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 Strengthened by Shadows

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PostSubject: Strengthened by Shadows   Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:20 pm

All posts relating to Maia's story about Fabelle. Story excerpts and full chapters, feedback wanted.

(Maia, this sounds like an advert in a newspaper or something XD)
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:35 pm

Lol, it does.
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:54 pm

Here you go, Maia:

Merek curiously observed the newcomer. He didn't feel too comfortable talking to her, though he knew that he should. He'd never been a social person by nature, but the fact was -this woman dealt with ghosts. Spirits. Those not of this plane of reality.

Still, this kingdom was under his protection, and most definitely Kenitoh was. Despite the King's fascination with this...spirit-woman, Merek found that made it especially important for him to talk to her and...understand her. Per se.

Even from the get go, he'd understood she wasn't an evil spectre or something. Her convoluted answers led in circles and made her sound ominous, but his mind had quickly worked through what she said enough to understand the gray scales she bore. On the other hand, regardless of her duty to whatever higher powers that directed her, his duty was to the King and Kingdom. If his duty pitted him against her, then that was how things were. While he would prefer them to not be enemies, he was honor bound to protect Kenitoh at all costs.

And so he walked towards her with purpose, allowing his steps sound enough to attract her attention. She watched him with eerily knowing eyes, but he did not back down.

"Lady Fabelle," he courteously bowed.

"Sir Merek," she greeted politely.

He opened his mouth, only to have a great big Salamence cackling as he darted passed him. Safir was followed closely by a gaggle of his other pokemon, and strangely a few of Fabelle's.

"What has he done now?" Merek muttered under his breath, eyes following the entourage all the way down the hall.

"I believe our pokemon have been.. busy," she said lightly, and as he looked at her, the eeriness in her light had faded slightly, though still somewhat omniscient-feeling.

"I shall," he awkwardly cleared his throat, "...round them up."

"My pokemon can be difficult to others. If you don't mind, I shall accompany you."

Merek sighed. "Very well," and he held out his arm for her to take.

Though he was surprised in the end that she took it.
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:03 pm

What I have so far for Fabelle and Merek's first meeting, not on good terms:

This is insane, the Doublade said. And all of me agrees. This is stupid, reckless and insane.
Fabelle sighed inwardly. Mord had a point…
The afternoon was waning, and it would soon be evening. The king’s castle - well, more like palace - was lavish and glamorous. It seemed unchanged from all those centuries ago; it would probably have the same layout. Though Fabelle knew from experience that just because of it's fancy, flaunting look, it certainly didn't lack security - in fact, it was the hardest place she'd ever had to infiltrate. High walls, guarded watchtowers, guarded entrance, guarded everything. The walls were smooth and almost impossible to climb, and the glassy, perfectly reflective moat hid deep and impenetrable depths, and hugged the gardens of the castle closely, a high, smooth wall fencing the garden in, so even if one got the the beautiful but entrapping and labyrinthine gardens there was no escape. The insides, though beautiful with vaulting ceilings and floor to ceiling windows, were maze-like, and one could very easily find themselves lost in the lion's mouth.  
To her the castle was less beautiful in her mind and more imposing because of what it reminded her of, especially on the background of stormy grey skies, thunder rumbling overhead.
Fabelle gathered her black cloak around her. Although she no longer really felt the cold, it felt reassuring to have fabric around her, affirming she could still feel. The hood was pulled over her head, hiding her face, her long hair pinned up. Mord’s double sheath was strapped to the back of her waist, swords ready and waiting for her to draw upon.
Fabelle wanted nothing more than to go back to the forest and fall asleep, nightmare-free. But, as it always did, the knowledge that she had to right an imbalance nagged at her, like a headache.
She set her gaze and steadied her thoughts. She would do this.
Loraine gently put her hand on Fabelle’s shoulder. Fabelle… I agree with Mord. I can’t help but worry about this. Why don't we go back, plan a bit more, come back tomorrow?
Fabelle gave an empty smile. “You’re always worried, Loraine.”
Loraine huffed, putting her hands on her hips. Fabelle! This is ridiculous! You are going to try to break into the castle at the height of security, kill a trained guard, get out without anyone else knowing, and do it all with just me and Mord. Do you not see the stupidity in all of this?!
Fabelle shrugged lightly. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Loraine arched a brow. You said exactly the same thing before the Banette incident.
Fabelle winced. “How was I supposed to know that thing had an army of Shuppet?!” She shivered. That incident had left it's scars.
Suddenly, Judin’s voice bounced around in her head. It was a good lesson for you, child. Always learn about the target before you engage the target.
Fabelle shoved Judin’s presence away from her mind. But Loraine gave her a pointed look.
If we had learnt more about that Banette, we would have known it was a Shadow Alliance Pokémon. If we had known that, you wouldn’t have confronted it with only two of us.
Fabelle gave her friend a withering stare right on cue with a flash of lightning. “That’s history now. And about this guard, you both know I’ve tried. This guy has been a member of the king’s guard for a ridiculously long time. There is no information on him other than that and that his name is Connelly.”
Loraine sighed. But if you actually tried—
Fabelle stepped forward. “No, Loraine. His presence is causing me one of the biggest headaches I’ve had in decades. I’ve put him off for too long.”
If she were taking a target inside a guarded building or town, Fabelle always made sure she came just before evening. Some of the time, she was lucky, and that was when the guards changed shift. But very often, you caught them at their laxest and most unaware. They were usually tired out, and they only became hyper-vigilant when evening actually fell and the danger of sneak attacks became greater. In towns, it was that space between the nighttime guard patrol and when the streets were busy, so you'd sometimes find yourself walking on empty streets some of the time.
Of course, this was the king’s castle. This wouldn’t be like Baron Fairfield’s manor, in which the guards were sitting and playing cards or dice or snoring away like idiots. They would be ridiculously vigilant, afternoon’s cusp or no. Maybe she should have brought Gawain and his Hypnosis along, but again she reminded herself for how noticeable a giant violent Ghost type is.
It was always funny when people realised her swords were a Doublade. One person had fainted once.
Fabelle glanced around quickly for prying eyes, then contacted Judin. Now.
Surprisingly, he complied without protest, and the group was teleported behind the castle, close to the wall.
Fabelle wordlessly took Gothitelle’s hand and signalled her. The two rose quickly, supported by Gothitelle’s telekinesis.
And now it has begun.

