The Realm of Halnara

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The Realm of Halnara

Postby Nykkolaia » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:15 pm

OOC: This forum was said to be for non-WoW writing and shameless plugs, so here's a two-for-one deal! (No one throw stuff at me, kay?)

This is an excerpt from a large joint post. It was written by myself and a friend for our new-ish Email RPG, the Realm of Halnara. (Free form, player created, email RPG - - anyone is welcome to check it out, request to lurk or send inquiry.) Feel free to ignore, but if you read along, I hope you enjoy!

P.S. - This is yet another incarnation of Mia. There've been many.


Looking into her eyes, Caden made sure she was certain - feeling forlorn to finally tell someone the tale. Even more so her, whom he had wanted to know the truth least of all. He removed his hand, and told the tale while looking up into the darkness of the ceiling. "As the Demon Wars continued, and the losses weighed on the warbands the most, Gerton the One-Armed called for my warchief, and I was the champion chosen to bring demon blood to an agreement between the warring forces of mankind. It was an accord that would change my life.

"Regrettably, I was one of the few that survived the attempt presented. Had I known, had Gerton told my warchief what was to happen to the survivors, perhaps I would have escaped - returned to the Kana'mara'a. Yet there I was, becoming convinced that in order to defeat the demons, we had to infuse ourselves with demonic strength. To fight fire with fire, so to speak. Hafnan of the Golden Tongue spoke for Gerton, and turned our minds towards the idea.

"I am breaking an oath now - in telling you this - yet since I swore on my honour, it does not matter anymore," he told her, the shadows stirring before his vision - the flicker of the oil-lamp casting life to the memories. He looked away, pushed himself up on the bed.

"We were Twelve..." As he sat up on the bed, he then forced her to retreat from his side as he swung his legs down. His masked face stared at her intently, elbows resting on his knees. "All champions or warchiefs - all taking part in the long agonizing ritual, each of us mixing our blood with that of our slain demons. It was sheer folly, in retrospect. Desperation. A last hope to make a difference in a war believed lost."

The Twelve... yes. Word had reached the Kana'mara'a of them, but she had never known much and had pushed the thought away in her mind, with everything that came to follow knowing such news. Caden... had been a part of them? Mixed his blood with demons?

Strange... she should've been scared, disgusted, but... she wasn't. It was just resignation, and now his actions and reactions towards her seemed to make more sense. Yet there was no relief in it. It just made her sad.

He stood up, his mismatched eyes shadowed as he looked upon her - body carved in light and shadows. "Each went through torment unspeakable and were scarred in one form or another, since the blood of demons and man do not mix well together. Truth be told, we were all granted swifter healing - as I might have implied. We are all suspected to have a longer yet cursed life. Each of us were imbued with differentiating powers. Through days on end, we suffered the acclimatisation of our bodies - a transformation made in ungodly agony - fooled by our own folly or that of others. It did not matter - we were cursed either way.

"We would never be the same again. My life as I knew it ended."

Caden Ives stepped towards her - his voice, and his mask, both cast into a whole new meaning.

"We fought as a single unit afterward; utterly unstoppable. Yet each payed the terrible price, made the sacrifice in order to spend two years of bloodshed and murder on the battlefield. Two years, at the cost of the rest of our lives, all for the sake of freeing the nations in a war transcending history and reason - even one's wildest imagination." He stepped after her, a man-demon in place of the person she had thought to be the same as before. He stepped after Mia, willed her to draw on her powers and bring his misery to an end - to lash out in the defence of her life.

Yet he could not bring himself to raise his hand against her. Not her.

Miahala's eyes barely blinked. Her breath came shallowly now, on her feet and with his presence growing and menacing, moving towards her a step at a time. Did he mean to harm her? He... couldn't...

No, that was wrong. He could. What did he care for her any longer? Why should he stay his hand when he obviously despised her presence here and hated her for denying him the chance to die. Rationally she knew these things, though there was a part of her that didn't believe it. Still. The menace lingered on the air as he closed in on her. Unconsciously, she stepped back each time he drew near.

Outside, the storm was picking up ferocity... and yet she rose no magic to meet him. It was nothing but her.

"In the end, one of the Twelve betrayed the rest," he continued to explain, angling his path to trap her between the wall and the fireplace. "When the call of the traitor's new blood grew too strong, he or she defected. Our scout, one Lysria, reported the best path to pick one night. We formed a plan accordingly and found ourselves in a trap that should have slaughtered us. The demons we faced knew our individual weaknesses, exploited them thoroughly - mercilessly. We barely made it out of that ambush alive.

