NationStates Jolt Archive

The Bell Tolls [Past/Fantasy] [Introduction]

The Bone Mother
08-05-2005, 21:15
The forest itself, entroaching on the edge of civlization. It called out with the dark howls, chirps, sounds of life in the undergrowth, in the filth of the dirt below the falling leaves, of every small breath that was taken by the smallest of wurms, the snakes that lied for a new meal. The forest was the dark protector of all secrets within. What lied in the forest always would be a mystery to those outside, and even to those who wished to keep hidden these dark secrets would forget as the cycle of the forest burried forbidden knowledge under dirt and decay. It withered away with the natural entropy of the life cycle.

What does the forest hide? The earth below contains such lore, one only need to dig there fingers to unearth the secrets of the forests outside the city of Prague. The Czech Socialist Republic was centered around this ancient city that was center of Slavic culture, one of the cultural centers of Eastern Europe. In this intricate Slavic culture were legends of many things. Wurms, hobgoblins, other such monstrosities that were hidden under the guise of myth. Such things once terrified grown men to the bone and drived to find whatever they can for comfort. Horrible things.

And once, people believed them to be real.



The little girl, in a simple outfit stained with the dirt of the soil, toiled away quietly at the field the bonnet blocking out the dawning sun's light as she mindlessly laboured for her family. One of the few remaining family run farms in this area, her parents were proud of this heritage. She didn't mind either. It was all she really knew. This was akin to the Kulaks that Comrade Stalin had talked about. In her heart, she loved the Party, though her parents were different. They were traders, and they resisted the efforts to nationalize this farm. Even as a little girl, she realized that this situation was dangerous.

It was a cold day, but beads of sweat from work mixed with the dirt that was smeared across the girl's forehead was further a annoyance as it stung her eyes. She was a dark headed girl, which set her apart from the blond eyed, blonde haired girls she knew. Her family was Jewish, and thus it showed in her. She remembered the stories that her father told of when he was a child, and was a refugee to the Czech Republic. It was horrible to imagine what that must have been. She stood up and wiped the grime off once more, and spotted something blurry, and focusing, say a lone man in a black duster, his face completly covered with an old beard, along with a thin receeding hairline, staring away from the girl.

She did not know how to react to such a trespasser, but she called out in Czech, which did not faze him. She made her way up to him and turned to his side, looking at his seemignly frozen face, stone cold even in the presence of the frigid wind that made the cheeks of the little Czech farmer girl red. She smoke softly to his imposing figure, hoping to find out more about why the stranger was here.

"Good sir, your freezing, what are you doing outside?"

The sweet voice was countered by a voice that was deep a throaty, yet seemed to be projected from the chest ratehr than the throat, breath being carefully measured for each syllable.

"The cold is my soul, and that frigid water is what makes my flesh hard and dead."

These words were extremely alarming to the girl, who stepped back a bit. She had no clue what he meant, but his menacing demeanor brought dread into her pounding heart. As she stepped back, his icy glare turned to her and he approached her, and with a cry she tried to turn and run but his hand grabbed her shoulder and his face came to hers, and she could smell the entropic smell of death upon his breath.

"The Crone will knock twice. Hospitality will be refused first, and when the second refusal is to made, the mistake will be realized and the door will open for the gates of Hell to open, and the word of God will become Heresy."

She gasped, not understanding the cryptic message, but a bag was given to her, a leathery bag full of small pieces of something akin to grain. The dark man spoke quietly, whispering in her ear his imperative.

"The sowing of the harvest is coming, and while your father and your mother make you toil, plant one of these seeds for every five normal seeds. After the harvest you will not be reaped as bounty, and be spared the scythe. Do not fail my word, or the harvest will visit your household, and you shall have no fate."

She was beginning to cry, she was scared beyond her belief as this mand held her and told her things she could not bear to understand. He shook her and ordered her to answer his imperative, which she weakly nodded to. He then released the crying girl, and crossed his arms.

"Tell not any soul below Heaven or above Hell of this, lest you meet the fate of failure that I have cursed you with. Break it by obeying this geas. Never speak of this, just carry it out. You understand, and now, I shall not be here."

She stared and turned, and ran as far as she could towards her house, breathless as she wanted to escape the dark man's icy gaze and imperative voice, never looking back. If she had looked back, she would have faced death that followed her. As long as she did not look back, death would not be realized. She was charmed and cursed. She had to carry out the imperative.


Locals News from the Czech Socialist Republic's Capital of Prague

Strange Murders Perplex Officials, Blamed on Western Imperialist's
Attempt to Destabilize the Proud Czech Socialist Republic
A recent rash of unexplainable events has hit the outskirts of Prague in the
last few months. Commissariat officials are attempting to find the cause, and
are linking these dangerous activities to Western involvment, though evidence
is not solid.

Over ten murders have been recorded, in which apparently made to look like
the work of a cannibal has left proud Czech workers and leaders dead,
brutally murdered through various means and then disembowelled, most of
their organs missing. Unknown toxins have been used to paralyze or murder
the victims, Soviet scientists have traced the toxins to be unrecorded and
thus, artificially made by conclusion. In one instance, apparently a bath of
sulfuric acid was used to torture the victim, and apparently the victim, a
noted psychologist, was missing of all his notes and his personal memoirs, his
entire house in disarray after a breaking and entering by the perpetrators.

What has perplexed officials in investigation is the lack of traces for any of
the murder vitims or the missing information. The psychologist mentioned was
under orders from the Committee for State Security for classified research, of
a military nature. The KGB has denoted that they will reveal no details of their
research, and that doing so would reveal Soviet secrets to the Western
Imperialists, which is playing exactly into their hands.

In response to these unexplained murders, the KGB has ordered that all Soviet
citizens obey a new curfew that is being instated in the Czech Socialist
Republic for the safety of all Soviet citizens, until those who committed this
heinous crime meet the swift hammer of the people.
Camel Eaters
08-05-2005, 21:49
A recent rash of unexplainable events has hit the outskirts of Prague in the
last few months.

An Ferbran didn't really care. They were Soviets it was normal is as normal does. He rested his head against a camel out in the wastes of Afghanistan for a few more moments afore reading on.

Over ten murders have been recorded, in which apparently made to look like
the work of a cannibal has left proud Czech workers and leaders dead,
brutally murdered through various means and then disembowelled, most of
their organs missing. Unknown toxins have been used to paralyze or murder
the victims, Soviet scientists have traced the toxins to be unrecorded and
thus, artificially made by conclusion. In one instance, apparently a bath of
sulfuric acid was used to torture the victim, and apparently the victim, a
noted psychologist, was missing of all his notes and his personal memoirs, his
entire house in disarray after a breaking and entering by the perpetrators.

