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Author Topic: Family Business (P)  (Read 267 times)

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Offline Salzem

Family Business (P)
« on: September 01, 2017, 06:15:36 AM »
Deep beneath the city of Essyrn lay a civilization forged by those spurned by life. A collection of those existing only off the magic of others... by the will of those stronger than they... A city of the dead... Among them, rule a select few, a small oligarchy of sorts ruled by a Creator and a Mother, an Architect and a Parent.

Embalmus stood in what passed for their "great hall" behind a circular table, his arms crossed as he waited for his "children" to join him... Ugh... He wished she'd stop calling their creations "kids" and treating them as such.... They were their pieces in this little scheme of theirs, tools to use and reward if served justly. They deserved not their love, not a smile, not even a show of compassion. Not to the creator... The only thing he had for them was a mild interest in their functionality and their aesthetic design, no more and potentially less if they dared to cross him...

Embalmus crossed his arms and waited impatiently for this whole charade to get underway... He had BUSINESS to attend to on the surface, what with bringing more undead down below to aid in their construction. Having been pulled away from his work has left the jackal in a fowl mood...

To keep himself quiet and still, the massive undead listened to the quiet, distant "ticking" of undead pounding away at the surrounding rock outside, clearing away the useless rock out of the way to make room for something much greater. Weak, decrepit skeletons did the majority of the work... no point in wasting energy on the details of grunts. They hammered away rhythmically with their pickaxes, a sound at first Embalmus despised with its endless, perfect timing but grew to enjoy its presence after a while...

His eyes glowed fiercely with green necrotic energies as his patience began to dwindle, his alleged "Family" taking their sweet time in coming to this meeting... First Cerci calls it and now she's making him wait... Quietly he reminded himself that soon, he would have no need of her and would be rid of her incessant irritations...
Confusion: "Demons can't have hearts.. and yet... I feel mine...?"-Demagogue

Resistance:"I will not be controlled by you or ANYONE else." -Salzem

Corruption:"Is it wrong to save your everything you love... if you lose the ability to love...?" -Lanister

Desperation: I've lost everyone but my little girl... How long until she goes too...? -Aeizith

Ignorance: "Anyone could be a good person if they try, right?"-Emia

Zealotry: "I will hold this land until My Lady comes and brings Rapture upon you! ....Samara...? - Embalmus

Characters of mine by Blinkers <3

Spoiler: show


Lanister X Nevayah <3

Spoiler: show

Offline Rowan Whitethorn

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 04:39:30 PM »
 Duamutef had received word from his mother to arrive at the Necropolis which she and Embalmus have been creating. It seemed to have been urgent so Dua flew instead of bribing some schmuck to take him to Essyrn. To limit suspicion, Dua landed just outside of the large city, transformed into his human form and walked through the streets and found his way down far below the grand city that stood above and into the deep civilization still being built by his creators undead minions. The halls still being formed were made of crude rock and lined with dust. As Dua approached the Necrophage chamber the halls became smooth and clean with rather ornate patterns. Thank the gods Dua wasn't assigned to the creation of this place for it would have stayed crude and filthy, this ornate detail would consume too much time and work for Dua to bother with. Dua did appreciate the beauty in the craftsmanship of the halls of this place. As Dua approached the chamber in which his mother called thus meeting he recognized a familiar presence, Embalmus. Dua sighed and entered the room. His creator was sitting at the far end of the room and the head of the table, naturally. There was no one else there. To ease his creator's disgruntlement, Dua quickly transformed into his natural state as a large black jackal with wings of a crow. Dua raised his head and spoke, "Hello Sir. It seems I'm the first to arrive, this is certainly something new. Where is mother?" With this Dua walked to a chair to the left of Embalmus and sat, resting his head back and his feet on the table. Hopefully someone will arrive soon and explain the urgency of this meeting.

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 03:41:08 AM »
Though Duamutef was the only Anubial creation by nature which came from Embalmus, another of his own had deemed to emulate him.  Of the three, Elise was physically the youngest, a 5-foot-even teenaged girl with glaring blue eyes and black hair whose body was nearly always in perfect condition.  It was her diet of death, you see.  The energy of that which lives until she kills it thus empowers her body and spirit further than her natural limitations.  Her necromancy was such that she projected and reshaped bone at will.  To that end, she had often surrounded her body in an animate armor that moved with her.  Though it had varied in shape, the form she often came back to was that of her father's, to Gravekeeper Embalmus, who gave her life.

