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The Warming Sun
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Joined: 29 Dec 2010
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:35 am Post subject: Reply with quote

As it turned out, the City of Britain had no jail per se. Instead, those arrested for crimes against the King were held aboard a ship, aptly named “Hopes End,” which was anchored in the harbor. Here they waited until such time as they were taken to Britannia Prison located outside the City of Yew. Once there, the accused languish in abject squalor and neglect while they awaited either trial, in the case of capital crimes, or a hearing for those accused of lesser crimes.

Thieves, kidnappers, rapist, highway men, murders, madmen, cutpurses, extortionist, beggars and loiterers or anyone found to be in violation of any laws of the King or any lows of the Governor’s, were held within the dark recesses of this ancient complex. Strict rules applied to all prisoners; without exception. Punishment for violating any of the prison rules was melded out swiftly and mercilessly by guards whose only talent in life seemed to be inflicting pain, humiliation and suffering.

As the two City Guards literally dragged Celestia through the streets of Britain to the longboat that would transfer her to “Hopes End,” they added several more violations to her original crime of “loitering.” Her shrill, ear shattering screams and curses were considered “disturbing the peace.” Once at the city docks she was shackled, which sent her into a frenzy of spitting and biting, thus “Assaulting an Officer of the Law” was added to the list. Once aboard ship there was no containing her. Deemed ‘insane’ she was finally silenced by a swift blow to the head, which kept her quiet until she awoke inside a cell somewhere in the bowels of Yew Prison.


There were no windows or vents of any kind. The only light was from a half-burnt candle balanced on a tattered wooden shelf wedged into a space between two smooth stones that made up the walls of the eight foot by six foot cell. Rotting straw covered a floor that was slick with slime and mold. A narrow bed made of hardwood boards and raised a few inches off the floor, sat along one wall. There was no mattress or padding of any kind. A thin, moth eaten and soiled blanket was the only protection against the chill night. A wooden bucket, half filled with stale water, was her toilet. From the stench it appeared said bucket had not been recently emptied. The only door was made of iron with a tiny window that opened from outside. Another slot near the bottom of the door had an iron flap that also opened from the outside and this is where “meals” were passed through.

The stench in this place was worse than even the sewers, but this did not bother her at all for it meant they could not find her here. Sitting on the edge of the bed Celestia rubbed her head. There was a large lump near the back of her skull. She couldn’t remember how she got it. Her new dress that someone had given her … no wait, made for her? Bought for her? She shook her head. Didn’t matter … the dress was torn all along the back and muddy from being dragged through the streets. Celestia frowned. Where was she? How did she get here? She tried the door. Locked. She pounded on it with her fists. Only echoes. She yelled. No response. Didn’t they understand? She had work to do. Mirrors to collect. She had …

Where was her bag? Her rune books? Her food? Her black obsidian dagger? Franticly she searched the tiny cell. Nothing. Gone. She began pacing. Pulling her hair. She pounded on the door until her fists bled. Then she tore her bed apart and used the boards to try and pry open the door. The wood was so old and rotten it broke into dusty fragments. She screamed and screamed and screamed until, finally, there was shuffling outside the door. The tiny window slid open with a bang and an man’s voice boomed through the cell;

“Quiet in there or by the gods you’ll be getin’ a beating you won’t soon forget.”

Celestia ran to the door and begged. “Please sir. Where am I? Why am I here?”

The guard, seeing the ruined bed, narrowed his eyes and slammed the tiny window shut. There was the jangling of keys, then the scrape of one being inserted into the lock. A loud “click” and the door swung open. There were two guards not one. The fist one through the narrow door shoved Celesta against the back wall and pinned her there with his beefy hand against her chest. The other one, the bigger of the two, surveyed the room.

“Destruction of the King’s property, eh? We’ll be addin’ that to the list.”

The worms in her brain shouted; “no touching … no touching … too close … too close.” But she heard her voice say. “Please sir, where am I and why am I here?”

The larger of the two guards looked her over. “Ye be in Yew Prison, sweetie, for breakin’ the King’s laws. Spect you’ll be here a few days till yer hearing. Then maybe here for a few years ifin’ the fine ain’t paid an’ from the looks of ya, you ain’t got the gold. Now, seein how things are, we’ll be replacin’ this here bed and chargin’ ya’ for the labor. You’ll be needin’ a new piss bucket too from the smell of things.”

The guard chuckled then turned his fat, scruffy bearded face towards her. “Listen up lass. Ifin’ ya cause any more commotion, me an’ Fred here will be payin’ ya another visit. An’ next time we won’t be so gentlemanly about it. So settled down. There’s a good lass.”