Okay that was rather strange. He'd ask the Guild to look into it if he could. Though other cultures would just have to get used to cannibalism eventually.

lack of traces for any of the murder vitims or the missing information.

One thing came into his mind at this moment. "The work of the fae." He flipped the page and read on determined to try and understand what was happening.

The psychologist mentioned was under orders from the Committee for State Security for classified research, of a military nature.

"I coulda told yae that."

The KGB has denoted that they will reveal no details of their research, and that doing so would reveal Soviet secrets to the Western Imperialists, which is playing exactly into their hands.

"Shite they don't anything either."

In response to these unexplained murders, the KGB has ordered that all Soviet citizens obey a new curfew that is being instated in the Czech Socialist Republic for the safety of all Soviet citizens, until those who committed this heinous crime meet the swift hammer of the people.

"So you're going to let them die in their homes instead of on the roads? ?I suppose that's better than just ignoring it all together."

An Ferbran slowly stumbled to his feet and climbed onto the camel kicking off it lumbered forward and then onwards to the nearest Bardic town. He arrived late and cracked his neck before entering holding out his iron cross and touching it with his bare hands to show that he was not a mischief making fae out for a midnight jaunt.

The plane ride was rather smooth though. Dropping towards the earth at 5,000 mps was not his idea of fun. An Ferbran spread his arms out and pulled the chord. Soon he was floating peaceful like over the Czech republic. Well as peaceful like as a man can float when his only means of having gotten here was to convince the Council to let him take a ride down on a military craft fighting a secret war with all that extra hell that Hitler raised.

He began mumbling and felt himself become soft as the wind and just as light. Disengaging the parachute with a good mile left to fall he instead became part of the wind and found himself suddenly on the ground on top of a former battlefield. He spotted a farm further on down but decided not to investigate. After all the ghosts were howling at him once they knew he could see them. He had to dash into the forest where they would not go in order to get that horrid sound out of his ears...
The Bone Mother
08-05-2005, 21:59
At the tip of his heels the slow grasp of ethereal fingers slipped across and chilled him to the bone as he escaped the screams of the wartorn battlefield. He could hear the alarms, the bombs going off and the people shouting out in vain, German and Russian dying in the name of their two polar causes, blood spilling as huge fragments impaled their bodies and they fell lifeless. His eyes burned, as he was hypersensitive to this powerful area of death.

He came into the woods, the curving canopy of dark arms obscuring him as he dashed through the undergrowth and escaped into its dark confines, and eventually, breathless, he came to the edge of a grove, which was still with both sadness and tranquility, as the shining light of the sky, falling upon the center. Such a awkward sight, as a lone doe layed dead, with no signs of wounds, but light motionless and silent. The bushes had been oparted, deeper into the dark forest that called out to the Bard, and the wind whispered across his ankles.

He was invited.
The Bone Mother
09-05-2005, 00:44
The path widened with each step the Bard's boot took across the thick ground, each impression on the ground a perfect replica of trhe weight applied. Such minute details were noticed as he slowly stepped over the doe and came to the dark, widening path. A deep sigh and breath took in the stale air, this forest had not be awakened for such a long time, but the winding path entranced him as the forest itself swallowed him, until it was a black as night and the sun did not touch the ground since the saplings of this forest sprouted. It itself was a wealth of hidden things, and the Bard soon realized that the pathbefore him had closed, and he now faced a linear destination. He could no turn back.

He heard the sound of stone sliding on stone, like that of a pestle grinding corn in a mortar. This dim grinding in the distance soon stopped as he made his way through the maze-like corridors of the forest, until he came to a fence. This fence did not have any discernable ends to either side, and perplexed the Bard temporarily, until it realized the location of the gate and came to it. The fence around the hut was made of bones, on the top of which were scores of grinning skulls with glaring eye sockets. The gates in the fence had hands for hinges. The locks were jawbones set with sharp iron teeth. At the sight of the fence the Bard's blood ran cold and he stood rooted to the spot in terror. The fence itself was sinister, yet would have been too much trouble to climb over for the bard, and considering the enchanting nature of this wood, would not be intelligence to simple break down such a extraordinary fence. The empty eyes of skulls gazed at the Bard as he weighted his situation.

The forest became full of a terrible din; the trees began to groan, the branches creaked as if a violent storm were coming, and a wretched old creature, which looked impossibly old, came crashing through the undergrowth in her great iron mortar. With a pestle in her right hand she urged the mortar along, while her left hand was busy sweeping away the trail behind her with a broomstick. A host of spirits came in her wake, sending up a terrible howling and screeching until she approached the gates, where they left her and flew silently back into the forest. She rode right up to the gates in the mortar, and stopped abruptly as her eyes, fluctuating of gray and red streaks of malice she faced towards the Bard. He was fixated with such Dread as he faced the face of the Arch-Crone, he did not realize at first what immense situation he found himself in. The Crone did not speak as she seamlessly came from the mortar, and staggered with a hideous hunch as she examined the Bard.

She was a thing of wretchedness, and that was all the Bard could feel, as her very presence demanded his contempt for its sheer unnaturalness and dread it inspired, yet fixated at his place, he could say nothing. Her impossibly long, bony fingers slid down the back of his ear as he suddenly felt a sharp pain, and blood covered the hideous hag's hand as a bloody piece of flesh and caritlige was show apparent, with such a seamless move the Crone had removed the ear of the Bard.

"You show no respect, you cannot hear anything, now, you are marked of your incapability, remember that when you are presented with you greaters, you are to address them, or you shall be punished with the loss of your precious voice. Leave now, or you shall lose your legs."

The Bard had no choice. He ran, through the path that opened once again to him as he struggled through the undergrowth. His bleeding head caused his vision to blur, he could feel nothing but fear. He followed a path of folly, and he was not worthy, and denoted as worthless. He was a meaningless part of the equation.



The dark figure of the hunched Hag was obscured completely in the arcane darkness of the hut, not even the greenish-blue light of the balefire candlelit could reveal her form as she shifted, moving through her shelves and dealing with each knicknack. She was almost completly silent, such a humble work for the Arch-Crone. The dark man stood in the center, watching her movements carefully as his dead gaze did not meet. He watched with his body, his head bowed in subservience, as he was lower than her. He was the vassal.

He was immortal, but while his soul could power his magicks that kept him living, he could only go so far without decay, entrpy devoured all, even the immortals. He at least retained his fragile sanity, as he had literally faced the gates of Hell, and yet reamined a vassal both to the dark Crone and to his fealty to God, as he was a vessel of Holiness. He himself knew that he had heard the Voice that could only be Omniscient, thuis he served a higher purpose.

