There's not a whole lot going on in this chapter. I've constructed an alteration to the plot, so most of what I had mapped out in my head is now useless. Plus, things are pretty hectic here at school. I appreciate those of you who keep reading.
__Kaidara heard her voice in his head. “Are you ready?” He raised his sword in the air to show affirmation. “Okay.”
__The samurai surged out, drawing his wakizashi in his left hand and slashed at enemies wildly. The victims on this day, or rather night, were the nosferatu – newly turned vampires who hadn’t yet gained all of their abilities. Armed with teeth and claws, they charged the seemingly-vulnerable samurai. Three were taken down by Kaidara’s own steel, two more were telekinetically dissected from afar by Kitsuru, while yet another received an arrow in each eye from Syvarris. Being a more intelligent group, the nosferatu knew now to proceed with caution. Still, it did them no good when Kaidara leaped into a cluster of them spinning around wildly. Limbs flew with blood trailing behind them. Such was the carnage that some of the proud nosferatu decided to retreat. Those that did were struck down by their own, for such conduct was looked down upon. In the chaos caused by the infighting, Kaemon flew overhead to speak to Kaidara.
__“That’s enough. Fall back into line.”
__Kaimera urged the samurai forward, and Kaidara struggled against its will. He looked down and saw that the sword was glowing white with heat. Something told the samurai to slash out, and he did. An arc of fire swept across the swords path, searing the flesh of advancing troops.
__“Did you know it could do that?” asked Kaemon.
__“I do now.”
__“Lady Runa was not able to completely destroy the giants. She has failed in her duty.”
__“My duty was to make sure they did not make it to Lyrius in time to do any good, Zuil. I risk my life on the front lines, killing for the good of all Utgar’s kingdom while you sit back here and grow fat.”
__“What are you saying, Lady Runa?” Zuil was beginning to grow nervous. As the leader of House Gruat, the 8th kyrie house, he was naturally afraid of Runa who headed the 9th house. Under Runa’s direction, House Yibbal had been growing rapidly in power. This scared all the other kyrie so much that houses 6, 7, and 8 were teaming up against her politically.
__“I’m saying that you are worthless scum,” said Runa calmly.
__“I will not be insulted in this hall!” Zuil rose to his feet and slammed his fists on the table.
__“Sit, Zuil,” spoke Elder Garwin. The three elders headed the council of kyrie and belonged to no house. “Lady Runa, choose your words more carefully. We will not have infighting under the great Lord Utgar, soon to be king of all Valhalla.
__Brainwashed pigs, said Runa to herself. She wished Suyomonji was with her to agree.
__“Sir Zuil, you will stay here and continue your project. Lady Runa, Zuil’s troops will be mixed with your own. If you don’t want them to stab you in the back, I suggest you find your manners.
__“What of her punishment?” pressed Zuil.
__“Lady Runa has completed her task as it was assigned to her. The results were better than we could have hoped. Do not bring the issue any further.”
__Zuil glared at Runa, but conceded the issue.
__“Is there anything else that needs to be addressed?” asked Elder Taelord. After a few moments of silence, he adjourned the meeting.
__Runa got up deliberately and walked, with a very pronounced step, out of the meeting hall. Whatever hints she was trying to drop, Zuil had missed completely.
__She gathered her belongings outside the door, since weapons were not allowed inside the meeting hall, and took her normal path back to her lodgings, knowing that she would be ambushed, even without Suyomonji’s help. She felt no remorse, she had given Zuil the chance to call off the attack. The impossibly sharp blade tore through the flesh of the kyrie assassins lying in wait. Since she was the victim, she decided to leave the body parts there for anyone to find- body parts that had been branded with the marks of House Gruat and of the Assassin’s Guild.
__“Who is this human with the strength to do you harm?” bellowed the powerful voice of Utgar.
__“His name is Kaidara, my master.” Mimring spat the name like it were a curse. “He is both cunning and strong, with a demon inside his sword.”
__“This is the last of the drink I have, but my alchemists are making more. Soon you will be powerful enough to lay entire kingdoms to waste!” Utgar spread his arm, motioning to a vat of blue liquid, magically enhanced and refined water from a wellspring. It was a relatively new invention of his kyrie scientists and wizards.
__Mimring lapped up the potion with haste, and it quickly took effect.
__“Ahh. With this power that puny human will finally be destroyed at last. Then, I will crush Nilfheim and Charos.”
__“Be careful, my pet,” boomed Utgar’s voice. “You’ve not yet enough power to be reckless. By tomorrow before midnight, there will be more for you to drink. You will ride out with my kyrie minions and wreak havoc among them.”
