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Heartless Unto Oblivion | Story

Started by Swain
Post #17155

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Aldmeri Dominion (Bosmer)
Heartless Unto Oblivion

Author's Note: This is an experimental story. Playing around with storyboarding, but I'll be writing a bit of it. It's spaced so that it's not one huge wall of text. Characters are also colour-coded to make it easier to figure out who is talking. If you want me to use your character I can probably do that. Given the setting of the story though things might need to change to keep the continuity intact. I do change a few things lore and geographically-wise, but for the most part I try my hardest to stay consistent.

This is character bio that I submitted for Bastion, for those who may be interested in learning a little more about him after reading this: Click

Enjoy the read!

• • •

Prologue: Excarnation

“I can rip the flesh off your bones and turn the Padomaic Ocean red
with your blood and all that you will lose is the husk of your mortal
existence. So won’t you accept my invitation into immortality?”
– Lorkhan, the Missing God

• • •

“Tell me.” Bastion’s gaze rose to meet Brutus’ before lingering away. “Don’t turn away from me Bastion. Just tell me!” Bastion reset his eyes and fixated them on Brutus. He was being tested by Brutus’ patience, and Brutus would have his friend break underneath his own determinant will.

“You’ll see.” Bastion smiled, shrugged, and then kept looking forward towards where they were walking. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you.”
"The Darkness..."
“Two weeks, Bastion. Two weeks and you still haven’t told me why we’re out here. Neck deep in Dwemer region. You’re damn lucky I have nowhere else to go.” Brutus put his hand up to Bastion’s shoulder, stopping him momentarily. “You know if I was a normal person I would have left you in Mournhold a long time ago.” Bastion merely laughed.

“Well then you and I are one and the same, I guess.” Brutus sneered at Bastion’s remark. The two emerged from the brush to meet the mouth of a cavern. Bastion pressed on, but Brutus stopped in his tracks.

“There’s only one reason a person would ever want to venture into the heart of the Red Tower.” Bastion turned around. “Look, I didn’t think you’d actually find it… what you’ll find in there will destroy you.” Brutus looked with solemn eyes, his hand by the hilt of his hammer. Bastion saw this and gestured with his hands, as if he should be the one in awe.
"It takes you..."
“Brutus… there is nowhere else to turn.” He began walking towards his companion. “What would you have us do? Go back to Caldera? Turn me in for a crime I wasn’t even responsible for?” He pushed Brutus back a bit. “I won’t have it Brutus. I am a man being sought out to kill. I’ve done no wrong and yet I–and you too for being my damned accomplice now–have half of Morrowind out to collect a bounty on our heads. For a murder that I never committed.” Brutus pulled out his hammer, holding it close to his body. Bastion let out a guffaw. “And even when pressed against the wall, my own friend draws his weapon against me.” He raised his arms up, open to an attack. “Go on Brutus. Kill me then.” Brutus inched forward but instantly stopped himself. Killing Bastion was not his intention at all.

“God dammit Bastion. There is a reason no man approaches the heart of the world. Just think about how extreme this is. You know what’s in there. You’re making a huge mistake.” His voice was loud in an isolated region. Bastion’s voice however remained calm and steady.
"And makes you strong..."
“It seems my big mistake was letting you come with me in the first place. If you aren’t going to kill me, I’ll be resuming my journey then. Follow me or go back, that’s your decision. I’m not your master, and you sure as hell aren’t mine.” Bastion turned away and began his strides into the mouth of the Red Tower. Brutus stood there, shaken by his companion’s demeanor. He always had a hunch it was the Heart of Lorkhan that Bastion was searching for, but he gave his friend the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t crazy. No one knew where the entrance into the mountains was. For them to find it changed Brutus’ entire perspective on the matter. He stood there in solitary thought for some time to pass before he ventured after Bastion.

Through the dimly lit chasms Brutus made his way through hallways and stone staircases, up and down, left and right, zig-zagging through all the narrow passes that the innards of the mountain could throw at him. His steps were silent enough so that he could hear Bastion steps echoing a fair distance away. As he traveled, the passage became brighter, and the occasional magma pocket seeped into the halls. Brutus would lose Bastion’s echoes, washed out under the sound of bubbling magma traveling underneath Nirn. The passage opened up into a huge dome-like room beneath the mountain that was lit by a traveling river of magma.

