17 June 2010

Merlin - 20 The Art of Dying

Merlin - 20 The Art of Dying

An empire in ruin, a capital city lost to nature's wrath to the point of antiquity, vines to each pillar, open sewers now ducts for clean rivers, without the peaks of certain forgotten towers that now crumble and break. Reckless abandon and sleight of seeds, the stones at shoulders' length push apart by stretching grains in the streets filled with cats that chase away any flighty members of the nomadic fowl or varmint peasantry. Collapsed arch and buttress, unseemly doors that rot in the summer sun, and vines that hang where they can, supporting the occasional ancestor to swing and taunt the cats of no real danger. Countless homes stretching to the horizon resting jumbled and broken like toddler building blocks, savant creation now a slow mountain of mistakes confined to an endless quarter of creation.

The Phoenician, with rings of ink soaked into his arms, walks like a thief in the night, a hood over his bald scalp in the calm hanging sun, ever so cautious of what lurks with the larks. The exceedingly abandoned city holds far too much intrigue, the symbol of anarchy that his harvester malice could respect. A fascinating collection of settings, missing all of the kinetic stamina, silent to the touch every room vaunt, the populace that once rested within the walls. He follows the feathered and furred tails that skittish and scurry, into the recesses of the hiding shade. All of his fears contained he slips away gracefully, where the light slips through as his eyes turn red, into the catacombs of the aging city.

In the shaded streets the stalks of lilies beneath the canopy of vines, remnants of carts among the long walls, the edges lined with little rot, the insects gone to the feast of their predators, with the exception of the occasional spider to stanch what remains crawling in the cracks and crevasses with wispy spider web. As let the sun never to blind eyes, falling below the land and the snakes and other night urchins escape the foray for an easy feast in elemental darkness, the parliament heard from the forest deep hooting about their dreams of the day and the frayed ends of their sanity.

Reaching through the aged windows and examining the dusty disheveled artifacts, the bangle on his wrist gracefully catches the moon. Each trinket of mystery's past brings a whelp memory of childhood and apprentice times. Many of the stones laden of the warm wind street are broken runes or moonstones that lurk with canny rudiments of irradiant importance, glowing in the night ever dimly so, just as the skin of the Phoenician. The pointed spear shaped leaves collect the evening mist above a body of water, his hand seemingly turning to stone, blighting the leaf he takes from the vine.

There then stands a horse in the hallway to long and tall to escape. Its skin a body of water, smoke and light clear on the surface but at its core a swirling dark pool of smoke and ice, shedding lightning that graces the wall with brushstroke. A mare of the night, one of the steeds of the sun god, banished for treason accordant with the mortals. A natural instinct of fear washes its spirit with a forceful tide as it sheds lightning to the ground from its body. It slightly rears to intimidate him, but he approaches without regard, his shaking hand forward, the lightning crawling from time to time along his arms and hands as he waves through the aquatic lines of light. Some of the energy saps to the walls the way branches do while walking through the wood.

Greeting the nightmare, it abruptly runs into the open and bursts into water and fire, blatantly steaming him to much visible content. He gives chase like the wind and as fire through the air, gusts as a natural predator in the night leaping from a high wall in silence, landing himself a furious infernal creature of the utmost primordial darkness. He burns like electric water, forcing his radiant fingers into the back of the steed, the piercing wound melts and pours mountain water of the light as it begins to buck and falter the like, as he pulls a dark crystal that radiates a brilliant light, a sunstone the light of fierce coals the shape of a sphere. Controlling a fragile source of death, the slayer slowly rises to his leather heel, from one knee as the creature slowly melts into the ground, leaving only its blood, captured into death a rapture of a diamond storm in the audience of the quintessence evening wind.

The night closes and a day passes, with sun and wheat a minority resident of the endless sea of a city forever of stone. A black fire raven rests on ledge, waiting for excess carrion with a genuine sense of fascination that afternoon, as the setting sun deals bales of gold. While the light is low, the bird seems to burn red at its edges, giving a fine black settling ash. In shedding, that burns and falls to dust fine course black silt that forever fills occult sand clocks that are all that remain at the court of the vanished empire, the vacant remnants of life, and continual fires on ancient and venerable torches.

