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 Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]

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PostSubject: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:55 pm

The last time Jack had been the to thuman world it had been to deal with that group that worshipped the tree. That tree fed on human blood. But it had been far longer than that since he had seen any of Iskras lands, the Hyena woman had seen plenty of his. However Jack was yet to see just how she had developed. And by the looks of things. It had been rather successful. In fact, almost too successful. The idea of hers had been to open up a brothel in the human lands. And she had done so as far as he knew using the land they had taken together from those thunder rats and their evil overlord. However this amount of land, it was far more than just a brothel. Of course. This time Jack had not came alone to the human world. He had brought some company. Two fear scouts. And eight Sloth vanguards. The fear scouts had surveyed the area and were bringing him the results of their movements. They were sure that they had not been followed and yet Jack knew that Iskra had her own resources.

According to the reports there were two factions within Iskras lands, not warring. But it seemed that one belonged to someone who was not Iskra. Who had enclosed themselves within the parameters of the matriarchs own territory. Not very smart. But interesting regardless. Another scout had reported that there was a point of land that remained untouched by either side. The cogs began to turn in his brain. And an almost creeping smirk crawled up at that moment. “ Take me to it”. And so, the fear scout did just that. Taking them through a rather sneaky route towards the unclaimed plot of land near Iskras territory. Just what would he do with such a place? Well it was more an ambassadorial idea than anything else. But it was also to give him his own little presence within Iskras land. Pride demanded it.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:05 pm

Iskra knew little of Jack's movements among and around the land that her and Lethe and the female knight had claimed for themselves. In fact, she had been asleep on a rock, laying on her back. Her bear was home, and many exciting things had happened in her city. A new, small immigrant population had arrived from elsewhere in the woods, drawn to the idea of a fledgling village not yet burdened by the laws of the incumbent villages... or maybe they were simply relatives of the ones who were there. She hadn't bothered to ask. It simply seemed as if the worker population there was growing, and they'd begun to make little dwellings for themselves. Such activity pleased her, but she'd want to get them setting up other kinds of buildings now that she had the resources. Maybe they could fix up her crumbling estate or make separate homes for the women she still had yet to kidnap.

A small boy ran through the woods, screaming.

The hyena awoke with a snort, immediately growling before she was aware of what was wrong.

Well, there was a peculiarity in the boy's manner of running and screaming that made Iskra think that the boy might not be just running and playing. If there was suddenly some hazard, it would have to be dealt with.

The sudden hazard she tracked down, however, wasn't exactly what she expected.

There were a lot of demons. A frown tugged at the ends of her muzzle and she sat on a nearby fallen log, her body shifting back to the form of the spotty-haired woman when she was seated. "Jack?"

Honestly, she'd never seen the other demons before, but they didn't look related to him, so she didn't draw any conclusions about their relationship.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:13 pm

Jack wasn’t at all surprised when he felt the incoming movements of another demon approaching in the edges of his blood. His eyes turned and when he saw the large Hyena. A smirk cracked upon his face. The Sloth Vanguards moved into place to defend against her, and the fear scouts kept their distance to attack from a range. But Jack raised his hand. “ Heel”. He said. The other demons looked around at him. Hesitant for a slight moment before lowering their aggressive stance towards him. Iskra seemed. Curious. A questioning tone in her voice as if she wasn’t sure if it actually was him. But then again just what other demons went around dressed like him. Just what other demons went around that felt like he did? “ Hello Iskra. Lovely day isn’t it?”. General conversation. As if he wasn’t leading a band of demons through her land. A highdy doo response. As if nothing was wrong at all. Yet he was curious as to just how she had managed to find them. In truth Jack would have rather moved quickly. Secured the land and then had Iskra discover it.. Rather than her interrupting mid trek. However. There was nothing to be done for it right now. He would just have to make sure and punish those soldiers for the clumsiness at covering their tracks. But that would come later.

“ Well you know how much I dislike the weather in hell so I decided to come up here and well....be helpful”. Jack once again let out a little grin. He’d be helpful alright. As helpful as demons ever could be. With their help always came a price and well Jack wasn’t really asking all too much from her. “ In my conquest of hell I’ve gained a few followers...these are but a few...they are members of the clans of Fear and Sloth”. The white eyed and purple eyed demons merely nodded. “ So, being honest. I decided I’d seize some of the land around here and...well...station some of my troops...just in case you ever needed any help”. He let out a wink with that.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:00 pm

Oh. Iskra blinked from her perch on the log.

Jack had an... army? Or at least some servants who looked combat-ready. They fascinated her in the odd way that the initial sight of Jack had. They seemed... strong, though not so strong as her friend. Then again, controlling things that were strong was a form of strength in itself, and she certainly needed that.

For the woman had attempted to simply kidnap a woman from one of the scattered, surrounding tribes and had perpetually been foiled. Whether it was sudden mercy, an incompetent partner, or simple bad luck, every time she attempted to retrieve a potential prostitute for her brothel, the female would elude her grasp.

Once upon one of the peculiar white-eyed entities, she would reach out. Provided he didn't move, her hand would come near his face and she would lift his lips, her brows furrowed. It mirrored the sort of inspection a man might give a horse that he planned to buy. Iskra had no idea what she was supposed to be looking for, but she'd begun mirroring humans in many ways even if she didn't understand them completely, so she figured that if she was about to ask to use something, there should be some kind of quality she was searching for. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with his teeth, so he must be okay.

Nor did the gesture really seem strange or out-of-place for her. Humans were objects unless proven otherwise, and this extended to humanoids in general.

