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Thread: The Archeage Time Line

  1. #481
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016

    The Dark Shadows - Chapter 6 (Midnight Meeting with An Incubus)

    In her desperation, the healer went back to Rokhala to find the HP tank in full Hiram plate, the woman assigned to look into her man's murder and disappearance. She knew the tank wasn't taking it seriously, but maybe by some miracle she had something useful.

    She was greeted by the East alliance treasurer, a very young and attractive guy with blonde hair who distributed raid loot.

    "Miss! I didn't expect to see you this late in the day. Weren't you on breaks from our raids for a while?"

    "Yeah, I am. Just stopping by for something real quick. Have you seen the HP tank leave yet?"

    "No, I haven't. She should still be upstairs."

    "Great, thanks."

    The healer quickly turned towards the stairs. "I'll miss you while you're gone. Have a great day!" The healer heard the blonde boy say over her shoulder.

    The treasurer was a sweet boy and somewhat flirty towards her -- which made her wonder if he had a crush on her. Not that she would act on it, of course.

    The healer made her way up the stairs toward the tank. The tank was idly chatting with the other alliance members.

    "Hey! What the heck are you doing here? Do you even know how to take a break?" The tank said

    "I need to ask you something. In private," the healer said.

    "Sure thing." The tank pushed up from her chair.

    They walked to the Harani base in Diamond shores. The tank poured two cups of evil-smelling brew.

    "So what's up?" The woman in stamina plate asked, handing the healer a chipped cup.

    "Listen, it's been a while since we talked about my man's disappearance. Any new developments?"

    The athletic woman shook her head and put a hand on the healer's shoulder. "I can't imagine what it is like to lose someone like that. I'm doing everything I can to make sure we catch the person responsible."

    Everything she can indeed, the healer thought. When the tank isn't wasting labor, she's chatting with everyone else about her drama from the previous weekend, or some boy she voiced with in discord at midnight. The healer's anger got worse with each passing second.

    "I asked if there were any new developments." She raised her voice. "It has been a long time, and I'm tired of everyone telling me how sorry they are!"

    "Calm down, girlfriend. You know just as well as anyone that these things take time."

    Time was a luxury the healer no longer had. She looked at the time: 5:59 pm.

    "Yeah, time. Time that you are spending sitting on your butt!" The healer's yell drew the attention of everyone in the room. They all stared at her -- perhaps hoping a cat fight was about to start.

    She may have lost her temper, and she may have wanted to punch the tank in the face, but she wasn't stupid enough to get outcast over it. So she stifled her anger.

    What a waste of time. The healer backed away from the tank and turned toward the exit. Better to leave now before the guild leaders learned she was here making a fuss. The healer recalled.


    Whenever she needed advice, she always consulted her lover. Even in death, some things never changed. She arrived at the cemetery with guilt weighing heavy on her heart.

    It was 7:15 pm. and the sun had started to set. She stared down at the grave. She placed a single red rose on the headstone. The base of the headstone was masked by a mangled pile of shriveled flowers, most of them roses.

    "I miss you," She said, speaking as if he could hear her. "I miss the life we had together. Things were much happier and simpler then. Remember how you always used to make me smile whenever I had a bad day? You always knew the right things to say when I was feeling down or lost."

    She smiled, remembering the good times, but then a tear rolled down her cheek. "I feel like I might be lost forever without you. I'm sorry I wasn't there to protect you. I'm sorry I wasn't able to bring the one responsible to justice. You were so good to me, and yet I failed you."

    Her heart was broken. Her hope lost. Only one thing remained.

    "Please forgive me for what I'm about to do."


    Rokhala was as dark as it was quiet. One of the only sources of light was coming from an armor shop next to the bridge north of the mirage portal. The healer decided to wait here, spending what time she had left researching Incubus. She found nothing useful. All her searches revealed were a few myths -- and an excessive amount of naughty stories that would make perverts blush.

    She looked at the time 11:59 pm. She grew more and more nervous and apprehensive with each passing second. Was she at the right spot? Was he going to show? What if he didn't show? Maybe he had left already and...

    "I'm so glad you came!"

    The healer jumped as the dragon archer appeared on the bench beside her, seemingly out of thin air. "OMG! You scared me!"

    The archer in red plate laughed wickedly. "Your fear amuses me."

    As he stood, the healer could not help but stare at his perfect figure. He wore the same outfit as the night before: a vibrant red set of plate, crafted from dragon scales, a helmet covering his face completely, and armor that showed off all his manly features. She caught a glimpse of his powerful body as he stood up. She had no doubt that his standing in such a manner was deliberate.

    "Come. Let's go for a walk, shall we?" The Incubus laughed.

    The healer rose from the bench. The archer wrapped his arm around her and she felt the need to rest her head against his shoulder. Despite knowing how dangerous he was, his touch was comforting, and his sweet aroma was soothing. It had been a long time since she had a man hold her like this. The fact he was a demon didn't make it any less pleasant. They walked the poorly lit path without saying a word.

    "So," the demon said, finally breaking the silence, "have you made a decision about what we discussed last night?"

    "How would you be able to help me?" The healer demanded.

    "You just leave that to me. As you already know, I have a unique set of skills you won't find elsewhere. Besides, what do you have to lose?"

    "My soul," She quickly retorted.

    He laughed. "I already told you, I only consume the corrupt ones. Your soul is pure, which is a very rare quality in today's world."

