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18-08-2559 A.T., Urbha-mor

18-08-2559 A.T., Urbha-mor

Postby Arjen » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:15 pm

OC: Special topic. Suvei only. Continuation of Suvei's journey to become the true captain.
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Re: 18-08-2559 A.T., Urbha-mor

Postby Arjen » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:55 am

Suvei landde op het dek van het schip. verward keek ze om zich heen. where am I? This doesn't make any sense mon... Ze keek om zich heen naar de orcs, ogres en trollen en verbaasde zich over het feit dat het schip over een zee van magma voer... "Ehm, excuse me... where am I?" Vroeg ze aan de dichtsbijzijnde troll.

As Suvei looked around, she could see more creatures on the ship. Creatures looking like crew members were walking around, or hanging in the rigging, handling ragged sails that fluttered of a wind she could not feel. Looking around, Suvei spots one massive figure, something that looked like an Orc but nearly as tall as an ogre, standing at the back of the ship, with his hand on a steering wheel. "Welcome, Suvei. Welcome to your new home." he said

Zodra de gigantische Orc begon te spreken keek ze om. New home? What? Ze liep richting het stuurwiel op de achtersteven en onderwijl keek ze rond naar de andere wezens op het schip. "New home? What do you mean by that? Where am I? Who are you?" Ze keek verbaasd en niet begrijpend naar de persoon waarvan ze verwachtte dat hij de kapitein van dit schip zou zijn.

"This... this is the realm of Urbha-mor, as we call it. It is the realm of Maulûk, Arch daemon of Ratish. You are here because you have been sent here." The Orc briefly looks at Suvei before returning his gaze to the horizon.

Suvei looked a little less puzzled now, not happy but less puzzled. "Urbha-mor... Arch daemon of Ratish well, that makes sense and all, but..." She looked around for another moment and then shifted her gaze back to the Orc. "...why does that make this place my new home, why am I here?" A glimpse of the truth?

The Orc made a sound, it seemed like he chuckled. "There is only one reason why mortals come here. It means their mortal existence has ended."

"Ah... that would mean I'm dead..." Suvei looked puzzled again. "Well... that would be an unforeseen twist..." She paused and thought for a moment... "That would mean that I'm not so mortal any more..." No, it is those who are not so mortal any more who know the truth. She heard the words of Chalkos ringing in her ears. That should mean that I can find or see the truth here... truth about power "Then what is our purpose here?"

"Your purpose will be determined when we arrive at Mor Doraz. That is not for me to decide."

"Mor Doraz?" Suvei put her fingertips at the temples of her head. Mon... "Is that some kind of city? Are you taking me there?" Suvei looked over the side of the ship for land or something else in the red glowing sea. "Does everybody from our crew who have died end up here?"

As Suvei looked over the side, she could see the magma below her pulsing like a real sea. Not far off, she could see a coast. Brown land sloping upwards, then falling again and rising once more, higher. She saw the foothills of the giant mountain she had seen before. From her current angle, it loomed over her. Ahead, along the coast, she saw a black fortress. As Suvei looked, she realized she could hear a faint sound from the magma, like cries of torment.

Great... She looked at the coast and decided to quit asking questions. We'll see what happens next... I take it that is Mor Doraz... and I hope I don't end up down there today... Suvei closed her eyes and felt the rocking of the ship. She smiled faintly. Ya mon... I really hope so...

The barge slowly but surely moved onward. The fortress slowly came closer. Suvei quickly realized it was far more massive compared to most fortresses built by mortals. As they moved closer, she was able to get a better look at it. Two enormous towers rose up from the sea of magma, flanking a gigantic gate. From the towers, a massive wall curved away, until meeting another set of towers. From there, the wall curved back to meet two towers standing on the coast. Near those two towers, within the walls of the fortress, a massive keep rose, dwarfing the other towers. The entire structure was built out of black, shiny stone, like black glass. All around the wall torches were placed, torches burning with an eerie red glow.

That's a big building... Suvei thought while staring at it in awe. She felt really tiny and continued staring at the structure. "Oy captain is that the Mor Doraz you mentioned earlier?" She said while turning around to look at the Orc.

The Orc looked startled for a moment. Suvei had heard no body else talk. The figures resembling crew members did their work silently, the other passengers did their work silently, everything was silent, except for the faint cries of anguish and a faint drumming sound coming from below decks. "Yes. Yes it is." he replied curtly.

Suvei turned around and couldn't help but grin for a moment. She looked back at the large structure and waited until they arrived at their destination. She felt a little uneasy as the structure became bigger with every inch they came closer to it.

As they came closer, the barge turned towards the gates of the fortress. The gates were carved like an enormous mouth, large teeth lining the edge between the two doors. As they came closer, the mouth slowly opened. Behind the gates, Suvei could see a port. Another barge, similar to the one she was standing on, lay there. Around the massive central keep, small building stood.