"Actually, you've come at a good time. I've had a spot of trouble actually getting... uhh... workers. Can I use some of these? They should make raiding a village easier."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:19 pm




It seemed that Iskra was interested in the idea after all. Excellent. That would make things go along far more smoothly. However her odd actions next were of slight well. Interest to him. She moved over and began to " inspect" his troops. They didn't recoil or resist and her touch. Sloth troops wern't supposed to do that anyways. They were vanguards, defenders. They didn't move much. But hel fast against a sole position. It seemed that she was pleased with what she saw, and wished to borrow some of his troops. And this is where the bargaining came in. " Of course you may do so Iskra. As your teacher and loyal ally I would be all too happy to...but you know being your ally I must say that it would be far easier if I was to say...hold a spot of this land for myself....for my troops to be stations lest you ever require them....and should I ever be in need of....things...that can only be obtained in the world of mortals...". There were many things that this little point covered. Not just the simplistics of improved climictic conditions. But in that there had been many things vital to his research that could not be found in the lower plains. Such as the blood of a virgin soul for one.

Or the heart and blood of a dragon. Which he still velmontly carried. Of course he wasn't to mention that he was going to be taking the people within that plot of land and using them as blood cattle for his horrific experiements into dark magic. Horrific and all together wonderful. Jack remained there with a mild smirk on his face. " In fact, this spot of land right here will do nicely". He tolted his head. This was less a suggestion, and more of a condition. That much was obvious. But at the same time there was courtesy and wiggle room. He allowed her that much without going directly into demands. Jack just had to think though of what the people around here were going to think. Nae. What they were in for. Iskra radiing villages for whores. And Jack. Raiding them for blood cattle. This region was very quickly going to become almost as bad as the south west forest housing diabolus lake and the gate to hell.

EXP: 449
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Land Grabbed!


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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:48 am

If one thing about Iskra hadn't changed much, it was her complete inability to read between the lines... at least in a case of subtlety such as this one. It sounded like a legitimate request to her, ad it brought a smile to her face. By asking permission to take the land instead of outright demanding it showed a deference to her authority, or so the primitive pack-instinct she'd been born with translated his tone and words.

"Oh, you're welcome to this area," she began without the slightest bit of hesitancy, but with a pride in her mannerisms. "We thought about taking over this area, but it's very close to an already claimed settlement, so we declared the periphery around that person's area to be ours, and this was going to be the last piece."

A grin cracked the demon's face. "It'll be great having you up here more often. Have I showed you my city? I don't think I have since I claimed it a long while back. It's not much to see yet, but... it's coming along."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:57 am




And so it seemed that Jack had gotten this little bit of land. She wasn't going to go against him on this one. Wonderful. As for her words they only seemed to confirm the scouts reports on there being two different segments to this wider area. One owned by Iskra. The next by another. " Very well..troops...secure the area and remain here...building work I'm sure will begin shortly...". A little grin. Another spark of pride in his eye. Iskra had given into that one far too easily. But perhaps she was serious about being glad to see him up in Terra more often. Again that little niggling voice warning him not to get too complicent around the matriach of the middle plains. Or too get too used to this cool weather and pleasant enviroment. Both things bred weakness and that was something he would not abide by in himself. Its then that Iskra mentioned something about a city. Jack was rather perplexed by the whole thing. A demon? Building a city? Then again. Iskra wasn't like any demoness he knew, past or present. So who was to say she could not build something like a city. A reminder of that one tale with the architect. A demon who had tried to birng order to hell. Who had built a city.

But then. Easier to build one here. He imagined. " Can't say I have seen it....are the thunder rats the main population for the moment?". Jack asked with slight curiousity. Remembering the little creatures they had freed from the tyranny of their old " god". Of course, this was only to be replaced by a much more brutal regime. Or. Would have been if it was Jacks land. Iskra...well. She had different ways of doing things.

" Well...lead on Matriarch...".

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:21 am

"Well, not as much anymore," Iskra began conversationally as she began to go south and slightly west along the forest pathways. There was a legend about the road from there back towards the Village of the Earth and Rasvamaal, in fact. They said it was made by a very old, very blind deer stumbling along in a rainstorm. She wasn't sure why he would be stumbling in such a direction or how he would survive for long enough to make it this distance without being eaten, but perhaps the predators had come in because of the storm.

"There was a village of... people... and what they had was beautiful. They lived peacefully and they had no fear of anything. They were like infants not knowing the disaster they might bring upon themselves. I... didn't want another demon to come along and destroy them, so I made them move into my territory."

She thought for a moment, recalling the horde of people and how their population had inexplicably swelled. "They build many huts and different things for themselves. I think that they just started building a place to teach other humans how to build recently. They're very industrious little creatures. I could probably ask one or two to come out here and make a little defensive building on your land. That's why I'm wanting to introduce you to them."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:51 am




So it would seem that the thunder rats were no longer the only peoples that Iskra had taken in. Odd and interesint gin itself. If building a city wasn't odd enough now Iskra was filling it with different races not just the mystic race of mice that somehow ended up worshipping the ground she walked on. He wondered if because he helped in their salvation would they consider him a godd too? Or perhaps a devil. He didn't know which one he would prefer, the latter probably. After all it was precisely what he was. A spawn from the depths of the darkness that had came with nothing more in mind than absolute destruction. Iskra however brought up an odd point. There was a village. A beautiful one apparantly. And just as she was mid telling the story Jack chimined in. " Oh?....Did you destroy it?....Things that are beautiful like that ne- oh...". He listened to the rest of her story and as it turned out she had just moved them into her city. He probed though. Looking for some sort of malevolent intent in it all. " So...you moved them so that another demon couldn't destroy them...another one....so you could do it yourself right....maybe...or because you wanted to enslave them? yes that must be it". Jack had decided on that one once she mentioned about them building things. Clearly she must have enslaved them. Good on her.

And she wanted to introduce them to him. He wondered why. But then realised it must be because they were begining to grow used to her presense and they needed something to fear. With a nod and a skip in his step. Jack let the Matriarh lead the way to her village. " Why Iskra. I'd be more than happy to do so".

