- Temper's Ball
- Maxim

Author Casting Long Shadows (closed)

Posted: 2002-08-07 08:50     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
(OOC:This thread was open but upon discussion with others it now has another purpose. Those who are going to be a part of this storyline know who they are already. So if you don't know if you're invited the chances are you aren't.)

She walked in easy strides, knowing her way without even giving thought to where she was headed. Or perhaps she simply did not want to think of her destination, perfering to let her sub-conscious guide her. Many a time she had wandered these lands, seeking, searching, sometimes not even caring what she found. For her the journey had not been a means to an end but rather the end itself. Walking gave her a chance to be alone with her thoughts, letting them stew and boil till an answer presented itself. So much more could be discovered in such a way; perhaps not physical wealth or power, but when ever had such things been of interest to the Sidhe woman? She had no gold to her name and only the ruins of a city to call her home, but in her mind she carried a wealth that few would ever understand.

Lyssia cut a strange figure as she walked the landscape, paying little to no heed to borders. What did borders mean to her anyway? Who would care if a fallen woman crossed their land, there was no army following her lead anymore. The world of faith, guilds and their petty wars were long behind her, she no longer danced to that song anymore. Let them struggle with one another for a meagre few acres or for rank among their fellows. The sorceress had learnt that such things were fleeting, they did not last. Ages could pass and realms would come and go, destroyed and rebuilt at the whim of those who thought they mattered. Realms come and go but the stories last forever, she muttered to herself, the phrase had become a favourite of her as of late. But how many in the lands would agree with it's sentiments? She shook her head as she feared that their number was too few.

The Sidhe woman had been there when Lord Busah had proclaimed that a great library would be built, that all would be forced to write their equal measure for its hallowed halls. But now the wars had started again and already she heard tell of too many who cared not one whit for the tales that they wove with their actions.

She pushed the thoughts away, trying to clear her mind of the clamouring thoughts that screamed at her. So many things to think about, so many decisions to be made, and yet she did not want to dwell upon any of them. They reminded her of the recent times and of the terrible burden of sins that she carried upon her conscience. Those awful voices that never left her alone, taunting and tempting, offering ways out of her predicament only to show her the price of the escape. They whispered with one voice...


Oh there were so many ways out of what she had done, so many ways to crawl on her belly for forgiveness. But she was too proud for that; yes her original sin, to be too proud to accept help from any. A small flawed person in her memory spoke that accepting such help was a weakness. Lyssia smiled bitterly at the rememberance, only now realising how wrong it had all been. Not that it mattered, she was who she was, her flaws and sins as much a part of her being as her strengths. Lyssia could not more change that part of herself than she could pull the sun and moons from their orbits.

My past and my person, neither can be altered, she had grown into the habit of speaking to herself, or at least so it would seem to any watching her. But the sorceress knew that there were others listening to her words, not necessarily others in the lands but rather those two that she carried some part of within herself. Kara and Lossandrea, both would always know her thoughts. One would seek to comfort her while the other would mock, speaking in a serpent's tongue of the delights they could partake in. Two opposites, creatures of fire and shadow warring within her frail flesh. And always in the centre was Lyssia herself, torn between them, pulled apart from their arguments. They were the two extremes and the Sidhe woman the pivot about which they moved.

Was I foolish to think that I could bear the burden of both?, Lyssia muttered, not expecting an answer. In truth there could never be one; the person she questioned had long since passed on into the darkness of history. But I accepted the weight of them without argument, never once did I quetion if I was stronng enough to take them. Did I overestimate my own abilities? Did I think that simply because I was Sidhe I would be capable of it all? Perhaps I am just a foolish woman, caught up in the repercussions of her own past follies.

On the horizon she could see a few meagre dwellings, perhaps the beginnings of a poor city even. It didn't matter to her that she was walking towards it, it was just another obsticle between her and her final destination. It would not have mattered to her whether it was a city, or a canyon or a forest, it was just in her way. She would pass through it just as she would do any of the others that were set before her. Nothing could divert her or make her set her path aside. In this case the journey itself was not the thing she sought but rather the asnwers that waited for at its end. She needed to know the truth that others held, for the sake of her sanity, for the sake of her soul.

Her very bones felt weary, tired beyond their age should make them. Answering the pleas of her body Lyssia sat down by the roadside, watching as others passed her by. No one paid her any attention, they were all too caught up in ferrying their wares to the city to sell. What did they care for the woman who rested by the road, her deep purple hair dancing to the unheard song of the winds? The deep blue robe she wore did not speak of nobility or riches. She was a contradiction to any who looked too closely; her clothing poor but her jewellry rare. On each hand was a silver ring, set with a stone of palest blue, seemingly cut into the shape of a tear. About her brow was a circlet made of two metals twisted about each other; silver and black, the silver unblemished but the black uneven and rough.

She watched those who travelled with her pale grey eyes, deeper veins of that colour weaving though its more watery counterpart. There was an odd air calm sadness about her as if she had seen and experienced too much to give voice to it all. The sum of all she was radiated from her, touching others, reminding them of the harshness of this world and of the many injustices carried out in the name of greed and God.

She had furfilled many a role in her time; sorceress, Sidhe, historian, storykeeper, traveller, companion and friend. And now she was alone... now she was simply Lyssia.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum

[ This Message was edited by: Lyssia on 2002-08-09 10:51 ]


Posted: 2002-08-08 11:26     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
Horses pranced along the road, the music of their tack jangling with each step that they took. An entourage of a wealthy family approached from the direction she too had come from. She watched them get ever closer without expression on her face, their gaudy clothing setting them apart from the dust of the road itself. Though outwardly she showed no interest in them, inside Lyssia was laughing at their comical appearance. To her eyes they could not have made themselves more foolish if they had worn bells and a jester's attire. They were so proud of their wealth, almost seeming to try and wear all of it at once to show the world how much 'better' they were than the rest.

Idly the Sidhe woman wondered how many generations it had been since this collection had been no more than farmers or traders. Now they had gathered together some small quantity of gold and gemstones and thought themselves fit to rule the lands no doubt. Such people amused her with their exaggerated airs and graces, mimicking how they thought the rich and powerful should behave.