    "I don't understand. Pure?"

    The criminal mastermind sighed. "Ever heard of the criminal acts?"

    "Yeah, sure. Lusting, uprooting, pirating, stealing packs, attacking your own nation, going away in raids and causing drama."

    "Very good!" he declared. "Good to know not all knowledge is lost on those in Kadum. Do you remember committing any of them?"

    "No," She replied.

    "That is why your soul isn't corrupt. However, that alone isn't enough to make your soul pure. You must also uphold the hero qualities."

    The healer looked at the demon, confused. "The hero qualities?"

    The criminal mastermind shrugged his shoulders. "It's no wonder there are so many corrupt souls. You Kadum dwellers only focus on what you shouldn't do and not what you should do. Love your team, be hopeful in your nation's ability, organize raids, use fair punishments, give proper commands, have a kind heart, and listen to your fellow members." He looked as if he swallowed a bug. "Just saying those words makes my stomach churn."

    The healer reflected on what the archer said for a moment. "You make me sound like some kind of savior."

    "Savior or not, it would be in your best interest to make sure your soul stays that way. Lest I be tempted to make a meal out of you." He eyed her over.

    "How do I know you won't anyway?"

    He stopped. "I'm insulted you would insinuate such a thing! I am an Incubus, a demon of lust, not some petty Daru seeking to deceive you. I don't deal in lies, only seduction."

    It appeared he was not lying. If he wanted her dead she already would be. He certainly possessed the power to do so -- though his potent seduction abilities could be far worse than any lie.

    "What do I need to do?" She asked in a very solemn tone.

    The archer smiled and then grabbed her, squeezing her tightly. "That's the spirit! All I need you to do is find corrupt souls for me. That is all. You track down trolls all the time. That's what you do. So, this should be fairly easy for you. Instead of telling the alliance or nation however, you'll just send them to me."

    The healer became more and more comfortable with the idea as they took their midnight stroll. Rather than having wanted trolls spam nation, they would rot overnight in bliss. Plus, there would be no need for a jury when he could instantly know everything they had ever done. No matter how she looked at it, justice would be served.

    A Firran woman suddenly appeared from behind a tree. "Meowww! That's a fine man you got there."

    The healer immediately noticed the nodachi in the Firran's hand. She felt a shiver of fear. She had left her club on her alt. She didn't figure she would need it, considering she was there to meet the Incubus -- who apparently was immune to holy bolts.

    "Look, we don't want any trouble. What do you want?" the healer tried to engage with the Firran.

    A Warborn lady snuck up behind the dragon archer and grabbed him from behind, her arm around his throat.

    "She must be rich," the warborn said as she clinched the Incubus. "No escort who looks this good comes cheap."

    They think the red knight is a prostitute? Come to think of it, he did wear that red armor, she realized. Nonetheless, they had no idea who or what they were dealing with.

    The Firran pointed her nodachi at the healer. "Meow, I want your gold, your gear, and anything else you got!"

    The red knight started laughing hysterically. The healer knew something was about to go down, and it wasn't going to be pretty.

    "What are you laughing at?" the Warborn said as she tightened her grip around him. He kept maniacally laughing, even as she choked him,

    "Is he crazy or something?" the Firran purred while pointing the nodachi at the healer.

    "No," the healer said, "he's laughing because you two just made the biggest mistake of your useless lives."

    At that moment the first woman's expression on her face turned completely blank. The hand holding the nodachi moved closer and closer to her own face, stopping with the blade in front of her neck.

    "You can let me go now," the criminal mastermind said.

    The warborn woman released him immediately. She too had a blank expression on her face. The healer was stunned how quickly this situation had turned around.

    "Are you... controlling them?" She asked.

    "Why of course! Now, the question is: What should I make them do?"

    The Firran holding the nodachi pressed the blade harder against her own neck.

    "Wait!" the healer said. "Having her kill herself here would be messy. Not to mention the attention here."

    "Hmm, I suppose you're right about that. I've got a better idea anyway."

    The dragon archer walked up and took the nodachi out of the Firran's hand and they all took a portal. Shadows appeared from the archers hands and took the shape of a handsome man. The summoned man leaned forward and kissed the Firran, his tongue entering her mouth. The Incubus made a gesture and the summoned creature broke it's kiss. Then it motioned for the Warborn to come to it. When she reached it, it grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her lips to its.

    The healer watched as the Incubus made both women remove all their armor. Their gear drifted to the ground like dry leaves. She knew what he was going to do, but she did not try to interfere. They were as good as dead. There was nothing she could or would do to stop it.

    The women touched the summoned creature, fondled it, caressed it. They took off its gear, starting with its coat. The shadowy armor slipped to the ground like a forgotten shadow. Its wondrous body was fully exposed.

    The dragon archer chuckled as each woman took hold of his creature's chest and began caressing its body. The women's eyes filled with lust while under a spell, completely under his domination.

    The red knight looked at the healer. "Normally, I let them think they are in control. It adds a little extra pleasure for me. However, I feel the need to demonstrate what would happen if that pure soul of yours should ever become corrupt."

    From what she just witnessed, having a corrupt soul didn't seem that bad. Sure, you die at the end, but being able to enjoy that perfect body was a great way to go.

    "So what you're saying is, you can't control me if my soul remains pure?" the healer asked.