It was a jackal-man form of dense bone, far superior to a mere skeleton.  Elise could strengthen bone just by being nearby, and her specialized warriors were top-notch.  For now, though, she was alone.  Bone Warriors were seeded here and there in the world, awaiting her return.  They wouldn't mind waiting, not when Embalmus wished for her presence.  So saying, she had left what she was doing, loping over land in the armor-form of a wolf, flying over like a bone dragon, or...at the last leg of the journey...killing a sandworm with a bone spear to the brain flung through its mouth and immediately raising it as undead.  Elise did not really like things with flesh.  Bone was both cleaner and more honest.  She hated sick, bloated, face-twisting expressions...

Suffice it to say, the girl in the adult-sized bone-jackal armor - scythe in hand - had also stopped outside of Essyrn.  Largely, she did not care what people thought of her appearance, but where Embalmus is concerned and secrecy is important, she made an exception.  Her armor disintegrated and swept into a traveler's pack which she placed upon her back, carrying the material over her shoulder while still holding her scythe.  She was quite strong, so the weight of it made little impact.  It was in this manner that she found her way down.  Doubtlessly, anyone who ever ventured down here was killed anyway, but why invite trouble into your home?  Elise now entered the chamber whch she felt the active presence of those who are her kin.  The pack she held flew open and the bone-jackal armor re-integrated over her body as she approached Embalmus and Duamutef.  Only her eyes were visible in this.

"You called...  I came...  What do you need of me?"
Signature to be approved by a city council made up of a host of monkeys, then quietly vetoed to insert whatever I feel in the mood for.

Character List Here

Offline Sandybro9001

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 07:48:30 PM »
Asis pushed a cart governed in potted plants down the hall, sweat ran down her neck from the effort. As far as Asis knew she was the only member of her family with a living body and ate real food, so she had to be prepared to feed herself for as long as she was here.
She she got to the end of the hall, Asis left the cart to the side and walked in. The energy of the room cause her spirit to swell and begin to separate from her body, appearing as a glowing blue halo spreading outward but she closed here eyes and took a deep breath, pulling it back in.

"Sorry for being late, had to prepare for a long stay." Asis bowed to her father and surveyed the room eyeing her siblings and feeling the energy coursing through the place.
"Is it time then?"

Offline Legit Violet

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2017, 02:35:36 PM »
Death. That was all there was. Life was nothing but a shadow of the greater concept that the world feared of embracing. However, there were those who did not. Some took it in with open arms, letting all their regrets fall away, and in the end they meant nothing to themselves or anyone else of this world. Lost in memory to join a stream far greater than anything anyone could've hoped for in a mortal life. For it was a shell, a cage. The rules of reality bending you to their every will. Nobody should be forced to live like this... And Death was the key to the shackles.

If only she could...

The sound of her feet echoed in the expansive hall, the steady rhythm of the skeleton's hammers clicked somewhere unseen. Surrounding the woman was an aura unlike any other in this city. It drained all life it came across... All but hers. The doors to the chamber opened on their own to allow her passage. Cerci, wearing her usual black and purple outfit stepped into the room. Her eyes cold and violet, an expression of seriousness sealed to her face. Her dress dragged behind her as she walked through the the doors onto the main floor. She was glad to see everyone had arrived before her. However, judging by Embalmus's expression, he didn't seem very convinced of the situation. Her children were present. Elise, Cerci's youngest daughter, still learning about the world and its beautiful shadows. Dumatef, a demonic being given a place in the physical realm by her and Embalmus, sharing his father's looks. And lastly Asis. Like her mother, considered to be a living entity.

Cerci said nothing as she entered, her eyes glued to the table. She would slightly move her hand, and then the rather large chair sitting at the head of the table opposite from Embalmus screeched. She would then sit and lower her head, looking at her knees as she breathed in. "My Children." She finally said, looking down. "What is the meaning of life?" She asked, lifting her head finally to look at all of them, an intense feeling drew them towards her unmoving, relentless violet gaze.