A woman within the party rode side-saddle upon a fat white pony, her head held so high and stiff that it almost looked as though it had been frozen in that position. She wore a mixture of deep red silks and satins, no doubt chosen to match the false colour of her hair. The sorceress smiled a little at the sight of the woman, the corners of her mouth moving just a fraction. She had never been one to ride side-saddle, it had always seemed such foolishness to ride in such a way.

The woman looked down at the sorceress with a mix of distaint and disgust upon her face, not seeing past the outward appearance to the past leader that was within. There again had Lyssia done any better? Hadn't she just judged the woman solely on how she appeared? The sorceress mentally chastised herself, she of all peope should know better than to assume she coulf guess everything about a person simply from how they appeared.

But still there was some part of her that assumed that her judgement of the rich woman was not far wrong. The self-satisfed smirk upon the woman's face made Lyssia want to whisper in her ear of all that she had seen. She longed to wipe away that too-content smile with descriptions of the battlefield. Not of the clash of swords and cries of the victorous, but rather of the times after the fighting had passed, when the spirit of the battle had fled and all that was left was the dead.

Oh yes war was a fine thing wasn't it? With the riches gained from it you could buy yourself news lives, new higher stations in the courtly circle. Such a wonderful thing to kill your fellow creatures and feed the blood-lust, that terrrible demon within the mind that was always hungry for more. More death, more destruction, more killing for killing's sake alone. War was declared for so many reasons, because one was seen in another's lands, because of past slights and arguments, for revenge's need to be quenched, out of fear that another would attack them first. Fear, hatred, the footsteps of war, the siren songs of the battle calling to the soldier.

And the soldier would die, forgotten and alone upon the field of battle, his life's blood seeping into the soil that his leader wanted so much. But it was never the leader who paid for those acres, he or she merely enjoyed their bounty once peace reighed freely once more. But in the hush that followed the fight the price would be paid as the dead lay still and the wounded cried for aid. Firey pyres would pollute the air with their smoke and with the ashes of thoe that had given everything. That smoke could prick the eyes of the sternest general to tears, but who would truly mourn the dead? Their family and friends, those that were left behind, those who could not be there to comfort their sons as they lay dying on the field.

But war is such a wonderful thing...wasn't it?

Surely the wealth was worth so much death and sadness? No of course it was not, but that did not stop those like these riders from thinking it so. They would never lose their children to the steel blade of the enemy. By the time any army made its way to their keep they would be long gone, fleeing in the night while their defenseless servants were put to the sword in their place.

There were others of course, those who claimed that they fought and killed for the glory of their respective deity. So many claimed that their actions were done only to convert the heathen masses, hiding their true reasoning under a layer of false faith. Their supposed devotion to their religion concealing the greed that ate away within them. They praised their Gods with hollow voices, their lip-service only done to make them seem righteous and true. These ones were worse in Lyssia's mind than any other, even more foul than those who truly were fanatics.

A clatter of coins brought Lyssia out of her thoughts just in time to see the scattering of silver fall before her. She looked up, her eyes devoid of emotion, at the haughty woman on her pony who had throw the coins. The sorceress said nothing, though it was obvious that the rich woman expected thanks of some kind from the pauper she thought she had bestowed her favour upon.

Lyssia gathered up the coins with one hand and approachde the woman. Suddenly she grabbed the rider's hand and pressed the coins back into her soft flesh; here was one who had never had to do any work for herself. She gripped the woman's wrist tightly, saying softly, Give it to those who paid for your wealth with their lives, give it to the dead.

In that moment when the woman's eyes met those of the Sidhe, Lyssia wished that she still had the dagger with which she had slain Maledict. For just that fraction of a second she wanted to send the blade deep into the flesh of the woman so that she could meet those who had sacrificed all for her comfort. It would be easy, oh so very easy to do it, to end the rich woman's life and watch her corpse fall from her pony.

And how many more lives do you wish to add to your conscience?, she thought to herself. Lyssia drew back, it was not her place to decide when any should live or die, let Fate alone decide that. The sorceress could not judge who was worthy of life or death, or the innoncent from the guilty. She was only a Sidhe, a woman, just as fallible as any other in these lands. Her mistakes were her own, they could not be made right, but the least she could do was to try to make no more.

She turned away, walking at her own pace by the side of the road away from the stunned woman. Her shadow, dark as any sin she had commited, danced before her, marking the path she would take.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum


Posted: 2002-08-10 08:24     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
Her pace quickened as she walked, the need to be somewhere growing within her by the moment. Lyssia almost wished that she could simply sprout wings and fly, soaring towards the city on the winds alone. She would skim past the ground below, watching fields become the outer edges of the city, and those in turn becoming the bustling centre itself. But she turned away from the poor city and its petty nobles before her, setting off in a new direction.

There were better places to see than that one in the lands, and one place in particular which she had yet to behold with her own eyes. The Sidhe woman couldn't reason why she wanted to go there, in truth it was the last place she should wander to in light of her recent acts. But still she wanted to see it, wanted to walk its streets, hear the chatter of its people. Did the answers to her questions and doubts lay there perhaps? Probably not, how could she hope to find the answers when she was still unsure of the questions?

As she walked nothing became clearer, her thoughts continued to tie themselves in knots, twisting and tangling till she feared that she might never think straight again. She had done such terrible things, commited crimes that she could not bear to think about. And yet by my hands they were done, she could hardly reconcile the woman she had been and the one that she was now, How could the sorceress who had first found her way to the Regulators truly be the same person who had murdered Maledict? Lyssia looked back on her past and almost seemed to stare at another person altogether.

The days seem to pass without her noticing them as she travelled, if she talked with others then they were no more than ghosts in her memory. She slept only fitfully, always wary of what images they might dredge up to haunt her with. Her body felt weary but she dreaded rest all the same, her dreams seeming to be far worse than anything she could confront in real life. In her dreams the Torturer still lived, in those times she could watch herself stab him again, his demon blood running down her fingers as she stared on in horror. Or she could dream of further back in her past, of the temple of the guild known as Bellum Lupus, of the priests that she had slaughtered for their faith and for their secret heritage.

But there were worse things than memories in her dreams; there was the voice.