-

It was actually disturbingly easy to infiltrate the palace. The guards must have changed shift, because Fabelle saw no-one on the walls.
“I swore I saw guards at the front… why are there none here?” Fabelle muttered aloud.
I don’t like this, Loraine said immediately. Not one bit.
Fabelle clenched her fists. Judin. Send in Gawain.
Loraine’s head snapped toward Fabelle. Gawain?! What happened to subtlety?! I thought we only wanted to kill one person tonight!
"I’ll need him," Fabelle countered. Send him in, Judin!
A moment later, a Spiritomb formed in the air in front of them. Gawain nodded his head. His many voices rasped in Fabelle’s head, out of time and wavering pitch. At your service.
Loraine shook her head. Fabelle ignored her, continuing across the walls until she reached a door.
“Loraine?” Fabelle whispered.
Clear, the Pokémon responded. No presences.
“Now.” Fabelle held her hand out. With a click, the lock opened.
They proceeded inward, taking care for absolute silence. They walked down corridors, down staircases and through rooms, Fabelle’s mental map guiding her toward the target.
Something is wrong, Loraine said definitively. This is too easy.
Fabelle bit her lip. It was, but she couldn’t leave it another day. We just have to be careful, she responded via telepathy, each word taking effort to voice.
They continued. Loraine looked more and more perturbed as they got further into the depths of the keep. No guards. No people. Nothing.
Fabelle! Loraine grabbed Fabelle’s arm. This is ridiculous! We need to go; now!
Fabelle shook her off. “No! I have to do this today!”
The Gothitelle shook her head, worried, but followed her friend anyway. Gawain stayed silent, but Fabelle knew he was also certain this wasn’t a good idea. But knowing him, he also didn't care.
Two corrdiors later, and Fabelle froze. “He’s in that room,” she whispered. Loraine and Gawain readied themselves, and Fabelle drew Mord. Her heart pounded slowly in her chest.
Now!
Loraine threw open the door. Fabelle brought Mord up to a guard position, Gawain hummed with power.
Nothing.
"What the...?" Fabelle's guard loosened slightly. Slowly, carefully, she made her way into the centre of the room. Gawain and Loraine followed, Garn watching their backs.
Fabelle scanned the room. Connelly's presence hummed at her, drumming into her spirit sense. "But... he should be here..."
She spun around, scanning the room. She seemed to be in some sort of throne room, or atrium. Shadows cloaked the edges of the room. They had come in via some side door. There was no light other than a small lit brazier near the far wall.  
Fabelle! Garn called. Fabelle, Loraine and Gawain spun around only for the door to slam shut behind them.
"Gothitelle" Loraine gasped. It's a trap!
Judin! All of you, in! Now! Fabelle screamed telepathically.
Fabelle spun around, drawing Garn as well as Mord, Gawain and Loraine back to back with her. From the shadows emerged armoured guard after armoured guard, Pokémon after Pokémon.
I can't sense your presence clearly enough! Judin said, his voice, for the first time, frantic.
Get as close as you can! Fabelle shouted telepathically.
"So, assassin," a voice said. Fabelle spun around, trying to find the source.
"You thought you could kill the new king? The Shadow Alliance must be more foolish than we thought."
Shit. Fabelle felt her insides turn over with terror. They think we're...
A man without a helmet stepped out from the shadows, his armour not that of a guard but that of a knight. His expression was severe, his amber eyes positively glowing with rage.
A challenge, Gawain chuckled. I like a challenge.
You are crazy, Loraine replied, her voice heady. You're both crazy.
"Excuse my trespassing," Fabelle said smoothly, her grip on Mord shaking. "I believe I took a wrong turn."
The man frowned. "Who are you, assassin?"
"No one in particular," Fabelle countered. Gawain. Get as many sleeping as you can. Loraine, defend my back. I'll take this man. Gawain, until the others arrive, it is your task to kill Connelly. "But certainly not who you think I am."
The man drew his sword. The others around him followed suit. Fabelle made sure her grip on Mord and Garn wasn't too tight or too loose, her grip shaking.
Fabelle! We're here!
Fabelle turned just in time to see a Trevenant's Wood Hammer smash through a door. A Cofagrigus flew through the wall, and a Froslass came floating through the place the door had been. A supersize Gourgeist followed her, and finally, an Alakazam formed from the air.
Fabelle smiled. "And now, everyone's here."
"Get them!"
Chaos erupted.