He was the immortal Grigori Rasputin, but now he was a vassal, not the manipulator, but the one being manipulator. In order to preserve his state as the vessel of power granted by such a Voice, he must have made such a coercive pact. It was a rhino's bargain, and he was at the receiving end. In order to preserve his body, his soul was controlled by the wretched hag, and as much as he hated it, he was not bound to do so, as he had been mentally bested, blinded by his own sense of self-preservation. He could only hope that the Hag-Witch would soon tire of him and relieve him of his duty, as he had learned that he much preferred Hell to service to such a vile beast.

He heard the shrill voice of the impossibly old one, and noted her screeching malice towards his entire being, towards everything, and how even he, the cold hearted immortal, was stricken with dread on each accented syllable she uttered, completely at the mercy of her being.

"We have waited long enough. You have sown for the Harvest?"

"Yes, my liege. There is all preperations, the seeds have been set in the fertile graveyard of thousands of tortured souls, and across the fief that you have carved of your own design I have broken down the barriers that have kept us hidden, nonexistent, the mundaneness. Banality, you consider it."

"Slave, you have opened all necessary gates?"

"Yes, the nine sacrifices were completed as needed, though we received problems with one, which led me to a tenth. However, it was necessary to stop them, as it had been compromised, they had begun to look through the Veils that both imprison us and protect us, that must not be broken until the bell tolls tonight."

"Then we are ready?"

"I will not mince words."

"It will be tonight, tonight we will break down these barriers, and we will rise again, and I shall have my fief, and we shall come out of this eternal exile that we are forced to. The Old World will come crashing into this infernal New World."

"Yes, my mistress. It shall be done. I do it for, Baba Yaga Kostianaya Noga. The Bone Mother."


It had been a year, it was the harvest, and the girl had to work. If she did not, they would not receive the required bounty. She herself tried to press out the memories of the dark man. She had followed it, in dark fear, self-preservation, yet also for a sense of fealty, of sense of owing, something she could not understand. She knew not what she did, yet tonight, as a full moon rised with the crest of red blood, darkly shining its malificent rays on the forest, the sense of dread the dark man gave him overtook her. She knew tonight he would return, and as she curled up in her bed, she prayed to whatever God that listened he would not take her.

The knock. A systematic knock, without emotion, rapping on the door that woke her and her parents, all in the same bed in this one room farm. He father stood and put on his glasses as the rapping continued. He turned quickly to the mother and daughter. He spoke very quietly, and severly.

"Malka, get Leah under the floor now. They are finally here. Now, no questions."

The older woman, the farmer's wife, took the young girl in her arms and opened the cache in the bottom of the floor, fiting both of them over and placing it over, as the door continued to knock upon, almost elevating to a pounding. The voice of her father resounded as he told the knocker that he was about to come to the door. All they could see is a sliver of light, and could see nothing of the scene. Footsteps, as their fathercame to the door and opened.

"Ephraim Rywa Goldt? I am here to collect the bounty."

"Its you, you are after our land, your here to steal my sal-" He was cut short. There was a muffled noise and a shuffling across the floor, and a slam as someone was thrown to the wall. The voice of the dark man continued heard plainly by the mother and daugter underneath the door.

"I am here to fortell the opening of the gates that lie underneath this, fertile grounds. You know you built this ground on the battlefield. You know the sorrow that lies beneath. And you shall now know what it is to be trapped, forever watching in eternal pain under this veil that keeps us trapped. You will release why we wish to break free of this cage."

There was a muffled cry, and then a suddenly seemingly jolt that ended it, and the sound of a body sliding of the door. The mother's cheek slid down a single tear, and a single sound sob came to the attention fothe dark man as the child gasped, but her mouth was then covered by her mother. They could thene see his cold eyes, piercing through the little crack, as the light glinted off the mother's tear.

He lifted up the plant slowly as both of them sobbed, crying, the light hitting their skin. he looked at them apathetically, and took out his hand and grabbed the forearm of the mother, pulling her out with alarming strength, her grip on her child slipping and leaving her alone in her corner, as she looked to her father's lifeless body, his face contorted into one of eternal horror. The dark man kissed lightly the cheek of the mother, who screamed and tried to push away, but the entropic touch brought both physical and spiritual pain as the mother was simply ripped apart by the entropic energies that he utilized.

The child screamed her lungs out as she watch her mother's body simply turn to dust as the dark man used forbidden magics, and took all her youth into her own like a parasite, his beard becoming richer in color and the lines of his face becoming lighter. He turned to the child, and stepped forward as she cried in defeat, trying to scramble away, but he hoisted her over his shoulder and gave her yet another imperative.

"You are mine, you are my bounty. You followed my Imperative, and well you should. Your family were worthless, they cannot see, but you can see into the very nature. You do not know the truth of this land, but you shall, as you are mine, mine to shape. You will have no more innocence, you are no mroe than a slave, a vassal, and thus a vassal to my liege, that of the Arch-Crone. You will serve no other, this is the bounty I take, in stead of your life."

He carried her out and looked to the field as the red moon's rays bled all over and turned her and gripped her head, making her face to the horrible sight. She never knew, but now it was all too obvious, this farm built upon but the shallow graves of many skrimishes, and legions of this tormented souls could be heard screaming, wailing, and the earth itself shutterd, as hands, arms, decomposed corpses crawled from the plowed land, coming from the seed sown and pinpoits of red light burning in the eye sockets of their skull with unwavering loyalty and hatred. There were those of all eras, from Napoleonic armies, Red Army soldiers from Russia, Nazi paratroopers and cannonmen, Polish troops, tattered and maimed, yet walking with unholy reanimation as they faced her. An army of darkness.

All the girl could do is scream.
The Bone Mother
09-05-2005, 02:44
The pounding of the war drums could not be hear physically, but troused from sleep by restlessness and piercing gaze of the red moon, the stringent bounds of reality began to unravel all around Prague. Many people came out to look at the strange occurance of the red moon, as it was something that could never have been thought. Little did htey realize the silent mobilization around them, the opening of the gates, the path to their doom that eventually awaited them in this siege. The moon flew across the sky, and crossing the apex, it shined down and made it apparent that it was time, to begin the Midnight Siege.

Legions of this horrid reanimated bodies staggered and lumbered in a path towards Prague. Prague was civilized, it was not fortified like the old days. It had been ruined and only somewhat rebuilt from the Great War that preceeded these events, and the chaotic magicks sewn into the very ley lines of the earth itself worked against them. It was all but defenseless against the coming waves. Gates to the thousands of screaming souls from the pain and sorrow of the wars that preceeded this generation were called up to take back physical form, and they now marched on this city, in which they were to spread and take it, raze the city to the ground, and then rebuuild society one again, as the world of the Old erupted once again into the new.