Offline Salzem

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 08:41:16 PM »
Embalmus' expression didn't glow the least bit lighter as the first of his "children" entered the hall, taking his seat beside his supposed "father". The undead bared his teeth in disapproval as the creature referred to his co-creator as "mother", a glitch he fully intended to rip out of their systems the moment he could be bothered.

"Your 'co-creator' is on her way." He growled, not even giving his creation the benefit of his glance. "As should be the rest of your siblings." He spoke that word with an obvious tone of contempt, more for the phrasing than the people behind it. Siblings... He hated how much Cerci encouraged the familial bond between them all... He wondered if she understood the over-all damage she was doing to their tools with this childish delusion... How attached they might get to one another and hamper their over all plans in dire circumstances. He wondered how long it would take for her to buckle under those "emotional needs" she programed into these creatures... The thought made Embalmus' lips curl up into a twisted smile. He'd be counting the days...

The next "child" was one of Embalmus' design, at least physically, a jackal near his own height, flaunting the features of undead, demons angles and more, an amalgamation of the deadliest forces on this planet. Still... He held the same contempt for it as he did the rest of his creations... And that thought of "love" Cerci had placed in their heads.

"You will sit and wait for your Creator." Embalmus responded curtly, nodded at the chair across from his "brother." "Cerci has need of you here."

One of the last ones... the weakest and most pathetic, mostly forged by the crippler of these beings, Asis came in, bowing before her creator who glared down upon her in judgement. Yes... she was the least dead of them all... Practically bordering on purgatory this one.... Cerci made her as the true testament to her lack of care for their cause he suspected... She practically looked like her "mother". He snorted and craned his neck towards one of the empty chairs around the table... She'd be the first he dismantled...

"It is time for you to take a seat and wait, little one." Embalmus retorted, before staring past her into the hallway from which she came... He sensed it... smelled it... the oncoming necrotic energies... Cerci was coming...

The woman walked in with her eyes glued to the table, not giving her kids a second glance which, in fact, surprised the general. She coddled their creations like their were living babes and now she was acting as ridged and lifeless as she was supposed to right now...? Well well... maybe she was actually starting to listen to him... Then again, maybe someone made her the most miserable person in the world a little while ago... He might have to find him and turn him into one of their "children..."

Her question threw the Jackal, him raising and eyebrow and growling questioningly as if he didn't understand.

Meaning of life...?

One might as well have asked the meaning of death. A pointless question, one that held no baring on their mission in the least, or so Embalmus believed... She comes in her pleasantly disheveled and now ruins it by asking an answerless question... He wondered how much deeper she could push his rock-bottom opinion of her....

T'was tempting to fire back something ugly and abrasive but this question was not directed at him... merely their creations. He had some restraint at least.... some patience... perhaps there was a POINT to her gibberish if he just listened hard enough....

Meanwhile, to help him focus, the undead already started drawing up new schematics in his mind... he had a new creation in planning that he wasn't going to have Cerci taint with her familial-muck... this one was going to be pure...
Confusion: "Demons can't have hearts.. and yet... I feel mine...?"-Demagogue

Resistance:"I will not be controlled by you or ANYONE else." -Salzem

Corruption:"Is it wrong to save your everything you love... if you lose the ability to love...?" -Lanister

Desperation: I've lost everyone but my little girl... How long until she goes too...? -Aeizith

Ignorance: "Anyone could be a good person if they try, right?"-Emia

Zealotry: "I will hold this land until My Lady comes and brings Rapture upon you! ....Samara...? - Embalmus

Characters of mine by Blinkers <3

Spoiler: show


Lanister X Nevayah <3

Spoiler: show

Offline Rowan Whitethorn

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 06:07:25 PM »
Duamutef hid his discontent with his father's remarks. Dua never liked the belittling way his father spoke of his mother and siblings. Despite his ultimate respect for his father, it still sparked some small flare of frustration within Dua's undead heart. Although thankful for the gift of a physical body, Dua always felt the disconnection his father felt towards him and therefore could not wait till his mother felt his usefulness was up. Dua had patience, it wont be long compared to his lifespan.