-

Fabelle parried sword strokes and Pokémon moves. Wanda was Trick-Or-Treating everything in sight, Shadow Balls and Shadow Claws now dealing extra damage. Rev was locked in a deadly one-on-one with a gargantuan Haxorus, his rage-fuelled strikes not quite fast enough to catch the deadly Dragon-type. Despite their being severely outnumbered, thanks to Gawain's Hypnosis, less and less foes were on them.
Fabelle dodged another sword stroke. This man that she was going up against was ridiculously good. She was barely fast enough to keep up with him, and only her stunted height was saving her from many of his slashes. Despite her long life, this man had probably spent tenfold the amount of hours she spent training with a sword; Fabelle would only fight when she absolutely had too. This man probably fought for fun. What made it extra difficult was that she was trying really, really hard not to kill him.
"I know, Galahad!" He suddenly called. "Be careful with the Trick-Or-Treat on you, that Trevenant will do extra damage!"
Fabelle hesitated, and almost paid the price as a jab nearly tore through her waist. Was this man talking to his Pokémon, or was it a bluff?
Was she fighting a member of the League of the Divine Blade?!
She laughed aloud, the man finally giving her an opening for an attack of her own, which he neatly parried. "What have I gotten myself into?"
The man scowled, lunging forward and drawing the first blood as his sword scoured a line through the skin of Fabelle's arm. "More than you can handle, assassin!"
At this, Fabelle really laughed.
Suddenly, her head felt empty. Something that had been there suddenly was not.
As if in confirmation, a cry suddenly went up. "They got Connelly!"
Fabelle smiled, honestly relieved. "Finally."
This must have made the man very, very angry, because he suddenly spun around, his sword dipping around and downward. Fabelle gasped, eyes widening, as the sword cut through her leather armour and into the skin of her stomach.
Fabelle fell backward, dropping Garn and pressing her left arm to her front. "Argh!"
The man wasted no time with theatrics and immediately lunged forward. Fabelle only just blocked it with a wild parry. He kicked Garn away, readying his now bloodied sword in the same motion.
Fabelle brought her bloodied left hand away from the wound, holding Mord with both hands. Pain sung along with the rhythm of the fight as the two exchanged blow after blow, but the man was not only obviously better, but Fabelle was tiring. Fabelle heard Judin cry out as he fainted, and saw the Haxorus finally knock out Rev. Gawain's Hypnosis was beginning to wear off some of the guards. They were losing.
Calculated risk time; get Mord to use a move and expose that her swords were a Doublade, and he could get his Pokémon actively fighting her as well. Or she could continue fighting as she was and be overpowered.
Mord! Fabelle grunted in pain, trying to lunge and only succeeding in causing her wound to flash in greater pain. Iron Head!
Mord glowed with light, the steel shining. The next sword stroke Fabelle parried fell away easily.
"What the...!" The man stumbled away. "What is this?!"
Fabelle held up her hand, and Garn flew back in, glowing with the same Steel-type energy. Her breath came in short gasps, and she felt lightheaded.
The Haxorus yelled something out, coming to stand beside it's trainer. A realisation entered the man's face, and he resumed with new vigour.
"Just... because... your swords... are a Doublade..." the man slashed with every word, his Haxorus joining the assault. Fabelle screamed, unable to parry all of the attacks. First Garn flew out of her hand, then Mord. "Does not... mean... you can defeat us!"
With that, the man lunged and stabbed through the side of the disarmed Fabelle.
Fabelle! Loraine turned toward her, only to be incapacitated from behind. The other Pokémon fell, one after the other as they turned to her, each and every one knocked unconscious. Mord and Garn were pressed to the ground underfoot a massive Salamence.
Fabelle spluttered, gasping. Pain burned through her insides. The man pulled out the sword with a sickening hiss and Fabelle dropped to her knees, tears stinging her eyes.
The man's sword tip slid effortlessly under her chin and forced it up, making Fabelle look at him.
"You have failed. The new king is safe, and you will shortly be dead. Your Pokémon shall never see the Shadow Alliance again."
"You've made a mistake," Fabelle choked out. "I'm not one of those bastards."
The man arched his brow. "Oh? So a young woman wearing a black cloak and accompanied by Ghost type Pokémon, sneaking into the castle where the new king is abiding, swords drawn, is not an assassin of the Shadow Alliance."
Fabelle grimaced in pain, gasping. She should have listened to Loraine. She should have put it off another day. She should have planned more, been more careful with scouting, everything. "I... I-"
The man pulled his sword away. "Poor fool. You will die for your mistakes."
Fabelle had just enough energy left to laugh. "Die? Me, die?" Fabelle laughed harder, blood leaking from the corner of her mouth. "Slit my throat, stab me in the heart, take off my head, I still won't die. The Shadow Alliance tried, believe me. I bid you good luck."