The chaotic, elemental magicks of the Crone and the dark man did not just encompass the land or the bringing back of tormented souls, but they opened the gateway both intop the infernal realms and made pacts with devilish creatures, bringing into this world fiends that would serve a good purpose. They opened gates all across the Czech fief, the bring a world of nightmares and of superstition back. Lindwurms of immense size and firey disposition, tazelwurms, and dragons, called from their place, and it was all but unnoticed, and they massed in their positions. Already, the city was on fire in the future, and at the forefront, the immortal Rasputin stood, overlooking the city from above, with his demonic vassals on each side and his hostage child, hanging upon him on the sides, black rings around her eyes and frozen with fear, now turning to the most dreadful thing she could imagine for comfort.

Three crows flew over the city of Prague. This was a certain sign, the dark man Rasputin noticed as he watched them cross the blood-red moon, and a creeping smile came on his face. This meant that victory was theres, and the pitiful mortals below would be enslaved by the might of the Old, once again, we could recreate what once was. What once was. He connected the ley lines as all factors came all together for this final moment.

There were five legions, from all directions, made up of the undead, of demons, of devils, of flying wurms. They waited for the signal to begin the siege. Midnight had just passed, and each was tingling with the anticipation. Anticipation of bloodlust. Could you imagine, it being at the tip of your fingers, within your grasp. All it took was one word, that thundered like the storm that brewed overhead, surronding but never obscuring the piercing blood red moon, from the dark man Rasputin, whom brought the horde upon the city,



First, fire erupted. There was a continuous roar of screams as great wyrms flew over, hag-like riders screeching their orders as fire rained down on the city, bringing down such progress and rebuilding and incinerating throngs of onlookers, completly inflamming the city within the matter of dozens of minutes. There was no explanation. These were creations of legend, things that were thought to be nothing more than myth, and now, their fiery wrath brought fire to Prague, and it was on its way to burning to ashes.

This began the evacuation as mobs of people tried to escape, yet soon they were surronded. Surronded by relatives who died in the wars, and through the illusory powers of the breaking down of reality, they could see their faces anew, their eyes burning in envy for the living. The legions, using Rasputin's magicks were hugely exaggerated, yet using nothing but primitive weapons and their undying bodies to isolate, capture, and decimate the mobs, eventually capturing and occupying huge parts of the outside of hte city. They dark legions continued to walk closer and closer to the center. It took decades to prepare for this, even longer than that, centuries, to get all preperations. And now, it was showing progress.

The devils, fiends, and demons swooped form the sky, following no true rules and sprending utter chaos in their wake, carrying individuals high into the sky, and letthing their heads burst upon the concrete that began to crack under the immense heat of the wurms' inferno, bringing down all this modern civilization. There was to be those who were deemed most healthy and most fit to serve the new society that were taken from the city, but everything else was to burn to complete ash. They were to raze the entire city, and rebuild it again in the image of the Old World.

The police and authorities, Soviet s and otherwise were absolutely no help in the eventual end. Utterly filled with dread as images of torment, devistation, and hopelessness drove their minds insane or transfixed them in plax as they were slaughtered. Such huge amounts of magick was used, causing they ley lines themselves to twist. The dark man and the Crone realized that much would have to be moderated, but this first siege would need to succeed...

But something went wrong.

All the Czech people had was faith, and even that was ephemeral and fleeting. But, a cacophony entered the ears, an infernal sound that racked the already tormented minds of the damned. The ringing of bells, in warding off this army of darkness, like a huge beacon of light across the city, bells being downe everyone. The dragons screamed and flew off, the demons lost their physical form, reanimated bodies fell motionless, while others fled in pain. A great light emnated from the city, and around the cathedral in which the center of this cacophony emnated a spiral of disintegrating demons attempted a last ditch effort to destroy everything that was profane to their nature, erupting their bodies and becoming a pillar of energy as it obliterated teh cathedral, and the lifeforce condense and compressed, and then expelled, leaving only the tall statue at the center. The statue cracked, and there was a an end to it, as it fell apart.

Standing there, was not a form, just a single entity, that could only be sensed, and spread, without form, seeking a form. As all the forces were repelled by the shrieking of the bells, it returned to the forest, seeking something to take form in.

And it found what it was looking for.
Camel Eaters
09-05-2005, 19:47
The Bone Mother
10-05-2005, 02:03
A Year Ago

There was a bit amiss with the sequence of events. Lack of foresight by the spinners of the threads of fate realized that one of the defilers of destiny yet again tried to disrupt the flow. From the Celtic bards was one such man, and for the sequencing of this fate, something must have been done. In other words, there were plot holes that needed to be tied up.

The Bard's exhaustion caused by bleeding put in him a stupor of pain, body suspended by the leaves from the cold forest ground. He could feel rocks across the underbelly of his body, unfortunately he had no strength to comfort himself. The ground itself was the gate to his grave, as he suspected he would die here. His voice weakly gave out a final song, to comfort himself verbally if he could not physically, a barroom song with great gusto that he had loved, and as his eyes heavily covered his vision, he could only let the last passage flow through his mind.

Don't trust a man with a helmet on his head.

His sleep was unnatural, as the spirits of the land underneath him caressed his body with their enchanting touch, lulling him into a geas of hibernation as the seasons changed, he could feel snow, raing, and wind, all in one single sensation of a dream like state. He could feel age, hair growing from his body, skin dying, every sensation of time go by in a fluid time within a dream, forgotten as soon as it is felt. He could hear faint laughter, and the song again, the last line. He could feel the emptiness as all sensation wiped away as a tide does, losing all sense of self in this forced sleep. His ear, remained in pain, and it never would leave him, as it was a cursed mark of the Crone. A scar in the shape of a claw grew, the witch's mark, which would follow him much longer than he ever would have imagined.

The sensation finally slipped away, leaving a void of his most simplest recent memory. The helemthead song rang in his head, it could nto leave it, and his body was absolutely weak, too much for him to bare. He ould feel the cold groun earth, and he could feel the weight of a year that was upon him. He did not arise, but he was even mroe tired before, weary, hungry, sick, thirsty. All of these sensations, this urges had to be filled. He reacehd out mentally, for some sort of succor, and it was answered. He first felt the creeping tendrils reach his ankls, snaking up his calf and even coming into his groun, up to his chest and around his neck, and beginning to come into his orifices on his upper body, and he heard the voiceless speaker, it was only sensation given, he felt all things fufilled without a need to seek them, he felt complete with this voiceless voice that promised him power, pleasure, and fufillment, and he broke, abandoning his memory as the song went louder in his head and he was enveloped by this entity, surrendering his being.

