OOC: Sorry it took me so long, damn, it has been years since I wrote anything, surprised I still know the abc, hopefully, though I am unsure. If it starts with C I think I know it.
The room was a mess, various items lying around, gnawed and broken, valuable furniture tarnished, and in the middle of it all Gresh’Thoth, his own bloody dragon, lay sleeping on Avariss’s broken in half bed. He frowned while looking at all that mess, Gresh’Thoth became a nuisance lately, it seemed that his nature was leaning towards aggressiveness and arrogance while not forgetting to spread wanton destruction when he had spare time. Still he was magnificent, the most magnificent of all the wild beasts Avariss has ever seen, though beast was not the right term, the creature was intelligent, malevolently intelligent.
Stroking his beard Avariss contemplated what of an oddity the dragon was, considering his draconic brothers, he was twice the size he should be, which was enormous for that age, not to mention the unnatural second head, something which was nearly unheard of from what Modeus have told him. Due to him having such a “mutated” dragon it was obvious that he will participate in all kind of dragon debates, from which the most prominent was the effects of fel corruption on dragonkind. In those debates Modeus told Avariss the thing which he sensed alone already, Gresh’Thoth hatched from the very egg that Avariss found on the border of the Dark Lands, obviously he was tainted, the question was how tainted and how it would affect him further, if at all. As if the dragon sensed Avariss’s thoughts he twisted his head sideways and let out a small puff of noxious swamp green gas from his nostrils. The green “mist” which the dragon was releasing had already been tested by Avariss and easily identified as highly toxic and even lethal in the correct dose, now if only he could utilize this for something more than just gas bombs it would’ve been wonderful.
He crossed the room silently, he had to wake the dragon, they had to get going. On his way he passed by a cracked mirror, and he swore he couldn’t recognize the figure which stood infront of him there. He changed a lot during this passing year, both physically and mentally. Arjack’s constant drilling was finally showing results, making Avariss look both stronger and healthier, gone was the overly pale tone from his skin, replaced by a more healthy looking grey, not only that but it also seemed that he was becoming a bit muscular and while he was nothing compared to Arjack , Modeus or even most of his fellow apprentices he was still much more than the slim, twig-like old Avariss. The relentless training with the mad fitness dwarf forced him to get larger robes and cloths as he grew in size, he even began carrying a sword with him since he was forced to participate in Lady Xerxia’s endless sparring sessions, and even though he spent, not most, but all of his time laying on his back and pleading for mercy he still managed to improve his skill and abilities in the art of fencing, slowly learning how to defend, parry and even attack correctly, all considered, he became a moderate swordsman, though still he probably wouldn’t be able to beat any of the other apprentices in a straight swordfight.
As he continued inspecting himself he caught a glimpse of the mysterious purple black tattoos which began covering his arms and chest. It was a thing of mystery which neither Modeus nor Tel’Alarian, the scholar, could explain. Still, while he suffered from this minor imprints he did manage, with the guidance of Tel’Alarian, to minimize visible physical corruption and to successfully slow down the corruption process itself, though his eyes still glowed with a dark green color when he dabbled with the fel arts. Though out of all that was achieved, the thing which seemed to be the biggest success was the subsiding of the Voice, in the passing year it grew weaker and weaker, especially when he didn’t use his powers, and even when he did, it became no more than a faint whisper in the back of his head making his living a lot easier and helping him function more or less normally.
He slowly turned away from the cracked mirror, his figure slowly disappearing. He turned back to the dragon, Avariss’s blanket was laying on top of one of the heads, comically floating a bit each time it let out air. Yet even in this state the dragon did look magnificent, two heads, both horned with shining white horns which easily stood out because of the creature’s unnaturally black scales. Like the horns, the scales themselves shone when light shone upon them, giving the dragon a majestic look when it strode. From where Avariss stood he could see the drake’s rows of sharp white teeth, they looked nasty and menacing, easily able to tear the flesh of some unlucky foe.