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:52 am

Iskra blinked, and the characteristic puzzled look came over her features as her brows knitted together. "...enslave?" The thought of forcibly enslaving the nice people never entered her head, but the idea of slavery in itself was complex. She knew that she was capable of such a thing, but she thought to force it onto one of the large villages full of stupid people.

Then again, Lethe had put a sort of barrier in her head that kept her from simply regarding all humans as objects or worthless. There was one race that this didn't hold true for, but their numbers weren't large enough nor were they weak enough for her to enslave them on the same scale as she thought she might for the humans she didn't care for. The builders had become her "pets". They were cute and amusing to her, like a crate of puppies. The humans elsewhere were no more charming or important than a delicious colony of wild rabbits.

"Actually, I kind of keep them safe and happy because I like them. They seem like they deserve happiness. I'll get some other humans to enslave that don't build me nice things. Or maybe I'll get some kami like that one we keep seeing. I don't know his name, but kamis are nice, right? They'd probably make good mothers. What does a child of an angel and a spirit like me look like?"

The question was asked in perfect innocence, as though she were discussing the weather or the best vendor for some cookie dough.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:38 pm




There were so many things wrong with Iskras next barrage of words that didn’t make any sense to Jack. She wasn’t keeping these humans as slaves. Not even servants. But because she liked them? Jack remembered back to his niave days that were now just a blurr in his overly extended memory of things that had happened up till now. Back when he had lived with a human and had been for lack of a better term. Ignorantly happy. But he had at least came to the conclusion that he was far different from these humans who walked the earth. Its why he had followed the call of the taint. The call of the drums that had led him to the underworld to begin with. And yet here Iskra was, aware of what she was and yet interacting and even, protecting humans.

This was not the thought process of an Oni. But of a Kami. And that, was a dangerous line of thought. What if the presence of her hybrid servant had been influencing her? Moving her away from the demonic taint? For a moment those thoughts lingered before he dismissed them. Yes. Iskra knew what she was. Jack had taught her in the ways of dark magic and she was more than willing to kill and use the suffering of others. Her next words about enslaving some more useless humans confirmed this. She was an animal. She had no real concept of good or evil. She simply did.

However, this excuse would not hold for her next words. Kami would make good mothers. For a second. Jack felt like the world had frozen. Now it was no secret that Jack held a particular...distaste. For the Kami. In truth Kami and Oni had no real reason to hate one another. Jack however did have reason. Kami wern’t really big fans of Oni and the things they got up to. And sometimes went on rather methodical solo crusades, wiping an area of his kind completely. Jack had been the almost victim of one of these assaults back on his time in Terra. And had ever since bore the scars of resentment on his soul. Self righteous pigeons. The scar had formed into an almost equally zealous passion for destroying the Kami. Believing that the taint within the Oni blood. And the light within the blood of the Kami. Made then direct opposites. Opposites that would inevitably be drawn to clash till one side wiped out the other.

So, Jacks reaction to her comment about mating. Mating with a kami to produce a child. Struck against Jacks own beliefs. “ Undoubtedly, they would. But such a child. I would have to brutally murder”. Much like Iskra. He said this in a rather calm manner that was just part of normal conversation. “ Thats if such a child actually lived long enough to take its first breath...light and darkness in its blood constantly battling against one another...either they would tear the child apart before birth...or the spawn bore would be mad from the moment of emergence. Driven to create, then destroy. Such a thing would be far more a monster than myself. At least, I would be forward with my intentions...”. Jack shook his head, he wondered how Iskra would react to that. The idea of Jack wanting to kill off one of her kin. “ To create thus would be to bring into the world a creature driven to omnicidal destruction, would you want that for your legacy?”. Jack scratched his chin. Curious nature taking over for a brief moment. “ Admittedly though its blood would be useful for my studies”.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:36 pm

Iskra became thoughtfully silent at her ally's next words. Firstly, she wasn't surprised at his destructive sentiment towards any offspring she might create with a kami. Father was not a concept that truly existed among hyenas; it was one she learned when she came to study human ways. Male wolves might eventually get the trust of a mother; Male lions might eat a rival's offspring, then be trusted among his own; but hyenas, though their litters were born with open eyes and sharp teeth and legs to run away with, never trusted the other sex around their little ones.

So of course a male demon would be a child killer. This failed to be a fresh revelation to her in the least. His explanation and justification in wanting to kill the hypothetical child were lost, drowned, and swept out to the sea of his status given to him by an ancient and instinctive stereotype.

However, this failed to imbue her with any hostility. That's just the way his kind were. It wasn't something to kill him over, she would simply have to be smart in keeping him away from the general direction of her children if she accepted a mother role. She faulted him no more for his infanticidal capacity than she would fault a hot stove.

But she made an acute effort to process his words, despite the fact that who he was inhibited her ability to listen to him about such matters.

Her knowledge of genetics was sketchy at best. There was a base comprehension that the sire the mother picked helped determine the traits of the child, but ultimately, the child learned the ways of the world from its mother. Thus, the father's influence over the children was much weaker.

Moreover, she would be accepting the "father" role instead of the mother one. Did this mean that she would feel more apathetic towards her children?

The thought bothered her in a vague way. It seems reaching the goal might be more complicated than it originally seemed. There was truly just one way to test these things.