Still looking in awe Suvei stood on board of the ship. I wonder what I will find there... she thought... She didn't ask any questions any more... The Orc didn't seem to like it and however she wanted to know more about this place, she decided to leave him in silence and just wait and see what would happen next.

The barge moved into the mouth of the fortress, massive gates opening just wide enough to let it through. Suvei could see the gates closing behind her immediately again. As they moved to dock alongside one of the quays, Suvei could now see figures running around. Many looked like the creatures she knew from Heimr. Many orcs, some Ogres, some Trolls and even others. Yet there were figures clad in black armour watching the bustle. Figures that reminded her vaguely of another figure, clad in black.

So they like to keep you in I guess... Suvei looked at the people running around at the shore, it reminded her somewhat of Port Ossic... except that the water wasn't magma there... and that there wasn't the sound of screams in the air. The black figures reminded her of Chalkos, the few times she had actually seen him.

When the barge was docked, a single plank was laid to the docks. "All right! Time to be off!" The Orc shouted behind her. "Come on! Off you go!" One by one the passengers of the barge moved onto the docks, where they encountered a black-clad figure who quickly sent them onwards. Suvei could see two more figures standing behind him.

Suvei moved off the boat together with the other passengers she saluted the captain before stepping ashore. She walked towards the black-clad figure.

As she moved closer, she could now see the other two figures more clearly. One was an orc, red veins running up from his neck towards his face. His eyes shone with a red glow. He was wearing a long black coat. The other was a red-haired troll, clad in leather armour, with Copper fangs protruding from his lower jaw.

The troll was grinning.

Suvei stopped walking for a second, stared, and walked a little faster towards the two. You've gotta be kidding me... "Captain? Locks? Is that you?"

"Ay, Suvei." "Did ya got any of them?" The trolls asked lightly.

The black clad figure twitched, yet before he could do anything Gazhtor said. "This one is mine, Zhragnak. Orders from higher up." With a sigh, Zhragnak turned away and started directing others.

"The metal bastards you mean? We hurt a lot of em... I don't know how many of 'em got healed though... " Suvei's face turned grim.

The grin disappeared from locks his face when Gazhtor spoke, when he remembered why Suvei was here. "Well.... you still have chances than."

"Not enough of them or else I wouldn't be here..." Gazhtor mumbled. Then, louder, "Welcome to Urbha-mor, Suvei."

"Thank you sir. So, how are you both doing here... besides being dead... and why am I here since I'm... not exactly dead... am I?"

"Well, for one, the girls are easier here than you and Eye ever where. Hehe."

"That... remains to be seen. As for myself, I have been rewarded generously so far. And if you pick the right ones, they are. Not that I ever really had any problems with that when I was alive...."

"I'm just serving Gazhtor and the captain here. Little has changed really."

Suvei sighed. "Glad to see ya haven't changed much." Then she looked a bit more serious "Remains to be seen? What do ya mean by that sir? Do you know why I am here?"

"I did change... for one thing. I somehow like change itself allot less, somehow. So I don't mind the steady routine around here."

"Ya do? Heh I betcha would have liked to see the ogre and the slemmering working together to create chaos on the Vortex... the ogre went missing by the way, did ya happen too see him 'ere?"

"I do know why you were sent here. I have made the same journey, as did others before me. Come, and I will show you where you need to go".

Locks looks at Gazhtor with somewhat of distress. "Another one missing. He didn't come here. Might be still alive."

"Whatcha mean another one? Well I'm hoping he's alive... and if it turns out to be true... I know at least one person I'm gonna kick hard for it..." She thought for a moment and her face brightened. "Is Eye also here?" She looked at Gazhtor. "Can speak to Eye first sir? Or is that not allowed..."

"Eye is not here. We do not know where she is. Only the lord Ratish maybe knows where she has gone to."

Locks rolls his eyes. "... Eye isn't here Suvei. That's what I meant with "another one"".

"...oh... you sure?" Suvei looked worried and disappointed... "Then I wonder... where she is..." She shook her head. "So... tell me, where do I go now?" Now she really realized how much she missed the dead crew members.

"We have been keeping track a bit. Not all the souls that are suppose to come here do."

"They don't... you said that the captain is here, you are here, you are here." She said while gesturing towards Gazhtor and Locks. "Is Damien here?"

"Well, Suvei. You should go there." Gazhtor said while pointing upwards, towards the black mountain. "However, unless you have suddenly grown wings, you will need us to guide you there."

"Hehe... yeah. Busy with the magma. He could not have found better testing material."
"One of the few humans here.. really."

"Heh, glad to hear it, and he was one of the now fewer good humans I know anyway." She looked at the black mountain. "Ehm... no, I didn't exactly get those sir. So I guess you will have to guide me there if you please."

"Well then, follow me." Gazhtor replied. He turned around and walked down one of the streets, to where the rear gates were located.

Locks closed in behind. Escorting Suvei from the docks.