Dua sighed and looked to the door as Elise made a slightly theatrical entrance. He picked up his staff and pointed it at her as he said, "Why must you always cover your face with this bone? You have such a beautiful face. Besides you are among family." He gestured through the room as he said "Let alone if some poor soul walks in and sees three large, bipedal jackals sitting in one room." Duamutef then set the base of his staff on the floor once again.

 Dua could hear the wheels of Asis' cart from the moment she entered the pathways to the undead city. Hearing every bump and thump and heave from his sister nearly drove Dua mad. Today was not the day to have great hearing. By the time Asis reached the room, Dua's head was pounding with a headache. When she entered the room, Dua gave her a look that could kill and slowly said through his teeth, "There is a squeak in your wheel.FIX.IT." He then took a deep breath in and prayed for his undead healing to help be rid of this throbbing. "It is good to see you though.", he said with a weak grin on his face.

Dua was asleep by the time his mother arrived. He was jolted awake when the doors flew open. Dua instantly stood and bowed to his mother saying, "Welcome" despite the unusually sour look on her face. He then sat once more upon his mother being seated.

Duamutef then listened intently to every word and breath his mother made. Once she finished speaking, Dua allowed some time for a possible comment from his father. When none came, Dua took the responsibility as the oldest to break the silence and stagnant air with "Well..", he then placed his staff across the table in front of himself and leaned back before continuing with "..I myself have three different ways to approach this question. One,.. as a mortal. I could see the meaning as that to achieve any higher purpose in my life before I evidently die. Two is that as an undead being. I could see it as to achieve my goals, or in my case the goals of my parents, before the body I inhabit crumbles beneath me. Lastly, unique to me is that of a deadly sin. I can see the meaning of life as to corrupt as many mortal souls as possible and, ideally, make the corruption fatal." Dua then looked at his mother and said, "It all depends on the path you choose and the answer you are looking for..." He then looked to his sisters and father before turning back to his mother to continue in saying, "..and I'm sure you can find many answers in the rest of our family." He then looked across the table to Elise to signal a response from her.

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 07:03:29 PM »
Of course, Embalmus was perfectly aware that underneath that bone-jackal exterior, there was a more human-looking vessel.  They all knew.  It was also known that she preferred her shell over her core, and mainly used that humanoid body of hers to deceive others into thinking she is what they consider normal.  Elise tended to follow Embalmus' line of reasoning, though.  Even though he had no more regard for her than he did for any of the three, she regarded him highly.  Hence, she nodded with a simple "Yes, sir." when she was told to sit, and took a seat.  As she did so, Duamutef thrust his staff in her direction and addressed her appearance.  The blue eyes glared at him from across the table.  They clearly said 'Do you understand nothing?'.

"This is my real face, Duamutef.  This, or the skull beneath.  Flesh can lie.  Bones speak truth.  And any person who would find this place would no-doubt be torn apart in the catecombs above, to join the ranks of the undead.  There would be no such panic."

Meanwhile, the squeaks and thumps of a cart became louder.  It did not bother Elise as much because tuning things out or even remaining still for an unknown amount of time were things she could do, fairly easily.  Dua's reaction to Asis' arrival was strange, though.  How was he not irritated by the endless sounds of skeletons digging, if noise bothered him so much?  Well, that could potentially be addressed later, as Embalmus commanded Asis to sit.  Elise nodded towards the empty seat, as they waited for their mother.  It should be noted, at this point, what the bone specialist thought of her so-called siblings.  Her feelings were...accepting.  Cerci called them family.  Embalmus called them creations.  Either way, they were connected by the power of necromancy, the life of unlife.  That was enough, was it not?

At last, Cerci - Who had called the meeting, though her own message had simply said 'Come home', and that could have been from either of them - arrived within the room.  Elise called her 'Mother' because she asked her to.  She called Embalmus 'Creator' and 'Sir' because that is what HE wanted.  There was no reason not to do as they asked, in this case.  Their mother sat down, then, and asked a curious question: What is the meaning of life?  Duamutef took a stab at it first.  Several stabs, in fact.  He probably bled it to death and could raise it from the dead now, with all the answers he was giving.  And swiftly after, the proverbial ball was now in Elise' court, as the jackal of the flesh prompted her to speak.  So, she said this...