The guard holding her shoved her to the floor and the two of them left slamming the door behind them and locking it with a loud “click.” The tiny window slid open and a heavy voice said;

“I’d be savin’ that candle too lass, won’t be getting’ another one till tomorrow.” And the tiny window closed.

Celestia looked up at the small candle. If she had her spell book she could cast ‘nghtsight’ or maybe she could remember the words, but she always got them out of order. Some spells she didn’t use much so the words were lost or jumbled up. If only she was really an Elf like Aunt Faeryl, then she could see in the dark and wouldn’t need a candle at all. She touched her ears. Aunt Faeryl had the prettiest ears. Who was going to collect mirrors for her? Getting up from the floor, Celestia snuffed out the candle and the tiny cell was plunged into darkness.

“I can make light for you child.” Lilith whispered.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:42 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

The Daemoness known as Lilith snapped her fingers and the prison cell was illuminated with an odd reddish glow that seemed to emanate from the very air itself. The light reminded Celestia of blood. Lilith smiled a sweet, loving smile.

“A pity really, how you suffer. The bigger shame is that you’re so called ‘friends’ know you are here but have made no attempt at getting you out. One would think that a simple fine could easily be handled thus insuring your immediate release. As it is, however, it seems you are to spend much more time here than is required.”

“They know I am here?” Celestia asked.

“Indeed they do, child. Why, they knew all about it shortly after you were arrested and do you know what they did?”

Celestia shook her head.

“They held a party.”

“A party?”

“Aye. The governor of the City of Vesper, the one you call “Pretty Lady” gave a party right out in front of the bank. All your ‘friends’ attended even your ‘aunt’ Faeryl. I was there, hidden of course, but I watched as they sang and drank and ate. And do you know what your ‘aunt’ said about your imprisonment? She said she was glad to be rid of you and that she was tired of, and I quote, ‘babysitting a crazy girl.” To be honest even I was shocked at such a sentiment. Why, I don’t find you mad at all. In fact I think you are the only sane person within a hundred leagues of here.”

Celestia stared at the floor listening to these words. The worms in her head began crawling again. There was a ache in her middle like the one she felt when Elendome told her she was going to live with Judas and Jolicia. She didn’t like that feeling.

Lilith watched the girl with glistening eyes. This was becoming much too easy. If her plan was realized she would have the girl wed to the Nameless One in a fortnight and the King dead before that. Lilith ran her tongue over her full lips and smiled.

“Do not despair little one. There are those in this world who really do care about you. Besides myself there are many others. You do have friends, just not the ones you thought you had. You must try to forget them. You cannot trust them or their motives. Only I can fix this for you. Only I can see that you are released from this place. Only I can make the voices and the visions vanish. And I can do more for you; much more. I can bring your mother home to you and your father. I can help you have a real family. I can make everything better. You would like to leave this place, would you not?”

Celestia swallowed hard and could not speak but only nodded. No one was going to help her collect mirrors? No one was going to teach her anything? They had a party? Her dress was torn and she was put into a dark, cold place and they had a party? Lilith watched the girl closely. The web around her was growing tighter. Only a few more strands needed to be put in place and the girl would be hers.

“Good.” She whispered. “I will return to you in one day’s time and we will leave this place and these people forever. And, if you doubt my power to do so, take this as a sign that I can do as I have promised.”

Lilith held out her hand and when Celestia looked up she saw the Obsidian Dagger in the daemon’s hand. “I believe this belongs to you?” She said as she handed it back to the girl. “You know what must be done. Tomorrow you will be free and all this will be a distant memory. Keep the dagger hidden. Let no one touch it or take it from you for to do so would cause you even greater distress. When the time is right, you will know when to use it.”

The worms in Celestia’s head began whispering to her. They crawled across her brain and down her spine. They settled in her heart and whispered in her ear. They whispered about sex. They whispered about death and the cleansing of the world. And they whispered about salvation. And when Celestia looked again the Daemoness known as Lilith was nowhere to be seen. The strange reddish glow slowly faded until the cell was, once again, plunged into cold, empty darkness.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:12 am Post subject: Reply with quote

“Dead sir.”


“Aye sir. Both of ‘em.”

The administrator of Yew Prison was baffled by the sudden death of two prisoners who were being held in cells on either side of the one formerly occupied by the mad gypsy girl. Neither prisoner had had visitors; that was simply not allowed in the lower cells and only three guards, all trusted, had been on duty down there in the past twenty-four hours. A prisoner dying was not unusual. The prison had an average of three to four deaths per year mostly due to disease or simple neglect. But to have two, seemingly healthy prisoners, die on the same night was “unusual” at best.