__“Yes, master. I will not fail again.”
__“That would certainly explain the name.”
__“Kaimera. It’s a beast that can breath fire,” said Parmenio.
__“I see. So when it feeds on flesh, it gains power. When it has enough power, it can throw flames.”
__“That could be useful,” said Kaemon.
__“Not in the immediate situation,” interjected Kaidara. “Utgar’s kyrie won’t really be bothered by fire, and neither will Mimring. If we’re overrun by more icars, it might be useful.”
__“But I have an idea,” spoke Syvarris. “Since the cocky warriors of Utgar will not be bothered by fire, they will not brace themselves when it approaches.”
__“Which gives you a chance to strike immediately after an arc of my fire.”
__“Exactly. Our arrows will tear them to pieces.”
__“How will we coordinate such an attack?” asked Kaemon.
__“I’m sure Kitsuru is capable of such a task. If she can hear my thoughts, she’ll know when the fire is ready, then she can give the command to fire.”
__“So that’s another useful trick we have, but I doubt it will work more than once.” Kaemon scribbled some notes on a piece of parchment, then looked up to Kaidara. “Don’t waste it.”
I could use some more comments to keep me going, guys.
Last edited by Billtog : May 11th, 2008 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Utgar =/= Taelord
Your story makes me smile, and wish it was an actual book, so I could read it all in one day. Syvarris is my favorite character, he embodies the arrogance that Hasbro mentioned, and yet isnt so arrogant to be annoying. I almost thought you hated him, and were making him an oaf just to show contempt, but he is actually a main character! His "personal archers", the Nacaros Nine, that is amazing. Pure genius. I love that sort of "royal bodyguard" theme.
Also, all of your words are skillfully chosen, so one can actually see the battles as they play out. When Kaemon was fighting the Elder Bladehawk, you could almost see the valiant hero regretfully strike down the proud bird of prey.
Im also a big fan of the characters Nightstag and Vinelle, I cant wait to see what trials they face together - perhaps fighting each other along the way.
Again, keep keep keep writing, Puhlease
Who? Where? What? Are we talking about Kryie or Drow? THough it doesn't exactly sound 'origonal,' I can see that it could bring about some interesting plot twists.
I, too, am looking forward to seeing the adventures of Nightstag and Vinelle. I hope we can see more soon!
(EDIT: About that. I read both Drizzt trilogies last week and that's about all that runs through my head right now. Luckily, I have this to take my mind off of that long enough to think like a normal human being who doesn't much like D&D. Alas, this is too long. Didn't want to post again, so bye!)
They are much like political parties, especially with the elders, and trying to convince them of things.
I like it. Gives Utgar's minions a lot more depth, and makes Runa seem more calculating and tricky, much like her card suggests.
Re: Kaidara's Blade-Chapter Twenty-Seven 3/04
Hey, all. I'm back. School is out for the summer, so I'm going to be working on this again. I'm going to start writing today, and the new chapter will be up by Tuesday. I hope you guys are still interested!
Re: Kaidara's Blade Returns Soon
Hooray! Our resident Heroscaper's Madman has returned! I look forward to reading more of this epic story of yours.
Re: Kaidara's Blade Returns Soon
And we're back.
__“Zuil dil Gruat, you have been found guilty of conspiracy to murder. Have you any last words?”
__“Yes,” spoke the tattered kyrie. “We mustn’t let a woman grow with such power. Reverse your decision and execute instead Runa!” Zuil’s final words went unheeded.
__“Lady Runa, as victim, you hold the right to execute. Will you?”
__Without any warning, Runa lashed out with her right arm, grasping Zuil by the neck. “I will.” With incredible strength unheard of in female kyrie, Runa collapsed Zuil’s throat with a single hand and let go. Zuil struggled in his chains, fighting for air. Within seconds he suffocated.
__When Zuil’s body had gone limp, Runa threw a warning glance up to a certain kyrie who was also in attendance. House leaders often had more important things to do than watch public executions, but Razar, leader of the 6th house, was there. He glowered back at Runa and retreated to his private chambers.
__“Things should take care of themselves from here.”
__Taelord awaited Razar’s return in a chair in a corner of the room. “How so, Razar?”
__“Runa is to lead Zuil’s troops into battle, but her own second-in-command plots against her. Zuil’s men are surely angered by his execution and will be out for revenge.”
__“I can see how that would work out neatly.”
__“The best part is that no one will ever know I was involved. Even Zuil was too dumb to see what was coming.”
__“And what happens next? How will you wrap this up?”
__“Like I said, it will take care of itself. Tension will increase between the two houses until violence occurs. When that happens, my trained assassins disguised within House Gruat will head straight for Runa. That way, they can avoid execution, and I will still appear unconnected.”
__“It’s good to know you have us both covered. I wouldn’t want to end up like Elder Korothir.”
__“Exile isn’t nearly as bad as execution, my friend. I only covered myself. Your connections to this… project are with me and me alone.”
