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 Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.

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PostSubject: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:35 pm

Theres something inside. Beating. Waiting.

Jack had never quite finished that business with the tree. Eer since he had been taken over by the man with yellow eyes and he had subsequently slaughter the entire village of humans that had been worshiping the tree. Well. He had more or less been so freaked out that he had just left it all alone. The tree still stood and still remained a danger to all. But Jack was almost glad that he hadn’t destroyed the tre. As he sat upon the seat of Pride he thought about the previous days little judgements. Little revelations. He had begun to channel the normal demons into his land in order to allow them to build defences. Build their own little civilisation in hell. It had not bee the first time. After all arch had proved that hell had seen cities built in the past and was not new to the ideas of it. Jack however found it hard to believe just how any demons could live in peace with one another. It went directly against their nature and Jack had a feeling that there was going to be a lot of blood shed even after the gluttons defeat. For now fear of that creature kept their aggressive nature at bay. And for that small blessing. He was thankful that for now that he had ltitle to do concerning the movement of these immigrants. It allowed him to focus more on his research. And right now one f the main attractions to him was the power of this tree. Threw as a reason behind that tree and yet he couldn’t quite figure it out when he was there, there wasn’t enough time to research it. The only issue was that the time taken to research it would likely involve his own indoctrination. Was something like that een possible. Could the tree overpower his mind? It was possible. After all it had done it to so many others. Why wouldn’t it effect him just because he was more powerful that the rest of them? No that made little difference to how things worked. And often that led to the more dangerous side of pride. Arrogance. And arrogance was blinding.

Jack heard footsteps approaching and as he looked up the white eyes and feminine features identified to him that it was Gerret the leader of sloth. Jonah’s wife. The one who had appointed to be the community leader of these immigrants and whip them into shape. “ Jonah said that you wanted to talk to me about something”> As she said that Jack came to the conclusion that Jonah had been absolutely serious when he said that she would rather hear it from him. Whether or not he had told her and she was merely confirming things with Jack well that was another thing all together. “ You are hereby appointed to be my official when it comes to issues concerning the immigrant demons in Prides bastion”. What came across her face wasn’t look of elation but rather more a look of annoyance. The leader of Sloth had never really gotten along with Jack. She respected him and his power as per the taming of the tribe of rage. But other than that the two had some what of a darkly fierce relationship. She had never agreed with Jonah’s subservience to him and thought that they should be considered equals to pride as opposed to its servants. “ And just how do you suppose I can do that when I also have Sloth to look after? I am but one woman”> Jack gestured with his hands a bit of a whoopty doo point. “ Sloth is not so large that it will hinder your efforts, and if you think that it is too much a task fo you to handle on your own then use some of your own trusted subordinates as officials to help you with the task. Regardless of what you wan this is what is going to happen, I need to focus on gaining more power, our lands need to be defended. Jonah and Ceila are handling military. You have even admitted that you are better with the common people than solders. So I am using you to your strengths...these people must be organised to build defences against the thralls”. The woman looked at him with anger in her eyes, but that anger didn’t last long it seemed that for whatever reason his words were beginning to ware her down. As if she was simply arguing because of who Jack was as opposed to the logic of it all. “ VERY WELL”> She said to him. “ I’ll do it, but don’t expect me to be happy about it”> She then turned on heel and left. Jack knew that whatever she said, she probably would enjoy the position once it got into full spring. Although he had to admit that would only ever occur after the glutton was done and defeated.

With that little conversation out of the way Jack decided that it was time to look out that book and notes he had concerning that tree. The real expert on it had been the researcher Arc, but she was out of reach for now. Hell was a large place and when the woman wasn’t restricted to that but the human world as well. There wasn’t going to be much of a chance of fidning her unless she wanted to be found by him. And aftr the failure of what happened last. He doubted very highly that she was going to want that. Jack opened his main tome concerning the tree. His theories about just what it was. A tree from the old world so old that its roots had grown too close to the diabolus lake. Absorbing the dark energies of the underworld and becoming in itself. Part demonic. His combined with repeated blood sacrifices had only resulted din the increase of its dark powers. Yet even then...Jack didn’t feel as if he was getting the full story about it....