"The meaning of life...is that all things in life will die, without exception."

Duamutef spoke of personal goals.  Elise chose inevitability.  How would Asis answer?
Signature to be approved by a city council made up of a host of monkeys, then quietly vetoed to insert whatever I feel in the mood for.

Character List Here

Offline Sandybro9001

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 11:05:03 AM »
Asis sighed at the obvious disdain her family members held for each other, this was going to be a long stay.
"Don't worry brother, I won't be using the cart after I move into my room."
Asis's skin began to crawl as she sensed the approach of her mother, her spirit pushed outward forming a halo of faint blue light, shielding her mortal body from the energies surrounding her creator.
"Hello mother" Asis says as Cerci walks through the door.
Then Cerci poses a puzzling question and Asis listens to the answers of her siblings, a three fold one from Dua, which Asis partially agreed with, and a predictable one from Elise. Sometimes Asis wonders if her family members know that their undeath is really just an extension of life, that Cerci's question still applies to them. Asis considers her answer for a moment longer before opening her mouth to speak.

"Life is what creates meaning, without it our world would just be a cold rock floating through the cosmos. The minerals in the ground and water in the sea would be nothing without plans to soak them up, without animals to ingest them, without people to hunt.
Do not forget that without life, we would not exist, for there can be no death without life and we depend on the living in more ways than we realize.
I guess what I am saying is that life doesn't have meaning so much as that nothing would have meaning without it, and anything after that is up to the individual to find meaning in themselves."
Asis finishes speaking and gives a little bow to her mother.

Offline Legit Violet

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 02:34:02 PM »
Cerci sat at the end of the table, watching each of her children take their own attempts at answering the question. She could assume what they said could be true, however, there was only one truth Cerci believed. And none of them got it right.

She tapped her finger on the edge of the table, waiting for Asis to finish her sentence before shooting Embalmus a cold glance from across the table. Her tapping stopped, and her gaze  turned towards the ground again. She drew in one heavy breath, one that could've obviously been heard by the rest of the inhabitants of this room before looking back up with a soft smile. "There is no meaning... None that you should believe." She finally spoke again, a venomous sting underlying her benevolent tone. "The concept of it all is a test... The only meaning you can take from it is what gets you into the next world... Free from this one." She said, her violet gaze slowly eyeing all of them. "If you forget this..." She said. "The process of remembering can be... Painful."

She turned to Embalmus, and then lifted a hand. Necrotic energy began to form in a orb on her palm. The orb then was casted towards the center of the table. Once it reached its destination, the orb exploded, showering the the table in black mist... Leaving behind what appeared to be a perfectly scaled 3D model of the undead city they were currently situated in. The central tower to be precise. "The time has almost come to attract the darker minds of this world..." She said. "We must be ready." Her gaze turned to Dumatef, staring at him with ice cold resolve. "Dumatef... You will become an apprentice to Lord Ravenger..." (One of the 12 Necrophage councilors that help govern the city.) "Asis, you will be paired with Lady Vindicate, Elise, Lord Skallden." Cerci spoke without a hint of hesitation, evident she had been planning this for a while.

"You are all very skilled in your arts, however, if you intend to be the peak of our creation you will need to be so much more than that. These council members will teach you not only the skills in magic you still lack, but the skills required to manipulate those of living tissue. It won't be long until some heretical filth decides he wants to be a hero and attempts to destroy our work. For the world of the living should never be underestimated... Like I told you before, they are part of a test. If you hope to pass, you will need to prove you are the bigger force." She faxed Embalmus again. "You will all do exactly as instructed by your new masters. You will report to them, and they will report directly to Embalmus. Should your performance be lacking... Embalmus will instruct whatever form of 'educational techniques' it takes to get you back on track...

"I hope you respect my choice... It is for the city's benefit after all..."