    The shorter Firran woman knelt before the creature and admired the summoned man while the Warborn continued to caress it's perfect chest and amazing arms.

    The knight chuckled. "Yes. Having a pure soul provides certain protections to my abilities. I can't control or alter your mind. I can only read it."

    That's comforting. She was happy knowing she would not share their fate.

    The healer watched the two mindless victims enjoy the summoned creature. It made her own body start to betray her. She thought it was the dragon archer's aroma -- but the air became thick with the scent the moment the shadow was summoned. It was some kind of pheromone, and the more that entered her lungs the hotter her body became. Her mind started to wonder what he felt like.

    No! She had to block out those thoughts!

    The dragon archer chuckled at the healer, knowing she struggled with her own desires. The red knight pushed the kneeling Firran down on the ground to her back. The man summoned out of shadows climbed on top of her. Ever so slowly, it began to drain her labor pool. Her eyes rolled back in her head. The creature's rough hands massaged her while it used her labor.

    The Warborn stroked the creature's chest and positioned herself behind him. It leaned forward, placing a kiss onto the hungry mouth of the Firran under it. The Warborn behind squatted down slightly, rubbing its chest and its lovely perfect abs while it vigorously drained the Firran woman under it.

    The creature paused for a moment as the dragon archer made arcane gestures with his hands. Another shadow appeared and turned into an equally handsome man beside the Warborn. The newly summoned man turned the Warborn around to face it and it held her close. This Warborn was stronger than the Firran, but that didn't deter the summoned men. Slowly she gave up just as the Firran did and fell to the ground. Her eyes also rolled back in her head as the new creature drained her labor pool.

    The healer was mesmerized by the lewd act in front of her eyes. The two women wasted away their labor points for the summoned creatures like two pistons in a well oiled engine. The red knight was laughing hysterically as they wasted away. The healer hoped no one was around to hear because he made no attempt to be quiet.

    "Are you enjoying the show?" he asked.

    It was a rhetorical question. The healer's body burned with desire so bad that it hurt. Her heart swelled from watching these beautiful creatures dance in ways that she thought only existed in legends. She wished she was with the red knight.

    "Come to me." The red knight said in a commanding voice.

    His voice beckoned her. She had control of her body but she stepped forward anyway. Her brain told her she would die if she continued, but her body said do it anyway. His pheromones overpowered her ability to think. She stood in front of the sexy forbidden red knight, still controlling his two playthings.

    "Take your armor off. Don't be shy," The red knight said seductively.

    She started to remove her armor.

    "Mmm, you look tasty!" He said in a seductive voice.

    She knew what he wanted her to do. She knew what would happen if she was put under his spell. Her body ached like never before. She wanted, no, she needed to use her labor.

    "Let me help you," he beckoned. "It will be the best you've ever had."

    She began to use her labor. Using her labor now was better than any of the too-many other times she spent labor on items after a long day's raid.

    Wait. Other times? That's it!

    "No," She replied.

    He stopped, surprised by her sudden refusal.

    "You said my soul is pure, but I've spent my labor many times in my life. That must mean that using my labor on items I was going to make anyway doesn't count. If I give in and waste my labor on things you command, it would be lust, thus corrupting my soul and allowing you to take it."

    She crafted some items she needed several feet in front of him, never moving closer. She spent her labor with the energy of a teenager.

    He laughed wickedly. "Oh, you clever, dirty girl! You teasing me like that makes me burn!"

    The new fuel made extra shadows swirl around the dragon archer; his red plate glowed to its brightest. His two shadow creatures moved so fast that a normal man's lungs would collapse. His eyes, now bright red, stared into the healer's while she used her labor. She was unfazed by his demonic appearance. His appearance was eerily enhanced. The swirling shadows, the glowing armor, and now the beam of darkness extending from his hand and wrapped around the throat of the Warborn -- oh yes, he was supernaturally sexy.

    But still a demon.

    She screeched loudly like a banshee when she finished crafting. The dragon archer let out a bestial roar, his energy magnetic. The Firran and the Warborn were unable to hold back any longer. They spent their remaining labor. With no labor their life force and souls would be devoured.

    The healer saw first hand what happened when the dragon archer consumed a soul. The two women rapidly shriveled and shrank like raisins under a merciless hot sun. Their eyes dried to fine powder. Their hair turned pure white. Their skin darkened and collapsed around their bones. Their lifeless components fell silently to the ground.

    Unsure of what to do, she stood dumbfounded with her armor still unequipped.

    "Mmm..." The dragon archer rose. The bright glow on his armor armor faded back to normal. "It has been centuries since I've seen someone like you. Such a sweet dessert after a large meal like this." He looked intently at the healer.

    She quickly put her armor back on. "Now what are we going to do about them? We can't leave their bodies here for the nation to find. The alliance doesn't like unexplained corpses."

    He chuckled lightly. He raised his hands and snapped his fingers. In an instant, the bodies of the two women ignited like being struck by flame bolt, flame barrier, meteor strike, and searing rain simultaneously. The fire burned with such intensity that the healer had to step back for her face hurt from the heat. The bodies were charred beyond recognition within seconds.

    The flames slowly dissipated. The criminal mastermind calmly knelt down, and flicked his wrist. The charred corpses disintegrated into ash, blowing through the air until there was literally no trace there ever had been two women.

    He pointed at the Nodachi on the ground where he tossed it earlier. He snapped his fingers again. The steel weapon crumbled into rust.