Suvei followed the Orc down the street, she looked around while doing so. Somehow she felt really good although there was this nagging feeling in the back of her head, it was too good to be true... she wondered what would be next. Captain said something about a journey... She remembered the words Chalkos had spoken to her and while sinking deeper in thoughts and looking around less and less, she walked on.

Around her, Suvei could see Orcs and others labouring. The barge that was already there when she arrived was leaving now, crew members scattering around among the rigging, an all too familiar sight for her. Near one of the smaller buildings a queue stood, people waiting patiently to enter the building. It really did look quite like Port Ossic. Yet at the same time, there were the black-clad figures, watching everything.
From another building, some Orcs were carrying boxes toward the barge she had arrived on. As she was looking at them, one of them tripped and fell on the ground, the contents of the box spilling out. Very quickly, one of the black-clad figures was with the Orc. It shouted and gave the orc several kicks in his ribs, after which it pulled him up by his hair, punched the orc in his stomach and let go. While staggering a bit, the Orc quickly started picking up the contents of the box, under the watchful gaze of the black-clad figure.


Suvei clicked back to reality when she heard Locks' voice. She looked around and grinned a bit "Heh feels like home." She said while walking on. "So, ya livin'on a ship here too?"

Moving onwards, the group passed through another set of massive gates. These gates stood wide open, revealing the same landscape Suvei had seen before. All the hills were reddish, brown, like bare rock. She could not see any green, no plants at all. All she could see were large plumes of black smoke, sometimes rising from metal towers or metal pipes or other constructions.

"Hmm, better keep moving. You have a long journey ahead of you, Suvei." Gazhtor says. “Locks, why don't you go on ahead and find us a place to stay for when Suvei gets tired."

"Well in that case we keep moving sir. And I'm not gonna be tired for a while I guess... I haven't felt so good since a while"

Locks quickly agrees with Gazhtor and runs off on a fast trot, ahead of the other two. Quickly, Suvei has lost sight of him between the hills.

"Well Suvei, you will probably not be tired fro a while no, but you will. At least part of you is still mortal and will tire after a while. Not to mention it getting confused with the... peculiar day and night cycles here."

Suvei looked at the sky and grinned. "I guess... so like I was asking before, do you all live on a ship here too?"

"Heh. Not really. I don't really have a permanent place to stay around here. I don;t really need one either, as I would not know what to use it for. I don't need to eat, sleep, or anything. As for Locks, he's usually hanging around one Arena or another. Those have places to stay, if necessary."

“Oh... that's too bad..." Suvei looked a bit disappointed and remained silent for a while while walking on. "So what did you do all day here? I mean if you're not on a ship and all?"

"Hmm. Well I'm mostly busy overseeing things... Like the mines and forges... Not that different from back on Heimr really, except that the souls here tend to... resist a lot less."

"Heh well you've always had a way with people sir..." She grinned "So I'm guessing that it wont be much of a problem for you here too." She looked up at the hills and mountains. "So how far are we gonna walk anyway?"

Looking around, Suvei suddenly notices the fortress is quite a bit further away than it should be, as if they walk faster than normal. However, paying attention to her surroundings, she seems to walk at her normal speed.

"Ehm... is it me or are we walking faster or is the fortress moving away from us?"

"Heh. No, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. I have been gifted with some minor powers when I arrived here. One of them is a spell that warps the surroundings, causing one to move faster while seemingly walking at the same speed. Nothing like the real powers, of course..."

Suvei raised an eyebrow and looked back at the buildings. "Ah... like that... would be a nice trick for the ship..."

"Well, its use is limited... It's handy when you don't have a horse or walking ship around, but other than that..."

"Well it's not like I have a walking ship at the moment... or a horse for that matter... I only have my own legs I'm afraid... and your convenient warp-thing."

"Heh. Yeah, that would be why I have it. Not a lot of horses around here. And souls tend to be... unwieldy mounts..."

"Hehe I can see why..."

As the two move further over a stone-paved road, at about the speed of a slow horse, the hills slowly grew higher. Around them, more and more buildings started to appear. As far as Suvei could see, all of them were dedicated to industry and battle. Furnaces blazed, with forges nearby where the loud clamour of steel on steel could be heard, along with angry shouts now and then.
Usually, some wagon track ended near the furnace. On one, Suvei could see an Ogre and several orcs pushing a large cart filled with reddish stone.

"Lot of industry here..."

"Hmm. You need an industry to be able to continue battling. Otherwise you might as well give up."