The man frowned. "Take her to the Chancellor. Lock the Pokémon up, for now, and for the sake of my sanity and yours someone Disable that Alakazam's Teleport before anything happens."
A flash of terror shot through Fabelle and she stood, almost immediately doubling over at the pain. "You leave them alone!"
The guards paid no heed, each of her friends taken away by other Pokémon.
"I said leave them alone!" Fabelle lunged for the large Goodra holding Loraine. The man grabbed her by the cloak, dragging her back.
Fabelle felt a tear stain her cheek. She could not abandon her loyal friends like this, right in their time of need.
Closing her eyes, Fabelle strained her Psychic senses. She felt to the limits of her power, and let it's true twisted nature free. She felt the raw power of the Spirit World fill her up, pulsing and energetic, like the beat of a heart.
She would have a killer headache afterwards, but what the heck.
Fabelle pushed at the man with all her telekinetic might. Her eyes burned silver, filling up the room with a terrifying light. The blood seeping from the wounds she had sustained began to smoke, blackening and giving off wisps of silvery lilac.
"Argh!" The man flew back, smashing into a wall. His Pokémon all started towards him, the Salamence, in the process, moving off of Mord and Garn.
Fabelle felt herself becoming more and more lightheaded, as if she were floating away. Her soul was being stretched to it's limits. She felt her skin close over, her body healing itself.
With a mixture of telekinesis and Mord and Garn's own levitation, the Doublade flew into Fabelle's grip. The other guards and Pokémon all turned, drawing their weapons once more. Fabelle let go of Mord, leaving him floating beside her, and with a motion of her hand, lifted them all up into the air and held them there, unconscious and frozen, enveloped in the same silvery lilac mist her blood gave off. Loraine, Gawain and the others floated gently to the ground, Fabelle having even more difficulty focusing, a pulsing beating in her ears.
The man pushed himself up to his knees. Fabelle turned to face him and each of his shocked Pokémon, Mord and Garn glowing in her hands.
"Wha... what are you?" For the first time, he looked positively shocked.
"I," Fabelle said, her breath giving off silvery lilac wisps, her eyes flaring brighter. "Am the Grim Reaper."
The man's eyes flew wide in recognition. He got to his feet, sword in hand, his Pokémon gathering around him. He steadied his sword in a guard position. "But... you're just a story... a fable..."
"Do I look like a fable to you?!" Fabelle bit back. Her hand shot forward, and her mist encircled the man's throat, raising him into the air.
"If... you... have come... to kill me..." He choked out.
Fabelle paused. It felt as though her heartbeat was in her head. She no longer felt any control over her muscles; they felt numb, dead.
Like they should be.
No. No killing.
Fabelle opened her hand, and the man fell, to his credit landing in a mostly stable crouch even while coughing and hacking.
Fabelle shook her head. "No more killing shall take place tonight."
The man's gaze flickered, a hint of sadness at the realisation showing, before he smoothed his features over professionally once more. "Connelly..." He nodded, his voice bitter. "Why did he have to die? He was a good man!"
"The Spirit World does not care if a soul who has stayed to long is good or evil," Fabelle responded, her voice devoid of emotion. She was now truly nothing more than a vassal of the Spirit World. "If a soul lingers that was not supposed to, they must go."
He stepped forward. "That's not justice. That's just cruel!"
Fabelle didn't react outwardly, but sorrow tore her apart inside, flushing feeling back within her. But her voice remained even. "It's not for me to decide."
His position changed from guard to attack. "The Grim Reaper shouldn't exist. This isn't justice! I am Merek of the Draconis clan, Captain of the Guard and a member of the League of the Divine Blade, and I shall end you!"
Fabelle thrust a hand forward, Merek's Pokémon thrown back into the wall with various cries of pain.
"I don't want to do this," Fabelle warned. "Call off the attack. My friends and I mean you no harm."
"How can you say that, when you have already caused the death of one of us?" Merek cried through gritted teeth. "Do you have no honour?"
Fabelle let out a hollow, mirthless laugh. The Spirit World's energy had drained out her emotion. Mord floated back into her still misty hand, and she crossed the Doublade in an attack position. "Honour... chivalry... justice... pointless notions."
Merek gave a cry of anger and lunged forward, jabbing at Fabelle.
Fabelle held up her hand and he froze in midair, struggling against the spirit-fuelled power. "Careful, " she warned, wagging a finger. "What of your friends? What of your honour?"
Fabelle knew she would hate herself later for this. Hated the coldness the Spirit World's power evoked in her, how quickly emotion, humanity drained out from her. But for now, slowly crushing the Dragon types she held in her grip was easy.