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:28 am

Jacks abilities often came in handy, particularly when things like this cropped up. His plans as far as studying the tree were rraltively simple, jump topside. Head to the temple of obstinacny grab some equipment and head down to the tree. The only thing he'd have to think of whilst this went down wa sjust how he was going to counter the effects of tree's manipulation. The tree had the uncanny ability to control the minds of those around it, a sort of strange form of indoctrination from its demonic " roots". For now thought Jack was just concentrating on making his way topside without encountering any resistance in the form of hunger thralls which were apparantly running riot outside of Pride's bastion with relatively little form or control to them. But strangely. He did manage to make it right across the stretch of the dark plains without meeting any resistance. Be that because of his devil speed technique taking him most of the way. He didn't quite know. But even before when he had used devil speed he had still to walk some of the distance and had encountered some of their number. It was strange for things to be so...quiet.

Yet he had confidence in the soldiers he had left and the leadership that they were under. For now his primary concern was reaching Terra and getting to the Tree so he could uncover it secrets. Jack thought that perhaps by learning the way the tree had an effect on the people around it. He would gain soem insight into just how the indoctrination process of hunger worked. And how best to counter it and release the hunger thralls from their slavery. It was not out of any good nature. But simply out of tactical resource.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:33 am

The travels though the tunnels below diabolus lake were as they usually were. long and ulitmately annoying. The trip mde using devil speed difficult due to the sheer number of objects that got in the way of the technique. Devil speed wasn't merel teleportation. It would have been so much easier if it was. However. It was not to be. The time taken to ascend the tunnels was truthfully begining to irritate Jack. Although it didn't take as long as it had used to to climb up through the tunnel it still took him quite awhile to get from here to there. Which was annoying for one who frequented both realms so regularly and had interests that required his attention in both. He was going to have to think of an easier way of transport between the two. Perhaps teleportation. As annoying as it could be sometimes. Would be easier. It had been some time however since he had last seen Sera and had expected the little bird to come running back to him for her next fix of blood already.

Curiously he wondered if he should seek her out whilst on Terra. Yet yet that thought was quelled the moment he started thinking it. His primsary reason for being on Terra was his study of the tree and whatever blood magics sustained it. He could ot afford distractions. Particularly not at this point in time when his research happened to be so critical to the success of his mission in defeating the Glutton. Among others.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:47 pm

It didn’t take too long to hit the temple of obstinacy and once he was within the greater access to his blood magic research that he had there. He grabbed a satchel. A few test tubes and really the few basic pieces of equipment that he needed. With that he hea.ded out into the cursed forest towards where he remembered the tree grew. As he got closer to the obelisk of demonic botanic. Once again he felt his tainted senses light up with the problems that it began to face. This tree was demonic but like before he got the feeling that there was something deeper to it than jus the fact that there was a hell spawn aura around it. There was something deeper. Almost as if the demon aura wasn’t coming from around the tree itself but rather it seemed to emanate from the inside out. And that in itself was almost....strange. Jack moved closer to the tree, still shocked by the sheer size of the thing on the horizon. And the moment he entered the field of its mind control he began to feel it. It was like a strange but subtle pressure on his head. As if someone up high had started an egg timer on his brain. Just as if there was something pressing down on him not just on him but on his very consciousness. There was a movement inside of him, the man behind the door seemed unsettled by this, Jack could feel that much even if the demon of madness wasn’t willing to admit it. Jack had to wonder as he approached just what would happen if he slept here, or indeed if he went to the library here. Would he awaken to the tree dominating his mind or would his inner consciousness be shielded from the tree by the lack of...being there.

The former he imagined that he would awaken to the dominating mind of the tree. The library however he wasn’t so sure about. His experience within the strange dimension was that when you went into it although your body was still where you left it the thing was merely and empty shell. The madness demons used the library as a way to escape death Albeit due to the man behind the door they hadn’t done so for long. Still it was there that when you went to the library your consciousness existed there. Not within your body. Was indoctrination possible if the mind wasn’t actually there? Well he would find out when the time came for his research to bear fruit. But for now he wasn’t too sure about things. He knew that whether he liked it or not he had an advantage over the others who had been trapped by the spell of this tree that in he had a second consciousness living inside of him. And if he started to have problems. A small chuckle from the inside that confirmed his line of thought. The man behind the door would likely make a move to wrestle control from him and bring him out of the trees spell radius.