That tempting, tormenting voice that whispered to her in the darkest reaches of the night. When she was exhausted and her mind felt as though it could no longer bear the burden, then it would stalk her through the worst recesses of her being. It knew her fears and her worries, it almost seemed to feed off her guilt, growing everytime she dwelled upon her sins. Lyssia seemed unable to hide anything from it, that voice knew all she had ever done, knew her most hidden desires. And it would use that knowledge against her, offering to aid her and yet hinting that there would be a price to pay for its help.

Sorceress..., it would whisper, Sorceress...your pain is so great, such a heavy burden for you to carry alone...

But no, she could not accept the bargain that it sought from her, it wanted to much for the peace that it offered. And yet hadn't she always looked for peace? Not the peace that followed the terrible aftermath of a war, but rather the peace of the soul that she had once known so well. When she had followed another Goddess in another world there had never been doubt and fear was only something to be overcome like any other enemy. Had it been faith that had given her that peace? If so then surely she would never have a chance to experience its like again. Faith, she spat the word out, but in truth she had little true memory of what such belief in a member of the Divine had been like. She had looked upon the faces of the Gods in that cave so long ago and yet she could not bring herself to worship any of them.

Foret, a God that prides Himself on His wisdom and righteousness, but yet He was flawed, never admitting to His mistakes. His religion was haughty and proud, too rigid in its thinking to be open to new ideas. And Isonia? Cold and distant, only brought alive by the heat of war and the horrors that it brings. And the mistakes that her religion make? They are so blind that they do not see how they repeat the failings of the past, where once they cried out injustice at such acts now they perpetrate them. Lyssia laughed to herself, it was strange how clear these things seemed to her now that she stood outside the borders of the guilds. And yet when she had been within the guilded leaders of the realm had she too missed the lies and mistakes? And finally Darden, lord of demons, lord of lies, a chaotic beast that draws the strangest of creature to His worship. The Trickster who thinks Himself worthy of ruling over all by destroying everything that goes against Him. Indeed when the religions were like this, was it any wonder that her faith had fled her when the phoenix had sacrificed itself for her?

Was there any other path for me to take? Any other way open? Did Foret think that I would still follow Him when He allowed Kara to die at the hands of the Dardenites? Did Darden think that causing the death of my soul-companion would make me convert? Or did Isonia stand by deliberating thinking that I would flee into Her embrace at the actions, or lack of, of Her brothers? Foolish all three, her anger boiled up once more at the memory of that time. They had failed her, all of Them, and yet They still expected some kind of devotion from her. Fools, but somehow the heart wasn't in the word. She wanted to curse Them and yet something held her back, a single cold finger running itself down her spine, distracting her, bringing shivers to her body.

The city, his city, reared up on the horizon now like a great wild beast waiting to pounce upon her. That comparison worried her for some nameless reason, a warning within telling her to turn away from this place. But there was no reason to fear this place, after all she knew the master of the city. Knew him and knew that he could never harm her again, the thought passed ruefully through her mind. Still even that knowledge did not stop her heart from pausing just a beat as she laid eyes upon his city.

The sorceress stopped in her tracks, fears bubbling up within her, almost taking comtrol. I have thought of this place so often, wondered what it would be like to actually lay my eyes upon it, she whispered to herself. Her breath seemed to get caught in her throat, but what did she truly expect? Hordes of demon-kin descending from the skies upon the one who had slain their master? The members of the Officium waiting at its gates to tear her limb from limb?

Maledict's city, Lyssia forced the words out even though they seemed to stick, not wanting to give them voice and yet somehow feeling better once they were free. But you are dead demon, this place is no longer yours, it seemed strange to speak to the one she had killed. But it had become a habit as of late, it was as though now he could not longer harm her she could speak to him. Perhaps she almost thought that his ghost followed her and it was to that she spoke. Or more likely it was her memory of the Torturer that she conversed with at these times.

We both knew it that day, didn't we Torturer? That day when I came to the cave where you sat with the iron blade. Isn't that strange? Iron, it bites so deeply of demon and fae flesh, hated by both kinds and yet used by one to kill the other. She waved that line of thought away, almost amused by the idea that it was cold iron that was a fae's bane and iron alone that could take a demon's life. Yes we knew, knew without ever speaking the actual words. Only one of us would survive the encounter, either you or I was fated to die in that cave. I wonder what it would have been like to die at your hands? I think I am glad that of the two of us it was you that met your end. The burden of guilt may be heavy for me, but the thought of leaving you alive to walk these lands and bring harm to many would have been far worse.

She pulled up the hood of her cloak, hiding her Sidhe heritage beneath it's folds, trusting it to keep her appearance a secret. After all she had no idea who the girl-child had told of Maledict's death and his murderess. For all she knew the girl might have come screaming back to this city, telling all and sundry of the Sidhe woman who had weilded the blade. If that were so then those who guarded the city might be watchful for a woman such as herself. Though she could have used the Art to weave an illusion and hide her features, something stopped her. There was the thrill of fear that she might get caught and somehow that intoxicated her. Was it perhaps that she did not feel justified in killing Maledict and that on some level she needed to get caught? Don't be so foolish Lyssia, she muttered, drawing the cloak closer to her body.

It was easy enough to walk into the city, one moment she was outside its walls, the next within. There were no accusing screams of 'Murderess', no swords seeking out her flesh. As she stepped into the streets she let out a breath she had not even realised that she was holding in. You are Sidhe Lyssia, she whispered under her breath, You are better than these fears.

Her feet lead her into the depths of the city as though they knew the way, as though they had walked these streets many a time. Ah but wasn't that the secret of blending in? To pretend to know where you were going, to seem as though you had pressing business elsewhere? Few were willing to stop those who seemed confident in their surroundings. She pushed on, not sure where she was headed but letting her body speak as though it did.

And then she stopped.

It was all she could do to avoid being pushed over by the man who had been walking so close behind her. He didn't even throw an apology in her direction, only carried onwards to his own destination. Not that his behaviour even registered on Lyssia's consciousness, her mind was filled with the sight of something else.

The Onyx Temple.

