5.13.2007

Blood, Fire, Death

"The Weaver has certainly blessed me today.", Shalkis thought. No bodyguards.. no sycophants.. not even servants. The prey is completely exposed. He slowly walked around the edge of the arena, oblivious of the two red eyes starting at him through the thin slits of Shalkis' wooden mask. She carefully walked around the outer edge of the stony steps of the auditorium. Too much was at stake to be caught now.. She followed him around until he sat on the edge of the Arena. She was now convinced that he was alone and approached.

"Hello."
Tziak turned slowly and gazed towards Shalkis.
"Greetings."
"I didn't expect to see you here, but.. Could you step into the Arena?"
"Hmm...A familiar voice...Shalkis?"
Shalkis drew her sword and held it lazily, with the tip pointing towards the ground.
"Pretty please?"
"Planning on making a sacrifice? Not wishing to converse? How unlike you, Shalkis..."
Tziak stood slowly.
"Of course not. An example."
"An example of what?"
"Patience.. you'll find out soon."
The pair started walking towards the ramps. Tziak in the front, and Shalkis following at a swords-length behind him.

"Very well... You wish to fight, yes? Not exactly my strongest skill, but still...i shall fight, if you will speak with me first.."
Shalkis stayed silent.
"Answer me?"
She prodded Tziak with her sword. Tziak eyed the dark blade and then chuckled.
"A sword in the stomach, hmm?"
"Keep moving."
Tziak rolled his eyes and walked down the ramp onto the crimson sands.

"Good."
"Spill his blood all over the sands!"
"Feast upon his heart!"
The voices were still whispers, but loud enough to be heard clearly. Shalkis could almost smell Tziak's delicious blood, pumping in his veins.. then he turned and spoke.
"Now, shall you speak?"
Before Shalkis could reply, he heard an another voice from behind her.
"It is an honor to be in your presence once again."
Hidden behind her mask, she smiled. Audience. And judging by his words, a Gurubashi. The blessings are numerous today, she thought. And before she realized it, a red haze filled her vision and words escaped her lips:
"This might sting a bit."

...

Tziak was lying on the ground.. frostbitten. As was the other troll. Shalkis would have preferred if he was conscious, but one cannot have everything.
"Now.. get up.", she barked towards Tziak.
"The reason why we're here.. I've been thinking what the warcry of the Empire really meant.."
Tziak slowly opened his eyes, and his flesh was already regenerating rapidly.
"P-pardon...wait till my ears r-regrow...", he smirked and coughed up some blood.
"The Blood.. that corrupts us.", she bellowed and drove her blade through Tziak's hand.
"The Fire.. that consumes us.", she continued yelling. Flames danced on her fingertips and jumped to Tziak, burning away the regenerated flesh.
"The Death.. that sets us free.", she screamed on top of her lungs, drowning out the wailing winds circling around her.
Tziak was trying to whisper something.
"Of course.. you're not getting away that easily..", she spoke and smiled.
"Of course not, Shalkis.", he replied and then whispered..
"But answer me one question....Do you regret that your lips, who even now quiver with jealousity, shall never again grace my skin?"
He started to laugh, but it quickly turned into a cough.
"Now sleep.. and dream of horrid things..", she spoke omniously and pointed the tip of her bloodied sword right at Tziak's face.
"Wait..", he smiled again.
"Will you not answer my questions?"
"I have no regrets. My task in this world is done. This.. is just a bonus.", she replied from behind her mask.
"That was not my question."
Shalkis heard someone walk towards her from behind. She turned, still keeping her sword pointed at Tziak. An another Gurubashi.
"I did not come here for you. Wait your turn.", she quipped and turned towards Tziak.
The other troll spoke: "Me be ´ere to ´elp me Emporah."
Shalkis ignored the troll and carefully cut Tziak's tabard off him with her sword. When the blade nicked Tziak's skin, the wound closed even before it could bleed.
The troll behind her started to chant: "From da earth yah call da Powah..."
Shalkis grabbed the tabard and held it up, marveling at the handiwork. Even in it's burnt and tattered state, the twin snakes still looked majestic.
"This.. is now mine..", she spoke to herself. She then turned her gaze back towards Tziak.
"As for your life.."

Shalkis' sentence was interrupted by a snarl from behind. Before she could turn, she could feel and hear metal grind against bone. Blood gushed out of her back. She whispered a word and she was beyond the axe's reach. The troll wielding it pulled the axe up from the ground and started running towards her. The other two trolls were already hurling lightning towards her, and from the corner of her eye, she saw Tziak, shimmering with frost and an elemental at his side. She had a wicked grin behind her mask, but that was only a facade. Of course he had only been stalling, waiting for more Gurubashi to show up. Each second here would increase the chances of him winning. It would have to end now.

Shalkis muttered a long-forgotten blessing, and she too was protected by both a frozen shield and an elemental. The elemental turned it's featureless face towards one of the shamans while Shalkis was already introducing the berserker to his ruminant side. Bolts of lightning, ice and water criscrossed around the Arena. The first shaman succumbed.. then the other. She looked back at Tziak, and the blood haze filled her vision again.

...

Shalkis stood next to Tziak, looking down on him.
"Now.. where were we?"
"I believe you where going to take my life? Amusing, really.", Tziak grinned.
"All things have an end. You are fortunate to encounter yours so soon. However.. your end will not come today."
"You know, if you let me live, what shall happen..", he shook his head.
"You.. will bring your own downfall. This.. is simply a long overdue reminder.. of your mortality. That even a 'God-Emperor' can bleed."
"Breaking my body serves nothing to remind me of 'mortality' ...you should know, as an 'Aspect' ...the Flesh means nothing", he replied.
"Of course.. so here's something for you to dream about."
"I have long stopped dreaming....but continue.."
Shalkis' sword flared briefly as she thrust it towards Tziak.

...

"Sleep, Emperor of the Gurubashi.. and dream of your fate that you have brought upon yourself!", Shalkis bellowed. Her work was done, for now. The wound on her back was not bleeding anymore, but she could not handle any more Gurubashi. With great effort, she climbed on top of her raptor and rode north from the Arena.

4 comments:

Moony/Kala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shalkis said...

Shalkis was wearing her Burning Wrath set at the time of the event. Normally she wears either her Blue Spider or Tribal costume.

I've asked Tziak and Zigtuul to post some reference shots to this comment thread.

BTW, Tziak and Zigtuul have also written their stories about the event.

Shalkis said...

Zigtuul's screenshots are now available.

Moony/Kala said...

Looking good. I'll get started as soon as I can. And the other stories are fantastic! I may have to do some images from all three perspectives. Wouldn't that be cool? ;)