Offline Salzem

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 05:19:24 PM »
The massive undead would've rolled his eyes had the glow not obscured the action, listening to the utter human poetry that was coming out of his creation's mouths.... Ugh... This was MORE of Cerci's influence wasn't it...? And the undead could see a delicious reaction on her face too, one of disappointment... At least they agreed on something. As if sensing his satisfaction, the mistress of the household raised her eyes to glare at Embalmus from across the table, actually shocking him with such an expression. Normally she was as peppy as death was bloody but now, here she was, apparently criticizing him for his reaction...

He snorted, his contentment obvious in his expression. He was glad she could feel something other than that insipid human jolly garbage. It made him happy to know that something he did darkened her doorstep... Pity he knew not what it was.

She corrected each and every one of their creations, reminding them how long they were with the simple explanation that there WAS no point. No reason. It just was and over-complicating things with the idiotic human ideologies were more dangerous than helpful. Good... Maybe she was worth being patient with after all... Perhaps he was.... he had jumped to conclusions with his opinion of her... Her could admit that...

She then cast a ball of energy across the table, one that exploded in the center and creating a map of black mist across, showing off their accomplishment in deep, extravagant exactitude. If Embalmus was prone to compliments, he'd have offered one to Cerci right there, questioning how much time and energy she spent examining and studying the details of their tower-in-progress. Maybe he would once they had a moment alone....

Embalmus leaned his cheek in his palm as he listened to his children's assignments silently, unaware of how... submissive he was being to his "partner's" decisions. Each of the creations had a master, each one of them mastering an art of necromancy... Samara forgive him but the way she took charge, the way she looked over their creations like their children... it reminded him so much of Samara... His master... His queen... He felt his dead, grey, necrotized heart begin to beat faster, his coagulated blood shuffle through his veins at a faster rate, rotted, bloated butterflies in his gut...

All that came to a sudden abrupt end, the Jackal blinking out of such a... compromising emotional state as Cerci spoke his name. He let out a dismissive grunt of approval, glancing around at his creations as they received their orders. He expected nothing more or less than a simple "Yes mam." He hoped he wouldn't have to start disciplining them so soon after their construction.
Confusion: "Demons can't have hearts.. and yet... I feel mine...?"-Demagogue

Resistance:"I will not be controlled by you or ANYONE else." -Salzem

Corruption:"Is it wrong to save your everything you love... if you lose the ability to love...?" -Lanister

Desperation: I've lost everyone but my little girl... How long until she goes too...? -Aeizith

Ignorance: "Anyone could be a good person if they try, right?"-Emia

Zealotry: "I will hold this land until My Lady comes and brings Rapture upon you! ....Samara...? - Embalmus

Characters of mine by Blinkers <3

Spoiler: show


Lanister X Nevayah <3

Spoiler: show

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Family Business (P)
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 02:34:01 AM »
She could not speak for her siblings' answers, but Elise found it strange that her mother even denied her simple and straightforward concept.  It was truth, was it not?  All things?  Destined to die?  Didn't that mean that death was the ultimate truth?  Perhaps Cerci was mad at her own state of immortality, since it was from regeneration that she did not die.  But Elise believed that if her mother truly wished it, death would come to her too.    Elise had thought, that if their goal was death...and that they were harbingers of death...then their goal was to bring more TO death, to the truth.  Wasn't that the point?  It was hard to say just what was on Cerci's mind, at any time.

So, the meeting continued, and her mother cast a ball of energy to create a map of the area which the five of them resided.  When she spoke of attracting darker minds, it sounded like they were to be rallying an army.  More necromancers?  Dark sorcerers?  She did not elaborate on that point, because the next step appeared to be that they must learn from three masters of the undead already om their employ.  For her, it was Lord Skallden.  It was her duty to train under him in whatever he saw fit.  Elise did not like the part about 'manipulating those of living flesh', but then she realized it was not literally dealing with flesh, just crushing those of the living.

"I'll be going, then."

No questions, no delay.  Elise expected that all would become clear after this test.  And in the meantime, power and skill awaited.  With greater strength, she would be better-suited to father and mother's tasks.  As difficult to deal with on the battlefield as she was now, this would no doubt increase her lethality.  For that much, she was even looking forward to it.  Thus, the bone-jackal removed itself from these chambers and descended the tower.  There was no need to do something as grandiose as fly out through her control of bones.  She would go to Lord Skallden, who - as one of the undead with power and will and perhaps even soul - would be waiting already.