The Sidhe woman had heard so many tales of this place, rumours and stories, garbled hints of what lay within its walls. She had heard some tale recently of how it was supposed to have been formed by a tear from Darden Himself, corrupted by shadows that had found a way into it. When she had first heard that story she had scoffed at it, thinking it no more than the fancy of some bored scribe. But now? To stand before it and see this creation dedicated to the followers of the Demon God, she frowned in confusion.

You worshipped there once, didn't you? Prayed to Darden for whatever such a fanatic as you would want, sacrificed innocents to please Him. The words were spoken so softly that she could barely hear them herself, much less any other hear them. I don't understand anymore, I would destroy this place with my bare hands if I could and yet there are those who would give their lives to protect it.

She rubbed her temples, the twisted circlet about her brow only making her head ache more. But that was another burden to carry, it could never be removed by any hands save her own. I killed him, I should...,the sentance wasn't never finished, the sentiment behind it was far too worrying for her to think about.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum

Joshua Black

Posted: 2002-08-10 19:58     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
The city had grown ever darker since his death. From the moment the sidhe had stuck her murderous blade into his heart it was as though something had died in the land too. Everything was quieter, more sombre, dark clouds had gathered in the sky that day, rolling forth until no ray of sunlight touched any part of the kingdom. It was almost as though the heavens were trying to forget that the place had ever even existed.

Those that lived and breathed the Onyx temple, the shadows that lived within and without spiralled around the looming tower in a never ending dance of mourning, their low murmurs of lamentation could be heard in every part of the land, only those born deaf escaped hearing the chilling sound that swept through the air like vultures in search of carrion.

Straw adorned the muddy streets and worms slithered over one another in small groups. Here and there the straw was stained a dark red where blood had been spilled and the stench of waste could be smelt strongly in the city square.
Rising up beside the beside the buildings was the keep, a huge tower built from roughly crafted stone and mortar, it�s entrance was guarded by burly men in black armour. Snarling and the occasional howl could be heard from behind the keep, for this is where the reavers were housed.
The reavers, evil creatures with only one goal, only one instinct.
To kill anything in their path.

Nobody had noticed the shrouded woman as she entered the lands, acting as though she belonged here, as though she had a right to be here.
She had no rights here.

They had sensed her though.
The shadows.
As she neared the temple they saw her eyes, felt her doubt, sensed her guilt, knew her crime.
As if they were on entity they stopped their spiralling dance and each stared at her with unseen eyes. Then they screeched out in unison, at first they screamed out unintelligible words, a mish-mash of language that meant everything to them and nothing to the casual onlooker. After a few seconds though one word could be heard above all the rest.



Here? Now?
Joshua rushed across the room, grabbed the mage by the shoulders and shook him.
You�re certain?

The mage nodded his head whilst trying unsuccesfully to free himself from Joshua�s vice-like grip.
Yes, yes, it is most definitely her, the shadows of the temple scream at her as we speak.

Joshua pushed the mage away and grinned mischievously.

Then let us talk no more.

He took a small leather thong from his belt and tied his long curly black hair back into a loose pony-tail, ran up to his throne and grabbed his sword and scabbard, after fixing that around his waist he was ready.

Now I want iron manacles. Iron, do you hear me?

Of course, Master Black, only iron will hold her.

Joshua narrowed his piercing blue eyes at this remark and strutted up to the mage.

What are you, champion declarer of the bloody obvious? Of course only iron will hold her, that�s why I ordered you to get it. Why haven�t you gone and got it? Why do you still stand here like some, some, putrid peach? GO!!!!

The mage, in spite of his huge power, went a little pale in the face and ran out of the throne room.

Joshua pointed at two of the elite guards that stood by the doorway.

You and you, with me. Let�s go catch us a sidhe bitch.

On saying this he rushed out into the courtyard, the guards following him closely.
It wasn�t long before he was on the streets, his nose wrinkling at the smells that crept insidiously into his senses.

By Darden do these people ever wash?

He asked rhetorically as he ran down the winding roads, pushing anyone who dared get in his way onto the floor, and glaring at anyone who looked as though they were going to get in his way.

Then he saw her, standing stone cold still, staring at the temple, perhaps the screaming of the shadows held her still. He didn�t care, all he cared about was that she was his capture, his prisoner now.

Well, well, well.

He spoke in a mocking tone as he tip-toed up to stand right behind her, his hand reached out and he pulled down her shroud, revealing her sidhe features.

Look what the wind blew in.

By this time the mage had caught up with them, iron manacles dangled from his hands, jingling slightly as the fingers of a gentle breeze twisted around the links.

You have got some serious answering to do, my sweet.
He placed his hand on her left shoulder and spun her around to face him.

Hi there.

He smiled at her and chuckled softly before continuing.

I�m Joshua and you�re my prisoner.

Before waiting for a reaction he yelled back at the guards and mage.

Chain her!

Call me cruel and I'll smile.
Call me evil and I'll laugh.
Call me a fool and I'll feed you your innards.
Captain of Maledicts armies

[ This Message was edited by: Joshua Black on 2002-08-10 20:03 ]


Posted: 2002-08-11 08:20     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
The screaming of the shadows had taken her a-back, their shrieking not something that she had expected. How did they know? What were these dark creatures that they could know her guilt so well without seeing her face? Her breathing quickened as panic danced on fleet feet through her mind, telling her to run. Surely others saw and heard the howling of the temple's shadows, and wondered what it was that brought such a furor to the creatures. Or perhaps her crime that that obvious to all the denizens of this realm; had she only been allowed into the realm to pay for what she had done?

Sidhe!, she heard them cry and in that moment she knew that she had made a mistake coming here.

Why had she come here? It had been a foolish plan however much she had desired to look upon the realm of her dead enemy. Had she thought that she might find some kind of absolution from what she had done by coming here? The only thing she would find here is death at the hands of her foes, at those that wanted their rightful revenge against the Sidhe who had killed their master. Lyssia cursed herself for thinking that she could simply waltz into Maledict's city without being detected. She should have realised that there would be something here watching for those who did not belong.

Foolish sorceress, the shadows know and you wonder why? I knew your grief, it was that which brought me to you and now you wonder how it is that they can sense your guilt? The dark voice of Lossandrea giggled within her, mocking her for what she had done. We should leave now before the gates are shut against us. I have warned you so many times, warned you and yet you continually ignored me. When you bound me in your flesh I warned you then, I knew that ill would come of this but you refused to listen. No matter what has come between us in the past pay attention to me now and flee, I was shadow just as they are and I know what may come of this.