The Bard had no choice. He would not survive if it was not for the caring, loving touch of the tendrils, and he would even give his life to live on like this. He felt it all revert as he went back, he could feelt ever young, ever all, ever changing, and he felt such new strength he immediately stood. He could reawaken and also deaden his senses, his body was his to manipulate, and he shot open his eyes, looking around the forest. He was tabula rasa, the blank slate in which only one thing remained, the song he had used to lull himself with, and a new comforting gesture. He smiled. He made a new man, which he could indulge in any pleasures. Yet, he had the little urge, which became his sudden passion, as the beast inside him took form based on what was left of his being. He felt the desire to spread this, spread this blood that made him... He needed a name, did he not? He could only think of one thing.

Don't trust a man with a helmet on his head.

Helmethead. It would suffice, and could be changed on convenience.

Where to go first for such a hungry predator? He only remembered one place, and with the remembrance of the encounter he had with the hag on the hut. He remembered the dread he felt, but now, he felt more than it. Whom was this mysterious bony creature? He had no memory of that, but the hideous wrtech deserved some investigation, vengeance. He had no more choice, as he must coninue down the path intended for him. So he began to walk, his eye was now healed, but the magick of the scar wound was cursed so that it would not disappear, even with his new power, which only intrigued the devil more. Thus, he walked. Walked until he came to the gate again, with it open before him, and the path ready. Ahead was a hut, nestled on the ground. The door was open, and he came in.

The soft green hue of light gave a pale reflection off the devil skin allowed the quaint hut to be illuminated, giving the demonspawn a look at this which was all but unknown to the blind ears of the former bard. It had little decoration, but he soon noticed that the hjut was much more expansive on the inside than it appeared on the outside. Skull ornaments, various elixers, tattered grimoires, the signs of a true hag, it was humble for something he perceived to be so powerful. A stench of rot was in the air, but it smelled mroe like rotten linens than of flesh. He felt rightfully alone, but yet, he was given what he itnerpreted an invitation to enter. He wanted where the wretched creature could be. He wasn't sure what he wanted, but he had a feeling she would be able to answer her. However, the cold, male voice that emnated from behind him was not of the hag, which disappointed him.

"Well, well, well... We have been looking for you."

The demonspawn turned to see the tall, dark man close the door, the long greying beard quite obvious from under the hood, and the thick noticably Russian accent to his Czech. This intrigued the demon, who did not respond, instead wondering about the nature of this Russian dark man's presence.

"Vile fiend, you have disobeyed your nature, which is why you were brought her. Perhaps I should just destroy you and be done with it, but if the Crone has let you continue to live this long, I suppose she has some usage to you."

He stepped by the devilkin, stepping deeper into the hut. The demon understood his words all too well, and turned with the rage that he could only lie about suppressing. It was innate to all creatures as such, it was an aspect of their nature. The dark man knew all too well. he could only let the single, vile word of raw russian come out of his breath, exasperated as the demon attempted to defy his, and thus the Crone's will. "Fool."

The strike the demon flailed with was easily catched, even by a man with only the experience of years, no true discipline in combat, but yet his foresight was enough, and with a twist of the wrist, he heard the fiend scream with an unholy pain and power. Rasputin would not even waste entropy on this weak thing, and simply used his hands and pulled him down to the ground. It was pitiful for a simple olf man to defeat a hellspawn with such ease. Easing of arcane words and a twitch of the dead fingers of the dark man threw the thing into paralysis as he could feel the coils of his mind wrap around his own body, his arms twisting unnaturally backwards, and the pain made his form immaterial, but yet he was bound as the dark man spread the salt in a circle around the demon, knowing exactly his weakness. The circle was completed as the formless, writhing mass screamed, powerless before the dark man's magick. He spoke only one thing as he dropped the last grain of salt.


The name the demon chose, his true name, nothing could go farther than that. He was forced into his true form. He disappated, his presence remained, but his true form revealed, which even furrowed the brow and perplexed the dark man in his infinite repretoire of knowledge, the demon had no true form. The dark man completed the seal, and he could hear the demon scream with all its soul, eventually tiring itself out. He knew the salt seal would keep it bound, even if his magic failed. We were creatures of the Old World, and thus bound by the weaknesses of the Old World. Superstition is indeed a useful thing. Now, the hag needs to get herself here. He had a gift to present.


The demon had lost all sensation, taking heed back to the memories it had before it took the form of the pitiful mortal. The binding did not allow it to extend its power or influence beyond that seal, except to the dark man, the vile sorcerer that kept him in this prison. He screamed, taunted, cajoled, did everything he could to faze the Russian sorcerer, but nothing would move him, and eventually, he knew he listened no more to the devil's lament. There was a movement of the ground, the howling of spirits. It was sensing this things, as a great whirlwind erupted in the house, the seal scattered and his form returned into the beautiful mortal body of the Bard, whom spun to see the Hag's presence in the great whirlwind. He gasped. He thought himself strong, he was now demonkind, but her presence still brought incredible dread. He could not explain it. He felt the arcane tendrils of the sorcerer keeping him transfixed, and did not move, lest he incur the wrath of the magicks of these sorcerous beings more powerful beyond his comprehension.

The witch-fiend cackled as she looked at her prize, looking to her subservient dark man and lackey as his cold hands fell upon the shoulds of the demon, his knees bent as his arms were bound by the invisible chains of the sorcerer's might. The hag shut the door, and her hideous body was them only palely illuminated by the light of her bale-candles, which burned with the fire of the hellgates in which this devil came from, and wished to escape. Her eyes also burned with this as she gazed into his empty eyes, devoid of any true existence.

"Nothing, is exactly what you are, and what you shall always remain to be. It was simple, you creatures are so simple in creation. You were created by hatred, yet bred in lust. Which makes you an interesting creature, incubi. Your name was simple to construct, it was based on that of a mortal. A strange choice, for a strange, simple creature."

It was hard for the devilkin to understand what she meant. The dark man whispered to her eear, his arms travelling from his shoulders. Even he could appreciate, as the dead touch of the Russian sorcerer was uncomforting, even for the hellbeast. The words were soft, and the hag seemed not to even consider them with a dismissal of her hand, as she came to the side. She was pondering, and the dark man stared to the creature, Helmethead, as he called himself. He performed his side, and only kept his attention on keeping the creature bound. The hag smiled as she went through his trays, examining what she had. However, the dark man had to interject.

"Mistress, my liege, is he even worth it? Is there no one else suitable?"