A narrow bridge of earth connected where Brutus stood before the Heart of Lorkhan; a massive red stone chained to the walls and ceiling that pulsated with a dark presence. Before it he found Bastion’s lifeless corpse sprawled out on the earth. Brutus ran across the rock bridge but stopped when he watched his friend’s body turn white and dried out–similar to the husk of an insect. It turned to ashes before his eyes and scattered into rising heat. Brutus wielded his hammer closely to him again, looking for the cause of Bastion’s demise. Then it spoke to him.
"I fell in..."
“Come closer.” It whispered. Brutus, halfway across the bridge, turned back and forth, realizing how vulnerable he was. “Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you, Brutus.” The voice came from Bastion’s ashes. Or did it? Brutus cautiously approached the stone.

“Did you… did you speak to me?” Brutus stuttered. A laugh erupted from the Heart of Lorkhan, shaking the chamber and nearly knocking Brutus to his bottom.

“Yes Brutus! I did. Now come closer.”

“I’ll do no such thing you demon! What the fuck did you do to him?!”

“Oh nothing.” The stone’s voice was soft, yet matured to a fine pitch. The voice of a suave young adult. It was strangely hypnotizing and drew Brutus’ attention to it, and only it. “He asked for power. He asked for solace. I gave him both.” It laughed again. “I know all about you Brutus. I know what you did at Mournhold. I know you’re the reason you both ended up here. It was fate you came here, Brutus.” Brutus found himself strangely drawn to the heart, as if he were longing for it. He quickly came to and snapped out of the trance.
"And never saw the light..."
“No!” He screamed with anger. “I’ll have none of your god damn tricks Lorkhan!” He turned back and began running back across the bridge. “No…”

He stopped in his treads suddenly. A sharp pain erupted from his heart. A thin steel point pierced through his chest and came into his vision.

“I can rip the flesh off your bones and turn the Padomaic Ocean red with your blood and all that you will lose is the husk of your mortal existence. So won’t you accept my invitation into immortality?” The laugh came back up behind him. He could just manage to turn his body enough to see what had stabbed him. Behind him he discovered his old friend, wrought with darkness rising from his body, slowly removing the rapier from behind him.

“Sleep, brother.” Bastion whispered. Brutus’ eyes blurred as he fell to his knees and then flat to his face.

“I won’t be taken.” He thought to himself. Brutus rolled off the side of the bridge headed straight into the river of magma. His eyes closed and he felt the darkness begin to overtake his mind and body. He never felt the hot touch of the molten rock. Just the appendages of darkness dismembering him from his physical body. “You can’t have me, Lorkhan.”
"The darkness took me..."
• • •

Brutus’ eyes opened. A familiar room. This was his, in Caldera. He was back at the guild house. Donned upon his body were casual, comfortable clothing. Bandages all over. He was unusually sore. The door opened and a larger Bosmer walked in.

“Artermis.” Brutus spoke. His voice was raspy. How long had he been asleep? “What happened?” Artermis sternly frowned.

“We found you outside Mournhold. We had thought you were dead–you were in pretty bad shape.” Brutus looked around again for a moment. Maybe he’d been dreaming?

“Where’s Bastion?” He asked. Artermis, in his deep gravelly voice, shook his head.

““He escaped. We have half of Morrowind looking for him and his supposed accomplice.” Brutus froze up and felt a bone-chilling sensation crawl up his spine up to where he was stabbed. With all the wounds that he did have, there was no stab where he had thought there would be one.

“What are you talking about?” Brutus asked. Artermis’ left eyebrow rose, piqued with interest.

“Well Brutus. When we found you, Bastion was beside your corpse, his rapier coated in your own blood. Another figure was draped in shrouds beside him, wielding a weapon not unlike your own.” There Brutus felt it: an emptiness where his heart should be and a truly maleficent darkness resounding deep within him.
"I became what I feared most..."

End Prologue
This post was last modified: December 11th 2012, 11:53 PM by Swain
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Post #17168

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Interesting, I like the vibe I'm getting from reading it already. Keep up the good work mate I look forward to reading more work of yours; also could you please also take a look at my work when you are free it would be nice to hear your out takes on it.

Sithis be with you. - Beowulf
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Post #17196

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Episode I: The Carnage at Mournhold

“You’re a pitiful fool. No great a power could that devil have
granted you that you couldn’t have achieved on your own.”
– Artermis Beoulf, Guildmaster of the Shade Cressidia

• • •

The rain pelted down on the members of the Shade Cressidia as they galloped towards the city of light and magic. The steam exhaling from the snouts of the steeds tailed them like wings. Each member adorned with similar coifs and hoods that protected them from strikes to the cranium. Where they differed were the colour of their robes: Artemis’ white robes and his companions’ red and black. They had heard of a man slaying the guards outside of Mournhold and even more importantly, heard that the murderer was a member of the Shade Cressidia.

