranks, the remaining guards dropped their weapons and ran away.

"Come back you cowards! You must defend the senate with your lives!" the fanatical guard leader cried, "FOR THE REPUB---"

Tarek blasted the man again, slamming him right through the door and sending him flailing into the senate chambers. The senators, all seated around a large conference table, rose to their feet upon seeing the door forced open.

"Just stay calm..." one of the senators urged the others, though the rest of the assembly, consisting of about a twenty men, murmured nervously.

"Guard the entrance. Let no one in or out." Tarek told one of the rebels, who nodded.

Leaving them to stand sentinel at the doorway, Tarek ushered Wondu, Marliea and Melvyn to follow him into the senate chamber. There appeared to be no guards left, as they all must have been sent to hold the entrance.

"Tarek Izabran, I should have known you'd be behind this disruption." one of the senators, an overweight man who looked rather wealthy, addressed the intruders.

Offline DeadJim

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"Hey everyone," Melvyn said as he waved his hand, "I'm Melvyn. I'm here for the drinks."

Marliea glaced at him for a moment, before shrugging it off and resuming to act serious.

Offline Shawnex

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"Do excuse us for interrupting your meeting." said Wondu, "But I think you took something that belongs to Tarek and the citizens of Veridia."

Offline Tyler294

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"On the contrary, what was taken from Tarek and the other dukes was never rightfully theirs." another senator, the apparent chairman, stated, "For too long, the aristocracy extorted their wealth and power from the people. This republic took from them on behalf of the Veridian people, not from the Veridian people!"

"Then explain why this nation starves and decays while you all sit here fat and contented." Tarek growled, "Especially you, Duke Sudja!"

He pointed his sword at the fat senator that had spoken first.

"You betrayed the other dukes, including my father, just to save your own hide from the revolutionaries! Now you sit on a council of murderers as reward for your crime!" Tarek advanced toward the man, placing his sword tip against his throat, "My father trusted you as a friend, but you showed the rabble how to breach the palace defenses! You enabled them to sack the place and kill everyone!"

"It was necessary that Veridia change." Senator Sudja responded defiantly, though there was a touch of fear evident in his face, "Your father and the other dukes could not see that, so I did what I had to. The revolution was going to happen regardless, so I acted to prevent a prolonged civil war that would cost even more lives."

"Tarek..." the chairman cut-in, "There is no reason for further violence. Many regrettable things occurred during the revolution, this we know. Allow us a chance for recompense. The Republic can compensate you for your losses and grant you a position in our government, provided you cease this foolish rebellion and relinquish your claim to nobility."

"Yes, yes. There is no reason to repeat the cycle." Sudja added, scowling as Tarek's blade irritated the skin of his throat.

As the two attempted to talk Tarek down, a dark figure with a crossbow emerged from the shadows on the balcony overlooking the throne room. Raising his crossbow to his shoulder, the figure targeted the back of Tarek's neck and prepared to put an end to this rebellion with one swift stroke.

« Last Edit: Oct 25 2018, 03:24 PM by Tyler294 »

Offline DeadJim

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As he raised his crossbow, Marliea saw that movement out of the corner of her eye. She lunged toward Tarek with her right shoulder while drawing her sword with her left hand. As he was pushed out of the way, she spun around 180 degrees counterclockwise sending her sword flying into the balcony and into the figures face, but not before he had released his arrow...

Marliea gasped as she fell to the ground, clutching the arrow that  had pierced her above her armor and into her upper lung.

Offline Tyler294

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Tarek was frozen in place for a moment as he watched Marliea crumble to the floor, while out of the corner of he saw the crossbowman fall from the balcony and land on the stone floor with a sickening splat. A deathly silence fell over the room as he finally found it in him to move again, dropping to his knee over the fallen woman. He quickly broke-off the shaft of the crossbow bolt, but judging from the angle and how far it had penetrated, he could tell that it would do no good.

"I..."

For once, he was at a loss for words. She had saved his life, at the cost of her own. Unless Melvyn possessed some other piece of surprising knowledge, there was nothing that could be done to save her.

"Thank you." he managed to say, shaking his head slightly.

Offline DeadJim

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Marliea smiled slightly and nodded at him. Melvyn, who was unusually quiet, moved closer and knelt on the other side of her.

"She can't stay..." Marliea whispered, "Arlyss, she... can't stay in Acrylia. Her and her brother aren't... they're not safe here."