"Fate destined it, slave. You do not question fate, I have look at the tapestry. Already we have unravelled enough of the threads, let us not do it too much more now. We do not want to anger these spirits. Not even I would mess with the gods."

"So the Voivode will come as this?"

"Not necessarily, the first must be a weak man, that will be aiding us to make sure we have no mistakes in the next siege. That was of utmost failure, and it took much expending of our resources to prepare us and recover. It shall not happen again, or upon your head it shall fall.. Wretched sorcerer, you will nto fail me again. You knew the weaknesses of these demons, you must have hindsight and foresight for such things."

"Of course, mistress."

"Begone with you, I don't like gazing upon your face. Your presence is not needed."

The dark man simply walked backwards into the shadow, bowing his head, and disappearing, his figure not reflecting the pale light of the balefire, simply blinking from existence, the binding of the spell disappating. He turned, but he could not see the hag. What was this talk of the Voivode? Coming? He stood still, until he felt a warm breath on his neck and a touch that chilled, yet relaxed him, a soft voice that was alien of any of those figures he just gazed and heard upon, turning to see a beauty he could not even describe, meserized by the fae eyes. He fell back, mesmerized, and could not resist anything as the act was being committed, and suddenly his nature was completed for that moment, a feeling he would cherish, and he would further drive for and understand. He lain with the maiden, and that night the Voivode was conceived, as fate would have it. This marked the coming of the second siege.

A union between the crone and the incubi.
The Bone Mother
10-05-2005, 13:26
[bump for comments, post later today]
The Merchant Guilds
10-05-2005, 14:30
OOC: Well Done, Keep up the good work.
10-05-2005, 20:35
In the People's Republic of China, something was not right...

No, something was not right. Mao Zedong slowly pushed his sheets away and sat up in his bed. The old soldier and Chairman of the Communist party slowly and uneasily shifted himself to the edge of his enormous bed. The Chairman slowly got up. He pulled out the washbasin from under his bed and carefully filled it up with the pitcher of water sitting on the nightstand.

He splashed the water over his face. It was ice cold. Good, it would help wake him up. He was feeling rather dizzy and disoriented, and sweat lined his brow. Conventional Wisdom dictated that the Chairman should call for a doctor. But Conventional Wisdom could not explain what the Chairman felt. Mao was feeling a great pain, some sort of agony, lodged deep within his chest.

No, it wasn't heart disease, that was for certain. It was something that wasn't physical. It was something he felt whenever he saw his comrades and his people getting killed, that involuntary combination of sickness and lament. Somewhere out there, there was some sort of suffering....

But why help?

Yes, why? Most likely, those who were dying were enemies of the state, capitalist pigs, and slaves to false idols. Still, the innocent cried out to the Chairman.

Why him? The Chairman was an atheist, so it was just simple bad luck...

He sat at his bedside and thought for a while.


Same country, different place in that country.

A cup shattered on the floor followed by, "WORTHLESS! A USELESS MOUTH!"

Guo Xiangling was drunk again. He was a simple peasant farmer, with a peasant farmer's simple concerns, such as getting enough food to eat, and yes, getting hammered on a regular basis to kill the pain and boredom of being a peasant under a brutal Communist regime.

Part of being hammered was torturing his family members. His wife and his young daughter. It helped to ease the pain just as much as the drink did. This meant that another pottery item, like a dish had to be smashed upon the floor.

This Xiangling did. Then he kicked his wife in the stomach and backhanded her.

Now, what made Xiangling abuse his wife and child besides stress relief? People that had no qualities that make them worthy of abuse are usually not abused. What made Xiangling abuse his wife was that she defended their daughter. What made Xiangling abuse his daughter was that she was born blind. His only child was a useless mouth indeed. She was useless on the farm and could not be married off to any decent family.

Useless indeed. His wife had the little girl behind her legs, so Xiangling slapped her again and went back to his rice wine.

The Bone Mother
11-05-2005, 02:42
The quilted blankets kept the devilkin's body warm, as the embrace of the fae-like dream creature he lain with was absent from him, leaving him alone and cold, naked, quivering on the floor with a want for more of such complete pleasure he received. Such lust was nothing to be compared with love, but he wanted to fufill himself again, as he felt empty here alone and without that embrace, that life energy he seemed to feed on that emnated from his union. He couldn't even remember anything but pleasure, which drove him further. His eyes creeped open, the pupil widening in the dark as he dashed around, looking, but finding nothing but loneliness. Standing, he scanned the room, finding no trace of his fae love. He sighed, and sat down. He wished to reflect on what had happened, what that meant to his nature, finding that it clicked with him. Of course, this moment of contemplation was disrupted, shattered by a shrill laugh and throaty voice, rocking the house as he heard the hag's condenscending tone, but from where, he could not tell.

"Such a simple creature you are. You follow base instincts, in any case. You followed them into the grasp of a trap, all in lust that mirrors the pubrescent adolescent. Which is what you are, a pathetic devil with no purpose, no need. What have I given you? Union that shapes your mind. Even you have not caught on such an obvious ruse."

The devilkind finally spoke, with a voice that had no form itself, yet began to shape as he spoke, creating it from memory, no longer silent.

"Vile witch, show yourself hag! Your sorcerer is not here to bind me from being a danger to you, your now alone. Do not perplex me with double-talk."

"Are you such a fool, such an adherent to the pretense you know everything. Is it not obvious, as to the natuer of your enchanting lover, whom you lust for even know?"

"You know nothing, what do you mean by your posturing and avodiance?"

"You do not understand? A child conceived, of a crone and incubi's union. Do you not understand now? So susceptible to misdirection and illusion, you were misled by mere parlour tricks, and could not see through the thin veil the crone wore when she lay with the incubi. Has the hag seduced the devil this time? Your face, shows horror, dread, but why? It is all and over with, and you are still unfufilled. You want more, do you not? You are of no worth to me now, your purpose is complete, as the conception of the Voivode has finished, your act committed. You are nothing more than my vassal now. Blood pact that was signed by your passion to illusion, to glamour. You are bound to me by blood, by the ultimate contract, that of sensual union. You understand now, devil? You are now mine, bound by the blood within me, bound by your heritage which lives on within me. Now, you are the slave. You understand now, being tricked by this wretched old hag?"

He realized this fact. He felt sickness, and also fear. He had joined with this Hag in this union, which even to him seemed pure and sacred, his only driving purpose of pleasure, and he enjoyed it so. Yet she was hideous, so wretched and dreadful a wight he could never imagine such a thing. he couldn't accept it, it sickened him on the inside of thinking it, yet he strangely felt longing, not specifically for the hag, but for that sacred feeling. He was on his knees, and he knew the hag was before him in that seamless darkness, and he called for some sort of succor, and kneeled before her.