Lyssia wanted to run and yet her natural stubborness made her stay. It was as though she didn't want to admit that the shadow soul of Lossandrea was right. The sorceress had fought the shadow for so long that she could not bring herself to take its advice now. How could it be right in this matter? But she knew it was right all the same, the Sidhe woman knew that she should not be here. She should have remained in the ruins of her city, there at least she might have remained safe from the Officium. But instead of doing what was safest she had marched straight into the stronghold of the Dardenite fanatics. Why? What had made her think that she could do such a thing without fear of repercussions? And as if in answer that unfinished sentance still haunted her, the thought behind it frightening her.

Joshua's appearance startled her, Too late, she thought, Too late to simply run and vanish into the wilderness. Images of the remains of her city rose in her mind as she imagined herself there rather than in this forsaken place. How she wished that she could simply turn back time and caution her past self to remain within the tumbled walls of Gyppeswyk. At least there the shadows did not scream her guilt at her and the only things that whispered in the winds were the souls of the departed who had yet to pass on. This city of the dead Torturer was not a place for her, it was dark and twisted, boiling black clouds raging overhead. No light reached this place, only darkness could thrive here, nothing of natural birth would survive when touched by this black fanatism.

Her pale grey eyes darted to the mage carrying the iron shackles then back to Joshua. A human male? That was not the sor tof creature she had expected to find in this realm, especially not one whose words seemed to carry such weight. And what did you expect Lyssia? A hundred-headed demon stalking the streets and keeping the 'peace'? The image brought a faint smile to her face, for some reason it seemed almost comical in this worst of moments. It seemed odd to find any humour in this situation and yet Lossandrea's dark laughter welling up in her mind almost seemed to be her own.

I think not, she said softly, the Art already singing in her veins, ready to come to her aid. Her instincts cried out that they carried iron, the bane of fae and demon-kin. This was not a time for words if she wished to escape this with her life and her freedom. The Art begged for release and yet she held it back, not giving it a way into the real world. Leave me be good sir, what happened is past neither you nor I can change that. As she spoke she took a single step back, away from Joshua and his entourage.

The sorceress met the gaze of the mage once more, trying to gauge his strength and training in magic. She wondered if he was also doing the same, guessing at the true age and ability of the Sidhe woman. Her race did not age as a human would, the years passed more slowly for them. Though she only appeared in her early twenties a scholar of magic would know that if Lyssia was a pure-blooded Sidhe the chances were that she was far older. Perhaps the weight of her years might cow the mage? At this moment Lyssia would take any advantage that she could get. She was far from the gates and no doubt there were plenty of men between here and there waiting to stop her.

Do not count on my aid sorceress, the shadow soul cautioned and now there was fear in its bubbling voice too. Bitterness tinged its tone, perhaps even an edge of fear, it had no desire for the sorceress to get caught. If Lyssia fell into the hands of the Officium then so too would it and it had no wish to become beholden to any other. The shadows of this city rule here and they will not dance to my commands. You're going to have to rely on your Art alone if we are to escape this. I have no wish for you to meet your end in this city, I doubt my own spirit would find freedom here.

The Sidhe woman took another step back, not wanting to go any closer to the Onyx temple and yet not wishing to stay close to Joshua and his men. Your master cannot be brought back and the world is better for it. He hurt me and mine more than words alone can explain and I would not allow another to suffer at his hands as I did. Even though she tried to explain her actions she knew that there was no justification for what she had done. She had murdered, there was blood on her hands, should she expect not to be punished for such a crime? Was that what worried her? That she had slain another being, no matter how evil, and had seemingly gotten away with it? Perhaps that was what truly had drawn her here, her need to pay for what she had done?

But that meant delivering herself in the hands of the Officium and she had no wish to submit herself to their justice willingly. Darden and His followers were not known for their mercy in such things.

The Art leapt in bright motes through her blood, waiting only for her will to shape it. And yet still she held it back, even now when she should summon the illusions to hide her escape. Faint shimmering images started to coalesce in the air about her, escaping her control to form random images shaped by the thoughts of those about her. Why wasn't she trying to escape? The question screamed in her head as loudly as the temple's shadows behind her. She couldn't expect to talk her way out of this, she did not think that this 'Joshua' was about to let her go.

And yet she would not willingly give herself over to him.

The random images faded and reformed, kept alive by the presence of the Art in her body. She could reach out and form those images into something that could aid her but still her guilt stayed her hand. I have no need to explain myself to you and I shall not allow you to chain me.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum

Joshua Black

Posted: 2002-08-11 16:44     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
Oh you think not do you?

Joshua wanted to know, his eyes narrowed, dark shadows played across his face as he stared long and hard into her eyes.

that's the problem with you Sidhe

He shrugged and offered a mirthful half smile.

You think too much.

As she continued talking he began to play an imaginary violin, holding his face in a sombre expression and nodding at certain points in her speech as though he were in full agreement and even sympathised with her.
As soon as her lips stopped moving he stopped playing the mocking imaginary violin and walked up to her until his face was mere inches away from hers.


He inquired, and nodded when he was satisfied that she had indeed finished.

Good. Now as interesting as all that was, and I feel for you, really I do.

His head cocked to one side and he scratched his nose absently.

But well, you are going to be manacled and you will be thrown into our most unhygienic cell.

His tone was very matter-of-fact. Then the human's eyes widened as though he'd just remembered something important.

Oh yes, while we're on the subject of Maledict, I think you've forgotten what he is in essence.
If you think he's really dead and gone then you're a bigger fool than old Samuel here.

His thumb jerked back in the direction of one of the guards, who in turn looked slightly insulted but more surprised than anything.

The shadows speak to me, Sidhe, and I know where Maledict is, and trust me, it isn't anywhere close to death.

That was when the shadows went into action.
The huge mass of living shadow, eternal darkness, peeled itself away from the temple spire and screeched through the air towards Lyssia. Once they had reached her they circled her wildy, offering her no vision, only darkness.
Joshua saw his opportunity and looked back towards the mage who threw the manacles to him. The human caught them and then deftly moved behind the Sidhe and clasped her wrists in the irons, then he quickly clasped the ones attached to the long chain around each of her ankles.