Hearing their cries of pain, Merek stopped struggling. Fabelle released the Pokémon, letting them drop to the ground, and then their trainer.
Fabelle, Mord called out in warning.
Fabelle kept enough control over herself to let the Doublade wrap itself around her arm, leeching out not her nonexistent life energy, but the energy of the Spirit World. Slowly, her blood stopped smoking, her eyes lost their glow, and the guards and Pokémon frozen in the air collapsed in a heap on the ground.
Immediately came the headache.
Fabelle gritted her teeth, resisting the extreme exhaustion that suddenly swamped her, as well as the wave of self-loathing. If only Merek could have made good on his threat to kill her...
Merek stumbled away, dropping his sword. Immediately, he ran to his Pokémon, talking to them.
Fabelle smiled at her Doublade, letting them go so they could sheathe themselves. Thank you, Mord.
You're welcome, her friend replied.
"You killed an innocent man," Merek spat. "You're a murderer."
Fabelle bowed her head. "You must try to understand; I do not want to commit these... acts... any more than you condone them. But I am nothing more than a vassal of the Spirit World. Their will is my command, and I can do nothing but obey. As a knight, a guard, surely you can understand."
Merek paused. For a long, tense moment, Fabelle was afraid he would order her imprisoned, or lash out at her. But all of a sudden, he deflated and nodded.
Suddenly, Fabelle felt a wave of energy flush through her. Her headache dissipated.
Fabelle turned to see Loraine, standing in the middle of the unconscious forms of Fabelle's friends. Pulses of energy came off her. Slowly, Rev, Gawain and the others blinked their eyes open. Loraine's Heal Pulse.
Loraine opened her eyes, seeing Fabelle smiling at her. Without a word the Pokémon rushed at Fabelle and embraced her.
Don't scare us like that again, Rev murmured in his deep, rumbling voice like wood creaking. He swept Fabelle into a hug, then set her down, smiling sadly.
I told you this was a bad idea, Loraine wept, almost crushing Fabelle.
"I'm sorry," Fabelle whispered. "I failed you."
Lorain pulled away, hands still on Fabelle's shoulders. Not quite. We're still here, aren't we? And not in some dungeon?
Fabelle smiled, a tear in her eye. "That remains to be seen."
Loraine shook her head. Oh Arceus, Fabelle... you are a child without innocence.
Innocence...
Fabelle felt the self-loathing come back in full force. Killing those of innocence had killed her own. Loraine was wrong; it indeed seemed she still possessed the emotional stability of a child, but nothing else.
Fabelle felt tears well in her eyes as she thought of Connelly. Another needless death...
Fabelle cleared her throat and moved to the side of the room. The body of a guard lay, the marks of Gawain's vicious attacks evident on his armour. Fabelle lifted the helmet off his face, choking on tears at seeing it's youthfulness.
"Hey! What are you doing...!"
Fabelle ignored the cries of protest and brought her hands over Connelly's body. Just like every time, the words filled her naturally.
"Farewell, Connelly Benoit. May you rest well in the Spirit World. Let your spirit find eternal happiness, and remain in peace and undisturbed. May your passing be unmarred by hatred, fear or malice, and may you be both mourned and remembered by those souls you felt kinship to. And I say; farewell."
Fabelle stood and bowed her head in vigil. "I'm sorry."
She knew this man, unlike some of her other victims, had not deserved to die. She felt a flicker of something from afar.
Forgiveness.
Her tears wet with cheeks, she looked at the floating spirit in front of her, hovering on a different plain, invisible to the others. "Thank you, Connelly, for accepting my apology."
With that, Connelly's last presence in this world flickered away. Fabelle wiped her tears away. A balance restored.
Fabelle heard the sound of someone clearing their throat and turned, the telepathic noise of her friends quietening.
Merek stood beside her. Now standing beside her and not fighting, it became suddenly very clear that he towered over her. Merek looked her over. Fabelle immediately felt self-conscious; she was the height of a child, had the voice of a child, in many ways still had the mind of a child... and yet in... other respects... she looked like an adult.
"Thank you, Reaper." The man looked pained. "Connelly was a good friend of mine. I don't forgive you for his death, but thank you for bringing peace to his soul."
Fabelle gave a small bow toward him. Her Pokémon friends followed suit, bowing their heads in respect. "He did not deserve death. The Spirit World will welcome him."
"Reaper," he started, but Fabelle stopped him with a hand.
"Please," she whispered, pained. "Don't call me that."
Merek nodded. "What should I call you?"
"My name was Fabelle Aspeth." Fabelle could hardly keep the sorrow from her voice.
"Well then," said Merek, obviously uncomfortable, "Welcome, Fabelle Aspeth, Grim Reaper, to the capital."