"Well, have you ever seen one?" Iskra finally responded. "If you haven't, that can mean three things. It can mean that nobody's ever tried, which would make sense. It's only been ten-and-eight seasons since the world was born and we've always hated the kami. It can mean that the child cannot survive past infancy, in which case I would like to know sooner rather than later. It can mean that the child simply takes after its mother. That last one could mean something big." She turned a blue eye to Jack. "Kami need what they call pureness to exist. If you have a mother who is pure and a father who is vile, the children will have that vileness in them and seek to throw off their purity. It will be much more work for them to remain pure. If those children who are half vile try to escape their vileness and live as normal kami and take a mate from among the pure kami, then that kami's children are now all part vile. Even if all of the vile children run away to act according to their vileness, one of their siblings will probably stay back and attempt to be pure for the sake of its friends and loved ones as its mother taught it, and thus that child will produce part vile children as well among the kami, and that vileness will keep them close to the temptation to be completely vile. Those children who give in will let the vileness overtake them, and eventually the kami will start to dwindle in numbers because they will not be able to maintain themselves in the face of vileness. Even the humans who die and become pure kami will have to deal with the vileness of those around them. It's like Paike and Vosht." She pointed up towards the sky. "Paike is pure and Vosht is perverse, but you only need to look at the eclipse to know that they still mate. Their children are the stars. My humans look at the stars through these things made of glass and metal that make the stars look bigger, and do you know what they see?" She folded her arms. "Black stars. They're hard to see because the sky is black too at night, but you can tell that they're there because they block the view of everything behind them. The other stars are bright and white and give light. If I mated with a kami, it would probably make some children who were like their mother and some who were like me."

"But there is only one sure way to know. I'd appreciate it if you caught a kami for me." She wasn't exactly sure how else to ask other than to just put it out there, but she felt as though she'd been to sudden considering how the pride demon seemed to be against it. There was no harm in asking, she supposed. "A female one... if I tried to catch one myself, I might hurt her..."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:30 pm

t seemed that regardless of jacks thoughts on the matter Iskra had already determined her course of action. Her reasoning was interesting however, particularly when it came to the mention of the taint. Or as she called it, the vileness. Although in all honesty he preferred his own term. Vileness made it sound so dirty. But the idea of it infecting the ranks of the Kami did make him think. But then again, he like her had already determined that his own theories were likely correct on the matter. That breeding between demon and angel would create a self destructive monster. Curiously. Knowing that he would seek to kill such a creature the moment it was born. Iskra was still requesting his aid in catching a Kami to conceive it. Jack was certainly capable of such a task. Whilst Iskra might have found it difficult. Jack with his anti kami enochian trap skills was far better equipped for the task. But honestly saw it as a waste of his own time. Then again. The idea of catching a Kami and informing it about its grim fate. Well that would be most enjoyable. But. There was one thing that Jack did not understand. And that was that there was a far simpler solution than having him catch a kami to breed with.

Having experienced Iskras powers of transmutation first hand. Jack knew she was well and able to turn a creature into its opposite gender and so long as her will was stronger than there, or they were compliant. They would remain in such a form.And of course, Iskra had in her service one whose blood had the purity required. An odd. Creeping grin spread up Jacks face.

“ I’d be happy to catch one, if only to taunt it with the future that lies ahead. Even if I have to kill the child but...”.

Jack stepped into what one would call Iskra’s comfort zone. Leaning over, almost nose to nose. “ Tell me why you don’t just change Lethe into a woman and use him?....He would be more than willing if you asked him I am sure...even honoured....The spirit within him gives him blessed blood and you would have a more willing carrier....by all accounts it seems like the most logical idea...and yet....I must wonder why you didn’t consider that?”.

Jack had his ideas about why, but kept those to himself. “ As he once said.....his life is yours....you were simply to direct it....so why not direct it towards mother hood?”

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:16 pm

"It would be simple," replied the personal bubbleless hyena spirit, tilting her head to the side. "But his soul is not towards a mother. You have to understand..."

Then again, he probably didn't, so she took it upon herself to explain. "My soul is towards many things because I've eaten so many different creatures and they all lend me their directions. I ate Lethe's mother, so..." she pointed to her face, as though to indicate the skin that was the same color as Lethe's and her hair that was the same color, save the spots. "...my soul can be towards her. I ate a piece of you, so my soul can be towards a man. I could probably be towards many more things if I actually concentrated on it."

"It's the same thing with a kami and an oni. Your soul is towards pride and maleness, so you are a male onikonjou. I know how to change the direction that someone's soul is towards because I know how to change which way my soul is towards. I can't change into a goat, but I have many goats in my body. I can just change your soul to be towards a goat instead of towards a person and your body follows. Lethe's soul is towards the cold and towards morals and towards maleness. It's not my own soul, he doesn't share his body with any spirits towards femaleness, and because of his desire to remain a male, his soul would will itself back towards its natural state as all souls will themselves back towards their natural state. I could maybe stay with him for the three seasons it takes for him to bear me a child, but I'd have to be up day and night and I would be spending a lot of energy that I could save by just finding someone whose soul was already towards a woman. If I let his soul drift back for one second, it might kill him and the child."

She paused for a moment, seeming almost sad. "It would be nice, though... Lethe seems like he would make a good mother."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:36 pm




So the reason Lethe could not be a mother was because his soul was the soul of a man? To Jack this made little sense. He understood that his soul leaned towards pride. This made him a pride demon. But if Jack wished to then he would simply study his own magics and find a way to shift his form into a female one. He already knew how to shift his body into the form of a wolf. Such a thing would not be an issue. “ Then the solution to that problem seems simple to me Iskra. You say that you can move your soul towards many things because of that which you eat, then the solution would simply be, have Lethe eat a female. This would solve such a problem”. Jack tilted his head to the side. And then further argued the logic. “ But it seems strange to me the idea that his body is not malleable, I can shift my form into the dread wolf, and if I wished to, I could easily learn magics to shift my form into whichever I chose, and stay in such a form if it was a problem”. Jack turned up his nose at that point and smirked. An inner feeling, and drive to cause chaos and disorder emerging. “ Lethe has blessed blood. And can use magic as I, or you can. Perhaps he does not have my knowledge,or direct skill...but I have seen his abilities in our fights....and I can say without doubt that he would be able to learn the form of a female most easily, as I would be if I so chose”. Jack closed his eyes. The inner dark eye watching.

“ I will catch you this Kami however...I must say, there are no problems that I can see with Lethe learning such a form....I would even be willing to teach him if it need be, he has the potiental....what is in question...is his drive to do so....if he is unwilling then...”.

