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 A Violent Prologue

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: A Violent Prologue   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:31 am

Author: Red Blizzard

The arrow struck solid flesh.

Dye winced in pain, cursing himself for his carelessness. Then he set himself on fire. A pillar of heat erupted from under the soles of his feet, engulfing his body in orange tongues of flame. The arrow, embedded in a crack between two plates of Guardian armor, splintered into red-hot shavings of wood and blew away. The metal arrowhead was instantly liquefied and dripped away, forming a molten puddle on the cobblestones of Wa-Kia. Dye turned, scimitar out from his back in an instant. Across the street, staring through the broken window of a bakery, was a young man, dressed in the leather garb of a ranger. A passing wind ruffled his messy blond hair, rattling a quiver full of arrows. His hands were still holding a powerful shortbow in the same position as he had wielded it when he first fired at Dye.

“Just my way of saying ‘hello’!” Uzamaki waved with a cheerful smile. Dye was not amused. Both were members of Requiem, a local clan which had held sway over the region for years. Dye had been one of the founding members of the clan, and held the position of captain and general of the clan’s soldiers. One of those soldiers was Uzamaki. When the two first met, they immediately established a bad relationship, with the grim captain unable to withstand the ranger’s sense of humor. Yet recently, their relationship had steadily grown worse as the ranger found ever-more annoying ways to bug the captain of Requiem. The clan, which had once fought for control and order in a violent, chaotic world, now found itself beset with internal problems. Dye had been meaning to deal with Uzamaki for several months, his short temper taking a brutal beating from his subordinate’s antics. Now, after a long hard day at work and with a direct, purposeful attack upon his body, Dye lost it.

“WHAT KIND OF HELLO IS THAT!?!?!? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!?!?!?” Flames leapt from Dye’s hair, towering twenty feet high as they reached for the amber sky of dusk. A few passerby, familiar with the members of Requiem, fled for their safety. Inside the bakery, a man with an apron covered in flour turned and ran out the backdoor, counting his money to see if he had enough left to start a new business somewhere else. Yet Uzamaki seemed unconcerned as Dye advanced steadily on him, the heat of Dye’s blaze browning the ranger’s hair.

“What, you can’t take a joke?” He was purposely driving up Dye’s blood pressure, and after a day of boring guard duty for the city, he needed some entertainment.


Uzamaki shrugged, knowing the pattern of Dye’s temper tantrums. “Go on, I dare you. Kick me from the clan.”

Dye charged forward with a roar that shook the street. Dye’s magic, the flame of emotion, gave him the power to cover himself with flames that reflected how he felt. Here, a furious blaze took over, dark orange, jagged. Flames trailed from his blade and his armor Dye left a trail of blackened ash and cinders as he surged into the bakery, ignoring the front door and crashing right through the wall. Burnt bricks flew everywhere, and the whole side of the building caved in, raining debris down all around the ranger. Too late, Uzamaki saw the mad look gleaming in Dye’s eyes, the insanity in his orange flames, the way he held his sword, going in for the kill. Too late, he saw his mistake.


Seth looked out over the city of Wa-Kia as he leisurely walked down a hill and entered through the western gates. The city had stood for over half a century as a bastion against bandits and thieves who scoured the land for riches. It had also served as a gathering place for clans, the organizations who brought together the many warriors and mages of the world and formed them into fighting forces in search of various political, religious, and personal goals. Many times, the city had been sacked and burned as a result of wars between clans, but every time it had been rebuilt again. Now, those that had survived the wars either settled in bases near the city or were far, far away from it. Seth walked down the street, admiring the sunset, clueless of the troubles about to enter his life.


For a moment, Uzamaki was sure he was dead. He had jumped when Dye had rammed through the bakery wall, but with all the flames and smoke and noise and smell, he couldn’t be sure he hadn’t gone straight to hell. But after the smoke had somewhat subsided, he looked around to find himself on the half-demolished roof of the bakery. Had his jump carried him this far? Uzamaki thanked himself for all those gym lessons and began to run across the rooftop.

A crash behind him. It couldn’t be Dye, could it? His guardian armor was too heavy for the rooftop to support, and besides, his flames would burn a hole right through if he set foot up here. Uzamaki chanced a peek over his shoulder. There was Dye, eyes trailing flames as he glared at him. The roof shuddered under his weight, but held as Dye came thundering towards him. Uzamaki hastily drew an arrow from his quiver, checked its glowing blue arrowhead, then fitted to his bow. A quick word, as Dye was only a couple steps away, and the ranger let fly. The arrow passed through Dye’s barrier of roaring flames and struck him in the chestplate. The arrowhead immediately shattered into thousands of crystals, which released their magic altogether at once. A blue aura formed in front of Dye, spreading across him and solidifying into a spray of ice that encased him. Uzamaki heaved a sigh and leaped from the ruined roof of the bakery to the next roof, knowing that the ice would only hold Dye for about five seconds. Less than two seconds later, a brief tinkle of shattered ice, then a huge roar of flame, and Dye was back on his tail again.