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:46 pm; edited 21 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:28 pm

Ohh, sounds very exciting. Sounds like they're in a bit of a spot! I can't wait until finish this and what you come up with with their fight.
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:42 am

Whew, finally finished! Almost 4k!
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:43 am

Wow! That was really good and I am more than satisfied with how you handled Merek. He would be able to take her on for the most part, but when it comes to using her powers, he'd probably have a lot of trouble. The action was exciting, and very suspenseful. I can feel the bonds between everyone, the worry each side had, and even Fabelle's remorse. Very touching right there, especially when she goes to basically bless Connelly's body.
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:50 am

The introduction of Fabelle to the court!


Fabelle was nervous. Really, she shouldn’t be; what could they do to her?
Other than lock you up, torture you or banish your spirit, of course, Amari offered, sensing Fabelle’s thoughts even from afar.
Fabelle swore at her telepathically badly enough for Amari to screech out laughing in Fabelle’s head.
“Lady Aspeth?”
“Hm?” Fabelle blocked Amari from her mind. Merek was looking her over warily.
“I asked if you were ready to meet the Chancellor.”
“Oh,” Fabelle said quietly. “Yes.”
Merek muttered something and pushed open the wide double doors, striding in with confidence. His cloak flapping, armour clanking and shining, shoulders back, and hand resting on his sword, he drew everyone’s attention with his commanding presence. Juxtaposed was Fabelle, shrinking in on herself, hiding within the folds of a black cloak, trying to keep her hands away from Mord and Garn and not seem aggressive, head bowed low.
The man she assumed was the Chancellor was standing beside the throne, a young boy beside him. Fabelle stole a glance at him. He was looking at her in rapt interest, while the Chacellor looked down his nose at her.
Merek reached the base of the thrones and took to his knee. After a beat, Fabelle followed.
“Chancellor Senlis, Your Majesty, may I present Lady Fabelle Aspeth.”
The Chancellor narrowed his eyes at Fabelle. “You may rise.”
Fabelle almost shivered at his voice. It was too cold, too calm, too even… creepier than a Dusknoir.
Fabelle and Merek stood, the former more hurriedly than the other.
“To what do we owe the pleasure?” The Chancellor said smoothly.
Merek shifted, uncomfortable. There were many people in this room, all watching intently. “This is—”
Fabelle stopped him by lightly touching his arm. Merek froze mid-sentence.
“Allow me to introduce myself properly.” Fabelle looked the Chancellor directly in the eye. “I am the one that the legends call the Grim Reaper.”
A silence befell the room. The Chancellor looked at Fabelle as if this was all some poor joke, but his expression shifted.
Fabelle winced inwardly as mutters flew around the room. Some disbelieving, some repulsed.
“I see…” The Chancellor said slowly. “And do you have any proof to back up your claim?”
Fabelle laughed sourly. “Why would I lie about something like this?”
The Chancellor narrowed his eyes. “So you admit to killing the guard, Connelly.”
“Yes.” Fabelle’s eyes narrowed. “And if you’re still not convinced…”
Fabelle held out her hand. Merek’s sword flew from it’s sheath and jumped into her waiting palm. The room collectively jumped.
Fabelle raised the sword.
“Fabelle!” Merek put his hand out to stop her, but Fabelle moved to fast. Hoping it wouldn’t hurt to badly, Fabelle thrust the sword into her stomach.
The room recoiled in horror. Fabelle closed her eyes with a grimace, feeling the pain burst. Drawing on just the tiniest sliver of her unholy power, she pulled the sword free, the blood on it giving off it’s misty tendrils and blackening. The hole in her stomach closed over itself, so painful that tears pricked the corners of Fabelle’s eyes.
She dropped the smoking sword.
“You have your proof,” she hissed. Her black shirt had another hole to mend now.