Jack smirked under closed eyes. “ Perhaps he’s not as loyal as you would like to think”.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:40 am

Iskra found herself frustrated by her inability to convey what she knew about the nature of souls in relation to bodies and how it affected humans and spirits differently, but in a way similarly. It wasn't because of a lack of understanding, but a lack of words. It was more or less a complex topic, and she found her word bank completely empty.

"It's..." she said, her face scrunched up as though there were an ant's jaws lodged in the back of her throat. If only she had a bunch of high-quality words to use instead of many, many inadequate words...

Well, she gave a brave effort. "It's not that his body cannot change, it's simply that he is more things than you. These things that he is interfere with what he could be. He would have to break one of his own directions, or it would just be a mask... an illusion. A human's body gives its soul many directions. A spirit has no body to give it extra directions, and most of the directions that they have aren't so firmly set, so spirits have more control. There are some directions that are firmly set..."

The primary trouble came from the dual meaning of the word "direction" and the fact that she was using it in both of its capacities. There was direction as in a "path" and a direction as in an "instruction". One was voluntary, like a walk to a specific area or a decision, and the other was involuntary, like a forcible command or a heartbeat. It was a sort of dualism that was part and parcel of her religious beliefs and her inability to fully comprehend the morality system put forth by humans and more philosophical beings. That is, her worldview was absent of full accountability, because one's choices, that one had control over, were preset by one's desires, which no one could control. Those wants were irrefutable commands given up jointly by the clamor of the body and the lusts of the soul, and it took a lot to disobey them. More than she had, at any rate.

Maybe she'd be able to bring up the complicated conundrums of free will versus fate that this brought up if she knew the vocabulary, but she didn't.

An explanation did pop into her head, however, and she grinned as the light bulb came on. "Can you turn into a kami? Your spirit puts your blood and body and mind towards an oni's, so to change that would hurt, kill, or weaken you, if it was possible. It's one of the lower leveled directions. For Lethe, maleness is lower-leveled because his body has reinforced that direction on his soul and his soul has reinforced it on his body and his clan has been reinforcing it on his mind and this has been circling for his entire life. It would hurt him to change it too long or to break it. By that I mean... it would be harder for him to learn." She shrugged. "Maybe it's possible. I've no doubt that he would submit to it for me, but by forcing it on him, I would be injuring him in his mind or his body or his spirit. I can't predict which, and I don't want him to come to any harm."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:35 am




This was begining to become a rather interesting little debate between the two. But Iskra herself seemed to lack certain things to put her points across. But it was interesting none the less. Jack removed from his pocket a sharpened quill and an old leather book ( 2 very common items) he brought blood to the surface of his finger and dipped the quill in it and began to write down certain things about Iskra's beliefs. Demonic lore. It had to be recorded as he learned it. As he wrote however he continued to talk. " Most interesting, but I fear I must disagree. Yes I can take on the form of a kami if I so chose. However that would not change what I am nor would it effect what I am. It is merely a change of physical form, it does not change any part of my nature and it would not harm me to do so, what I am is an Oni, this is what my spirit is. My body however reflects that of a human...for the most part. Does the form of humanity effect who I am as an Oni? No". Jack lifted his quill and pointed it at Iskra. " You speak of Lethe as human, but remember the spirit side of him counters this point, he is different. He is capable of taking many forms, such as the winged form when he faced the dragon. That did not weaken him. But contrary strengthened him". Jack shook his head. He felt though that he was speaking to a wall with this. But yet he continued for the sake of a researchers intrigue if nothing else. Writing once again in his book.

" Form, and conciousness are rarely connected. If I decided one day to grow wings and fly like a bird, would it change who I was? No likely it would only make me more attractive to you".

Jack merely smirked " so to speak" , at this point turning Iskras own words against her. " As you say, each life each soul, has a direction. Lethe has placed his direction in your hands. His first commanding direction that seems to forgo all others, is to follow you, and do as you bid him, by arguements sake. By depriving him of this possible direction. Your claim is that you weaken him". Jack stroked his chin. And raised his hand. " But. I digress. It is clear Lethe is not to be the mother of your child". That still slid off the tongue rather wrongly. But he was not bothered that much by it. Jack had seen far more and far stranger in his existance. Placing the quill back in his Jacket. And closing the book. He looked on at the Matriarch.
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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:11 am

"Wait... if you can turn into a kami, then why don't I just make you carry my kid?"

The words Jack used in return were indeed quite confusing. She found it so, but only because there was a disconnect in their apparent view of the situation. Iskra considered the form of something and its soul intrinsically linked like cause and effect. Jack viewed them separately. Moreover, she knew that when humans took on big, fancy transformations, they remained basically human unless they had some demon heritage, which gave them more states that they could exist in.

But trying to convey these things without the right words was nothing sort of exhausting, and her attention was soon caught by something intriguing. Her previous question was forgotten.

Words. Rather, she knew they were words, but as a creature of the forest, she was illiterate.

"Hey, you're writing words," she said plainly in lieu of continuing the philosophical conversation. "If you can write words, you can understand them, right?"

By "understand" she actually meant "read".

Digging into her bag, she produced a neat little envelope. "Can you teach me to read this? Someone left it for me."

Note Inside of Envelope:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:37 am




" I can change my form to be a Kami, but not what I am, I would merely appear to be one. The taint however, Would still flow through me, that. I cannot change".

As that was all said and done Iskra said something rather odd. And Jack suddenly realised that the Hyena demon was...illiterate. Jack himself had only really learned the written word as a way of writing down things that had happened. It had started early after the dawn. He figured that if he wrote down everything tht happened. Then if anyone ever wiped his mind again, he could read about himself in the diary. Of course there were certain things he never did mention in those pages. Taking the letter from Iskra he opened it up, unfolding the paper and let his eyes scan over it. And. Once again he was surprised and confused by what he saw. His face was one of perplexsion. " Its a letter from someone called Adnachiel....to cut it short....you inspired some faith in them that not all demon kind, at least. The ones from Terra are evil...they wanted to convay that they hoped to see you again but knew it would be unlikely". Jack handed back the letter and shrugged.