__“So you are the master of security you’re rumored to be.”
__“It’s a well-known secret that members of my house are assassins and spies rather than warriors.” Razar winked slyly. “It’s natural that someone of my status would have to be exemplary in these fields.
__Utgar’s sergeants refused to let their enemies rest. Wave after wave of icars battered them, breaking through to the camps more than once.
__Marcus Decimus Gallus waited for Kaidara and his men to replace them. They had been holding the line for five hours, and were growing very weary.
__“Septicus! Go check on Sir Kaidara’s squadron! Get them down here immediately!” The warrior known as Septicus dropped his spear and shield and took off with all haste.
__Icar talons scraped against Roman tower shields. Spears struck out but were battered aside. Periodically, a shield would shatter, an icar would strike a soldier down, and the remaining Romans would have to scatter to reform their phalanx a few feet back. The Roman soldiers decreased in numbers while the icars continued to swell.
__"There's no other option. We must trust in her skills."
__"This is absurd, Kaidara! The two of you cannot stand against them off by yourself."
__"I don't have time for this." Kaidara started to walk away.
__"Marcus' men can hold out just a little long-"
__"Sir Kaidara!" Septicus came running in. "We need you immediately. We cannot hold the icars any longer."
__"I'm afraid we don't have any men to send to aid you, my friend."
__"Follow me!" Septicus and Kaidara ran towards the battle.
__"They send only you?" asked Marcus frantically.
__"All my ashigaru were injured when the icars broke through to the camp. I'm all there is. I can handle this, with help from Kitsuru."
__"I'm not going to leave you here to die, Sir Kaidara."
__"Then hold your line. Don't let them break through. I'll cut them all down."
__"I'm ready, Kaidara," said a voice in his head. The bold samurai charged out, hacking at icars haphazardly. Claws that came too close were cut by Kitsuru's mind. "Take it slow, Kaidara."
__Kaidara didn't listen. Kaimera urged him to kill them all. He held his line and the lines on either side of him. After two hours of slashing, Kaidara had not tired. Kaimera filled him with energy. Kitsuru's power did not waiver.
__"Sir Kaidara, please take a rest," called Marcus.
__“I will not! I am not tired.”
__“We are ready to fight again. Let us take over.”
__“You will die!”
__“Then I will die fighting!”
__Marcus turned around. “Men, charge!” The Romans picked up their shields and, as one, charged out into battle. They broke around Kaidara and pushed the enemy back, forcing them away from Kaidara.
__“They’re breaking rank!” cried Sergeant Drake Alexander. “Everyone, charge!”
__In a terrific swoop, the combined armies of Ullar, Einar, and Jandar advanced as one. Kaidara’s unrelenting spirit had infected his comrades. The sound of metal clashing and arrows pounding bare flesh coagulated into a deafening roar. Dying screams of friend and foe alike sent shivers up spines. Growls and snarls of otherworldly creatures inspired fear in the hearts of many. The rumble of thousands of feet clamoring on the ground was mistaken for thunder. Shouted commands were lost in the tumult. Kaidara’s rage was a mere murmur, angered by the battle being taken out of his hell-bent hands. He chopped and chopped and swung his sword about, but he suddenly had a lack of energy. Kaimera stopped supplying him with bloodlust. Kaidara’s muscles ached and burned. His legs refused to move, and he fell to the ground, nearly lifeless. His collapse went unnoticed, and his comrades charged on.
__“Their plan is a clever one,” noted Ikaru.
__“The slaughter will be grand. We must warn Runa minutes before it happens.”
__“Agreed. How many of Runa’s own will stand by her side?”
__“Enough,” said Suyomonji shortly. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
__“Is everyone ready?” shouted Runa.
__A thundering battle roar was the answer to her question.
__“Then let us be off!” Runa took to the air, and behind her flew one thousand kyrie, a mere fraction of the kyrie troops going to battle. With Suyomonji at her hip, Runa commanded the skies, heading for bloody battle without looking back.
__“May their heads find the ground before their bodies do!” she yelled behind her, a warcry she had been using for House Gruat. The ruckus became even louder. They passed through the sky like a violent thunderstorm, startling animals and natives below out of their sleep.
__“Kaziriel, keep track of our bearings.”
__“Yes, my lady.” A short-lived, sly smile slid its way across Kaziriel’s face. His plan was coming to fruition.
Now that I've devised a way to easily transfer this back and forth between different computers, I can hopefully write some of this at work during downtime. Chapters should be appearing more regularly.