Even though the dragon looked strong and in a way beautiful, still, what stood out the most in it, were the two heads. Even Avariss could sense that it was something that was not meant to be, yet he never showed any distaste for it, he embraced it as change, like the one he was going through, nothing remained the same in the test of time, and if Gresh’Thoth was the beginning of a new evolution it was not for Avariss to decide its fate, though, it did became hard to control the dragon when each head thought and fancied different things. Nevertheless, he never complained about it, as far as it concerned him, the dragon could sense, hear, see, feel, and smell twice as better as any of his “brothers”, which gave him an edge in nearly all dragon related things, especially in Sir Mordred’s lessons where the dragon could show it’s smug superiority to his kin, but all those advantage did not come without disadvantages, at least for Avariss. It was harder to control the dragon, more so when on the back of the beast though Avariss didn’t mind, riding on top of the dragon felt like riding on an enormous warhorse which could easily trample over anything or burst his way through a solid wall of granite, and even though Avariss never really tried it, he still liked the thought and could picture it in his mind.
Quickly snapping back to reality Avariss pushed the dragon with his leg, hopelessly trying to force it off the broken bed, while mumbling to himself about the dragon being useless and that it should’ve woken up five minutes ago.
Dazedly Gresh’Thoth followed Avariss as he led the way towards the great hall. As usual the way from his own quarters was longer then the way of the other apprentices as he preferred the seclusion and feeling of isolation that being away from the rest gave away and even though he walked this way hundreds of times he still found it terrible long and even possibly confusing for one who would not have walked it daily.
The dragon shook both of his heads in an attempt to remove the webbings of sleep from his mind, it followed blindly, through instinct, while bumping into various walls or corners as it went on without making any comment. Obviously whatever the dragon did earlier exhausted him quite a bit.
Avariss had to admit to himself, waking up this lazy and lumbering beast was not an easy task, especially when it was so much larger than the rest of the dragons. The usual pushing and shoving did not help Avariss, not even hitting the dragon with his fist, he doubted the fact that the dragon even felt it. In a vain attempt to wake the dragon Avariss picked up a half broken chair and threw it on top of the dragon, it bounced away harmlessly but did enough noise to rouse Gresh’Thoth’s interest, as it opened one eye slowly and lazily trying to understand where all the noise was coming from. Not wanting to miss the rare chance Avariss hit the dragon lightly on the back with his staff, forcing it to react and move a bit, forcing blood to begin flowing quicker and thus making the dragon awake slowly. Though sadly for Avariss the waking up process did not end there. Gresh’Thoth, realizing that he did not awake naturally look at Avariss with what seemed to be terrible malice, as if he just took away the most precious thing the dragon owned. “Warlock, what is it that you want?” He asked, his tone sullen and unfriendly. “Gresh, Modeus is summoning us, and we answer, this time all dragons need to be present as well.” He replied to the speaking left head.
The unfriendly look passed from the dragons face to be replaced by a curious one, neither of them knew what Modeus wanted and both were curious. “Fine…” Gresh’Thoth replied as it slowly rose up to its magnificent height, “But first, We have something to take care of.” Another voice said which Avariss recognized as the right head, Thoth. “And wh…” Was all that Avariss said before Gresh smashed his head into him, knocking him off his feet while Thoth caught him in the leg with his mouth, and after about thirty seconds of thrashing and tossing the dragon let him be. “Next time don’t wake us up with your stick and chairs, better shout at us or something.” The dragon’s heads said together in synchronization, while both smiling somewhat of a friendly - ish smile which Avariss could not decipher the meaning of, was it truly friendly or terrible evil… He would never know.
Still, at least he managed to get the large brute walking.
The long walk left Avariss with a bit of a spare time which he decided for the betterment of his relationship with his dragon, though before he could speak the dragon already spoke for him. “How is your research advancing? Any new ground shaking breakthroughs?” It asked cynically . Avariss knew what was the research which the drake spoke of, and it certainly was not his interest in the Ancients which he shared with Tel’Alarian. The dragon spoke of something far more sinister.