" Thats about the jist of it".

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:48 pm

Iskra took the letter back suspiciously and squinted at the characters thereon.

Alas, they would not, could not reveal themselves to her uneducated eyes. It was a little frustrating... to know that something meant something else and yet being unable to discern the meaning. She felt like one of her old clanmates when confronted with a "shape". She could hear them now. How could a bunch of little squiggles be words? They'd ask. The same way a stone can be a person. A statue. Those words make a sentence, but it doesn't mean anything, they'd say. You may as well call your spots an acacia tree.

Then again, all of the knowledge she'd learned had brought power at the price of more suffering. She felt as though if she didn't continue learning, she'd be stuck in a sort of limbo: not enough power, too much suffering. Maybe at some point the suffering would level out and she'd be left with happiness from her power, the mother of many cute offspring who inhabit a city of her making where they can't just be wantonly stabbed and skinned by various hunters anymore. A place with lots of food and comforts.

"So words are like statues." her squint relented and she placed the note back in the envelope and the envelope safely away. "Are the shapes of them hard to learn?"

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:49 pm

“ Indeed”. Jack said to her point about words being like statues. But he felt that perhaps his meaning to it was slightly different from her own. “ There are many statues, But not all represent the same thing”. And it seemed that Iskra was once more interested in becoming his student and learning about words. “ It depends on the learner I think”. Jack looked down at his book, containing many words, many characters. Many secrets and magic rituals of his own discovery. “ Some people learn faster than others, however if you wish me to teach you then I think you shall learn quickly, magic is far more complicated than reading and writing and you needed little tuition for that, so I doubt it will take much work to teach “. There was a lot that the Hyena didn’t know but also there was a lot that she seemed to be wise about. But then she seemed to be a font of her own clans lore and knowledge. Likely he imagined that was how those ones were raised, on the knowledge of their elders and ancestors as mistaken as it might have been. Still, the wisdom of the elders did tend to be useful. Or at least he would make sure that he categorized everything that he heard from Iskra considering her own Clans lore, just in case it would help with his own magic’s.

“ But yes I would be most happy to teach you this, but I believe before we got distracted...”.

Jack opened an arm to lead towards Iskras land. “ We were going to speak to your little people”. Most of Jacks own knowledge hadn’t came from any sort of ancestor. He had after all been bore around humans. Some of it came from them. But most of it had been from his time simply wandering. Taking scraps of knowledge here and there. To him, little else but knowledge was worth anything.
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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:06 pm

"Good," she answered briskly when Jack made reading sound easy.

Specifically, she wanted to learn to read as quickly as possible. If Jack knew how to read, then that meant that demons and such as powerful as Jack might know how to read and write too. On this trip, she'd seen him scribbling things down, so no doubt other powerful demons might feel the need to inscribe their knowledge on paper. Indeed, a few powerful demons that she'd met owned "libraries", though the sort of knowledge that they kept in this sort of place had previously been a secret to her.

Anyways, this would remove her dependency on actually befriending a demon to figure out his knowledge. She could just go read about it.

The wild spirit grinned as she walked forward and thought about the possibilities. She could write down the things she knew instead of just carrying it around in her head.

"What kind of outposts are you guys going to want? Anything we can put there to make them more comfortable?"

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:26 pm




"Comfort isn't going to be much an issue"

Jack didn't know quite what the Hyena demon had in mind with learning the ability to read and write, his own assumption was just based off that Iskra was curious and wanted to add another skill to her growing little tree of abilities. However for the moment he would merely concentrate on just what the outpost would be built like. He was telling the truth when he said comfort wasn't an issue. He didn't want his soldiers to get comfortable. The under world was a place of pain and suffering. Terra and Celestes places of ease and comfort. Demons were stronger than both. Thus Jack had always concluded that such things did little but bring about weakness and complacency.

" The only things required, are a barracks for the men. Training grounds for them. And a place for myself. To study my magics and experiements in quiet. Preferably a dry place, stone walls like the Seat. So that I may store the knowledge and power that I discover and have discovered on paper".

He tilted his head. " Oh. And of course. A place to keep my experiment subjects". Come to think of it the list of things required was actually rather long. However, Jack was sure it wouldn't be much of an issue if these humans were as industrious as Iskra claimed them to be. And of course, fear of failure to him after he met them would spur them on more quickly than the sting of any whip lash. " That however is about all that will be required".
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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:46 pm

Iskra's eyes rolled up in her head at the mention of "stone", as though she'd undergone some physical pain. Since discovering that she could get more "stuff" by using cheaper versions of "stuff", she'd decided that the cheap "stuff" was superior simply because you got more of it. Quality was a concept she hadn't yet learned. It would likely occur to her when the first cows wandered into her town and began casually eating yurts and houses alike.

Nevertheless, she cared for Jack in a way, so she would comply with any requests he made. In fact, her eyes came down rather quickly from their abnormal position, and she showed no other signs of hesitancy at the request of a stone outpost. After all, she did know that stone was more defensible than the straw that she very cheaply insisted that everything else be built out of. She had plenty of room for people, but they were in houses that might go down in flames after the first act of aggression. However, she didn't mind reconstruction. She just wanted her town big quickly so she could grasp a good influence of the area.