Dark rancid rainclouds come to play, as lightning dances from the corners and edges of tables and thrones, between the empty curtain rings and broken chalices, and across the surface of the mind, each line contrast to the dark oblivion and hollow sky. The dead weather giving way to the night and its powers of bright darkness, with each gust of summer wind the memories of forgotten times, and each decisive moment an archetype corrosion of fate's temptation. He holds the orb before him, walking as if by careful nature, and the power at his fingertips trembling, as a brewing storm venturing toward wrath and redemption. Emanating a diabolic presence, he raises the magic artifact and smashes before his feet, the torches flustering in the wind, the unfastened decor strewn, and a large flame from the shattering glowing ashes of fire and ice, jagged and apparent.

She lies in the shards and dusty ember where the flame resides, screaming still after the flames recede, his queen resurrected from the purgatory of deep hell, where he quickly kneels to scoop her from the atrocious burns if she lay in wait, to set her upon an alter in the temple. He quickly brings her water, she gasps and is tearing and lamenting, her arms are scarred as if giant birds with metal talons of fire had rested on hot coals then carried her anon, her clothes torn and ravaged, another dole of water repast she the parched. Her appearance singed and disheveled, his eyes slowly fill with silver from their bottom, and frost begins to gather on his eyes, than in other places, it begins to rain on the scattered fires, rainfall washes away the ice accumulated on him and she throws her arms around her savior.

Merlin - 19 Suffer the Sky

Merlin - 19 Suffer the Sky

“The slaver takes countless souls by the day, more and more each greedy instance.”
“We're in this together.”
“Merlin is a veteran, you needn't worry, and besides he will pride this venture.”
“He detests slavery; he was banned from an entire kingdom for frost burning an entire countryside, to dance on ice with a, slave girl one midsummer.”
“What reckons to enslave this enclave?”
“Nothing good, on that sign by the opening they've written door of the dead.”


Wisps of black disparate clouds drifting below the grey mass collected beneath the firmament of the heavens. A storm behind the clouds, almost it carries the first of the cold rains, a sacrament ever panged and tormented a war with the silence of these old hills. A dark opening that swallows the light as entered, a door to the dead perhaps, leading away from the thorp, a chasm deep to consume the thematic darkness. Slavery was not often of Merlin's favorite doctrines, and so he wrestles arduously with the notions of better sanctity found with liberation and freedom. Though better off dead, he was too late for many, the entrance sheds a small amount of light on collected piles of fully decayed bones, each gnarled and mangled, twisted tangled by wild wolves and darker hearts of the entombing darkness.

“Color my eyes...!”

A cemetery city soon discovered of countless final resting places carved into the walls in some places, and others lying to the edges of the hall floor. The villagers here imprisoned miners, with well-water buckets to carry their quarry, suffering without alms. Clawing by hand, they pull down the dirt, keeping the large mercurial stones, eating the dust, for the hill dwellers were the original excavators of these caves, but they are dry and hungry, covered in the grey powder they excavate, knelt in the dust and hoarding the rust, aching for all of time to labor of their own volition. Along the uneven walls wider to the walk and the crippled cave maze of torment, the trickling water is foul and tastes like sultry mud, without minerals of every sort. Cold air passing through their bones, makes them shiver taught physiques, the mere sight makes him cringe dutifully as the small light in his palm pours shimmering over the powder, rubble, boulder and clay of the darkness.

Merlin: “Hello children that they remember, sit down with me in the dark, leave your fears and grind your measures, this will soon end.”