"that's true I guess" She answered while walking on...
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Re: 18-08-2559 A.T., Urbha-mor

Postby Arjen » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:43 pm

Several hours passed as Suvei and Gazhtor continued walking along the hills of Urbha-mor. The landscape did not change much, except for the hills slowly becoming higher. As time passed, Suvei began to feel somewhat weary. However, the surroundings had not changed. There was no darkening of the sky, no falling sun or rising moon. Everything seemed mostly the same as when she arrived.
"Okay, good so I do get tired... How much further do we walk sir?"
"Hmm? Oh, you're getting tired. It should not be much longer now, in a valley past the next hill is a... village... of sorts. Locks should have arranged something there by now."
"Ah good, let's get there soon then."
With their enhanced speed, the pair quickly crested the next hill. Down below, Suvei could see grey and black buildings, surrounding a large central structure, looking mostly like an amphitheatre.
"That's it?"
"Yes, that there is the arena of Maukum-ukû," Gazhtor said while pointing at the arena, "The other buildings are mostly there to support it, really."
"Arena? As in an arena like the one in New Targash?" Suvei looked down at the buildings.
"Well... yes. They are both places where organised fights are held. But I doubt this one would attract many visitors, were it located on Heimr."
"How come?" Suvei asked while walking on.
Gazhtor did not reply immediately. Instead, he walked on down along with Suvei. Quickly descending down to the valley, the other buildings became more apparent to Suvei. They were not really houses, more like pens. Each of them was a simple structure of a roof with supporting pillars, underneath which a lot of cages were located. Each house contained approximately twenty cages. As they walked on, Suvei began to see people inside the cages. Orcs, mostly, like everywhere else around here. But some trolls as well. And Ogres. Here and there even a Dwarf or Human could be seen.

Coming closer to one of the structures, Suvei could see an Orc looking at her with murder in his eyes. The orc seemed to chew on something, or at least he looked like he was chewing. In another cage, another Orc grabbed the bars of his cage, shaking them furiously while screaming at Suvei.

Suvei walked past the cages seemingly unimpressed by the creatures behind the bars. "You're not by any chance gonna throw me into that arena are you? Cause these guys don't exactly look like nice opponents..."

"No, these are almost ready to be sent to the front lines. If you were to be put here, we would put you on the other side, with the other... docile ones. You see, these are really the reason this arena would not work back on Heimr. The arena isn't so much for entertainment as it is for training. Training the slow and docile to be aggressive killers, ready to be set loose on the enemy. No one back on Heimr would agree with these methods. They will start whining about how it is unnatural and cruel and all that."

"Ah I see, so these creatures are going to be your front-line fighters in the war. And they don't agree to a lot of stuff we do back on Heimr so I guess they would never agree on what you do here..." Suvei added with a grin.

"These are one of the reasons all the industry is needed. Every day, thousands of weapons are destroyed, cages broken and tools bent. Everything needs to be replaced, as well. We can hardly send our fighters into battle with naught but their nails and skin."

Walking past the cages, Suvei and Gazhtor entered onto a large paved square in front of the arena. Several real houses stood along the square, from the looks of them all taverns.

"Ah, here we are. While it may not really be necessary to eat and drink, it can still be quite fun. Therefore taverns and inns exist here and there. That one even has some beds." Gazhtor said, while pointing at the largest building.
"Convenient." Suvei said with a grin. "Do people like me often come here? "
"There are visitors every now and then. Not as many as the souls, though. If only it were that easy...."
"Ah I see, I never imagined that afterlife would be so, lively..." Suvei looked puzzled.

Entering the tavern, Suvei found herself in a quite normal looking common room. There were several tables, with benches to sit on. In the back, a bar covered most of the length of the room. For the moment, the room was empty.
"So, is the beer any good here? And what do I pay with?"
"The beer here is as good as any in Utgard. Bit stronger even perhaps, because of the special ingredients added to it. You don't really need to pay... Money is rather useless here."
"Ah." Suvei looked dumbfounded. "No pay... so... have you lost your love for copper too then?"
Gazhtor scratches the back of his head for a moment. "Well, I must say I have far more important matters to attend to than Copper, yes."
Suvei looked at him in amazement. "Really... that's... unexpected... Well... I guess..." She went silent. "So how about a beer then..."

After having a drink at the tavern Gazhtor had led her to, Suvei went quickly to sleep. There were beds in the tavern, although far less than she had expected in a place that big. She slept for several hours, a calm, dreamless sleep. After waking up she went downstairs to find Gazhtor sitting at a table, together with Copperlocks and a few other Orcs. Outside, the sky had not changed. It was still red, the light of it still casting everything in a reddish glow. As if time stood still.

At seeing Locks and Gazhtor Suvei grinned and walked over to their table. "Hello again, nice to see you back here. So what's the plan?"
"Good... uh... morning? to you, Suvei." Gazhtor replied. "For today, we go up.
You see, one of the reasons I led you here is because from here there leads a direct path all the way to the top of the mountain. If you need anything, like breakfast, better get some. It will still take a while before we're there."