“There’s only one person that it could be.” Thought Artemis. “Bastion.” A thunderstorm was brewing in the horizon and the three horsemen could not only see the strikes of lightning out into the planes, but also feel each one shake the earth beneath their mare’s feet.

“Do you think it’s him?” Yelled one of the members to Artemis. The voice was effeminate yet strong.

“No shit it’s Bastion,” yelled the other horseman to her, “no other member of the Shade in their right mind would be accused of such crimes!” He, in his crimson red robes, looked over as if trying to pry a reaction from her. She merely remained silent after his remark, focusing on the road ahead. The walls of Mournhold were starting to veer into sight through the pouring rain.

The three arrived at the city walls to a frightening scene. Blood mingled with rainwater to paint the passage into the city a gruesome maroon while corpses were strewn left and right to the sides of the road.

“I don’t know Art.” Chimed the female horseman. “Even as strong as Bastion might be, I don’t think he could’ve done this. There has to be at least two dozen bodies out here.” Artemis, acknowledging her, raised his hand and motioned them to head into the city. The streets were more or less empty. With the chaos that was likely residing within the walls of the city it would be no surprise to understand that people were hiding in their homes, praying to the Nine Divines that whatever is slaughtering the guards does not come for them next. Every crackle of thunder probably inspired newfound fear into each and every one of their hearts. Within the plaza the three found only more corpses scattered about.

“Akatosh be merciful to these souls.” Muttered the red horseman. There continued to be more and more bodies as they traveled deeper into the city. There was something extra worrisome about these corpses. They seemed even deader than dead should be; husks devoid of anything. Their steeds carefully navigated through the sea of the dead, until they made it to the helm of Almalexia’s temple. The three left their horses at the foot of the steps and began their ascension.

“Stop…” A voice feigned for their attention. One of the fallen guards revealed his survival to them. He still had some life coursing through his veins. Artemis knelt by his side. “It’s not safe,” the guard whispered, “he is no man. Though he looks like one, he is something else altogether.” Clinging to life, he uttered his last few phrases carefully. “He is not alone.”

“Brutus!” Exclaimed the black horseman. The guard fought hard for consciousness but eventually he too succumbed to the same cold grip of death as his fallen comrades. Artemis laid him back down before checking the guard’s wounds. There was something peculiar about them.

“Bishop. Come here and look at this.” The red horseman knelt down beside Artemis, observing the stab that had killed the guard. “It’s literally seeping with darkness.”

“There’s no doubt that this is a stab round from a rapier too. No other wound leaves punctures like this.” Bishop shook his head. “Bastion skewered this man alive. Multiple times.” Artemis noticed something else though.

“There’s more.” He turned over the guard to see heavy slash wounds. “These are the wounds that only a very powerful blade could inflict. Not a rapier.”

“Or Brutus’ edged hammer.” Chimed Bishop. Artemis quickly darted a look to him.

“Let’s not jump to conclusions here.” Artemis signaled the other rider forward. “Scout ahead Meridia. Come back if you see anything peculiar.” Bishop put a hand on Artemis’ shoulder.

“What if Brutus is helping Bastion? We can’t exclude anything from being impossible.” Artemis shook his head.

“I don’t want to believe it if it’s true. But if it is we have no choice. We have to stop them both.” Bishop looked around, observing the graveyard of fallen guards around them.

“This might not be easy Art.” Suddenly, the guard beside them seemed to seize up, as if he were coming back to life. But what started as animation quickly veered out of control when the colour drained from his body and his corpse became like the rest surrounding them. It was like his very being was being sucked out of his body. It then became clear to Artemis.

“Impossible… his soul was stolen.” Artemis looked up the steps where he could no longer see Meridia. “Shit! Bishop we need to get up there!” Bishop nodded and began sprinting up the steps with Artemis tailing in pursuit.

“Meridia!” Yelled Bishop. They made it within the High Chapel, where they found Meridia on the ground, coughing out blood hysterically. At the head of the temple stood Bastion in his pale ghostly robes, surrounded by the darkness that had consumed him. Almalexia was kneeled before him, his palm against her forehead. Her essence was being drawn from her.

“Please.” Almalexia pleaded. “Don’t do this to me…” Bastion’s eyes grew red with fury, and a horrifying presence seemed to overtake him.