"Do you speak truth, hag-witch? Is this what I have done, in my lust that is cursed upon with with longing that all tormented souls of hell feel, for this act of pleasure which even now I will beg for, give my well-being for just to feel that completeness once more, is this what I have done?"

"Your seed is profane. It was fated for the Old World to return with the coming of a scion. Union between the most wretched crone and lustful incubi. That is what I have made you, with the utterance of your name and the divination of your purpose. You will forever be driven by this immortal lust, a burden on you now as my vassal, you are my slave, incubi. You know this. And I carry your child. Your progeny, which will be the scion which I desire, to create a gate to the destiny of the Old World, as voivode of this fiefdom that will rise."

"Am I to be honored, mistress? Can you prove to me this is all true, not just a dream of my wildest, sinful fancies, that you are not my fae-like desire?"

"You have fathered a scion of new tidings of a new age. You are the father to the sovereign of an entire new fiefdom, a new world. Your best be honored, wretch. Do you need any other proof than the word of this old hag, do you truly desire it?"

She did not wait for an answer to her rhetorical question, and her face came into the greenish-glow of the balefire candles, the hellish flame flickering with a draft as her image become apparent, in great duality and surprise, dread and lust in the stricken Helmethead, the incubi before her. With a stunning glance, her face was both wretched and enchanting, one side of the fae lover the devil had lain with the night before, the other of the impossibly old crone he had been imprisoned by. In the image of the goddess Hel, the crone-fae looked at Helmethead, both eyes with the same burning fire behind them, but of different intent, one of hatred, the other envy. She spoke, with two voices, like that of a troll and a sprite trying to speak in harmony.

"You look upon me as I once was, and as I will be. Forsaken form, gifted with immortality, cursed with age. I shall rot away with entropy, even as I am immune to the grip of death when it comes. Because of my meddling with Fate, with Life and Death, this is what I am rewarded with by the Gods, whom now are powerless behind this veil that imprisons us all."

The incubi had no complete reply. What could he do? He lusted, and he feared. He was fixated in his gaze, as the crone came closer, her nude body clearly shown by the light, one giving the drive, one taking it. This dualistic feeling confused his sensations, he could not trust himself. He could do nothing as the crone-fae, Hel's image, the gaunt beauty came on him again, using him for her own methods. He was powerless, yet he enjoyed the feeling again. He would serve her, and thus he would be reqarded with this, his completion of nature. Could he seek it out elsewhere? Questions clouded by simple lust, as he came back on her, and joined once again in the union.


The hag toiled, her body and her mind no different from before. She felt the stirrings of life in her body, a misbeggotten child waiting to burst from her loins, but she knew that she must nurture it, and there were much more pressing issues. Prague was one of the keys she required. She knew not else where to look, and it was not pertinent to her, she only cared about her homeland, her fief. She would worry later when things became pertinent. The first siege ended not as planned, but its unexpected results yielded favored situations, as it lead to the scion she desired. It was not to be repeated however. She must find how to exactly take the fief, quickly and surely.

At her beck and call, were many vassals. This new incubi interested her, and almost made her delight in causing confusion in his young devilish mind, and almost mischeviously she also took pleasure in the doting admiration and love he showed, even for her as a hag. It was most likely part of her own fae nature, but she knew she could not entertain his intents, as that was not what needed. Only let him taste of what he could have, and fufill him when he must be satisfied, but always keep him running for it, so you can tug at his leash to do whatever you desire. A crude way to keep the blood pact with her vassal, but it would be needed. He would infiltrate with his seamless nature into Prague, and make sure that chaos was sewn into his wake, and would keep informing those who would desire the fief so that they could defeat the new resistence. The Soviets could not explain the events of the first siege, and because of the effectiveness of illusion and misdirection, all they had was fortification of the city, suspecting unknown Western attack, but save from starting a global conflict, keep this under wraps. It would not be hard to worm from within, and cripple the mundanes' last defense, that of their useless technology. Perhaps it could even be used against them.

The dark man appeared, a chamberlain to answer his liege's question. he needed no reminder, and in tow, as the little Jewish girl he had taken from the farm, her eyes deadened by her trauma, and forced into this life which she now grudginly accepted. She had no choice, and now, she was being presented like a piece of treasure, a bounty from one errant to his liege as a sign of his valour, only this human property breathed, it once had a family. She looked at the hag, fearing for her life. Why was she taken? She did not understand the dark man's words, his intent. Was she to be fed to this crone, this hag? She heard such stories, that if bad children strayed in the words, the witches would lure them into their houses, and bake them for their dinner. But she had since matured, all too quickly for one of her age, and she considered this childish. But it was still a natural fear. She couldn't cry anymore, the sides of her fast crusted with the salty tears. She could hear the two speak, and didn't even listen, until she was mentioned, and then quietly stood and listened, being held in front of the dark man, his hands on her weak shoulders.

"So, this is the child? Our future general?"

"Yes, mistress. She is the one whom spread our seeds and opened the gates, and she is of a mind that can be molded, through our tutorship."

"She is thin, she has no meat on her bones. She needs to be well fed, you will take care of her? She looks like a sick dog, wretched thing, skin and bones, skin and bones. Such pale flesh too."

"I assure you, my mistress, that she will be ready for our purposes for her. She is subservient to this, and as she is my vassal, she is also yours. She will be shaped into everything we desire of her."

"Then she is yours to take and do with. But now, for more, important matters, dealing with the fiefdom here, the Czech land. I suppose we are prepared for another strike? We are not to fail, again. If we do, then you know the blame comes upon you, and that if we fail, all our work is now dust. You understand?"

"Of course, of course my mistress. But, we may not be able to face the full brunt of the mundane's technology, as it may even rival that of hte Old World, and we are small in our legions. We must be much more larger in number, and we have only gotten smaller after the first siege. We need some sort of allies, and we need to disrupt the Prague defenses."

"Reverse the usage of their own technologies, Rasputin. A man as yourself should have no trouble finding a way to countering their pitiful machines. Let us make haste to destabilize them. We need one to use as a marionette, as we must keep illusion to disrupt them. Find this man, a mortal of weak will. I am sure you can find his darkest weakness, and take him into our fold."

"I do as you will."