"I'll take them with me to Westinburg," Melvyn replied, "Noverth is far. The brothers won't venture that far away from the mountains.

Marliea hesitated a moment, but then nodded.

Offline Shawnex

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"MARLIEA!" Wondu gasped as ran up to her, "No! Don't go now! Somebody help her! She needs medic! Stay with us!"

Offline Tyler294

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Tarek wanted to offer to keep the children in Sovek, but he wasn't going to contradict Marliea's wishes in her last moments. She was satisfied with Melvyn taking them to Westinburg, which was known to be a peaceful and safe place, and Melvyn supposedly had a big family that could provide a better home than anyone here in Veridia could.

"I'll make sure your family has what they need to provide for them." Tarek told Melvyn, before looking down at Marliea, "And I'll make sure your sacrifice is not in vain..."

Silence befell the room once more as Marliea released her final agonizing breath, her body going still seconds later. Tarek placed a finger on each of the woman's eyelids and drew them shut, before wordlessly rising to his feet and turning back to the senators. The self-proclaimed rulers of Veridia shrank in fear, for the look on Tarek's face had changed, and it was the look of man prepared to kill.

"Tarek, wait! That wasn't what it looked like!" the chairman protested.

Tarek drew out his sword.

"I assure you, the Republic will grant you whatever you want!" Sudja cried, "I will give you whatever you want!"

"What I want...?" Tarek began to slowly advance toward the senators, "All ever truly wanted was to see my parents one last time..."

Sudja tried to back away, but the bulk of the senators were standing behind him, and none of them allowed him to slip behind them.

"Can you do that, Duke Boris Sudja, can you bring back my parents? Can you bring back Marliea? Can you bring back the noble families you betrayed? Can you bring back the thousands you've starved?"

This time, Sudja turned around completely, using his girth to barrel through his peers and try to get as much distance between himself and Tarek as possible.

"Tarek, this is a mistake! Don't-- AAAAGGGHHH!!! the chairman tried to protest, but Tarek merely raised his left arm, the one with the gauntlet, and fired a stream of lighting into the man, causing him to fall to his knees, screaming as he was roasted alive.

The death cries of the rest of the senators echoed through stone hall as the ponderous Sudja fled to the only place he could access, the balcony overlooking the city. But as he reached the ledge that jutted out hundreds of feet above the city square, the harsh realization struck him that there was nowhere left to run.

Reluctantly, he turned to face his fate, as Tarek appeared on the balcony as well, sword dripping with blood. The former duke quaked in terror as the son of the friend he had betrayed stalked up to him and raised the tip of his blade so it hovered in the air between Sudja's eyes.

"Tarek..."

"Refer to me by my rightful title, worm!" Tarek snapped.

"Duke Izabran, please! I'll do anything! ANYTHING!"

"Then kneel!"

Sudja quickly lowered himself to his knees, his eyes remaining locked on Tarek's.

"Now..." Tarek placed the hand that bore his gauntlet in front of Sudja's face, removing his sword in the process, "Kiss the hand of your emperor!"

"Emperor?"

"I have reunited the Shards of Losh, you fool! Within my blood flows Imperial lineage! Must I make it any more clear to you?"

"H-hail..." Sudja's lips quivered, "Hail to the emperor!"

He lowed his head and kissed the top of Tarek's hand, an ancient show of respect that kings and emperors had demanded since time immemorial. The humbled man weakly withdrew and looked back up into Tarek's eyes, thinking that perhaps he had earned mercy by his submission. But he did not see the eyes of a merciful monarch, but the hateful glare of a vengeful tyrant.

"S-sire?" he whimpered, finding he could no longer move his legs, realizing only too late that his body had become bone-chillingly cold, "No... MERCY!"

And with that, Boris Sudja was frozen into a block of solid ice, his horrified expression unflinching as Tarek continued to stare him in the eye. With a flick of his wrist, the Emperor of Veridia blasted the frozen senator with a gust of wind, hurling him off the balcony and sending him to shatter into a thousand shards on the street below.

The space between him and the ledge now vacated, Tarek stepped forward to gaze across the city. His city. The one his father ruled over for decades. The one he himself would rule over for decades to come. This place, his childhood home, the seat of an empire lost to the ages, would finally be restored to its rightful place in the world. A republic had died this day, and in its place, an empire had been born.

"Hail to the emperor..."

« Last Edit: Oct 25 2018, 07:20 PM by Tyler294 »