Only for the weak, squint in near pain at the minute glimmer from the thread of light by a short candle in his hand, he continues through the misery index, looking for anything dominating their forced subjectivity. He approaches three guards in the depths, one beside the next and one to a wall, they wear a band over their forehead, their eyes missing gouged long ago, he and his approaching light causes them to pull the visors down from their brows, they do not move among the exhumed decay. The guard in the center position within the cave path begins to partake in the same actions as Merlin, mocking him side to side by taking his own foolish steps in place, causing the other two to laugh, but realizes Merlin shall not be retreating from avid mockery. The derision continues, when Merlin steps to one side, the guard steps along to remain in the path. Merlin takes the candle in his hand and turns it into a volatile firestone, then shoves it into one of the guard's chest, the fire consuming the deathly guard, and the essence of the bystander becomes molten and deciduous ash.

Merlin: “You will show me to your leader.”

The soldiers both lead him through the tunnel, down the path the tunnel leads, passed the occasional torch the walls reveal the ages of metallurgy from eras of the past, to tough for any scavenging miner to file with bare fingers without opening their mouths. The depth true of lore, the miners of the main hall have diamonds on the ground, made by the mountain, found by their efforts. The farther he travels, the dirtier the slaves are, sitting in present squalor in a ghostly hallway, tunnels and tears, sad miners on bleeding knees and more intimidating guards.

The slave owner is full of fire, veins that course stove coals and eyes that reflect the moonless night, a light in the shadow and relentless silence over the pools latent of rough diamonds.

Merlin: “Who are you?”
Valence: “I am Valence, this is my shadow.”

His neck is as only small as the smallest hungered slave's waist, his voice as low as a steel cable on a bridge, as he waves his massive arm into the darkness, smiling mendacious unchaste. Surrounded by broken raw crystal and diamond that lay as opulent sparkling powder slovenly dissolute, his skin is noticeably thin, and nears the lucent symptoms of transparency, so possibly to the bone. The longing slaves pray in the curt darkness, oblivious to such a statute evidently wit.

Merlin: “Is it your heaven to steal the stars?”
Valence: “Yes...,” a laughter that would stir smoke, “…my hell away from hell.”

Valence sits upon a throne carved of the wall, now the remnant pillar in a cave of explicable internment, much larger than Merlin but of a fitting size for the behemoth ghoul. He slides his fingers over the handle of a sledge with a handle as tall as the arm's rest of the chair. Taking grip he raises in radiance the weapon that glows in tandem with the night man, coursing with the same fire, transferred from hand to weapon length.

Valence: “There is not can stop us now, alas, watch this world become a blighted plague.”

Merlin flies to the demon, his hands flush of his own blood and flowing with wrath and fire, with vigorous strain throwing the dark spirit into the wall, its essence begins to climb the wall with an echoing flame and sprawling fire that soon sunders, as rubble and gravel make. Merlin's hands scalded, he takes the pain and vents it as a fire to dash the wick demon, but it only amuses as it takes a proper stance set upon the endless courage while raising weapon. Merlin envoys his plight abound, with startled notion he flees, up and away to gather his senses in a battle of day and night, the hammer strikes first the wall with callous asperity, and Valence’s taunting begins with darkness in his eyes and mouth.

Valence: “Reveal my scars...” an imprecating laughter of insanity, “...you can’t run forever…”
Merlin: “You are beginning to anger me.” The fire in Merlin’s voice echoes in the void absence.
Valence: “I live, again…show yourself coward, so I may share this joy.”

The large steps audible in the dark, Merlin careens from behind a sharp turn in the cave with a torch and the narrow sword with golden handle grip, slashing to the neck, but the skin of the earthen monster with fiery roots for veins, is too far tough. Only flakes of charred embers fall like chips from a burning log, the beast has ash in his blood and a burning sigil deep within the astonishing tunnel within the glimpse into its eyes, an entrancing glow deep within its stare.

Valence: “Run defenseless coward!”
Merlin: “I'll see you in hell!”

Merlin lights as a candle covered in blast powder, throwing the dirt from his skin and every loosened turned stone in the cavern, the fire consumes all that remains of the air, disturbing the rock monster's footing. Merlin flees with a renewed darkened soul and silence into the caverns again, this time searching for a weapon.