"How many experimental subjects are you planning to have? I guess you'll need something like..." A coldness passed through her spine at the thought. "...a cage... or a bunch of cages."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:11 pm




If there was going to be a barracks for an army. Stone was going to be required. Stone kept back the forces of others from taking over defensible positions. Not just that. Stone was cold. And Jack liked that. It would keep him in a constant reminder of hell. Of the seat of Pride. Just making sure what he was doing, and reminding him of what he was regardless of his current location. Of course on the mention of cages from Iskra Jack imagined that it wouldn’t only be rreminding Jack of his home. But others of that dark firery pit as well. A chuckle from him. Although the word cages for some reason seemed to place Iskra in what Jack could only describe as a state of discomfort. Unease. Even. Fear. Just why would she have to be afraid of his requirement for such things? But then, of course perhaps it wasn’t the fear of him having cages to keep his experiment subjects in. But rather the idea of cages in general. It was one of those odd moments that Jack had to take a step back and remind himself that whilst Iskra was an Oni. She wasn’t what you would call a traditional Oni. She was born. Raised and lived as an animal. And so an animal she was. With all the same virtues and fears of those creatures. Including cages.

“ Yes, some cages. Not too many. Perhaps four or five”.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:37 pm

Four or five seemed like a reasonable number. She couldn't help but be appalled remembering the shape of the things... the unnatural, grid shape of the bars... the weird shadows they cast... and worst of all, the confinement that they represented... the trap.

Iskra had never been stuck in a cage and hoped she never would. They were just so unsettling. She tried to think of something else.

"That should be up in a day or few. I can't imagine that an outpost would require a lot..."

...of stone, she finished, hoping the quirky little people had a good source of stone somewhere around.

A sign that they were getting close to her city passed: a peculiar sort of flower bush. Rather, the flowers weren't upright and traditionally pretty. They were long and flowed towards the ground irregularly like semi-coagulated blood. Their strong, red color only reinforced this image, as well as the multitude of insects drawing nourishment from the sanguine blossoms.

"That's an amaranth bush." Iskra felt smart knowing what kind of flower it was. Indeed, the old man had taught her many kinds of plants, though this one stuck out the most since it was his favorite. "They grow wild around the city... or they started growing. They seem to be native to a little north of here."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:48 am




Flowers that looked like blood. It was, odd. But at the same time such things dragged Jacks memories back to his more recent past. The time when Arc had came begging for his help in getting her team back from her latest research point. The tree that had ben fed on human blood and had subsequently gained a sort of conciousness of its own. Indoctrinating those around it into continuing the steady stream of blood. Turning them into a cult. After he had regained control from the man behind the door Jack had decided to leave the tree as it was. Not because he feared falling under the spell of its indoctrination. But rather because such a thing was. Interesting. Destroying it might have removed an avenue for research that he could explore in the future. But not now. For now his research into the dragons blood was the biggest thing on his mind. Mostly because of the ideas that had been popping in about using it.

" Hm, the petals look like blood...".

Jack picked off one and put it in his mouth. Chewing for a moment. No, no blood in it. Wasn't like the tree. If it had. Well. THat would have been interesitng indeed. " So Iskra. Did I ever tell you about my little adventure with a demonic tree?".

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:55 am

Iskra's brows came towards each other. "Why would you eat a plant?" Plant eating, for her, was a considerable taboo. Plants generally had medicinal properties, which is why in folklore herbivores constantly consumed them. Such creatures were weak and constantly needed to medicate themselves on rancid weeds.

She squinted at the flowers again, using her relatively advanced ability to recognize the "Shape" of something rather than the "Identity" of something.

"Oh, I guess it does sort of look like blood... if you think about it for long enough..."

The mystery of why he felt the need to sample the petals had been thusly solved.

"The same person who gave me that note showed me this flower. They were very special to him. The blossoms are said to never fade... and to remain living or something. They come from where the kamis lived."

She turned from the flowers to Jack, tilting her head to the side in curiosity. "I did not know that trees could have demons in them."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:07 am




So the plant came from where the Kami lived? This was. Odd. A plant that appeared to be similar to blood thriving in a kami based enviorment. Most strange indeed. His eyes moved over to her as she noted her obliviousness to the demonic tree. At this point Jack thought that perhaps he had worded it wrongly. It was less a demonic tree ( tree with a demon in it) and more a tree that had developed demonic attributes. Jack stroked his chin. " Well. I'm honestly not sure if we can possess plants either...I suppose with the right magic it would be possible...but thus was not the case here....". Jack took a seat next to the strange blood like Kami plant and invited Iskra to join him.

" It all started with a demon that I had met in the under tunnels of hell. Her name, or the name she is called by. Is Arc. She is a researcher of sorts. And had discovered this tree on Terra which had...a strange aura".

Jack pointed at Iskra. Then at himself. " I have told you before that, I can feel our kind through the taint in our blood. That vileness as you call it. This tree exhibited a similar feeling. Similar but different....It was old. Ancient. Perhaps older than the world in its current state....its roots went deep, deep and far reaching down so far that they had broken through the upper crust of Hell near Diabolis lake.....the theory is that this exposure to our home, changed the tree". Jack bit on his finger, knowing that Iskra believed that the dawn had been the begining of the world. Jack however. Believed otherwise. " Those who lived near the tree began to worship it...and as some humans do...presented sacrifices of blood to it....and well. This only seemed to make the tree's demonic side grow stronger...".
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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:30 am

Storytime! Or at least that's what it seemed like. Iskra plopped down next to the bush, inhaling the somewhat musky scent of the blossoms as Jack began.

A... plant that fed on blood? Such thing was a perversion. She formed a number of theories in her mind. The first was that the tree might be some new sort of being, perhaps the creation of the god of perverseness, Vosht. The other was that it might be some artifact of the dead world. The thing about the Dead World was that bits of it were still lying around even though it had been killed not long after its birth. This world was young in the grand scheme of things, and none of the tales really specified how old the Dead World had been when it was murdered.