“Very well. Take me to the bodies and then we’ll begin the usual investigation.”

The guard balked. “Well ya’ see sir, there ain’t no bodies exactly …”

“What do you mean?” The administrator asked.

“Well ya see sir. What we found was … well… mostly skin.”


“Aye sir. It was like their insides, bones and innards and such were … well … kind of like sucked right out of em’. Nothin’ left but the skin. Like a suit. Sir.”

“Like a suit?” The administrator repeated.

“Aye sir.”

“Then I suspect there is a great deal of blood and such, right?” The administrator asked.

“Well …” the guard shifted his weight. “Well, not exactly sir.”

“So, what you’re telling me is that we have two dead prisoners who have no bones or insides and are just skin. And there was no blood or guts anywhere? This is what you’re telling me?”

“Aye, sir.”


When the Daemoness known as Lilith had returned to the cell occupied by Celestia and found it empty she was, needless to say, perturbed. Information gained from the two prisoners occupying cells on either side of hers proved helpful. So, the girl’s friends had come for her after all; how perfectly unexpected and how perfectly maddening.

The Daemoness known as Lilith rewarded the two prisoners for their cooperation by taking from them all they valued and leaving behind less than what they actually had been. Their souls would entertain the lesser daemons for quite some time. Now it would be necessary to find the girl again. But, if she still possessed the obsidian dagger the search would not be difficult at all.

Lilith brooded over this while sitting on one of the former prisoners beds. Where to start? She thought as she returned to human form. The Salty Dog? She had never gotten much cooperation from the patrons there. Dreams? That avenue never proved helpful either. Wards, potions, and other such items closed many of the pathways she once found open. She could call upon the demonic imps again, but they were more a nuisance and highly unpredictable in their behavior. No, she would just have to find the girl on her own.

Leaving Yew, Lilith traveled to Britain where she hid in the shadows and listened, observed and followed until; at last she had the information she sought. Malas; east of Luna. Perfect.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:19 am Post subject: Reply with quote

“Busy, busy, busy. Too busy. Not enough time ...”

Celestia muttered to herself as she moved from room to room adding small decorative touches here and there. A pillow. A book. A plant. The house was shaping up nicely. A new bedroom and a guest room. A workshop downstairs and plants growing on the roof.

“Nice, nice,” she muttered to herself. “Very nice. Very nice. Very … pleasant.”

Standing at the top of the stairs she stood quietly tapping the side of her head with her fingertips.

“Something else I had to do,” she frowned. “Something important … something needful.”

“The virtues.” The voice whispered.

Celestia nodded in agreement. “Aye. That’s true. That’s true. But where to start … where to start.”

“At the beginning of course.” The whisperer said.

Celestia turned her head towards the source of the whispered voice. “The beginning? Where is the beginning?” she asked.

“Let’s be honest shall we?” The whisperer chuckled. “Start there. Journey to the Shrine of Honesty and learn.”

Celestia lowered her head and thought hard about this question of Honesty. She tapped her forehead. “Aye,” she agreed and then looked up. “But … have I not been honest?”

No answer came. She turned and started down the hallway searching for the voice. “Have I not been honest?”


Frustrated she stomped her foot and shouted. “HAVE I NOT BEEN HONEST?”

“No.” Came the whispered answered.

“No?” She asked somewhat surprised.

“Not in the very least.” The whisperer stated.

Frowning, Celestia clutched at her dress. “But my friends …”

“You have no friends.”

“That’s not true. I have friends. I have lots of friends.”

“Where are they? Do you see them here? Do they come to visit?”

Celesta looked around. The hallway was empty.

“They are busy. They have important things to do.”

“Aye,” the whispered voice agreed. “More important than anything you can imagine. Anything you can possibly hope to understand.”

“Then perhaps they need my help then. I can help them.”

“No,” the whispered voice continued. “They do not need your help. Besides, you are more a nuisance than a help so it would be best if you stayed away. Don’t you agree?”

Celestia plopped down on the new rug in the center of the hallway. A large portrait of a beautiful, dark haired woman she never met hung on the wall looking down at her with emotionless eyes. A candle, sitting on a small table in the corner of the hallway, flared once then settled back into an uneasy glow. Celestia rocked back and forth, her shoulders moving to a secret rhythm.

“Aye,” she whispered. “Busy, busy, busy. Important things…very important things.”

“Whatever you do.” The whispered voice stated. “You must do alone. But first you must be honest with yourself before you can be honest with others.”

Celestia rocked back and forth; back and forth tugging at her hair. “Honest with myself. Aye. Honest with myself first. Aye.”