Valence: “At last, an opponent worthy, of my skills.”

Merlin leans, his sight beyond him a vision around the next curve his enemy, moving like the wind with all of his weight edging forward, a knee bent and both hands on the hilt of his narrow sword next to his side prepared to lunge. Faster than the surreptitious air, taking a breath of patience, he strikes to lance the beast, forcing the speed of his slight.

Valence: “You can't run forever!”

Merlin's swift and errant guided force lands the sword’s end into the lower back of the superlative beast, they collide a stunting instant halt for both unexpected combatants, he grunts as the monster cries in hundreds of low voices selfsame. His try to land a stern strike grasped by the demon and thrown over shoulder to the wall, a lumbering monolithic stomp of each pace, as the monster turns about, resounding through the tunnels the sound shakes.

Valence: “You are mine...”
Merlin: “Forsake thee.”

Merlin tosses a flaring powder from the caves into the monster's face; the burning sulfur only seems to feed the fire in its eyes. The emotions of both in the form of steel, Merlin again retreats into the arduous intricate tunnels of the mount, with the spurning shattered chips of the tunnel sliding beneath hardened step. Valence drags his lumbering paces through the broken powder kegs choking the handle of the sledgehammer.

Valence: “Do not take it past your boundaries little firefly.”

Merlin leads him to the flight of boundary, waft through the weft, followed by troublesome stomps at high pace, where the dark and evil passage leads to the open air, the rain, the clouds, and the heavens undecided on winter or autumn, lightning striking through the static clouds, the song of conquest at serendipity. The tables turn as Merlin freezes like to the point of ice, the wind chills and carves the slumbering fire, so cold the tunnels that escape vent the heat and steam of the heated fire dungeon prison and mines of evil ardor. Merlin turns to the tunnel in the face of the wintry mountainside, turning his back to reflect the storm.

In flames, the creature steps out to the narrow mountain ledge with horrendous and dreadful disorder, unwitting as each drop hardens the grit until every movement fractures the protective armor. The history and ownership of the mines forever change, as the apt provenance of the abhorrent creature begins to appear as no more than aberrant, lanky, in languished robe, and tired overshoes that are oversize. The oversight germane, the rain forthwith begins to show the appended effects, it extinguishes his flamed stamina, an incidental precedence attached to the rain and passing in possession with it providence from he to Merlin, the wizard with his back to the sky.

Merlin holds his ground facing the cave in mastery of the storm. The lightning travels over and through the surface of the clouds, riding the falling sky to egress in sporadic manner, and so bleeds the sky a pat cold rain, until the slaveholder is at his knees before the eyes of an irreverent stare unyielding. As each drop, the measure of decay to the brim plait veins of venom fire and the pale dark stone armor.

“Super scion!” begs the withered slave lord, shaking and searching covered in corrupt filth for more diamonds to meal, as the icy deluge begins to cull the flames. Once an eternal flame, he is now the shivering mortal flesh of warrior sin, uncovered and vulnerable. The man wields armor not, as Merlin in valor slowly lowers his often sword as a sign of respect or submission, as the man dashes to Merlin with all of his evil left to the eyes, grey eyes for grey skies, a poorly culminated final effort to dispatch Merlin.

Fear born anew, eager haste, a push impelled forward with speed, impetuosity and violence, a recanting performance in a short time at high velocity, toward and against in attack, with lavish attention to the mountain floor with a dead man's eyes.

Merlin walks out of the cave returning to Ana who dons a most wistful smile, watching Nickolas tell the tale of an exuberant adventure only for to fathom with his excited portrayal of imaginary tales, with imperceptible weapons and invisible opponents, as he surmounts the nonce story to the young kith.

Merlin: “Run to your loved ones, they are now free.”

The princess rushes Merlin, hugging him, but only for an instant before rushing to a fire with a torch from the first she passes, as the others make haste to do the same.