Suvei grinned. "Breakfast sounds good." Suvei walked to the bar and ordered baked eggs and bread.
The Orc behind the bar looked startled for a moment. "Eggs... and bread... Right, we should have something like that around here, give me a moment."
After a while, the Orc came back with a plate with eggs and bread. The bread was very dark, nearly black, and the eggs had a distinct orangey hue to them.
Suvei thanked the man and went back to the table with her food. She shrugged and started eating fast. She wanted to get this all over with and get back home.
The bread tasted the same way it looked: Very dark and heavy bread. The eggs tasted like normal eggs with a lot of pepper added.
"Heh at least the food is solid here." She grinned still.
Gazhtor looked at Suvei. Once finished with her breakfast he said: "Right, then. Let's get moving. Don't want to have others wait too long."
Gazhtor quickly led the party of three outside. Behind the arena, a path led upwards into the higher hills and further. He mumbled a few words and Suvei felt the tingle of magic surround her.[/color]
"Right" he said. "The last time I walked this path it took me about a Heimr-day to reach the top. As long as we do not encounter anything, I think we can do the same."
Suvei shrugged, she was quite used to the strangeness around her by now and the magic was another oddness she could easily place in her newly acquired vision. "Let's go then. A day is still quite a long time."

The path quickly went from a light slope to a stiff climb. Strangely enough, for Suvei it felt as if she was walking on flat ground, as if gravity had a different effect here. It turned upwards quickly, Gazhtor's magic helping them to move fast. After an hour, when she looked back, Suvei could see the Arena as small miniatures behind her. Having spent two hours walking, the path started to become like a stair instead of simply a path. The rock face of the mountain was steep here, a nearly vertical wall upwards and downwards.

They continued to moved upwards, the path still a near-stair like steep climb. The hours passed and Suvei could see they were quickly approaching the layer of clouds that was ever present in the sky. Around what felt to Suvei as halfway in the afternoon, they entered that layer. The clouds quickly closed around them, allowing only a few yards of sight. Yet still they continued upwards.

"So how much further sir?" Suvei looked a bit tired from the long walk and her feet started hurting.
"Hmph. Not much longer now. Only an hour or two, I think."

After walking inside the clouds for half an hour, the clouds gave way and the party was walking out in the open again. Above them, a clear red sky could be seen. Around them, a murder of crows, startled by their sudden appearance, burst away from the mountain side. Wind pulled at Suvei's clothing, howling around the mountain's side.

The mountain side slowly started to slope backwards now, the path becoming less steep. Ahead, Suvei could see a black spot, becoming larger as they moved. As they came closer, Suvei could see the shapes of an enormous castle forming from the black spot. It seemed to cover the entire pinnacle of the mountain, a huge area unlike any castle she had seen on Heimr. The closer they came to the castle, the more and more details became apparent. Long before they came close, Suvei realised this castle dwarfed the Fortress she had seen when arriving here. The towers were massive, black constructions, made with the same stone as the fortress below, yet at the same time seeming so much more. Atop the towers, large banners fluttered in the wind. Banners displaying signs of Battle, Cunning and Balance. Most of them were gross depictions of mutilation and other signs associated with evil. The entire place radiated evil like nothing on Heimr could.

"Hmm... I guess..." Suvei looked at the monstrous structure "that's it?"
"That is the citadel of Maulûk, Lord of Urbha-mor and Arch daemon of Ratish." Gazhtor replied, an enormous amount of reverence in his voice.
"Few mortals are ever allowed to see it, let alone approach it." After a few moments, Gazhtor continued: "Now, look behind you Suvei."
Suvei turned around and looked behind her.

As she turned around, she could see the black clouds that floated around the spire of the mountain. All around her she could see them. Yet when she turned further, she saw white clouds in the distance. She saw the same collisions happening between the white and black clouds. Yet beyond, between the white clouds, she could see another peak coming out of the clouds. On top of that peak, she could see a spot of pure white. [/color]
"That, Suvei, is the citadel of Ysrafil. Lord of Urbha-ning, Archangel of Ratish." Gazhtor almost spat the words. "That is where Hendrick has been. That is where he betrayed the Coppercrew."
Suvei raised an eyebrow. "Ah that explains quite a few thing more clearly than anything else." She focussed her gaze on the white clouds. "And Lord Ratish wants him to be on our ship am I right?"
"Grmph. Yes, he does. For the sake of balance. Just be careful of him, the Angels of Ratish can be as devious as the other side..."
"Good thing to keep in mind that." She then turned around again. "Now what?"
"We continue onwards. Locks, I think it is time you head back down. You have served us well and you have now been allowed to see the seat of your master. Go, and continue your work."
Suvei grinned "See ya later Locks, some day Ill be sure to end up here myself, well go for a beer and a chat then" She smiled "It was good to see you again."
Locks said his goodbyes and then trotted down the path once more.
"Hmm, let me do something before we continue." Gazhtor said some, for Suvei, unintelligible words and she felt more magic settle on her
"Can I ask you something? What do you keep casting on me? Not that I don't like it... but just wondering."
"Oh, nothing special. This morning it was the same magic I told you about yesterday. This was just some protective magic."
"Ah... I see" Suvei said while looking a bit unsure. "I guess I will need that then?"
"So, let us continue." Gazhtor said.
Suvei nodded