He approached the first of the trees roots and hopped up onto the first gnarl. HE looked at the bark as he walked across t like some make shift runway up to the tree main. Keeping his own guard up as he moved along the root up to the tree proper. He’d be taking different kinds of readings and tests on each part of the tree for much like other plants different parts seemed to have different properties. His guard up, still not sure whether or not the mind control was stronger the closer you got to it. But he wasn’t willing to take the risk of going up against some kind of mind control. He bent down on one knee and pulled out a dagger he stabbed it into the root of the tree. Oddly at that moment he felt a change within the demonic aura of the tree. It was almost as if the tree recognised the fact that it was being cut into. Jack didn’t quite get just what was going on with it. Could a plant actually feel like this? He put it into the back of his mind. The Pride demon continuing to cut into the bark and then. Pulling back a tstrip of it. Thats when it got most interesting. Below the bark there was some kind of odd fleshy substance, the red of it like blood, He poked it with the dagger and it shifted as if alive underneath. This tree was obviously not like any that had been seen before, but just what was it?

The substance below was both like wood, but also like muscle tissue. It was capable of moving around, flexible. Yet at the same time it was hard, the dagger doing very little but poking a small hole in it. From which blood sept. He looked back at the village. They performed their blood magic rituals at the roots. Allowing the roots to soak up blood like th normal plants use their roots to suck up water. Perhaps that was the reason behind the redness of it as if it were animal tissue yet. That didn’t quite explain the almost flesh like nature of the roots insides. He needed a sample of it if he was going to discern any real answers from this. So he drew back his dagger and drove it deeper into the tree’s inside. At this point there was an almost violent disturbance within the trees dark aura. And it steadily began to grow more chaotic as he cut into the tree in a saw like fashion. In truth it would have taken a human an actual saw. Maybe more than one human to actually get this done. The substance was tough, hard but more thick and tough like muscle.As it came loose enough for him to tear out, he reached in and gave a mighty tug. And with some strange difficulty. The piece came out in his hands. Oddly. As he held it up to his face. It was still twitching. Moving. Like a severed limb.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:54 pm

This fleshy wood it was strange. He was examining it whilst sitting on the root, keeping his mind constantly jumping not focusing on one thing for too long, but reserving a small portion of his focus for this little thing. He couldn’t keep it all there. That after all left him vulnerable. Keeping his mind on the move gave the trees spell less of an easy target to latch onto. And that was his main plan. It was indeed similar to muscle tissue but at the same time it also shared a lot of properties of both plant tissue and wood. It was hard, but also flexible and tough, unlike actual wood which tended to be stiff but hard. The best example he could think of that came close to this was tanned hide leather, but it was wet. He didn’t know what it was like when it would be dry. It was quite possible that it would in fact be tougher when dry. Harder. He sat there looking at it and wondering if such a material could be used to craft a kind of armour that was both flexible like leather. Yet hard as well. He didn’t doubt that the black magic that had tainted the tree in the first place would also taint any arms or armour that were crafted from this. Although he didn’t think that the now dead villagers who worshipped the tree before had ever really thought of that. Yet he doubted they would have been able to handle the dark power. Well the humans anyways. Even demons, sensing this tree and its power. He began to doubt. Whether or not demons would be able to handle it. If the indoctrination spell emanated from every part of the tree then arguably by wearing a weapon or armour crafted from any part of it even a small section would have a similar effect on the body regardless of race.If the corruption was as viruland aas the taint withi demonic blood then it would not be something easily fought against. Another point of research would then be in making such a thing safe. But until he had perfected his research on the dragon’s heart and blood. That would need to sit in his little to do list. . For now Jack thought that he had learned most of what he could from the root. And had to move up the tree. This is the point where it became slightly more difficult. As the travel now went vertical. Gathering his magic below his feet Jack moved upwards, one advantage of being a spirit. Flight. A human or a hybrid would be screwed when it came to this. He floated a bit ways up, then got out his dagger once again and cut into the bark. Oddly the bark seemed to be harder here than it was in the roots. Which wasn’t usually the case when it came to trees. But then this was no ordinary tree. Once the layer of bark was peeled away a similar sight met him to before. A red fleshy type of wood. This one was harder than before, but still sharing the same types of properties as the one that had came in the roots. At touch it almost seemed to flinch to shy away as if the tree could feel him poking around and that the poking around was clearly an unwelcome development as far as it was concerned,
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:14 pm