It started around ten months ago, it took time to get the materials and books, not to mention real permission from the dragon lord. While Andaleth considered the light and divinity for a cure of the fel corruption Avariss knew that a permanent answer would not be found in life, but in death. He knew that sometimes, one had to work in the dark for the benefit of the light. So while Andaleth “wasted” his time with ridiculous fairy tales of healing magic conducted by priests and healers Avariss turned to a more permanent solution which made him dabble in death. He did not know if Andaleth was aware that he begun experimentation, though he did know that he was part of the original crew to work on it which consisted of Avariss, him, and Modeus. From them only Avariss was left, which pretty much let him have free reign on where the experiments went to, apart from the once in a while check by Modeus to see if everything is up to standards and fine and Gresh’Thoth ever vigilant eye. It was obvious at first that the drake did not like the idea, it was a foul smelling path yet Avariss knew it to be the true way to the cure, with time the dragon grew accustomed and began showing fascination in Avariss’s work, even though he rarely displayed it.
Sadly for Avariss nearly anything he learned had to be done by himself as there was no teacher for such arts. The art of Nercromancy was unspoken of, forbidden, punished by death in most places, considered far worse than the daemonic magic he already used, all in all, Avariss was the perfect heretic, the ultimate villain considering his interests, sadly for the dark his personality contradicted his interests and while he dabbled in the dark he sought to help the light instead.
In these ten months of study Avariss has managed to develop sort of a temporary cure, in a way he managed to use death to create life, but not the unlife that necromancy usually created, he actually managed to heal, to create biological matter, cells from thin air. It only showed him how much of a fool the known world was, by forbidding the studies of necromancy it was slowing down the progress of what some called the healing institute, and while healers focused on restoring, knitting tissue back together, nearly nobody could resurrect a dead person back to normal functionality. What Avariss was doing was far more then healing, he was creating, it seemed that this dark art could be used for life as much as for death.
The idea itself came to him around half a year after he began his research. In his studies he consulted not only books of the dark art but also books of medicine, anatomy, and the research of body structure. From time to time he managed to sneak it a dead animal, first it was rats, then stray cats or dogs, rabbits, frogs, whatever he could find to dissect, yet his most wonderful catch was a living cow, he managed to somehow get her down stairs to his “experimentation cellar, built directly underneath his quarters, locked by two doors and a hidden well with dwarven engineering. Half the cow was fed to Gresh’Thoth to keep him silent, essentially “bribing” him, but more likely because the sight of such a large beast just created a rather large appetite in him.
He then proceeded to study the other half of the cow, and then it struck him, the thought which led to the temporary cure. He should’ve saw it a lot earlier but due to the small sized animals it was hard to vision, but now, when he saw it on a large animal like that… It was an amazing thought yet such a simple one. Most living creatures where structured in the same way, having similar limbs and while some had several digestive systems or more legs or mouths it did not matter, they living functioned the same and thus their cells were always the same, inhabiting the same places.
Necromancy could be used to reanimate the dead, to make a lifeless corpse stand up and walk by some dark means, to achieve that it had to recreate something in that corpse, not just give it will, everyone wills to live but when you die, you die, it had to recreate function, movability, and to achieve that it had to reconstruct dead, rotten cells.
In theory this could be applied to recreate something which was lost, a warlock doesn’t sprout horns without any body changes nor does his skin turn craggy by some cryptic means, it all came down to the alteration of the cells, the use of fel magic was clearly effecting the body itself from within. Altering it to suit the daemonic practice and to create the fel visage. All of this meant that a warlocks body, still had the potential cells to recreate previous appearance, as one could recreate an arm he could instead remove features.