As they moved ever closer, a gate became apparent in the wall of the castle in front of them. It seemed to be part of the wall, a giant maw opening only for those deemed worthy of entry. The closer they came, the more details became apparent of both the gate and the rest of the structure. At first, it seemed as if the walls were made of enormous blocks of the black, glassy stuff Suvei had seen before. Yet moving closer, the large blocks started to look like honeycombs, the cells of which were filled with more little patterns and details. The gate was similar. At first, it simply looked like a large stone maw. Yet coming closer, Suvei could see veins running below the surface. Veins that pulsed with some fluid, the nature of which she could only guess.

Slowly, the maw started to open. Large teeth separated, revealing a courtyard in which a massive, central keep could be seen. The way through the wall from the gate was like a tunnel. It took several minutes before they finally stood upon the courtyard of the castle. In front of them, the keep of the castle could be seen to its fullest now. Several spires and towers jutted from the large central structure. It almost seemed more of a cathedral instead of a keep. In the courtyard, Suvei could see regiments of soldiers being drilled. They looked like very tough veterans, some of them even had a similar look to that of the Fallen Angels drilling them. There were cages here as well, cages filled with Orcs and other creatures. They looked miserable and beaten.

"Come, Suvei. Let us enter." Gazhtor spoke as he crossed the courtyard and moved towards the keep.
Suvei followed and looked around. This was a whole new level of amazement in her dictionary.
The face of the the keep was decorated with an incredibly detailed symbol, depicting a two-headed battle axe leaning to the right, with a fox walking on a handle that looked more like a crossroads. The doors to the keep were as elaborate as the rest of it, images of battle decorating the heavy wooden constructions. Without a sound, they slowly slid open.

There was an enormous hallway behind the doors, rows of large pillars stretching out towards a pitch black hole in the rear. Gazhtor motioned for Suvei to enter. With a slight hint of hesitation Suvei entered the building. As she stepped into the hallway, she felt a shiver down her spine. For a few moments, she felt absolutely terrified, unable to do anything. Yet as soon as it came, it was gone again, the protective magics cast upon her rebounding the terrifying presence. Yet they could not entirely dispel the terror she felt. The feeling lingered inside her, suppressed but not gone.

Suvei shivered, she did not at all feel comfortable, not that she had expected that and of course she had felt uneasy the last couple of days but this was a whole new experience for her. It was to be expected when entering the realm of an arch daemon and Suvei looked around anxiously. Gazhtor stepped inside behind her, the doors closing after him.
"Come, Suvei," he said. "There is nothing to fear, only those who are uninvited should fear the wrath of Maulûk."
"Well, if you say so sir." Suvei followed her former leader but still looked quite unsure.

As they moved down the hall, Suvei could see large statues standing between the pillars. Some of them looked like Orcs, others looked more like the Fallen Angels she had seen so far. A few of them looked mostly like nothing she had seen before. The floor of the hallway was covered with a very rigid pattern of black and white tiles. The pillars were straight and unadorned, leading up to a ceiling that had stained glass images of battles. Battles between Angels and Daemons, Orcs and other creatures and some depicting a creature looking sometimes like an Orc, sometimes like something else. But even the stained-glass image of him was awe-inspiring.

The hallway was very long, the journey to the other side taking nearly half an hour. Suvei could see other corridors and hallways leading away, deeper into the keep. Gazhtor did not enter any of them, he simply kept a steady pace towards the black hole at the end of the hallway. Suvei shrugged, she had the utmost of confidence that Gazhtor would lead them to where they should be. And besides, she did not want to get lost in this complex of halls and corridors.

The closer they moved towards the blackness, the more oppressive the feeling of terror became. Suvei was still perfectly capable of walking and think on her own, yet the feeling of uneasiness she felt grew slowly. The end of the hallway was quickly coming closer now, a black hole which seemed to suck the light out of its surroundings. The frame around it was adorned with more symbols of battle, cunning and balance. Just in front of the hole, Gazhtor stopped.

"Were here sir?" Suvei looked at the hole and swallowed a bit of uneasiness away. She already got this fas and she was quite determined to go on.
"You will need to continue on your own. Everybody who enters here must be alone."
"Oh..." Suvei looked at the darkness and back at Gazhtor. "So I guess this is goodbye then? Or will I be seeing you later on?"
"Oh, we will meet again. I will wait here for you. After all, my task was to take you here and make sure you got back as well."
"Ah that's quite a relief..." Suvei said but she did not really sound convinced. "Well I guess Ill be going then..." She said while stepping into the darkness. "See you in a while then sir."
"Goodbye, Suvei" Gazhtor replied in a tone that seemed quite final.