"First we blamed the scout, followed by one named Jolan, then another, and yet another, until each of us blamed the others. All of us fuelled with demonic rage!" Caden slammed his fist into the mantelpiece - cracking it. Miahala was trapped next to it.

His mismatched stare was locked upon her - face forced into unreadability. If he let the rage roam his soul freely, he would not be able to continue. He stood still - staring at her as if trying to decide whether she could hear the rest. Perhaps whether he could tell it or not.

The woman once termed the Fire Caller said naught but a faint whimper of fear, surprise, that escaped her lips against her better control when his fist hit the stone. Her body twitched violently, but she did not blink and she did not try to escape. The outpouring of his rage fixed her in place, but somewhere in her mind she had to wonder if this was finally the moment of her death, come for her at last.

Would it be the hand of a man she thought she once loved be the one that killed her?

"Yet there was no proof against any of us," he continued after a second ,"and the uncertainty and fury fractured our unity. In the end, none of the Twelve could look at any other without suspicion. Like that, the elite fighting force of humanity disintegrated - and we were left to fend for ourselves; each on their own." He removed his bleeding knuckles from the stone and found himself raising his hand towards Miahala's face. His fingers trembled - and a spark of emotion began to stir in his green eye... "Each on their own - all cursed, all unable to resume their lost lives. Each of us, mere shadows of what we once were. Barely human... Barely demon. Beasts of man. Men of beasts."

For that long moment, her breath stopped. The Sanallai's body trembled all over, but with what emotions, it was hard to say for certain. The anger, for once, had died. It had fled in the face of things even stronger and harder to handle. For that moment, she was perhaps the sanest she'd been in a while... at a moment when it would've been easier to handle had she not been.

His fingers touched her cheek - fingertips brushing across her flawless skin. "I wanted to..." he whispered to her, "the Maiden knows I wanted to return. Yet I knew you would blame me, and what would I bring to you in compensation? Nothing but pain. Nothing but agonising memories of what would never come to pass. Nothing but the bereft feeling of a shared life unlived. Nothing but a beast in a man's guise. Nothing but shame! Nothing but wretched regret! Nothing but hate!"

Caden Ives tore his mask off. "Nothing but this!"

Outside, a strike of lightning crashed into the ground frighteningly close to the house. Mia's body jerked with the shock and her eyes grew wider, which was impressive. Her mouth opened, as though to speak, but there were no words. It took a while for her to even believe what she was seeing, but there it was.

Turn away, or run now, girl, and you'll regret it. You wanted the truth. Here it is. Face it. Accept it.

Panting like an ox, Caden stared at her - teeth bared. The silence lingered there, until something slowly slid into place where the rage had been. Seeping into his face came the realisation of how he had treated her - this woman of the past. She had done him no more wrong than to find him by chance in the Kana Mountains - stumbling upon his haven. By coming, she had stirred things in his poisoned heart - and now it was too late. As his breathing came into control, a tear slid down from his green eye.

"Forgive me..." he scraped faintly, "Oh, gods, please forgive me, Miahala... I did not mean to scare you." He reached for her... trying to pass the bridge he imagined to have burned.

Miahala was trembling violently now. Tears were already pouring down her own face and outside, the rain had begun to pour. It battered the roof of Caden's small home and she felt like all the air had been sucked out of it, for it was not only the wounds of his heart that had been torn open by this... surprise encounter. Many things had been made to bleed this night.

As he began to reach for her, her body jerked again. She could not help it. His face... but more than that, how he had treated her until now. Minutes ago, she had been wondering if he was going to kill her, and now suddenly he cried, reached for her and apologized. It was a hard switch to make... but the tone in his words pulled up a memory - one she'd been trying to ignore.

She still trembled, she still cried. She remained... hesitant, and uncertain. She knew not where she stood any more, even in her own head. She did not meet his reaching out, but she did not turn or run away. She allowed herself to be reached, and it was as much as she could give, in that instant, still feeling like she'd been run over by a herd of horses.

When she jerked back from his hand, Caden stilled - realising what folly he was up to. Everything was ruined now. She knew the truth. She understood, and the price was the ruin of bitter-sweet memories. Now, everything was beyond repair. Not only between them, he knew, but also his own protection against the emotions that the wrecking of dreams begot.

"Now you know," he rasped, closing his hand until the knuckles cracked and whitened. His good eye was burning - stinging as if she had slapped him. Hurriedly, he stepped away from her and replaced his mask - covering his face in order to spare her. Though it was already much too late.
"It ain't about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward." ['Rocky Balboa']

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