Once she had been chained, the shadows dispersed and slinked slowly back to the temple.

Joshua looked at Lyssia with a huge grin on his face.

See. I told you that you'd be chained, would you listen? Noooo, of course not, you're a Sidhe.

With that he turned his back and walked away, motioning for the guards to bring her to the dungeons.

Oh, Mage, make sure Maledict gets a message that we've caught her.

Call me cruel and I'll smile.
Call me evil and I'll laugh.
Call me a fool and I'll feed you your innards.
Captain of Maledicts armies

[ This Message was edited by: Joshua Black on 2002-08-11 16:49 ]


Posted: 2002-08-12 17:22     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
She slowly walked the length of the cell, cursing herself with each movement, wishing that she had listened to that part of her that had cried out warning at her folly of coming here. It had begged and pleaded with her to return to the ruins of Gyppeswyk where the dead required her to watch over their restless spirits. But she had shut her ears to that voice within even though she had known that it was thinking far clearer than her. And yet her guilt had festered inside her mind to such a point that it had become her obsession.

All those terrible rememberances of what she had done, vivid images in her mind of those moments in the cave. Black demon blood running diwn her hands, the iron blade flying out of her grasp, the last light of life fleeing. There had barely been a minute pass by since that time that she had not remembered, almost reliving her actions over and over. It was not supposed to have been that way, with the death of the demon it was all supposed to end. Maledict was meant to die so that she could finally find some measure of peace for her soul. But instead peace had been ever more difficult to find, almost seeming to twist away from her grasping hands. Was it such an impossible dream? To wish for some sembalance of tranquility in her life?

Perhaps all this was one of the Divine's way of amusing Themselves with the Sidhe sorceress who thought herself above worshipping any of Them. The thought that such a notion might be true brought a bitter taste to her mouth.

Lyssia looked around at the place they had brought her to, her nose wrinkling at the stench that surrounded her. She dreaded to think what had happened to the last poor soul who had spent their time here. Somehow the Sidhe woman doubted that her predecessor had survived their stay here, or that their passing had been a peaceful one. Just living in such a place was probably enough to bring about the death of a human from disease and fever. And Lyssia did not believe for one moment that the putrid conditions of the cell were all that prisoners here had been subjected to.

I warned you sorceress, Lossandrea's voice, more serious than it usually was, echoed though the corridors of her thoughts. Lyssia was used to the shadow soul's giggling, mocking tone, not to it actually sounding somber. If she didn't know better the Sidhe would have sworn that it was worried, an emotion that Lyssia would have never given it credit for. I told you that the shadows would not listen to me here. These shadows dance for a different master, they were not mine to beckon and command. Mundane darkness I can weave and manipulate, but the shadows of that dark temple were something more than what is cast by the sun.

She pushed the thoughts of Lossandrea away from her consciousness, shivering slightly at the chill in the air. Wrapping her hands about herself, barely able to manage the action beause of the manacles, she walked slowly to the other end of the cell. The iron clinked hollowly, its sound sharp to her ears as it reminded her of what truly kept her here. It was not the walls, nor the bars, nor the heavy door, not even the jailers who stalked outside could have kept her here if it were not for the iron shackles binding her at ankle and wrist. If Joshua had not forced the cold iron about her then she would have been able to call the Art to her aid, striking out with its power to free herself from her captors. But the presence of the numbing metal seemed to make the Art sluggish, the feeling an alien one to her. It's strength was still there but instead of being the vibrant power that it usually was it almost seemed to be sleeping, hibernating like a bear in winter.

But there was something far more worrying than the sedation of her abilities, something that she was trying not to think about but that reared up all the same. That fear that she had thought banished for good, washed away in blood that was not her own. Could the mad human Joshua have been speaking the truth? Could Maledict still be alive?

No, no, it cannot be true, Lyssia whispered, shutting her eyes as if she feared that the Torturer might appear before her. After all she had gone through, after all she had put herself through because of the guilt of having struck the knife into him, no after all of that he could not still live. She had watched him die, she had seen the life flee his corpse, no creature, demonic or otherwise could have survived a blade to the heart. You're dead Maledict, I know you are, you must be or else...

Or else what?

Or else she was about to find herself in far more trouble than simply being manacled by cold iron in the heart of a Dardenite city. If the demon was alive he would not let her be, the sorceress had at least tried to kill him, she had made a pact with the demon God's church in order to do so. Lyssia had no illusions about this situation, if Maledict was alive she did not count her life to come in years.

Could it have been that she had not plunged the knife into his heart? She had never been one for close combat, perhaps she had struck him through a lung instead. As a hell-spawn the Torturer would heal such a wound, heal it and think nothing more of it. But no, she was certain, Lyssia would have gambled all she held dear on that certainity, indeed she already might have done. Maledict had been dead when she had fled the cave with the mad girl-child behind her.

The sorceress thought back to Joshua, the dark-haired human who held power in the demon's realm. His mind seemed gone, though that might be no more than an act, she had seen more than one person fake madness for one end or another over the years. Yet if he truly was unbalanced might that not be better? Perhaps this Joshua merely imagined that his lord was still alive, it made more sense to her at this moment than thinking that Maledict might be still among the living.

It was at times like these that Lyssia still wished she had faith, some belief that there was a presence watching over her. But the Gods cared naught for one such as her, They never had and never would, she said to herself bitterly.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum

Joshua Black

Posted: 2002-08-13 18:45     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
He hated the dungeons. Well, not exactly the dungeons themselves, but the stench, that dank mixture of fear-induced sweat and urine. That's what he hated, it turned his stomach.

This was why he would always wear a handkerchief around his face, covering his nose and mouth while he was in this dark place of despair.
He strutted behind the huge jailor until they both stopped outside one of the doors.

This is 'ers.
The jailor grunted out the words and scratched his backside simultaneously. The hairs on his arms were so thick they could have been mistaken for a pelt of fur.