Uzamaki outpaced the heavier captain and made for the edge of town, sprinting from rooftop to rooftop. Once in a while, he would draw a random arrow from his quiver and blindly let fly behind him, hoping to impede Dye’s progress and thereby lose him. But the crackle of flames was ever present behind him, and Uzamaki didn’t make the mistake of looking behind him again as he ran for his life. Now he regretted having taunted Dye earlier. Too late now, he was unofficially an outcast of Requiem. Uzamaki leaped off the rooftop of a three-story high inn, landing lightly on the rooftop of a two-story high inn right next to it, then froze. Nothing but the city walls stood between him and escape. But it was a long way down.

The roof shuddered as Dye landed on it. The anger was still in him, but the madness had mostly left. Now, he moved with determination, his anger now a controlled anger. Possibly more dangerous. He was now thinking ahead, to the repercussions to be had from fighting a clanmate. Already, he could see the disapproving glances of his friends, or the pitiful consolation they offered him, for fighting across the city rooftops. But he had excuses ready. As Dye took a step towards the ranger, Uzamaki drew three arrows, and let loose. The first arrow went wide, missing Dye by several feet. The next two struck him, but in heavily armored areas. They bounced off harmlessly and burned up in mid-air. Uzamaki backed up to the edge of the roof, firing arrows wildly. Dye gave the roof a wild kick of his foot, spraying flaming tiles in the ranger’s direction. Each arrow glanced off a tile, and clattered off the roof, harming no one. Uzamaki reached into his quiver…and pulled out his last arrow. As Dye began advancing towards him over the scattered tiles of the roof, Uzamaki whispered a quick word to his arrow and fitted it to the bow.

“Black arrow, don’t fail me now.” Uzamaki aimed for the neck, narrowing his eyes, compensated for the evening wind and the half-darkness of dusk, and let loose. A black aura formed around the arrow as it gained speed in flight, accelerating forward. Sparks of dark lightning formed along the arrows shaft as it closed in for the kill. This arrow was created to bring instant death, whether it be to a legion of a thousand soldiers or an army of one. Dye could barely see something heading towards him as his fire flared up again, his anger increasing with each step. He thought he heard the distinctive whine of an arrow through the crackling of flames, and instinctively jumped. The arrow struck him full-on with the force of a flying dragon, striking him at the uppermost part of his armor’s chestplate. The arrow drove home, cracking the metal plate and forcing its way inside, the tip stopping less than a hairsbreadth from his chest. The force of the attack knocked Dye backwards, and for a moment he hung in mid-air, arms flailing. Then he found himself falling backwards, and reached out with one arm, stabbing into the side of the building with his scimitar. The blade caught, and his descent was arrested. With a clean swing of his feet, Dye flipped himself back onto the roof and charged at his opponent.

Uzamaki, with no arrows left, was forced to switch to a small hatchet that was woefully inadequate for close-combat against an armored, flaming opponent. He swung weakly at Dye, who brought his scimitar crashing down on top of him, shattering the hatchet. Dye followed up with a flaming kick, his armored foot singeing a hole in Uzamaki’s leather armor. He shot off the rooftop, sailed over the parapet of the city wall, and landed with a crunch somewhere out in the forest beyond the town. For a moment, Dye was sure he had killed him. Then, movement within the forest told him that his enemy was still alive.

Dye leaped forward, enraged that he had not finished him off. The next moment, he was stopped short by a glowing blade pressed against his neck. Flames petered out, and Dye’s arms fell to his sides, limp, scimitar clattering to the floor of the roof. He looked off to one side. Seth was there, soul scythe holding him back. A grim expression played across his face, silver eyes glowing with a fierce look.

“What do you think you are doing?” Seth, quiet as ever, had seen the fight as he entered the city, and had intervened.

“You had no right to interfere.” Dye forced his voice to remain calm, but inside, his anger was not yet spent. “You had no right to stop me!”

“Dye, you were trying to kill him, weren’t you? Explain yourself.”

“I don’t have to explain myself to you!!!” Suddenly Dye was furious again, and he brushed away the scythe with an armored fist, picked up his scimitar with another, fired up his body…and came crashing down as somebody tackled him. He and the other person tussled for a moment as he struggled to regain control, then they rolled off the roof. Dye landed on the ground with a thud, his armor absorbing most of the impact, but his bones rattling all the same. Pinning him to the ground was Blizzard, shades hiding his expression, red hair flying everywhere, leather jacket burning from Dye’s flames. Dye put the flames out and resigned himself to his fate.

“Let him go, Dye.”

Seth slid off the roof and landed gracefully on all fours, picking himself up and stowing his soul scythe. “Dye was…”

“I saw.” Blizzard brushed Seth off and let Dye go. Dye was calm, and drained, unable to think any further.

Dye heaved a great sigh. “How am I going to explain myself to…”

“Don’t worry about it.” Blizzard turned away and walked out of the city, into the gathering night. As a matter of fact, there was going to be plenty to worry about.

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A Violent Prologue
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