    "Ashes to ashes," The Incubus said and chuckled to the healer.

    He walked casually toward the healer. His armor back to its original color and the shadows receded, leaving just the red archer standing in the moonlight.

    "So where were we?" He said.

    She stood motionless, trying to sort out all that had just transpired. She was almost mugged, then she watched two woman waste away their labor, and have their souls ripped from their bodies, then set on fire and vanish without a trace. All of that, while experiencing the best crafting ever.

    The Incubus stood in front of healer and clicked his fingers in front of her eyes. "Hello? Anyone in there?"

    "Oh! Um. We were discussing terms. I think."

    He gave her a stern look. "It's decision time. Do you agree to our deal, or not?"

    She paused for a moment. She knew he had powers that she didn't yet fully understand. She also knew she had no one to turn to for help in finding her man's killer. What choice did she really have?

    "Okay, I'll do it." she replied.

    "Great!" he said, jumping up and hugging her. "If you are certain of your answer, then kiss me. It's how we Incubi seal these types of arrangements."

    She was hesitant, but she leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss.

    "You call that a kiss?" he scolded.

    "Fine." She leaned in and kissed him passionately this time.

    Fireworks exploded in her mind. The way he felt was unlike anything she had ever experienced with her man, which she was ashamed to admit to herself.

    "That was much better. I'm actually impressed," He said.

    "Thanks, I guess."

    The Incubus looked at himself. "Whew, I'm dirty from all that. I need a shower. Thankfully, my lair isn't far from here. Care to walk me home?"

    She nodded. There were still things she didn't understand, plenty more that she needed to discuss with him. Visiting his lair would be a good place to start.

    And so they walked, the red knight's arm around the healer and her head rested on his shoulder.

  2. #482
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016

    The Dark Shadows - Chapter 7 (Incubus Lair)

    Here we are!" The Incubus said.

    "Here? But there's nothing here." The healer was puzzled. A dead end tunnel?

    They were standing on one of the many dead end tunnels in the area outside of Serpentis. The sound of battle over Jola was deafening. The fetid space showed no sign that anyone had been down here for quite some time other than the snake people. Moldy piles of litter and debris lay scattered across the uneven ground. This looked like home-sweet-home for a dwarf.

    The dragon archer gave the healer a sensual laugh. "Looks can be deceiving. You should know that by now."

    He placed his hand to the wall. It responded vividly to his touch. Purple glyphs glowed like bright signs and spun on the wall in a psychedelic clockwise whirl. The glyphs became a portal, a gateway, which opened to reveal a hidden room.

    Without a word, the Incubus stepped through the portal.

    "Hey! Wait!" the healer shouted after him. She had better follow him before it closed, she thought.

    She took a running start and jumped into the glowing wall. On the other side, she fell flat on her face. She looked up and saw she was in a large room. The roar of battle was gone, replaced by a soft string quartet melody from an unknown source.

    She stood and surveyed her surroundings. It was not what she had expected to see in a demon's lair. The room was clean and elegant. It was like an upscale home for royalty, aside from the lack of windows. A dignified leather couch faced a glowing fireplace. Two leather armchairs stood nearby

    Across the room she saw a modern kitchen with a high quality brushed-steel appliance set: French-door refrigerator; gas range with oven and microwave; over-sized dishwasher. Shiny kitchen utensils hung over a clean granite counter top. She wondered why a demon needed a kitchen.

    In the corner to her right she saw a large glassed-in shower stall with multiple shower heads. The space was large enough for a group of friendly people. In the far corner was a king-plus-size canopy bed with mosquito netting, perfectly made-up with a red comforter on top and large fluffy pillows.

    The criminal mastermind stood on one foot in front of her. He put away the gear, one piece at a time, and then sorted through storage chests. He moved around the liar without any regard for the healer viewing his impossibly fine-looking body. The shadows danced playfully about the air around the archer, then relaxed beside him. In his lair he outstretched dark wings and his demon tail.

    "Ah!" he sighed, stretching his exquisite limbs. "It's good to be home. I don't have to worry about keeping up appearances here."

    Even though this was not the first time she had seen his shadows, or even the second, she was still in awe of him. He would be the perfect model for any high-fashion magazine -- if not for his blood-dark eyes, swirling shadows, glowing armor, dark wings and demonic tail.

    "Make yourself at home," He said, relaxing on the couch. He stretched his legs comfortably.

    The healer decided to inspect his dwelling. She approached the refrigerator but hesitated opening it. "What do Inccubi drink or snack on?" She asked herself. She pulled the French doors open -- to find absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. It was well-stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, cases of Jujube in the bottom, various condiments, and even ice cream in the freezer.

    "Were you expecting severed heads and leech extract in there?" The archer asked, laughing to himself.

    "Something like that," she admitted. She realized he was watching her.

    She grabbed a Jujube from the fridge, and continued to walk around. On most of the walls were paintings revealing a variety of lewd displays. Some paintings featured inccubi while others showcased massive all-encompassing group scenes. Lust, it would seem, was the general theme. One painting, however, was suspiciously out of place. It depicted a young man in clothing looking over a cliff at a burning village.

    "Do you like them?" He asked. "I painted them myself."

    "You paint?" She asked, visibly surprised.

    "I do have hobbies, you know. I don't spend all of my time having summoning shadows and consuming souls. Just most of my time."