(OC: Listen while reading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV30EwtA_NA )

As Suvei stepped into the blackness, she felt it envelop her, like she was walking into some kind of jelly. A shiver went through her body as she walked on, wondering what would happen next. Slowly, her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Or was it the darkness that was pulling back? The feeling of jelly subsided along with the darkness. She was standing in a slowly expanding pool of light. Or rather, a pool of not-entirely-dark. All she could see was the darkness and the floor. A simple, black white tiled floor.

Suvei tried to make out anything else but the floor in the darkness. She was still wondering what would happen next and although she felt uncomfortable she settled down a bit more every second. As she waited, a step of a stair slowly became visible. Then another above that. She noticed that while she was waiting, the darkness behind her and above her was receding more quickly, as if it accelerated. Yet the darkness in front of her was not as quick to go away. Suvei walked in the direction of the stairs and looked up, she decided that waiting was probably not going to get her anywhere since Gazhtor had said that she would have to continue on her own.

As she put her foot onto the first step, she realised that the darkness in front of her was not simple darkness, but had a shape and size. It looked like feathers, yet feathers that were constantly falling, constantly decaying to nothingness. She stopped moving and looked at the darkness of no at the feathers and what they used to be attached to. She tried to make out a shape or form. She had an idea of what might lie in the darkness what was the darkness. Following the feathers upwards with her eyes, she could make out the shape of bones among them. Bones that were shedding feathers and skin all the time, growing then falling and decaying. Following the bones further upwards, she could make out the shape of wings. Wings of bones, wings constantly shedding feathers.

As she looked toward the centre of where she expected the bones to come together, a spot about a hundred yards higher, at the top of the stairs, she could see a figure in the blackest of armour she had ever seen. A creature enormously terrifying yet at the same time extremely beautiful. The armour it wore was more intricate and detailed than any armour she had ever seen. Every little part of it was decorated with some sort of pattern or figure. Red glowing eyes looked at her from an incredibly detailed helmet. In those eyes she could see terror manifested, rage, killing, everything that was about battle. She saw balance as well, and cunning. All things Ratish stood for were reflected in his eyes. Yet twisted, the evil side of all these things.

Suvei started climbing the stairs, and when she finally arrived before the terrible, beautiful creature she could not shit her gaze away. So this was a true demon, a true being of evil. She stood there being respectfully quiet and careful not to do anything that might offend the creature.

The creature, even as she stood several yards away, towered over her, sitting on a massive throne in which she would have fit three or four times. "Welcome, Suvei. Welcome at last." it spoke once Suvei had reached the top. Its voice beautiful yet terrifying, alluring yet at the same time sounding like hundreds of souls crying in agony.

"Well, thank you for letting me be here." Suvei looked up still thinking about the crew and her promise to them. "It has been a most interesting journey."
The creature smiled. A wicked yet calming smile. "Yes, yes I expect it has been for you." it replied. It looked straight at her, the red eyes glowing with a malevolent light. After a few moments it continued. "Tell me, Suvei. Do you know why you are here?"
Suvei waited for a moment and then took a deep breath. She had learned that hinting did not work and decided to just start asking. "I came here to ask you for something, I think you already know exactly what it is since you probably know very well about everything that goes on here. Am I correct sir?" She waited for a moment. "I am here because I want the power to let the ship move again, to make lifeless copper live" She thought for a second. "The same powers Captain Vileheart used to have, the ones he used to make the crew powerful and great!"

Again the creature smiled, yet this time it was only a wicked smile. "So easily deceived. I see my underlings have done a good job. The power to make Copper move. And where did he get that power, Suvei?"
Suvei looked a bit unsure. "Well he never told us but my guess is he got it from you?"
"From me, you say?" The creature laughed. "No, I do not bother with such mundane things. That is what I have underlings for. They deal in mundane powers. No, he got it from someone else. Someone you already know."
Suvei though for a moment and then grinned "Ah right... Chalkos... My apologies... I forgot." She then though again. "What AM I here for then? Why didn't you just leave this to you underlings then, why are you bothering with me?"
[color=660000]"You were brought here because something was lost. Balance was lost. You are here to restore that balance."[/color]
"Ah I see." Suvei thought for a moment. "I guess you mean I have to balance out for Hendrick? Pardon me for mentioning him here."

The creature clearly showed no emotion at the mention of Hendrick. "Yes. When your predecessor died at the hands of Faction Metal, the balance in the Coppercrew was lost. Hendrick, placed there by the Lord himself, was there to balance the powers of the evil side of the Lord. As it should be, everywhere. Yet when that power was gone, the balance tipped over to the other side. Chalkos used your ritual to send you here, under the guise of giving you what you want. He could have sent you here directly, yet instead chose not to, to have you experience the journey here. He, as well as I and others, was interested to see in how you coped with things. And now you are here, before me."
"Ah I see, some kind of test... And indeed now I am here, so please tell me, what is it that you want me to do sir?"
"You will need to answer a question, as there must always be free choice. You can walk out now, return to your miserable existence and pray that you end up somewhere not too hostile. Or you can continue along this path, become more than your mortal existence, more powerful than you ever have imagined. What do you choose, Suvei?"
Suvei thought but only for a second. This was it, this was what she had come here to do. She swallowed and took a deep breath. "I will continue along this path, I will become more powerful than I ever have been. I will recreate balance on our ship with your approval that is of course sir."
"Then kneel before me. Kneel down and repeat my words."
Suvei knelt down and waited.