Well don't just stand there looking useless, open it.
Joshua demanded, the sooner he was out of this place the better. The jailor took a large hoop with lots of keys attached to it from his belt, slowly looked over the keys until he found the right one which he then plunged into the lock.
The locks mechanism groaned and screeched with reluctance until with a final submissive click the door was open.
The Jailor pushed the thick door so that it was fully open, light from the torches on the wall trickled across the cell floor, creeping slowly along until it illuminated Lyssia in it's sickly orange glow.

Leave us.
Joshua told the jailor, who in turn nodded and walked back down the desolate corridor.
The surrogate lord of the city leaned on the door jamb with his shoulder, took a small pocket knife from his belt and proceeded to clean his fingernails with the blade whilst eyeing Lyssia with a certain amount of humour.

Well sorceress, this is a fine mess you've gone and got yourself into and no mistake.

She was a pitiful sight to look upon, chained up like a wild animal, but he wasn't about to take any chances with a prisoner as valuable as this one.

I wouldn't worry your pretty little head too much, he won't kill you. Well, not right away.

Having finished cleaning the fingernails of his right hand he began to work on the left.

Have you ever been tortured Lyssia?
He asked, drawing a sharp intake of breath and shaking his head.
Nasty business. I've never actually seen Maledict do his torture thing, he considers it a very personal affair, just between himself and the to-be-enlightened one.

The blade had captured something from his fingernails that caught his attention for a moment before he flicked whatever it was onto the floor and cast his gaze across to Lyssia again.

I hear the screams though.
He mentioned with a slight shudder.
Terrible sounds. Lasts for days sometimes. can you imagine that? Days of pain. Not moments or even hours but literally days.

After letting out a long, high pitched whistle he shook his head and a grin crawled it's way slowly across his lips beneath the handkerchief.

I hope you've got something to pray to, sorceress. I also hope for your sake that whoever gets those prayers listens to them.

Satisfied that his fingernails were well and truly clean he placed the pocket knife back into the leather pouch attached to his belt.

You know, from that look on your face I don't think you believe he's really alive do you?

Call me cruel and I'll smile.
Call me evil and I'll laugh.
Call me a fool and I'll feed you your innards.
Captain of Maledicts armies

[ This Message was edited by: Joshua Black on 2002-08-13 18:47 ]


Posted: 2002-08-14 11:52     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
The events of the morning were still bouncing around her skull as she ran to keep up with the man by her side. She hadn't spoken since he had grabbed her hand and led her off to follow Ebony and leave the rest of the Officium to look for the 13.

It wasn't nearly as difficult to keep up as it had been the first day they had left their home. She'd neglected to put her shoes on that morning and bare feet were so much easier than those uncomfortable things. Also, her wounds had begun healing and her skirt was another inch shorter so not tangling her up. She didn't really think about that or even care that it was easier though. She would have her teacher back soon, in his own body!

She would have flown to their destination if she'd had the ability. Her excitement and eagerness to have Maledict whole again gave her energy enough to actually move ahead of the adult beside her, and to tug on his hand.

What will we do to the witch when we get there? What if she won't make things right? Can we use the thumbdraw on her? Or perhaps the headcrusher? Or water torture? Or maybe we can lock her into a little tiny room with no windows or light that she cannot move around in! That would be horrible indeed!

She cringed a little at the last one, then shivered while giggling as if she'd just been told a story around a campfire.

She will help us get you back! That I am sure of!

Grinning up at into the priests eyes- trying to see her mentor- she giggled again, then skipped ahead of him and did a cartwheel before dancing back to his side.

How much further till we get home???

Sanctum Officium
Acolyte of Despair

He told me pain was a melody...
let me sing it to you


Posted: 2002-08-14 14:35     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
I saw him die, Lyssia said softly to Joshua, trying to ignore his comments about torture. She knew that Maledict's sobriquet was more than just an idle nickname with no backing; The Torturer had lived up to his name at all times. He had revelled in the pain he caused to others, or at least that was how it had appeared to her. There had been rumours of course, always the whispered tenth-hand tales of what he had done to those that he had gotten hold of. Terrible tales they had been, awful stories of what he had done to those unfortunate innocents who had done nothing more wrong that being caught.

Or if they had a crime it was only following the God that the Torturer deemed to be the 'false' one. And there was yet another thing that she could blame the deities of Tonan for. Their need for faith and followers only gave those like Maledict power and the chance to harm. If she could wave a hand and erase all religions from the face of the land then she would. Oh there was no doubt that some needed their faith to get them through the difficult times, but the majority could do without it. The sorceress had seen more than a few who paid no more than lip service to their supposed God.

I felt his blood upon my skin, saw his soul flee his corpse, if he lives it is no more than a ghost, a mournful voice on the wind. His power over this world is gone good sir, he is no more than memory, kept alive by those like you. If you had the sense of your race you would try to cover all markings of the demon and his ilk, instead move on without him. No realm needs the Torturer as its ruler, whether he be alive or dead.

As for Gods,
she laughed bitterly, almost finding it odd that she could find any humour, however ill, in this situation. Perhaps it was the place causing some madness in her soul, making her find the situation comical. The sorceress caught and chained, the prisoner of a demon that she had slain, how could any not find it trange amusing? But at the same time she knew it was foolish to feel this way, was fear instead to blame for this odd disposition? None of the Gods would listen to my prayers, I spurned Them all long ago.

She paused and turned away from Joshua, the chains about her wrists jangling together almost musically. The look of sadness on her face was hidden from him, she would not show any her regret. What is it that I regret? she thought to herself, her eyes closing wearily for a moment. That I brought pain to those I cared best for? That my realm was swept away by my own hand? That my faith was lost to me so long ago? No not lost, destroyed by him, I only had doubts before he sought the book, doubts I could have lived with. But it was his fault that it was torn to shreds and scattered. His fault, always his fault. Her hands formed fists, fingernails digging into the palms of her hands as if she feared herself caught in a dream, but the thin slivers of pain reminded her that all this was real.