The magic was starting to feel strange to him though wasn’t the feel of the tree proper but rather the underlying power of the magical aura that existed within this fleshy substance. He felt almost afraid to touch the muscle like structure of the trees wood and yet regardless of this he steeled himself and placed a single hand upon its bough. There as something there within the magic. Something strange, different but deffinatly demonic in nature. And oddly. It didn’t feel like it had came from Barathrum Regnum. It felt as if...it was something casting a spell. The magic was odd warped. Old. But still there albeit weakened. Jack’s own power would have renewed this magic yet he didn’t understand the purpose behind it. A spell to indoctrinate people into worshipping and providing blood to the tree asa sacrifice. Was it possible that this tree hadn’t been warped by hell as he had originally thought. These were some things to consider. And within the trees indoctrination radius. It was far too dangerous to do so. So for now Jack temporarily retreated out of the radius of the trees spell and sat in the forest. Mulling over the thoughts in his head. Was it possible that the tree indoctrination spell was only a small part of a larger more permenant spell upon the tree? Jack had thought ever since hearing about this tree and the rituals performed by the villagers that the ritual was a morbid blunt unsophisticated version of a blood magic spell.

He had felt the old threads of power that lay within that underlying spell within the fleshy wood of the tree. It was something else. Was it that the blood was being provided to power that greater spell? But just what would require blood to be constantly recharged. Just what kind of spell was n lying there?.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:21 pm

There was only one real way for Jack to discern just what was going on behind this. The part of the wood that he had taken from the root. Despite the magic of the old threads mostly being held in the bough. If he could follow the traces of the indoctrination spell upon this. Then he might be able to find something that lay within the threads of power. He removed that piece of fleshy wood already becoming drier and harder. But the dark power within it was still there. Indeed he had found it suspicious at first when he had encountered the tree that a plant no matter how corrupted could develop a spell along those lines. Particular one this complex. It seemed more likely to Jack that the tree itself was merely a focus for the magic spell. A target. There were instances he knewwhen unloving items were given life by magic. Golems. But in this case it was that magic had changed the life of an already living object. This tree. Whether or not it had been of this size before the spell or after was something he didn’t know. But as he focused on the piece of wood in front of him. It began to get more obvious as to just what was happening here.

The threads of the spell. The feel of it was familiar. Constricting. It was a holding spell. Again he was reminded of the holding spell that the villagers had somehow managed to pull on him. A particularly powerful one that had been focused upon demons of pride. He had found that strange, and no wonder. At first he had thought that it may have been the demon researchers that had shown the spell to humans. But no, now it seemed more likely that this had something to do with the village itself. There was holding magic in the wood. Just what did that mean?
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:02 pm

A tree shaped cage.

That was the only answer that made any sense. But just what was this tree a cage for? Jack knew that humans were often drawn to things like this as items of worship. If the tree had indeed been large and ancient as it was before its corruption then it was quite possible that humans drawn to nature like ones that lived in this forest would have seen the tree as a god like figure. If so the indoctrination process for the spell would have been infinitely easier. Just changing the form of worship that already existed. If this tree was considered an object of holy power by the villagers. Then its possible. No. It was probable. That the binding magic used in the tree. Sustained by the blood magic from the indoctrination. Was used to seal something of great power within the tree. Whether this thing sealed was of demonic origin. Or Angelic. He did not know. The nature of the spell seemed demonic particularly if blood magic was sustaining it. But then again. He had encountered some rather...gray kami. In his time. That and demons tended to fight demons a lot. It could well have been much like the man behind the door. Trapped within the library on the precipice of Sheol. That whatever was trapped within the tree had been there before the dawn. And was held there for a particular reason. To keep people from it. Or to keep it from people. Whatever it was, Jackw as now stuck at a road block. He had came here to research the tre in hopes he would uncover some kind of secret or power that would help him to defeat the glutton and indeed he had found something that would probably be of use in the future. But the confliction for Jack lay in whether or not to continue researching the tree. The danger in doing so lay if he disturbed whatever threads of power were keeping the binding spell active. And he did not particularly want to risk unleashing anything that had been bound with such magic. He had enough problems to begin with without having to add another potiental enemy/ rival to his already growing list. There were many problems aside from the glutton that he had, the majority of them taking place on Terra and he wasn’t in any find mood to deal with any more of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:44 pm