It was somewhat of a wildcard of an idea, Avariss did not really know if it would work, and finding a suitable candidate for his mad scheming would be impossible and as such with the help of Gresh’Thoth he decided to use it on himself, and so they did, the dragon watched as dark nercromantic energies danced through Avariss’s body, slowly altering his appearance, at first the body was twisting, morphing, unnaturally, it was painful and alarm showed in the drake’s eyes, yet Avariss told him to stay put. Slowly he managed to control the growth and regrowth of the cells, slowly and painfully his horns began receding, turning smaller and smaller until they disappeared totally and black hair took their former place, with that done he began morphing the skin, and after about an hour of painful recreation Avariss marched out of the room, terrifyingly joyous, and looking completely normal. This was sort of a breakthrough, in practice, this meant that he could no longer be physically changed by fel magic though the corruption still lingered in his body.
“Nothing new. The temporary solution still seems to work, yet as I feared it is only temporary. The forces of the void constantly try to take back control and if left unchecked the degradation back to physical corruption can occur twice as fast even thrice. A permanent solution will have to be found.” Avariss said, replying to the dragon’s question, it was not rare that the dragon showed interest in this but it was something they both did not speak of. Especially not in public like this. “If you are asking this because you want a new pair of horns then I think I can make you new ones, or change yours, but that is not the purpose of this research.” He said lightheartedly while hopefully trying to stir this conversation to more positive places. Gresh snorted in a rare display of hidden laughter, while Thoth said arrogantly, “Why would we ever change something in us, we are the greatest creation of the gods, the perfect being, I can understand why you would need to change yourself, but us? Ridiculous.” The dragon was indeed full of himself, and yet so very young as well, he is going to be even more problematic when he grows up Avariss thought to himself.
Slowly they made their way to the great hall where Modeus awaited while making friendly banter on the way. It was good for Avariss to have positive interaction with Gresh’Thoth as they were bound yet their relationship not the strongest of them all, it was kind of a normal one, no love but no hate as well and Avariss wanted, needed, it changed.
It seemed that they were one of the last pairs to arrive, as many eyes turned to inspect them when they entered, each pair of eyes emitting more loathing and hate then the other, he had no real friends here, some even enemies, the closest thing to a friend that Avariss had was Andaleth though even he did not communicate with him too much the passing year. It seemed to Avariss that his dream for a more social life will never be real, his nature and interests shoved people away from him, even among his own kind he was not welcome as most of them showed a more merciless and cruel nature which Avariss lacked. Though in normal society it did not matter what his thoughts and personality were, he was judged primly for what he was, did and practiced. He was surprised that Jerome didn’t lunge at him and stab him five times through the heart with the looks he was giving him.
Ignoring him Avariss strode on, his dragon, Gresh’Thoth just behind him, looking raucously content. It was enough to stay the hand of any would be justice seekers who did not want to face the wrath of the oversized brute. He knew that as much as most of them hated him they hated his dragon even more for what he was born to be. Still, it did not matter, only thing that mattered was that Modeus summoned them and he answered the call as he was ought to.
He put the saddle upon the dragon, it seemed that they were going on a little adventure, it came to Modeus’s attention that mysteriously a large incursion from the orcs has came upon them from the dark lands, moving into the mining passes and threatening the mountain dwarves which resided there. With that information gathered it seemed that the dragon lord wanted to test his apprentices and send them to battle looking to find why the orcs were driven to attack and if someone was leading them with a darker purpose in mind.
For Avariss the primary goal was to save as many lives as he could, he did not like pointless killing, nor did he feel a great need to kill any orcs but he had no choice, they were threatening the lands which he was now sworn to defend. For him it felt like the orcs were trespassing on his lands, and nobody should trespass on his lands. With this thoughts Avariss quickly returned to his room after the quick gathering, packing food, water, extra clothes and other essentials for the two week journey ahead. Deciding that a robe would not be enough for such a warlike undertaking he took it off, put on a light chain vest which he practiced with, though the term light, should not be used ever when talking about armour. Still, it was better than running naked on the battlefield. He then put his robe back on, took his sword, staff and backpack and went back outside to his waiting dragon. Their trip began.