“And what ...” the voice asked. “What have you lied about to yourself?”

Celesta looked up. “To myself?” Lowering her head again she tapped her forehead over and over. “Lied to myself,” she whispered. “Lied to myself …”

“What are you Celestia? Child of the Heavens … Say it.” The voice commanded. “Say it aloud.”

“I am …”

“You are ..?”

Celestia raised her head and looked into that most beautiful face; into those most unnatural eyes.

“I am mad?”

“Quite so I’m afraid.” The whispered voice agreed as a matter of fact. “Now, gather your things for we must be back in two days time. There is something else you must do. Something that will be the most honest thing you could ever hope to do. Something very, very important.”
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:14 am Post subject: Reply with quote

“You failed.” The whispered voice came from the darkness.

“No.” Celestia answered. “I couldn’t do it. He seems like a nice man.”

“You must fulfill this task or the worms in you brain will multiply; is that what you want?”


“Then you must carry out what you promised to do.”

“I never …”

“Promised? Oh, but you did child. Long ago you gave your word. Long ago, before any of this came to be, you promised.”

Celestia searched her memories. The dark spaces. The places, the people, and the wars. The battles…

“That was my father. It was he who promised. So he could be immortal; it was he who promised.”

“The sins of the father.” The whisperer replied. “The sins of the father.”

Celestia sat up in bed. The room was awash with the soft glow from the fireplace. Shadows moved in and out of the corners. Faces scarred and burned beyond recognition.

“Show yourself.” She said aloud. “Show yourself to me as you do to the others.”

“I do not need to show myself to you child for I am within you. I am part of you. I am your heritage and your father’s legacy.”

“You are a coward.” Celestia answered. Something rose within her. A strength she had not noticed before. A fierceness. A determination.

“Wrong answer.” Came the whispered reply.


The sea was on fire. The screams and pleas of dying warriors rose over the roar of battle. The clash of arms and the thunder of cannon echoed across the sea as a thousand ships embraced in epic battle. A young woman, clad in black armor, shouted orders as she moved along the gunwales. Her crimson hair matched only by the red, twelve pointed star embossed on her breastplate. The acrid smell of black powder and the electric flash of Magick creased the air.

“This time they will beg for death.”

The young woman turned to face the speaker. “Aye father. This time they will beg for death and their pleas shall be answered.”

Turning back to the battle the young woman’s strangely colored eyes flashed in the fading light. “See father? Even as we speak their wish is fulfilled.”

“Aye,” the tall mage answered. “And tomorrow we shall fall upon the city; the great walls will be breached and Trinsic shall burn. Let the Shadowlords have Magincia. Trinsic … Trinisc is the gateway to Britain and thus to the Throne and thus to immortality.”


“Sins of the Father, child.” The whispered voice said as the worms began to crawl. “Sins of the Father.”
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:59 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

She lay in the tall grass of the tiny island listening to the waves lap against the rocky shore. A light breeze, smelling of sea and salt, washed over the grasses and sent them to sighing. Celestia smiled. It was peaceful here and quiet.

“You like it here don’t you?” Lilith asked.

“Yes, very much so.” Celestia answered.

“It will not work this thing you are trying. You will fail.”

Celestia turned and looked directly at the Daemoness known as Lilith. She smiled. “It will work. It is already working. The time I spent at the Shrine of Honesty has cleared my thoughts and already I hear fear in your voice.”

“Do not confuse fear with concern child. It is concern for your safety and concern that you are being mislead and lied to that causes me grief. The virtues will not help you. They will not guide you or save you from what has already been ordained. You will fulfill your purpose and when all has been accomplished; your reward will be great indeed.”

Celestia raised herself up and held the Daemon’s gaze. “I wish you gone Daemon. I will not listen to your lies any longer. Leave me. Begone!”

The woman of unnatural beauty stood over the girl-child and scowled. “Very well, I shall leave you to your delusions and perhaps, for a short time, this attempt to understand the virtues might clear your mind and help you focus. But it will not last. You will tire of it. And your thoughts will once again become muddled and when that happens I shall return and bring with me a punishment more severe than anything you can, as of yet, imagine.”


When Celestia awoke the sun was already well above the horizon and, for the first time in months, she could clearly see her path. But she also saw great difficulties ahead and great dangers. For now, however, there was a tiny glimmer of hope; a tiny hint that the visions she had been given might hold the key to her eventual victory. But there was much yet to be done; much yet to be accomplished.

Throwing off the covers she arose from her bed and entered the bath where, after a moments hesitation, she thoroughly scrubbed herself … with soap.
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