Jack determined that if hew as to learn anything useful that would be for now coming without the risk of unleashing some sort of horror on terra that sooner or later he would have to come to blows with then the best way to go about it would be to deal with what had sealed it in the first place. The village had powerful binding magic when he had went there so ultimately when things came down to it the logical answer to this was that whoever had cast the spell in the first instance had left behind some knowledge of their arts in order to keep things running smoothly or just had done so by accident. One again Jackw as reminded of the old mentality f hunters. When there was a change that your quarry could hurt or kill you then you had to cage it. Then kill it. And if you couldn’t kill it. Then leave it to starve. The only ill logic this held with demons was that they didn’t actually require things like food. So all you could ever do was cage and somehow hope that they don’t find a way out in your own life time because god knows Jack if he was caged would have spent the entire time within that binding thinking of ways to painfully kill the person who had put him there in the first place. And if that person had indeed died before he had gotten out then any descendents of this person would be the first on his list. Honestly it sounded rather typical of the demon-esque nature but at the same time it was something that was true. And he couldn’t quite deny it no matter how cliché the idea of it was. The village was now coming up into his vision. Now he’d have to deal with the memories of the man behind the door..

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:50 pm

In the village as expected things were quiet. He had to deal with the memories of just what had happened.When the man behind the door had taken over. It hadn’t been a pleasant experience being stuck in the library. But at least he couldn’t remember just what his body had done. He’d only awakened after the man behind the door had finished. What he did in that time he only had the clues of the screwed up gore ridden village to go off. The smell of rotting corpses didn’t bother him so much as annoy him. But there would be something here. Definatly something here. And thats when he heard the voice of the man behind the door speak up more than he had done in the past few weeks. Yeah, there is. Jack stopped, frozen still as the voice echoed in his mind. Just what did he mean? Did he mean that he had already stumbled across something that was important whilst riding his body and just simply didn’t tell him? An inner chuckle. Jack closed his eyes. Focused, and pictured the door. The yellow eyes behind them.

“ Just what do you mean?”.

There was more laughter from behind the door. “ Getting pretty good at that arn’t you Jackie?”. Jack shook his head. “ Your ignoring my question, what did you mean that there is something in this place?”. More laughter. “ Yeah, There is something there although you might find it a tad bit strange”. Jack shrugged. When was anything that involved this individual not strange. More chuckles from behind the door. “ Its a book, in one of the sheds. But you ain’t gonna be able to read it”. Jack took a step towards the door. Nose inches away from that dirty pane of glass. The bulb flickering in the back ground. “ And just why is that?”. The man behind the door let out a sly little grin of his own. “ Cause, its one of my books”.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:01 pm

And now things were getting even more awkward. The man behind the door was telling him that the secrets of the village lay within a book lying in the barn. A book that you couldn’t read because it was one of his books. One of his books from the library. That meant that the book from the library. Had been brought into existence. And Jack didn’t believe a word of it. “ Your lying”. He scoffed. “ Thats impossible”. The man behind the door let out another one of his tell tale signatory chuckles. “ Yeah I thought that was the case too, rather surprised when I found it to be honest. I don’t remember much of anything beyond this darkness and to have one of those books out and staring me in the face, well it was realy strange. But I’m not lying, have a look for yourself if you don’t believe me”. Jack shrugged and opened his eyes. His heart began to race strangely as he approached the stables. And as he turned the corner and looked in the stalls. There it was. A single blood stained book. He reached out with tentative fingers. And touched the cover. The moment he did. A swimming vision of yellow eyes and the door. More laughter. He opened the cover and sure enough inside. Blank pages.

“ This doesn’t make any sense though...if this is a book for the library, and this is here....then...how did it get here...even better question if this is the book that they got the rituals from then how the hell did they manage to read it?”. Silence. It seemed that the man behind the door had no more answers to this question than Jack did himself. Either than or he was withholding the information which knowing that madness emon was entirely possible. Jack looked inward. “ Can you remember what it said?”. More laughter. “ No. But I can help you read it...just open the door..”.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:41 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 15: A Tree By any Other Name.   Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:41 pm

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