“You did this to yourself Almalexia. This is the penance, for taking that which was originally mine.” Artemis commanded Bishop to tend to Meridia before sprinting towards Bastion.

“Bastion, stop!” Artemis came within feet from Bastion, drawing his blade and having his shield ready beside him. “You don’t need to do this. Let her go.” Bastion turned his head over, looking at his former Guildmaster.

“As you wish.” He threw Almalexia to the ground, diverting his attention to Artemis. Bishop ran up to Artemis’ side, his Greatsword drawn.

“Don’t worry. Meridia will be alright–I tended to her wounds. She’s roughed up though. He wasn’t messing around.” Artemis nodded. Bastion gestured his hands outward.

“Two against one? My, my, you two regard me so highly. I couldn’t possibly defeat both of you. At least, not alone.” His voice was still enveloped in that darkness, the one that seemed to string him like a puppet. “Let’s make this a bit fairer, shall we?” Bastion from the depths of the abyss summoned the corpse of their comrade Brutus before him and held out his hand, palming the body in the air before Artemis and Bishop.

"Brutus!" Bishop lurched forward but was halted when he felt Artemis grabbing the fabric of his vestment. Artemis wanted to see what was about to happen. Bishop scowled.

"Look on with stoic eyes you foolish mortals, for this is the fate of your people." Bastion dug his hand into Brutus' body. Something was peculiar though–it was a hand not of this physical realm, as he seemed to have a spectral touch that grabbed more than just flesh and bone. Bastion threw Brutus' corpse in front of them and with a strange energy in hand, Bastion slammed his palm against the ground. The hand seemed to draw upon a great deal of the darkness enveloping Bastion, and as he lifted his palm a figure manifested from underneath it. This being, darker than the blackest shade of night, had appendages such as that of a shadowy mace fitted with teeth on each end like an axe. It was similar to Brutus’ preferred weapon.

“By Akatosh what in the world?” Artemis thought. Bishop freed himself of Artemis and grabbed Brutus by the collar, flinging to the side out of harm’s way.

“There’s no time to tend to him now. We have to stop that fucker here.” Artemis complied. The shadow sunk into the ground and a dark shade quickly approached the two. Artemis leapt on top of it with his shield pointed down and from the shade a dark cannon erupted, launching him high towards the ceiling with enough force to break a hole in the temple’s roof. Artemis felt rain water coursing around his garment. Meanwhile, Bishop tried to strike down the shade but Bastion quickly dashed at him with both rapiers drawn. Bishop fell to the defensive, deflecting strike after strike of Bastion’s assault. The blast from the shade turned out to be the shadowy creature itself lunging up from the floor. Its shadowy vice was trying to cripple through Artemis' shield. His saving grace was the aegis magic that enveloped his shield, augmenting its defense. He quickly turned this into flame shield dispelling the darkness from his proximity before feathering to the ground.

Between Bastion’s volley of stabs Bishop would find a small window to fit in a swing, but much to his despair Bastion was far too quick to be struck by it. He was far too focused on defending from the barrage as missing a parry would result in a full on piercing stab.

“Bishop watch out!” Artemis commanded. Bishop leapt back, and Artemis commanded a firestorm that seared through the gravel, melting straight through the floor. Bastion stood still as it approached him. Certain that he would hit Artemis tapped as much magicka as he could into it, amplifying the destructive force of the flames. The blast struck and coned out to the silhouette of Bastion’s frame. As the blast died down and all that could be seen was smoldering rock, Artemis keeled over to a knee, exhausted from the spell. He looked up to what he’d hope to see a charred corpse on the ground. Instead, all he could see was the form of darkness that had created a wall to the contour of Bastion’s shape, completing shielding him and everything behind him from the firestorm.

The shade sunk back into the ground and moved behind Bastion, assuming the form of his shadow. He let out a chuckle.

“Come now Artemis. You can put up a better fight, can’t you?” Bastion took one step towards Artemis before a tackling hulk flung himself at him. Bishop restrained Bastion, capturing him in a grip from behind that could crush an Orc’s bones. Artemis stood to his feet, approaching him.

“You’re a pitiful fool Bastion. No great a power could that devil have granted you that you couldn’t have achieved on your own.” He planted his shield in the smoldering stone, pulling out a grand soul gem as he prepared to bound Bastion’s soul to it. As he began his incantations however darkness seemed to permeate from Bastion that would scald Bishop’s arms.