    Turning her head towards the room, she saw a small easel with a half finished painting that looked more abstract in its current form. Various brushes and several jars of paint were neatly arranged around it.

    She did notice a few things that seemed out of place for a 'normal' living space. One wall was devoid of paintings. Instead, it was hung with all manner of cuffs, clamps, straps and a few whips. Something told her those were for more than decoration. She also noticed a shelf on the headboard of the bed that held a dozen or so skulls. Human skulls, to be precise. They were all clean and pristine, without any blemishes.

    "Trophies," he said. "Some I couldn't bring myself to part with completely."

    "Former love interests?" the healer sarcastically asked.

    He laughed, "Of course not! Some were celebrities. Most were important guild leaders."

    She thought about asking who exactly these skulls belonged to, but then thought it would be better not to know.

    Something caught her eyes toward the center of his dwelling -- some kind of pyramid-like rack made from rods of solid gold, which stood as tall as her chest. Each rod bore a glowing purple glyph similar to the ones that appeared when he opened the portal to his lair. A peculiar bow lay atop the rack. The bow curved like a snake slithering through grass and was made of some kind of crimson metal like frozen blood. Blue eyes glowed from the small dragon skull on it. She walked toward the rack, curious of the bow and its strange holster.

    "I wouldn't touch that if I were you," he warned, "unless you want your soul ripped from your body."

    "What is it?" she warily asked.

    "That is a shadow Erenor Bow. Even beings deemed immortal or invincible cannot withstand its power. No one knows its origin or the purpose of its creation. All that is known is, it has a will of its own. It chooses who can wield it, and those unworthy are torn asunder."

    She stepped back from the relic. If what he said is true, then what is he doing with such a powerful weapon? If the weapon found him worthy, it must be a creation of absolute evil.

    He seemed to read her apprehension. "Don't worry; I don't have the strength to wield it anymore."

    The healer gazed at the Incubus. "You mean, you used to be more powerful than you are now?"

    "In my prime, there wasn't much I wasn't capable of. Certainly more than reading minds and controlling weak willed mortals. I possess but a fraction of my former power."

    "Is that why you hide from the outside world? You don't have the strength to fight back against the 'entities' you mentioned before?"

    He sighed. "Partially, yes. I would be no match for an Astra in my current state."

    She gave him a look of surprise. "Astra? They exist?!"

    He rolled his eyes. "You know for a fact: demons exist. How could you not know Astra were real too? Just don't go believing all that Salphira and Kyrios nonsense you Harani conjured up."

    "I try not to make assumptions," She said. "Otherwise, I would think you'd have severed heads and leech extract in your fridge."

    "Touché," the archer laughed. "Crusaders, on the other hand -- them, I could take care of, if they were alone."

    "What are Crusaders?" She asked.

    "Crusaders are an order of men dedicated to the extermination of demons. Their order is as old as civilized elves and they are well-versed in the art of magic. They are much more secretive and reclusive than they used to be. However, you can always spot one by the small cross branded on their neck."

    Small cross? Brand? The pirate priest! Recognition exploded in her mind.

    "I saw one yesterday!" She explained. "She came to my place asking about the murder. I knew something was off about her. She gave me some fake story about..."

    "I can read minds, remember?" he interrupted. "I figured one of them would be paying you a visit after that fiasco hit nation chat. This is good news for you, because we need the pirate priest to find your man's killer."

    She looked at the Incubus inquisitively. "We need her? For what?"

    "Hmm, how to put this delicately? We don't need her, per say. Rather, we need her heart."

    "I'm not helping you kill people!" the healer scolded.

    "You won't have to kill anyone. However, I never said you wouldn't have to do questionable things. You want my help, this is me helping you. One hand washes the other."

    She thought about it. She was okay with her killing criminals -- but a priest? That is going too far.

    "Since you're busy questioning your own morality, allow me to make this easy for you. While you were spending the day trying to find an alternative to my offer, I took the liberty of doing a little memory spying on the pirate priest. Turns out, Mrs. Holy Woman has an affinity for young ones. Too-young, if you catch my drift."

    "A corrupt soul..."

    "That's right! It's a win-win for us both. All I need you to do is lure her to my lair. I will handle the rest."

    "Isn't that a little risky?"

    "Don't worry, I have a plan. Go ahead and tell her it's a trap for all I care. She will suspect as much anyway. I just need to get her to part with the prayer beads that hang around her neck. They are the source of a Crusader's magical power. Remove the beads, and they are powerless."

    Doesn't sound too hard. "All right, I'll do it. I'll whisper her tomorrow and tell her to come to my place. Then I'll show her where your lair is."

    The demon rose from the couch, "Now that our plan is in order, I need to take a much needed shower. I'm still sweaty and dirty from tonight's dinner."

    He walked to his large shower stall. The healer's eyes were affixed to him, staring at his perfect figure. She realized why his shower was that big. A normal sized shower could not contain his magnificent wings.

    Both shower heads sprung to life when he turned on the water. One sprayed down his back while the other massaged his front. No shower curtains or door were apparent; He soaked out in the open without a care.

    She watched on from the couch. She definitely enjoyed the unintentional show the dragon archer put on. Or was it so inadvertent?

    He lathered-up a sponge and vigorously scrubbed his arms and neck. Water and suds cascaded through this amazing chest, past his flat stomach, and in torrents between his strapping legs.