Re: Kaidara's Blade Chapter Twenty-Eight 5/17
__Kaidara’s awakening was a pleasant one. “Hello, lover,” she spoke softly.
__“Hi.” He sat up slowly. “What happened?”
__“You pushed yourself a little hard and passed out for an hour or two.”
__“I see. How’s the battle going, then?”
__“It’s going well. You shouldn’t worry about that.” She got up and moved over to sit on his bed. “How are you feeling?”
__“I feel… fine,” he said with some amount of surprise.
__“You’re very strong.” She put her arm around him. He relaxed and let his head rest on her chest. “Too strong. If you get any stronger, you won’t need me to take care of you.”
__“I guess I’ll have to get stupid then.”
__She idly played with his hair. Silence became her. Kaidara closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation on his scalp. She wrapped her arms around him tightly and kissed him on the head.
__“What happens when all this is over?”
__“If a conflict of this magnitude can end within the span of our natural lives… I say we find a peaceful place to live quietly.”
__“That sounds wonderful, dear,” she said with a hint of worry in her voice, a hint that was not so small. While the magnificent charge of their forces had a strengthening affect on the morale of most of the warriors, it did the opposite for Kitsuru. She realized that the probability of her dying was great. And she thought it was the same for Kaidara.
__“This is nothing like serving in the army back in Japan, is it, dear?”
__“No,” said Kaidara after he laughed. “This is much more exciting.”
__Kitsuru was pained that though they had left the confining culture of Japan, Kaidara was still pleased by the prospect of dying in battle. Kitsuru referred to the Japanese army because Kaidara would serve for a fixed period of time and then be done with it. There was no end in sight to the war in Valhalla. Still, he accepted death as an inevitability and only hoped that he was slain by a formidable foe that was terrified of him.
__Kitsuru knew not what she could do to change his mentality. Thanks to her newfound powers, she thought she might not have to. It was within her power to protect him.
__“I’m going to leave so you can get some rest, love.”
__“I will. I must be strong for the real battle tomorrow.”
__Kitsuru kissed Kaidara and curtly left. She headed far away from the line of battle. She walked far enough that the sounds of war no longer berated her ears. Kitsuru found herself amongst a sea of boulders. This was a place she already knew of and visited regularly. It was here that she sharpened her powers.
__She started off easy, lifting one boulder -roughly the weight of her own body- and traced patterns in the air with it. She made no shapes in particular, but rather did it for the practice. She began writing haiku in the air. When she had reached top speed, she picked up another boulder. Handling them both with equal mind toward both, she slowly and carefully spelled out her own name with one whilst she wrote Kaidara’s in the air with the other. After completing that task successfully, she began writing haiku from her memory. She matched together poems that had similar meanings but sounded completely different and traced them out simultaneously. After that, she lifted a third boulder in the air. This practice continued smoothly until she reached her limit, ten boulders.
__Runa and her warriors had set up camp in a forest clearing. She stood atop a solitary tree to address the entire company.
__“Tomorrow, the mighty force of Utgar will take control and slaughter those who resist on the Fields of Lyrius! The bloodshed will be mighty, and the carnage will be gorgeous! Weapons, armor, heads, take what souvenirs you will, but make sure your kills are plenty! Should you fall, do so fighting! Utgar’s glory will be massive, and the combined houses of the kyrie will have no greater day! Rest now, and dream of the gore to come!”
__“Very inspiring,” said Suyomonji.
__“And I have you to thank for that. I’ve not forgotten.”
__“We accomplish many great things together, Runa. There’s none more worthy to wield me than you.”
__“Yet many among us think otherwise,” she said, disgusted.
__“They would not be rash enough to make a move against you, Runa. Not with such a large battle looming, and definitely not after you display your supremacy in combat.”
__“Yes, I suppose you’re right. I have to admit I feel a bit paranoid, but I’ve nothing to worry about with you in hand, Suyomonji.”
__“Of course not, now get some rest,” spoke the sword reassuringly.
__Try as she might, she could not focus well enough to pick up the eleventh boulder. She simply had too many things to concentrate on. It had risen a foot in the air before all of them came tumbling down. During this time, the sun had set and begun to rise. She hurried back to camp to get a few hours of rest before the battle began.
__Kaemon Awa sat alone sharpening his blades for what might, and a small part of him hoped, be the last time in his life. He quickly went over hundreds of strategies in his mind. He reviewed the various strengths and weaknesses of each component of each shift, making sure he had matched them in the most complimentary way possible. He estimated the size of the opponent’s force, then theorized the maximum army his side could defeat without staggering losses. Then, he theorized the maximum army his army could defeat with at least five percent remaining. He then made those numbers obsolete by going over the ways in which he could overlap shifts, giving everyone a little less rest, but not too much less. Though he had received a letter from Einar promising great aid, he knew not what to expect, and thus planned on receiving none. He pondered the rapidly growing power of the dragon Mimring, and came up with the quickest way to defeat him. He went through every worst possible outcome of every possible scenario. By that time, his blades had long been sharpened and sitting by his side. He stood up, sheathed them, and hoped for the best.