The room jumped into cries of horror and rage. Fabelle grimaced. The yelling was not helping her new headache.
“Murderer!”
Merek and Fabelle turned to see a young woman in League armour, her eyes blazing with rage. “Why isn’t she locked up yet?! She should not be walking around free!”
Merek turned toward her. “Calm yourself, Lady Cantessa.”
Cantessa whirled on him in anger. “How can you say that?! Right after your friend Connelly’s death?!”
Both Merek and Fabelle drew in a sharp intake of breath. Fabelle bit her lip and looked away.
Suddenly, the doors burst open.
“Is it true?” A woman with a red cape and light braided hair strode into the room, her eyes flaring with anger. Her voice was as cold as ice. “The Grim Reaper is here? Under my son’s protection?”
Merek sighed. “Fabelle, may I introduce Adelais Draconis… My mother.”
The woman, Merek’s mother, stood before them, hands on her hips, a Kingdra draped on her shoulders. She pointed a finger at Fabelle, her eyes flashing.
“Do you know what this creature has done?” Adelais hissed. She stepped forward, and Fabelle stepped back.
With a sudden movement, Adelais drew her sword and pointing it at Fabelle. “This girl is responsible for over a hundred deaths, one of them my ancestor.” Her eyes were steely. She shoved her sword forward, causing Fabelle to gasp as it bit into the skin of her collarbone. “Her rightful place,” Adelais continued. “Is in chains. Or better yet, in the gallows!”
Fabelle bowed her head. “I do not deny the deaths I have caused,” she choked out.
“You have no excuse,” Adelais spoke coldly. “Chancellor, I urge you to imprison her!”
What did I tell you? Amari offered telepathically.
“No,” Merek stepped forward. “She is under my protection. Tell them, Fabelle.”
Fabelle, still not moving away from Adelais’ sword, spoke in a halting voice. “I have come to ask for your help.”
The room murmured loudly.
Adelais bit back a laugh. “As if we would help a murderer. The League of the Divine Blade and the Kingdom of Kalos does not condone the murder of innocents.”
Fabelle clenched her fists. “And offer my service, in eradicating the organisation known as the Shadow Alliance.”
Adelais hesitated.
Merek nodded. “Her task is to maintain balance, the balances between life and death and good and evil. The Shadow Alliance is responsible for too much evil and death, and must be removed. She has offered to help us fight them, and in turn cannot defeat them on her own.” Merek glanced sideways at Fabelle, and Fabelle suddenly felt a cold chill of fear.
“And she has information about them that we would never be able to find without her,” he continued. “I’m sure she will divulge it. If not…” he trailed off, but the meaning was not lost on Fabelle. “And besides, we can always imprison her if she becomes… murderous.”
Fabelle shuddered. Though Merek seemed honourable, she was sure the second they were done with her she was headed straight for a cell.
And that was counting on them not finding the way to banish her…
Adelais, after a pause, pulled her blade away. “I strongly advise against this, Chancellor.”
The Chancellor bowed his head in thought.
“Surely you aren’t considering this, Chancellor!” Cantessa cried.
“‘scuse me?” The young boy spoke up. The room turned to him, and he seemed to shrink under the gazes. After a moment, however, he straightened. “I think we should get her help.”
The room drew back in shock. Even Fabelle drew in a breath.
“Your majesty!” Lady Cantessa burst out. “Surely—”
Realisation dawned for Fabelle. So that’s what Merek had meant when he said there was a new king.
The Chancellor’s expression, revealing so little, changed slightly. “Then it’s decided. The Reaper stays.”
The room muttered angrily.
“However,” the Chancellor continued, his gaze alighting on Fabelle. “Be aware that every move you make is watched. If you attempt to harm any member of the court, you shall be imprisoned.”
Fabelle nodded.
What a welcome, Amari snarked.
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PostSubject: Re: Strengthened by Shadows   Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:08 am