    Bracing his foot on a ledge, he scrubbed his legs one at a time. Suds flowed from his sponge as he rubbed the small of his back.

    The Incubus returned to his efforts. He extended his wings and tried to reach the wings himself but could not quite catch the top of the lacertilian limb stretching from his back. He struggled several times before the healer's voice caught him off guard.

    "Do you need a hand?" she offered.

    "No!" he grumbled, still struggling.

    She walked over to the shower, pulling the sponge from the archer's hand.

    "Here, allow me."

    He was irritated but did not decline her offer. She stretched to the top of his wings and lightly scrubbed them. The water spraying on his wings sounded like raindrops hitting an umbrella.

    After lathering his wings, she returned the sponge and used her hands. The wings were smooth like leather to the touch. The Incubus relaxed as she rubbed the soapy lather all across both wings and traced her fingers down his phalanges. He jerked when she tried to rub the base of his wings at his shoulders.

    "That tickles!"


    She rubbed up and down his back. She stopped to massage his shoulders. A mist of water bounced from his body and drenched the healer's clothes. She did not mind.

    "You know, you're pretty good at this," he purred.

    "I used to wash my man's back like this every day when we showered together. I always loved the way the water ran down his back, how his fresh wet hair smelled, how his skin got goosebumps if I got too close to his ribs." She backed off, realizing her mind had wandered. "Sorry."

    She jumped slightly as his tail wrapped around her back, stopping her retreat. It squeezed her ever so slightly like a gentle hug.

    "He was a handsome man," the Incubus said.

    "Yes, he was."

    There was a dead silence for a while. She focused her thoughts on washing him rather than dwell on how much he missed her man. He stood quietly, enjoying the sensation.

    "Can I ask you something?" he said.


    "Do you think I'm repulsive?"

    Her hands stopped. "Why do you ask? You would just read my mind anyway."

    "I'd much rather hear your answer, whatever it may be. Just be honest."

    She paused for a moment, and then went back to washing his back. "You're handsome. Just... different."

    When she finished his back, he turned around. He had a very genuine smile. "Thank you."

    "You're welcome." She smiled back at him.

    "We'll find out what happened to your man, I promise. I just need you to trust me, okay?"

    She nodded her head in agreement.

    "Its late, and you need your rest for tomorrow. I can send you home."

    "Send me home?" She inquired.

    He stepped out of the shower, not bothering to dry off, and walked to the wall where they had entered. He placed his hand to the wall and the portal appeared again -- only this time, she could see the inside of her home on the other side.

    He gave her a little kiss on the cheek. "Good night."

    "Good night."

    She stepped through the portal and was standing in her room. The portal behind her vanished without a trace.

    "Well, that's convenient."

    Tired, she quickly turned towards the bedroom. Tomorrow was going to be a long day, full of uncertainty.

  3. #483
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    May 2016

    The Dark Shadows - Chapter 8 (Pirate Priest Infiltration)

    "Over there," the healer pointed to the end of the tunnel "he made some kind of portal there."

    The pirate priest moved her hands across the wall. She stopped when he found what she was looking for.

    "Ah, well done miss. There are definitely magical remnants of a portal here."

    The pirate turned to the healer. "Thank you for coming forward with this, miss. Incubi are a blight upon this world, seeking only to consume all in their path. You'd best leave now. If he sees you here, he will not hesitate to kill you."

    "Are you sure you'll be okay?" the healer asked, pretending to be concerned for her safety.

    "I've been ridding the world of demons all my life. I'll be fine. Go now -- it's too dangerous for you here."

    The healer nodded. "Good luck, Mother."

    She walked to her Elk mount and rode off, leaving the pirate priest to her fate.

    The pirate priest fingered the prayer beads that hung from her neck. She mumbled an arcane incantation. An eerie subsonic note filled the aural space. Purple glyphs appeared and spun clockwise. The portal to the criminal mastermind's lair dilated open. With her beads in one hand and a golden sacrificial dagger in the other, she stepped through the demonic gateway.

    Once inside, she warily looked around. The tidy room seemed empty. She grasped her beads and thrust her dagger into the air.

    "Show yourself, demon!" she shouted as a magical pulse shook the room.

    Nothing happened. He was not here. "On a hunt perhaps,"she thought.

    "You! You there! Help me! Please!"

    The pirate turned toward the sound of a man's voice. She saw a blonde-haired guy chained to the wall. He wore a school uniform. His wrists were cuffed high above his head while his feet were cuffed at the ankles over his socks.

    With prayer beads and dagger in hand, she carefully approached the guy dressed in the white button-up shirt and plaid pants. This was surely a trap.

    "Please! Help me!" he pleaded again.

    She touched the dude's forehead with her prayer beads. Nothing happened. He was human and very much alive. She unfastened the cuffs, freeing the guy.

    "Oh thank you! Thank you!" the guy said, hugging the pirate and sobbing into her chest.

    "What happened to you." she asked.

    "oh my gosh," he replied. "I was on my way home from a trade run after making plans for our raid and then some man jumped me. Next thing I know, I'm trapped here."

    She grabbed him by the hand, "We need to get out of here quickly!"

    The pirate put her hand to the wall and the portal reopened. She stepped through pulling him with her.

    "Whoa! That is some door!"

    The pirate's mind was more focused on getting him to safety than trying to explain the intricacies of magic portals.