“Fuck Artemis hurry up! I don’t know what’s he’s trying to do but I can’t hold him for long. It burns so much dammit!” The shadows of every object in the temple seemed to be sucked towards Bastion. The walls were beginning to bend, as if reality was bending to Bastion’s will. Artemis held his hand up and kept trying to capture Bastion’s soul.

“What trickery is this…?” A maniacal laugh more frightening than any Daedric tongue erupted from Bastion as he broke himself away from Bishop’s iron grip. Bishop flew to the ground, his arms blackened from hugging Bastion. Artemis’ shadow remained to his side, but Bishop, Brutus, and even Meridia from the other side of the temple had their shadows absorbed. The result was a body that was neither human nor spectral. The shadows seeped from his figure, which although manifested from Bastion’s body, did not even closely resemble what he once looked like.

“Your shadow stays to your side, Art. I am impressed.” Its voice was no longer Bastion’s either. Artemis knew that voice. "But you are more than wrong if you thought Bastion could become as powerful as I've turned him on his own accord." The creature grinned playfully with its drooping wretched jaw and piercing yellow eyes. The shadows rose from it like flames.

“Lorkhan. So it’s true then. Bastion found your heart, did he now?” The shadowy creature began to approach Artemis.

“No my old friend. He did not find my heart. He found the heart of the world. To kill me, you would be killing Nirn.” It cackled again. “Without me there is no Mundus, no existence.” Artemis picked his shield back up and drew his blade.

“Why are you back? Auriel sent you to never be found again.” The shadow stopped and hummed in its own thoughts. Its shadowy appendages rubbed up against what would be his chin, as if inquisitive. A strange gesture for anyone else–normal for the god of trickery.

“That is something to be observed at another time. For now, though, I will let you live. You and the people that Bastion loosely referred to as comrades. But the rest of the people who died here along with a fragment of my essence that I have taken back from Almalexia, will serve in the grand scheme of things. This is a warning, because I do have some pity for you elves.” The shadows began to disperse back to their things in the room. “Your reckoning is coming. You had best be prepared for the true Sundering that is headed towards your people.” The last of the shadows returned back from whence they came, and Bastion looked up towards the hole Artemis had created in the ceiling. Rain water flowed through it like a stream, and all the noise that could be heard was the pitter-patter of the droplets on the ground. “You know, for someone out there this would be perfect solace.” Through pockets in the cloudy sky one could see bits of the stars and moon. The moon was waning. Bastion took in a deep breath, which incidentally could only be the smell of charred earth and molten stone. In his half-Bastion half-Lorkhan voice he looked Artemis in the eyes. “Let’s hope we don’t cross paths again, Baron.” He remarked in a jeering tone. Complete blackness then overcame the temple room, extinguishing all the flames that lit the room, and before Artemis’ eyes could adapt to the sudden darkness, Bastion was gone.

End Chapter I
This post was last modified: December 14th 2012, 06:54 PM by Swain
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Post #18213

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Sub-Episode I: Sinister Within

“Fear is unpreparedness for the unknown.”
– ???

• • •

“What is it that you seek?” His voice whispered in my head. Each step brought me closer to my goal. My adventure came close to an end with the heart of the world before me.

“The power to create.” I uttered. “The strength to destroy.” A twisted rumble erupted from the stone. It was as if the stone was emerging from a deep slumber. “The might to rule.” I fell to my knees at the mercy of the Spirit of Nirn. He was the one deity that could give me the power I was after.

“It will cost you,” he said, “your flesh and blood.” The Heart of Lorkhan had a menacing aura that enveloped it. It was sharply red and almost physical in appearance. It cracked at the air like spiritual appendages. “But I am a just God. You need only ask and I shall grant.” It laughed menacingly. I felt my arms rise forcibly. I gave into Lorkhan’s cunning power. “I will grant you what you wish.” The aura then began to capture my body too, enveloping it and then squeezing the life from it. “Do you fear the darkness?” He asked with an inquisitive tone. I remained silent. “For he who fears darkness,” Lorkhan started, “cannot wield the power that you ask for, let alone fathom it.” My eyes widened. Had I made a mistake coming here? I began to feel a bitterly cold embrace gripping my entire body as if a frost giant was squeezing the life out of me. The light began to vanish before my eyes. Darkness overcame everything. His voice managed to whisper once more before I fell into the eternal abyss.

“When you wake up, a band of adventurers will find you. You will lead them; guide them to becoming one of the most powerful guilds in all of Tamriel.” The voice stopped for a moment. I was clinging to my existence. “And they will call you Artemis.”

End Sub-Episode I
This post was last modified: December 15th 2012, 03:30 AM by Swain
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