They were travelling onwards for two hours already, each apprentice taking care of his own things, talking with who he wanted, doing what he wanted, it didn’t feel to Avariss that they were really a group of apprentice dragon riders, it felt more like a random assortment of people who happened to also be riding big scaly lizards. Gresh’Thoth was mostly keeping to himself and nearly each of Avariss’s poor attempts to strike up a conversation ended in either the dragon ignoring or in it dying out after three sentences. Clearly the drake was not interested in conversation. Instead it was taking in the scenery around them, after all Gresh’Thoth did not go out to the wilds too often and the forest fascinated him.
Avariss used the time to inspect the rest, coming to realize that Gresh’Thoth did seriously outgrow most of them, making him look a lot more menacing though not more mature. As he kept looking around he suddenly noticed that they began travelling slower, for an instant he thought that it was only Gresh’Thoth but as he looked around he saw that the other apprentices were looking puzzled as well. Turning his head back to the dragon he saw that one head was looking upwards while the other inspecting the ground, something was not right, the drakes nostrils flared, puffs of green murky misty smoke coming out. Slowly but surely he felt Gresh’Thoth’s muscles tense, like he was ready to leap, “What is it?” Avariss asked, yet no answer was given.
He was about to ask again when suddenly a whistle filled the air, as if something was cutting through it, Avariss instinctively ducked, and after a second he heard the thud of metal impacting against wood. Turning around to look he saw an arrow protruding out of Jerome’s shield. Before anything could be sad, wild and mad laughter filled the silent air around them, followed by insane cackling and howling, it was an ambush! Before Avariss could do anything he heard the twin voices of Gresh’Thoth in his head, “Gnolls!”.
The warning was quickly followed by droves of hunched, furred creatures, armored in iron and armed with steel, which erupted from the forest like out of nowhere. They were surrounded by the malicious creatures, some standing back while others charging mindlessly forward. A shiver ran down Avariss’s spine, it was a long time since he fought for his life, yet not the first time. Gresh’Thoth seemed more at ease, his large size and bulk giving him confidence which Avariss did not have.
With a large roar the dragon charged forward, carrying Avariss with him. Twin heads lashing sideways knocking two gnolls down on the ground. The dragon viciously tore into them claws and jaws tearing and rending their flesh brutally. The huge brute made short work of them discouraging others from attacking him. Yet it did not seem to mind being attacked or not, Gresh’Thoth was out for blood. Turning around to search for more prey Avariss noticed a gnoll leaping from a tree nearby, intending to slice one of the heads, the momentum of the jump should suffice if the steel was not sharp enough. With a quick mumble Avariss sent a lightning bolt out of his sword, burning the gnoll, his sword dropping and his body falling near Gresh’Thoth. The drake jumped back alarmed about the suddenly falling gnoll. “You welcome.” Avariss mumbled to him. With that said the drake proceeded to tear the gnolls body with its mighty jaws.
Feeling safer on top of the dragon Avariss decided against dropping to the ground like some of the apprentices did. Noticing two gnolls sneaking from behind Avariss shouted to the dragon, “Behind.” Which immidiatly sent the drake lashing with his tail, as mighty as a swinging oak the tail smashed into one gnoll sending him rolling away into a stone rock, rendering him unconscious or dead, while the other one jumped above the deal and proceeded to hit it with its blunt mace. With a quick gesture Avariss immolated the gnoll with a firebolt sending it running away in vain attempts to extinguish itself. As two more gnolls appeared infront of them Avariss cast his shroud of darkness on top of them, confusing them, rendering them sightless as they tumbled in the dark circle in front of him. Reading his thoughts the drake rushed inside running over both will rending and slashing blindly. Something was hit, a squeak of pain and another cry of hurt were heard and afterwards only the sound of teeth against flesh could be heard.
Dispelling the sphere revealed an ugly scene, which included a lot of blood, insides and two gnolls. Looking around he inspected how the battle was going on, looking to see if his help was needed somewhere…
I see in colors, can only smell in grey,
Blinded by light, I drown in dismay.
Last edited by komanko; 11-25-12 at 01:02 AM.