    "Quick, get in. We must make it to my church. You'll be safe there."

    They entered the rampage and sped off.

  4. #484
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016

    The Dark Shadows - Chapter 10 (Voice Communication)

    The East healer was up early after another sleepless night. She had not heard from the Incubus or the pirate priest for five days. She still did not know the outcome of their confrontation. This was her first day back raiding with the east alliance after a week off ordered by the alliance officers.

    She looked exhausted. Her eyes were bloodshot and she had not fixed her hair for days. "Quite the specimen," she thought.

    She poured herself a cup of hot black coffee in a near-hopeless attempt to kick-start her day. She felt uneasy, then startled, when the windows of her home began to vibrate. Was there a mage casting meteor? An AoE?

    She saw a flash of light from her room. She rushed inside -- and found the Incubus archer! He stepped through a dark rolling portal and into her home wearing his usual attire: Dragon plate armor, full face dragon helmet, Firewrought Dragonslayer, all in blood red.

    "Have you ever heard of knocking?" the healer asked tiredly.

    "Aren't we grumpy today? If having a case of excessive 'labor' is your problem, I've got plenty of ways to fix that," he retorted.

    The healer rolled her eyes and left for the kitchen. She retrieved her coffee and returned to the living room to plop on the couch.

    "Where have you been? I've been wondering for days what happened between you and the pirate priest."

    "How did you really think that would play out?"

    "It would have been nice to know sooner."

    "Aww," the Incubus said, reaching over as he sat on the couch beside her. "You were worried about little ol' me. That's so sweet!"

    She was a little worried. The dragon archer was the only hope she had left of ever finding who killed her man. Putting himself in the sights of an experienced demon hunter did not seem like the best idea to her.

    "So did you, uh, get what you needed from her?" She asked.

    He laughed wickedly, tossed her a jar, inside was a bloody human heart.

    "Ew!" she shouted. "What do you want me to do with it?"

    "Oh, don't be such a baby!" the Incubus teased. "Put it in your storage chest. I'm afraid my new pet might try to eat it."

    "New pet?" the healer asked inquisitively.

    "It's a long story," the Incubus said, nonchalantly leaning against her.

    The healer gazed at the heart inside the jar. "What do we need this for anyway?"

    "We need to perform a ritual in order to find your man's killer. For this ritual, we needed the heart of a priest. She needed to be eliminated anyway. That made her a most convenient target."

    The healer placed the jar down carefully in a storage chest, "What else do we need for this... ritual? Hopefully nothing that requires more dead bodies."

    The archer laughed. "Nope, no more dead bodies. Though the remaining items may prove to be tricky to obtain."

    "Why is that?" she asked.

    The archer slid his bow off his back. It clattered on the floor. "Before we get into that, there's a matter that needs to be addressed first."

    The healer set down her empty coffee cup and rubbed the archer's shoulders. "What issue would that be?"

    "I'm hungry," he said with a devilish laugh.

    "Something tells me you're not in the mood for a Harani dish," the healer said sarcastically, continuing to rub his shoulders.

    "Harani, Elf, Nuian, Dwarf whatever. Their race doesn't really matter, so long as they have a corrupt soul."

    "As I thought," the healer said tightly.

    The Incubus looked at the healer's hands on his shoulders. "You certainly have a way with massages."

    She looked at her hands and stopped what she was doing. She had not even realized she was massaging him.

    "Sorry, I um... I used to...."

    "Your man?" she assumed.

    "Yes," the healer admitted.

    "I don't mind. In fact, it's kind of nice to have someone do something for me of their own free will."

    The healer resumed massaging him. The silky texture felt just as good on her hands as her firm touch felt to him. Her hands wandered a little further. The demon archer hummed to her magical ministrations. His sweet intoxicating scent started to fill the air of her apartment.

    She looked into his eyes. "Something I've been curious about since we've met. You came from the darkness, right?"

    He nodded. "That's right."

    "What is it like?"

    He snickered. "Are you afraid of where you may end up?"

    She slid her hands further. "No... just curious."

    "It isn't a place, more like a separate plane of existence. Same with the Astra. Both exist side by side with your familiar mundane world, only separated by an invisible dimensional fabric. The layouts of these worlds are the same, just very different environments and occupants. The one I'm from is chaotic: barren lands, constant wind storms, dark red skies, rivers and oceans of molten lava instead of water. It's resident demons and Warborn all struggle constantly for power. I haven't seen the land of Astra but I imagine it is the exact opposite."

    "Do you ever miss being there?"

    "Does it sound like a place someone would miss?" the archer snorted. "Of course not! Here, I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and with or to whomever I want. So long as I keep a low profile from Astra and Crusaders, anyway."

    "I assume you didn't have such freedoms there. Who rules over there anyway?"

    He laughed as if she had made a funny joke. "I suppose you expect me to say Kyrios or Orchidna. Shows how little humanity knows of the planes! The dark world is overseen by seven rulers. Each is a powerful demon that represents a destructive part of the underworld, and they have lesser demons who spread their sin across the shadows and sometimes into Kadum."

    Her hands reached his chest. "What about the Astra?"

    "I don't know much about them, obviously. However, I do know they follows a similar structure. They have seven rulers as well."

    The cologne was thick in the healer's nostrils. Her heartbeat quickened dangerously the further her hands went. She was still in control of her body -- but like before, her body sought to betray her.