What would she do if Maledict was still alive? He would come here seeking revenge against her or at least to crow over the sorceress who thought she could put an end to his existance. She didn't mind the thought of pain, there was no pain he could make her submit to that was worse than that she had already gone through. When Kara was killed, it felt as though I was torn in two, my soul ripped in half. I still lived but the part of me that was her was caught on the other side, in the lands of the dead. Neither of us could find peace, each of us suffering a torment that we could not have imagined. Her words were gently spoken, almsot dream-like in their whispered hush. Why was she even trying to make him understand? Joshua would not care, he would most likely just laugh if he reacted at all.

But in some way it felt good just to speak the words to another's ears, even if those ears happpened to belong to an insane human. The Sidhe woman turned back towards him, almost smiling as she caught sight of the material he pressed so closely to his mouth and face. Does the stench of this place bother you? There is worse than this in the world, far, far worse.

And if the screams bother you, close your ears to their sound.

Hlasta! Qyetes Hfirimain
Maxim:Unguilded, I walk the darker path
Killie's slave-he brought me with a squeaky duck
Valid:PoR AGM of RP || Guilds:LoF AGM of Scum

[ This Message was edited by: lyssia on 2002-08-18 08:54 ]


Posted: 2002-08-17 17:57     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
She padded along the many passages of the demon's keep. Her bright golden gaze pierced every shadow as she searched for someone on whom she could take out her frustrations. Since the unfortunate separation of The Torturer from his own body, she had been without male play things. The available men had all been in short supply. The demoness's hunger had grown beyond its usual bounds, and as a result, she was dangerous to all the servants.

Dementia's lips curled into a cruel grin, her forked tongue flickering lazily across her fangs in a low hiss. They had sent several messages to her room begging her to stop taking the servants because eventually they wouldn't be able to hire more. It isss true that I can't find many good strong men anymore in thisss placceee. The tiny black serpents that made up her hair hissed angrily mirroring her frustration.

The demoness turned around yet another corner, the look on her face frightening away all the maids who had not caught the warning scent in the air already. She reached the end of the corridor, waved a door open, and walked into the kitchen. As she had suspected, there were several servants in there. Most of them darted out the nearest doors, but a few were cornered between walls, cabinets, and the demoness. Her hair writhed, all the little tongues flitting out and feasting on the thick scent of fear as she glaced from one trembling figure to the next.

Where issss Joshua Black? I mussst ssspeak with him. A pale maid inched cautiously forward, licking her lips and swallowing hard, as if trying to decide if it was wise to draw the demoness's attention solely to herself. H-H-He's with the Sidhe witch they caught earlier today, Demoness. He's in the dungeons. Dementia's shining eyes fell on the terrified girl as she shrank back behind the others. Then I'll leave you to your busssinesssss.

She turned and walked from the room, smiling to herself as she felt the gazes of the males drift up and down her nude form. Never could she tire of teasing the humans mercilessly. Her desires flared up again, her hair writhing madly, but now she had something to occupy her interest. She glided silently down the hall and down the steps into the dungeons. Dementia heard a male and female voice coming from one of the cells and padded closer.

Joshua, dear Joshua... Her golden orbs cast a beam of light upon the figure of the guard. The demoness slid to his side and caressed his cheek with her claws, her tongue flickering into his ear. I'll take thesssse. She slipped her fingers around the ring of keys while the burly imbecile stood stammering and gaping at her as she opened the door leading to the deepest dungeons entered the passageway. She quickly made her way to the open cell where Maledict's captain of the guard stood in the doorway. You found her Joshua? Maledict will be pleassssed I'm sure...

Dementia stepped past the man into the room and moved closer to the witch with narrowed eyes. Sssso you are the one who would want the Torturer dead. It'ssss shame for you that Darden willssss it otherwissse. It will be interesssting to sssee how he handlesss you upon hissss return.

Putting Darden's melody in the hearts of heathens everywhere.
Would you like to be fried with that?
I am easy to please, but difficult to satisfy...

[ This Message was edited by: Dementia on 2002-08-17 19:06 ]

Joshua Black

Posted: 2002-08-19 17:00     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
He didn't like the way she answered back, she should have been more scared, there should have been a distinct uncertainty in her voice, but there she was, as large as life acting like she hadn't a care in the world. Even her nose didn't seem to wrinkle at the repulsive stench that pervaded every one of Joshua's senses.

This wouldn't do. This would not do at all. Perhaps he was losing his touch. He shook his head at the very thought. No, that wasn't it, after all, everyone in the city feared him.
So why didn't she?

Don't presume to lecture me on what's worse in this world, Sidhe.
He retorted briskly.
I have seen things that you would fear to even think of. Things that your feeble consciousness couldn't even comprehend.

Reaching into the oversized pocket on his silken shirt he pulled out Gordon, his pet rat.
Ask him, he'll tell you.

He then pointed the rat at her in a semi-threatening manner.
Gordon's whiskers bristled and he squeaked thrice before looking back at his master with black beady eyes.

That's right, Gordon. The Torturer will teach her a lesson she'll not forget in a hurry.
A cruel grin curled rapidly around his lips as he eyed the Sidhe with contempt.

The malevolant stench was getting worse and Joshua didn't think he'd be able to stay down in this part of the dungeons for much longer. As he was thinking of leaving his ears caught the faint sound of padded feet moving towards him.
He turned around uneasily and was greeted with the sight of Dementia, the snake haired demoness stood there in all her glorious nakedness and he loved her for it.
As soon as he had managed to stop from staring at her with lecherous intent he stammered an answer to her question.

W..Well, I think that the case was more of a "she found us" nature.
He admitted.
Gordon looked on, unperturbed by the naked demoness, although he did seem slightly concerned about the writhing serpents on her head.
Just came waltzing through the gates without so much as a "how do you do".
So I caught her and threw her in here.
I'm sure that the Torturer is already thinking of ways that he can play with her.

He smirked.
How long do you think he'll keep her alive for?
I reckon she's in for the long haul, myself.
At least a season.

Piercing blue eyes shifted their gaze from Dementia and settled coldy on Lyssia.
That's if you're lucky, witch. Let's see you close your ears to your own screams.
Gordon squeaked in agreement, his whiskers twitching furiously.

Call me cruel and I'll smile.
Call me evil and I'll laugh.
Call me a fool and I'll feed you your innards.
Captain of Maledicts armies

[ This Message was edited by: Joshua Black on 2002-08-19 17:03 ]

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