It was a fact that as soon as Elise exited the tower, she knew where she must go.  The master's senses reached out to prick her own sense of the undead, and thus she was drawn to one edge of their great cavernous area.  It was an open space, and it was dark, as always.  Neither of them needed light to see, as such.  What he was...was much the way as her Bone Soldiers, but much more so.  Lord Skallden was made completely of bone, a warrior and a lich, by definition.  His was a skeletal structure, reinforced and armored in bone, with a long dark tunic on with no sleeves and his bare skull without head protection.  He didn't need it.  The grinning skull was the center of his power, no other part of his body important.  Its sockets seemed to bleed black into the air, but if it was ever necrotic green...watch out.  As she approached, his words echoed in her mind.

The Lady Elise, cast in her father's image.  Or should I be saying creator's instead?  I care not.  This form was once a man, and so it tends to think as one.  Mine has been a longstanding task to eliminate its humanity, save for colorful wittticisms.

"Lord Skallden."

Hmmm...

Skallden only spoke in telepathy.  He found speech that required more than a thought to be a waste of time.  His instincts were pure, unadulterated pain for all things that existed, and he had considerable skill in bringing it upon his chosen target.  At the moment, he stood armed with a curious staff.  It was, of course, made of bone reinforced in the manner she does things, but it coiled at the head tightly, and a dense sphere of bone rested there.  Elise could not be sure, but it was her suspicion that he might be annoyed because she did not engage in any banter.  She merely waited, scythe in hand, for the lesson to begin.  And with them standing with only the skeletal diggers in the background as witness, it did.

You are here because while you have power, you are lacking in its use.  You and I have similar techniques, but you have overlooked a glaring flaw in your approach.

"Which is?"

You are too secure.  I shall cure you of this.  Attack me now, and learn.

Once again, she expected that whatever he had to teach would become apparent if his orders were followed.  Lord Skallden did not become named such through rash and foolhardy action, after all.  In fact, no sooner had she lifted her scythe, then he pointed his staff and and the ball shot out at incredible speed, glowing dark green with energy!  Quickly, Elise moved to dodge and parry...which was her first mistake.  Skallden had complete control over sphere, and she knew it.  She could sense it.  What she did not expect was for the thing to break through her scythe AND her armor in three places, as it impacted stomach, rear right shoulder, and left hip...and it did so HARD.  The bone armor, dense and reinforced by her power, had crumbled under pressure and left her normal body to take the blow.

What...just...happened...?

She collapsed to all-fours, scythe broken and her armor crumpled and broken in several places, with those places in pain.  As soon as it was over, Elise tried to make sense of it.  That necrotic energy...  How did it break her will over bone?  Her bone?  It didn't!  She knew it didn't!  It just broke apart!  As the armor was being pulled back into shape and her scythe was no longer in pieces, she looked over at Skallden.  He always had a grin, and he had much to grin at.  Truly, he was not only a master of his art, but a merciless teacher.  Her eyes demanded an explanation for what he just did.

You have a well-made armor, and a strong manipulation of bones to densify them as I do, but...they are not immune to the other side of that coin.  What you can strengthen, I can still weaken.  Necrotic power robs life and strength and stability.  You have yet to project it in its purest form, and I can use it to render your bones - ALL of your bones - brittle and weak...or at least normal.

Elise stood up now, once again armored and armed.

"So, you will be teaching me how to resist-"

The sphere launched again and decked her in the face, the jaws of the bone-jackal breaking apart and she herself staggering!

There is NO means to resist this power!  You are helpless, and will learn to harness it in order to counter it, or strike first.  But you will NOT endure.  That which you have relied upon for strength shall not avail you now, save for a delay tactic in our battle.  And until you render me at a disadvantage, you will be subject to my damaging forces.

Well...this was going to hurt.

[OOC: Wasn't sure how much to put in per post.  If this is suppose to go straight unto conclusion, then to be continued...]
Signature to be approved by a city council made up of a host of monkeys, then quietly vetoed to insert whatever I feel in the mood for.

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