    The Incubus saw her hesitation. "Keep going. You know you want to," he said with a seductive chuckle.

    Her fingers crawled further. She wanted him. Desired him. Craved him.

    Then a vision of what happens to those who give in to their lust flashed across her mind. They become shriveled lifeless husks, damned for all eternity. She hastily jerked her hands back and put them in her lap.

    The Incubus smirked at the healer as he stood and grabbed his bow. "Don't forget about your end of our deal. I need to feed, and soon."

    She nodded. "I haven't forgotten. I'll return to the raids today. I can check nation chat for someone you might find... palatable."

    He laughed. "I look forward to you bringing me dinner." he gave her a hug and a peck on her cheek.

    He gestured to reopen the portal he came through.

    "Oh, one more thing: take this."

    He tossed her a palm-sized crystal. It was purple in color, and she could feel it vibrate with a small thrum of power.

    "What's this?"

    "Think of it as a key to my lair. If you are ever in need of my assistance, just hold that crystal above your head with your right hand."

    Her face twisted. "Couldn't you talk on voice comms? Like a normal person?"

    "I'm an old fashioned demon. Your technology and I don't get along."

    She laughed. This abundantly powerful creature, so gifted in the dark arts, was thwarted by the simple intricacies of a microphone. Oh, the irony.

    He stepped into the portal. "Don't keep me waiting. Bad things happen to those who stand me up." He chuckled at her and the portal closed, leaving her alone.

    She looked at the time. She was going to be late for raiding!

  5. #485
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016

    The Dark Shadows - Chapter 11 (New Evidence)

    The healer returned to the raids. She first reported to the raid leader, changing her role in the raid to pink for healer.

    "Ah! Glad you're back. Are you trying a new natural look for raiding?"

    In her haste to be on time, she had forgotten to put on makeup or do her nails.

    "No, just running a little late this morning," she replied.

    The raid leader gestured with a curt nod. "Have a seat."

    She sat in the chair opposite of raid leader's desk. "We need answers. Since you were the only witness to what happened that night, I'm putting you in charge of this drama. This is a high profile case, probably the highest on Kadum. I've got the East, West, and Pirates breathing down my neck and I need you to get to the bottom of this. Can I count on you?"

    "Yes!" She replied with enthusiasm. She stifled her inner anxiety.

    The raid leader considered the healer. "Good. That's all."

    She left the raid leader's office to spend most of the day chatting, re-reading all the logs on the night club murder and scanning the chat archives for a proper candidate for the Incubus to... make disappear. Sure, there were plenty of green pirates, up-rooters, pack thieves, and similar scum, but she felt they were not deserving of the Dragon archer's penalty.

    "I see you're back today. I have something to talk to you about."

    The Hiram plate tank stood nearby in an all-too-serious pose.

    "Look, if this is about the other day, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lose my temper like that."

    "No, no. It's not about that at all," the tank said. "I have a lead on your man's killer!"

    The healer practically jumped from her chair. "What do you got?!" she shouted.

    "I'll explain at the necromancer's lab."

    They briskly walked to the necromancer's lab in the Rokhala Mountains. The healer was anxious. Could this finally be the big break she had sought all this time?

    The tank and the healer stepped into the necromancer's realm. They found the Firran staring at his storage chest.

    "Okay, Firran," The tank said. "Show her what you've found."

    The necromancer turned around, "Hey! Glad you're back."

    "Spare me the pleasantries and get on with it," the healer said impatiently.

    "Right," the Firran necromancer said. Ignoring the brusqueness. "So, as you know, one of the only pieces of evidence we have in your man's murder is cut from a blade. We've been unable to identify whose blade."

    "That is, until now," the Hiram tank said with a big smile on his face.

    The Necromancer turned back to his equipment. "The Kadum alliance was kind enough to allow me to try out their new experimental mechanical devices. Using a database of player rankings, the whirly device is able to 'guess' what player could be the killer. It was able to compile eighteen possibilities."

    "So?" the healer asked, waiting for the punch line.

    "So," the necromancer said. "The weapon used in the murder was a hiram blade . We know this because, when this blade is swung, it leaves a unique wound on the body. We cross referenced the eighteen possible player matches with the number of players using Hiram blades on file and found a single match!"

    The necromancer inserted Kraken ink into the device and then turned it toward the healer. “The woman has quite the rap sheet. Robbing people, starting drama, and is known to ruin people's raids. She was released from jail just before your man's murder. We checked the records and sure enough, the masked woman was holding a Hiram blade."

    The healer's blood boiled as she stared at the evidence. "So what are we waiting for?!" she shouted.

    "With this machine being experimental and being powered by Kraken ink, it wouldn't hold up in nation chat." the necromancer said.

    "But," the tank interjected. "It does look convincing. Convincing enough for a guild leader to issue a interrogation. If we find the Hiram blade, we can match it to the wound found at your man's crime scene."

    "How long?" the healer asked.

    "The warrant should be signed by tomorrow morning," the tank said. "I have a team already assembled and ready to go. The necromancer here will be with us to handle the evidence."

    It all seemed to fit together so neatly. Could this really be right? There was, however, one way to know for sure.

    "Good work, both of you. Thank you," the healer said. "Tell me what you find once the raid is a go."

    "You'll be the first to know," the tank said with a reassuring smile.

    The healer left the lab, grabbed what she needed, and left. It was time to take the dragon archer out to dinner.

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