"I swear"
"I swear"
"to serve the mighty lord of balance, battle and cunning."
"to serve the mighty lord of balance, battle and cunning."
"To become his daemon, his servant."
"To become his daemon, his servant."
"Until he chooses to dismiss me or my immortal soul be destroyed."
"until he chooses to dismiss me or my immortal soul be destroyed."
"I have willingly sacrificed my free will in order to better serve the lord of free will."
"I have willingly sacrificed my free will in order to better serve the lord of free will."
"and are yours to command, my lord."
"and are yours to command, my lord."

As she spoke the last words, everything turned black around her. She floated in darkness, where nothing could be seen. Suvei closed her eyes still wondering if she had made the right decision, of course she had made the right decision...

After a while, images started to appear, scenes of battle, scenes of carnage. Orcs were running around killing, plundering, burning. She could hear screams: "Ratish, Ratish, Ratish." She saw bodies everywhere, bodies of trolls, humans, orcs, elves, every race imaginable. The image faded. Another appeared. A black shadow spoke to a woman. "You know you want to, just do it." The image changed. The woman was lying in a bed with another person, a male. Someone entered the room. Another male. In a burst of rage he kills the woman and the male in the bed. The shadow stood in the corner, softly laughing. She saw a priest, wandering around a village, healing the sick and helpless. Another image shimmered in between, an orc killing children, one child for every person the priest heals.

Suvei saw herself, kneeling before the Arch daemon, speaking the words "I have willingly sacrificed my free will in order to server the lord of free will." then everything turned to black once more. "This is the path you have chosen, Suvei." a voice spoke in her head. "Serve my evil side well and you will be rewarded. Fail me, and you will be punished far worse than any mortal soul can ever be." Then slowly she woke up once more.

She opened her eyes not knowing what to expect. The words of the god still ringing in her ears. As she opened her eyes, she found herself outside of the room where she had spoken to Maulûk. She breathed in deeply and looked around expecting to see Gazhtor standing there. She had a strange feeling in her stomach and her head felt heavy with newly acquired information. Gazhtor still stood next to the black gateway. He was now flanked by the somewhat familiar figure of Chalkos.

Suvei closed and opened her eyes. She walked towards the two figures and looked from the one towards the other. "Hello again sir and" she turned towards Chalkos "hello to you too sir." She said while making a small yet respectful bow. Gazhtor and Chalkos nodded to her in greeting. [color=#990000]"Greetings, Suvei, I will take you back to the mortal realm." Chalkos said.
"If you please sir." Suvei said with a tired look on her face.
Once they had moved outside, Chalkos put a hand on Suvei's shoulder. "Goodbye Suvei, and good luck spreading the word of our Lord up there." Gazhtor spoke. "Goodbye sir, 't was nice to see you again." Suvei grinned. "Best of luck to you too and I guess I see you again in the future."

As she said her last greeting, her surroundings shifted, from the orangey-red, to grey. For several moments, they hung in the grey. The moments passed in silence, and they shifted once more. This time from grey to the familiar surroundings of her rooms aboard the Copperheart.

With a sigh of relief Suvei realised she had at last come home again. "I guess that's it then?" She said while looking at the fallen angel.
"Not entirely." the Daemon replied. "There is one final piece missing."
Suvei thought for a moment and her eyes widened. "Ah yes, how forgetful of me... I can still not move ship."
"Indeed you cannot. However, take this. It should solve matters." Chalkos handed her a copper nugget about the same size as her palm.
Suvei accepted the nugget gladly, her greed for copper still not having died out.
"Thank you sir."
As she put her hand on the copper, it started to melt, seeping into her skin, embedding itself into her. She felt it settle into her, seeping into her being, linking her with the metal.
As the metal melted into her skin Suvei could not help but grin. This was the moment she had been waiting or for the last couple of days, this was the way to make her crew shine again.
Slowly she started to feel more. She started to be able to feel the ship's legs, the ship's central machinery, everything that allowed it to move. And suddenly she felt pain. Pain of muscles that had not been moved for months, kept in the same stiff position for longer than any mortal could hold it.

With a moan Suvei fell onto the floor on her knees. So much pain... It was nothing compared with the feeling of daggers ripping through your flesh of of magical torture, but this pain was lasting longer and she could not heal it herself, it would take a long time for her to be able to make this work, she could already feel it...
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