Just sticking this on the forum so we don't lose it!

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Merek opened the door, showing Fabelle her room. It was… well, modest was one word for it. It was as if they’d purposefully tried to find the most uncomfortable lodging space for her that they could find which wasn’t explicitly a cell. It was small, very small, barely able to accommodate a bed, a table, a chair, a chest at the foot of the bed, and no window.
Well, high security. She’d give them that, at least.
“I trust that will do.”
Fabelle didn’t give him an answer. Not after the way he manipulated her. It felt like she was overreacting, but she didn’t care right at the this moment. She brushed past him into the room, drawing out Mord and Garn and releasing them to float beside her, unslinging the sheath and setting it on the table. She didn’t look back at Merek; manipulative, cold, overbearing—
Fabelle heard the door click shut behind her. She heard a lock turn. It wouldn’t hold her, of course, but really it was as much for her safety as the other way around.
Fabelle clenched her fists, shaking, until she heard Merek’s footsteps recede. She killed his friend; it wasn’t exactly fair of her. She released a shuddering breath and unclenched her fists. Once she felt sufficiently calm, she sent out a telepathic message.
You guys can come over now, Fabelle called.
After a moment, Judin and the others formed from the air.
Fabelle? Amari looked her over. You don’t look that great.
Of course, tactless Amari.
“You guys go ahead and explore,” Fabelle said lightly, trying to keep her emotion from her voice. “Just… don’t spook anyone.”
The Ghost-types and two Psychics nodded.
Fabelle eyed Gawain. “And for the sake of my sanity; do NOT kill anyone.”
Gawain looked almost disappointed, but disappeared through the wall without further ado.
Slowly, the others dispersed, Wanda, Loraine and Rev hitching a ride on Judin’s Teleport. Isolde helped Mord and Garn to pass through the door, and then Fabelle was alone.
Fabelle let out a shuddering breath, sniffing. She felt her eyes water, and sadness well up and bubble inside her like an overflowing cup of water.
The tears spilled over with a hiccup. Fabelle sniffed and wiped her eyes with her hand. “Don’t cry, damn it, don’t cry…”
But the crying came out anyway, coming in gasps and hiccups. Fabelle felt the tears spill over, running down her cheeks. She soon gave up trying to stop the tears and just let them fell.
Fabelle sank down onto the hard bed, head in her hands. Centuries of bottled-up guilt and loathing spilled out in the form of tears and sobs.
Don’t cry now, Fabelle…
Fabelle looked up, eyes red and blotchy. Isolde floated beside her, calm kindness on her face.
“B-but I-I’m a-a m-mons-st-ster,” Fabelle sobbed, burying her face in her hands. “I-I’m a k-killer.”
Shhh, shhh… Isolde gently brought Fabelle’s hands away from her face. It’s not your fault.
“Y-yes it is,” Fabelle gulped, chest heaving. “I—”
Fabelle, Isolde chided gently, wiping the tears away with her icy hands. You have no choice. You have tried to disobey before, and remember where that got you?
Fabelle shuddered, fresh tears spilling out.
Look,_Isolde said. They can hate you all they want. I know you for the real you, the child that I met all those years ago. That’s still there, Fabelle. No matter how people may try to bury you with blood and guilt, you’re still there.
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