"You know... how there are ruins and things and bits of the Dead World that are older than the day this world was born?" She paused, gathering her thoughts and not sure if she'd told Jack the entire mythology of her race. "Perhaps this tree is a child of the Dead World and not a child of this one. You say that you think that the tree is older, right? That would make it the same age as the ruins, and all of the ruins came from the Dead World."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:25 pm

n a few notes on Iskras beliefs, it was the first time he had heard her mention this so called “ dead world”. A world that had supposedly existed prior to this one. It was an interesting theory but brought up a lot of questions as to how Iskra believed this being a separate world, ruins from it still existed. But Jack wasn’t going to question her beliefs. It would be far too difficult to explain to her his own rather than to just courtesly nod as he took down notes on the lore of her peoples. Once he finished Jack once again closed the book, put away the quill and looked back at Iskra.

“ Yes, its quite possible that the tree came from the world before, its far older than current records anyway”.

Jack clasped his hands staring at Iskra but also past her, seemingly into nothingness. A glazed thoughtful look in his eyes. “ Yousee Arc was, is, a researcher of that ‘dead world’ as you call it.....tell me Iskra, you are relatively young, so this world is the only world you know of....but was anyone in your clan alive during the first chaos?”. Jack was of course referring to the time of awakening. When he and many others had merely just awakened as if from some deathless slumber, no memory. No ideas. Fear. The first couple of years in hell. They had been absolute chaos. It was amazing just what fear drove people to.

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:04 am

Iskra thought for a minute. "Cookie was there. She says she remembers the day the world was born. I was born the same day. She said that she didn't know if I'd killed my mother or if she'd just not woken up, because there were many ones of us around who didn't wake up. My sister was awake too, but I killed her right after we were born, but I don't remember much from back then. Ah, and Old One Ear was alive too, but she can't really remember things in her head like Cookie could."

It saddened her a bit to think of her old clan and how idyllic her childhood had been... well, for a hyena at any rate. Lots of food, lots of relatives, lots of freedom, and a complete ignorance of the perverseness she knew now. Every time she looked back at that tie in her life, she questioned if she was on the right path. "I can barely remember how the story went anymore. Either this world consumed the old one and consumed the memories with it, or Vosht made the world perverse as it is now. Sometimes I wish that it was just... peace... without these things..."

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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:02 am

Jack wrote:


Once again Jack continued taking notes about the things that Iskra was describing, the names of those who had been in her clan, particularly this cookie who seemed to be the font of knowledge for this clans lore. But one thing did interest him and that was that this cookie seemed to know an awful lot. In fact, Jack almost recalled Iskra speaking about how she had her clan avoid death by eating them. Avoid the darkness. Sheol? He stopped for a moment. Taking it in. It was a deep shame that this cookie was dead. Otherwise Jack was sure that there were things that he could have learned from her. More than he could have learned from the second hand knowledge Iskra had. Regardless, second or first hand the knowledge was useful, and it made him question about just how much certain creatures knew about the dawn, and if they really could remember more than he did.

" The reason I ask is because I think things were far different up here than they were down in hell...in hell it wasn't all peace and acceptance....when they...when we woke up...it was chaos".

Jack shook his head remembering his first year in hell. Hiding. Struggling to survive as everyone and everything killed one another. The population of demons back then had been far larger than it was now. So many had died. " I was curious"



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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:44 am

The woman shook her head. "Of course it was like that in hell. They don't call them parak for nothing. Hah!"

She might have added "no offense" after the comment if she was aware of such a phrase.

Standing to her feet, she brushed off an insect or two that had crawled up on her clothes and patted off the dust. "We have to hurry, though. I will be late for my nap. It's not often that my home is really as quiet as I'd like."

Provided nothing else hindered them, they'd get to the village after walking about two blocks. A few people working on a large hut waved as they walked past, and Iskra stopped walking.

"Oh, I guess those guys will do just fine." She pointed in their general direction. "Building a little outpost should be no problem for them."

The four young men looked at each other, then back forward at the two standing there. Iskra waved them forwards. "What are your names?"

They introduced themselves in a chattery manner. Rather, all of them spoke at once. There was Miguel, a tall, swarthy fellow with grey eyes. There was Sigswald, a very large guy with no hair who appeared capable of lifting many heavy things. His eyes were squinted closed and he had mutton chops. There was Helge and there was Victor. They were blue-eyed twins and very small, their feminine faces accented by primitive spectacles half hidden by long, black hair. Each of them had a few scrolls that they kept timidly tucked under their armpits, and they didn't quite reach five feet each. They grinned sincerely and bowed, recognizing the sovereigns of this land.

Iskra scratched her chin. "There you have it. I want you guys to go build Lord Jack here an outpost. You think you can do that for me?"

They agreed with so much additional chatter.

[ EXP: 362 || +1 TEXP (5th post) ]


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Pennywise
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PostSubject: Re: Temple of Obstinacy [ Land Claim +Iskra]   Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:03 am




And with Jack once again wondering about the strange langauge that Iskra sometimes delved into they were off again. He wondered about the meaning of those words but had a feeling he knew what she meant. Of course it was hell. They wern't called demons for nothing. It didn't take too long to get from where they had been to the place were Iskras lackies seemed to be building the latest part of her little empire here among the forests. One thing that seemed to worry Jack though was the construction of these buildings. In particular the material used to craft. Did they have the ability to stone craft? Despite his own inward worries about just how his outpost would be built. He was mostly passive on the outside. Leaning on his cane as the humans introduced themselves. They must have thought that he was like Iskra. A demon who would be friendly to them. Well. That would all change soon enough. They'd discover the truth one way or another. Iskra took care of explaining the task at hand. And as they agreed Jack heard them chattering among themselves about just how the outpost was going to be built Design and all that stuff. He would have thrown in his penny, but he trusted Iskra to take care of his needs as far as the out post went.

" If you get lost".

Jack spoke to the humans. Letting out a mischievious grin as he did so. " Just remember". He thummbed behind him into the forest.

" If the sounds of screams are getting closer, you are going the right way".
EXP: 322


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