"I will meet with those of the Old World, who still stay hidden in the old forests and mountains. We will return, and we will be united. I shall talk with the lords of the forest, the masters of the mountain, they will heed the call, they all know that we all wish for the same goal."
Camel Eaters
11-05-2005, 23:06
The Bone Mother
12-05-2005, 15:05
[OOC: Just to alert everyone following this, I will not be able to post for a small while, I am trying to get this fixed, if it does not, then I will be using a proxy via Camel Eaters for my RPs until the technical staff can handle it. I am on a public computer right now, without any way to get my posts finished and typed in time, so I will gave to post later today if I get this problem finished, or tommorow via proxy.]
The Bone Mother
13-05-2005, 02:15
A furrow of the brow upon that great tree was something that seemed alien. It shuddered, the leavers shaking as it creeked, bending over the hunched over hag, its sprawling canopy casting a great shadow over her, the sheer power and age of the living tree shaking and commanding awe even from the Arch-Crone herself. Its voice reverberated from the deep heart of the great God being before her,. It thought very long, long and contemplative, as was the way of the forest, and those being so suddenly awaken from their slumbers. The God-King nodded and stood backwards, its eyes slowly slitting in the bright dawn.

"I cannot deny that your words are true, Kostianaya Noga, what you say is very true, and I watch from this the fall of the world. You ascend my roots not to seek wisdom, but aid. We sleep the ages away, because we are forgotten. No one cares about the trees, the spirits, the Old Ways.."

The crone curled a grin, her yellowish-black teeth underneath showing as she carefully negotiated, keeping all customs of respect to the God manifest creature before her. Even though it was ancient and its power beyond even her comprehension, she did not fear it, it was weak and just awakened. She knew it would bend to her like it does to the simple wind, but of course, she cannot expect it to break completely before her will.

"The Old World does not just benefit me, and the creatures of the dark. It was during those times that your people, the people of the nature, of the earth, the forest, you flourished, and lived above man. I am a creature of the dark and of the forest, going between both paths, I meet here in this sacred middle. That is why I am an emissary."

"I smell it on you, misbegotten child of the fae. You are ancient, insignificant perhaps to me, but of your world you have far outlived your natural order, defying their very nature. Is this why you smell of the forsaken, the God's themselves fear you?"

"Fae nature? Yes, well, you know we have the same goal, ancient one. The Old World must live again, first here in Prague, and then across all of those who still long, who still have pockets of faith, of what they call superstition, of belief in the Old World. Where we are strongest."

"You must repay me. I sleep in this prison when I am unable to run with my brothers, hunt the great boards, unable to live my former life of glory. You know that I must come out of this.. I must escape this verdant prison."

She cackled in her usual form, her layered clothed rummaged through, until the short axe was pulled, carved from bone. Specifically, that of the dreaded black forest bears that once lived in the great trees and were of immense size. She kept this for a single purpose. She gripped it, and threw it squarely at the tree. As soon as it hit, there was a gasp, and the tree exhaled, as it began to slowly gray, its braches curling up and the leaves falling in mass numbers as it suddenly died. With a great moan it began to split in half, right at where the witch striked the wood. The wood fell on the ground, the sheer mass of the great tree creating slight tremor and sweeping up of dust and leaves that swirling in a great rarog, a large whirlwind, envelop what once lied within, and with a snap of the chains, they settled around the luminiscent figure that soon dimmed, revealing the God-King Musail, Lord of the Forest and the Leszi, Rider of Wolves. Almost becking at his call, his coming was marked by the howls of his brethren in the woods around. His form was simply deific, of such perfect form that it could not be described in mere words. The deity smiled down, his size quite impressive compared to the seemingly petite hag.

"Then let us bring the Old World back, by digging within the earth itself to drag it from its grave."


The weak man had never tasted blood before. Nto even on the battlefield. he was pampered from his upbringing, raised as a nobleman's son who delighted in the game of "strategy" and "politics" called war. He never expected that his first taste would be of his own. Breathing heavily, sweating, his body was bruised, with such force he could not imagine what sort of profane power was behidn this. Gasping, he scrambled under the protection of his desk, sobbing as he felt the profuse bleeding all over his body. He was afraid. The warm, sick feeling of his soiled trousers was not any comfort, but such sudden terror came into his mind at the time. He took one breath, as soon as the desk erupted in a hail of splinters and trapped him, a large jut of wood plunging through his uniform and into his flabby skin, plump from the days of opulence he gained from his position. He screamed, but struggled to no avail, as he was trapped dying, bleeding, to the floor by the desk, the wood penetrating deep into him.

The eyes, the dead eyes were even more terrible than the pain, as behind the placid lakes of the pupils was a horroful, infernal presence that pierced into his soul. Until this moment, there was no God, no salvation, but now, he prayed inwardly there was some redemption beyond the oblivion that lied behind the pools of darkness in the Dark Man's eyes. He struggled, but the sharp wood only pulled more at his flesh. Laying flat on the floor, he began to choke on his own blood as he gurgled, letting out his groan of pain as he tried to lift the heavy desk, but his arms could not perform the feat. He watched as the dark man crouched, with a satsified look on his bearded face, the oblivion behind the irises waiting to jump out at the dying man. A sigh came from the dark man, who began to speak once more, in his vicious, raw Russian.

"How much will it take for you, Sokolovsky? It looks like you are not in any position to negotiate."

"You...." His voice gurgled as he spit the blood into the dark man's face, plastering drops of red across his cheek. As the Soviet general attempted to continued, he calmly wiped it from his face with a rag he already had at hand. "You traitorous.... Dog! A little anticlimatic.

"Vassily, I don't want to press this further. All it will take is a little cooperation."

What did the dying old man have to loose. His hand jerked outwards, his hand loosely gripped, the fingers wrapping around the dark man's neck, but finding no strength, and slowly, he gae up, and looked upwards. Why die? Why push his body as it teetered on this tighttrope across death's door?

"I thank you for the cooperation, Vassily. I know that you have allowed it to be so. Its a simple deal. You must, as military governer of Prague, simply order your troops to surrender. After all, the liberation forces have secured the military base not far from here, with a sizable nuclear stockpile and modern day weapons. I'm sure you can help us with that endeavor. There is also the problem of sovereignty, we are without a leader. Which comes to your side of benefits. I can promise you, a save from death. Fortune, riches, pleasure, what you require. You shall rule the fiefdom, until a suitable heir is found. You will be under our control until then, as long as you are of use to us. We will release you and you shall live, once we are done with you. This is the pact that will keep you alive, you understand?"

Death brings much desperation to man. Did Vassily really had a choice. His hand, bleeding clasped out for the dark man's. A mechanical grin came on his adversaries faith, and suddenly, he felt the strength of death, of absence of pain, of immortality, as he lifted the desk, his body, as new as a newborn in his injuries. He stood, the dark man already stepping back into the darkness. Whispering, whispering remembrance, reminders. Vassily stared out. He knew what he had to do.

He didn't want to die.