The Emerald Song, Act I: Red

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Rampage

Act I: Red

Chapter 19: Rampage


It was serendipitous that the western jungles lay just along the edge of the northern wastes, allowing for the Stranger to witness the commotion unfold without being seen. Far ahead of him, as he hid behind a tree, stood the lich of the Dark City, accompanied by two oddly colored female forms. While the Stranger couldn’t make out any specific details, he was able to see that the one on Garren’s left was of a deep crimson, and the other, on his right, a faint purple. In between him and the lich, though, was what the Stranger surmised to be the cause of the rumblings - a blackened beast possessing the body of a werewolf and the head of a raging bull. It appeared to be bipedal, and very angry at the unamused tyrant.

Garren turned his head slightly to the purple woman and opened his mouth to speak. The Stranger didn’t expect to hear anything from this distance, but strangely, because there was no ambience from any wind or wildlife, he was able to pick up just the subtlest of sounds.

“I assume you said something,” the lich smirked. A laugh escaped the woman that echoed throughout the landscape.

“Maybe. Probably. I don’t remember,” she cackled, placing her hands behind her head. “Zethra, dear, why don’t you take a crack at it?”

The beast roared in pained hysteria before slamming its claws into the ground, pushing into a forward charge. The red woman, identified as Zethra, simply rolled her shoulders and stepped in front of Garren and the other. The Stranger watched with narrowed eyes a she leaned back, seemingly waiting for the monster to make contact, and when it did -

The full force of the creature was stopped as Zethra slammed her hands on its horns, releasing a shockwave that once more shook the earth. Its strength caused her to slide back a few feet, but it wasn’t enough to sway her. However, it was clear that she was putting everything she had into not being crushed. When the beast had stopped fully, she leaned to the side and tried to toss it the opposite way - only to be met with a monstrous blow of the back of the beast’s hand.

Zethra careened across the field, skipping across the ground several times before flying into the same jungles the Stranger opted to hide within. She fell a ways away, out of his sight. He quickly turned to see that the beast had suddenly given chase, prompting the Stranger to duck down in the hopes that he was not seen as the monstrous brute smashed the vegetation out of the way in pursuit.

Its bellows grew fainter as it went deeper into the jungles. The Stranger waited for a few seconds before making any motion, and then slowly turned back around to see the other two.

Garren shrugged. “Whatever. Odeel, see to it that she doesn’t get herself killed. My forces are thin enough as it is.”

“Ugh. Fine,” Odeel groaned. “How come a succubus doesn’t get that kind of power, anyway? I’m jealous.”

As the purple woman closed in on the woods, the Stranger quickly found himself a new hiding place. As he watched, he postulated that these two were in fact demonic in nature, meaning the lich is employing minions not entirely found amongst the dead. As for the monster, though, he was still as lost as before.

Once Odeel entered the brush, the Stranger made a point of clinging to her shadow.


Pain enveloped her entire body as a deep roar woke her from her state of unconsciousness. It was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience to someone like her, in her mind, though. Zethra sat up with a groan and assessed her surroundings.

“Ugh. That idiot is probably still looking for me,” she hissed lowly.

As she stood up, he brushed off much of the mud and vegetation that clung to her skin and clothes. She glanced up, noticing the position of the sun and the direction it was slowly moving, figuring out which way was north and thus the lich’s domain.

And then suddenly several trees were ripped straight out of the ground as the beast tore through the woods, finding his quarry. She turned around just in time to see her pursuer, gritting her teeth in anger and readying herself for another blow. She planted her feet.

“Son of a bitch, I wasn’t the one who pissed you off, you idiot!” she yelled, though to no avail.

It was at this moment that her vision turned white. Startled, Zethra lost her stance and fell backwards into a tree, the bark scraping against her stone-like skin. Another shockwave blasted through the surrounding earth as the beast made contact with whatever wedged itself in between it and the red demon. Zethra opened her eyes to see.

Directly ahead of her was what appeared to be a tall, blonde male, crouched on the ground as his most prominent feature did the heavy lifting. Attached to his back flowed brilliant, white-feathered wings, pushed forward to somehow stop the monster in its tracks. Zethra pushed herself from the tree. Before the demon stood an angel, defending her from harm.

“Oh... I guess this isn’t... this place is confusing...” the angel spoke softly, turning his head to see the confused female. “Are... are you alright?”

Zethra didn’t have time to answer as the blackened monstrosity pushed his wings away with a roar and once again tried to force his way to the demon. The angel then darted into Zethra, swooping her up in his arms, and blasted off into the sky. The sudden motion was enough to disorient the red demon for a few minutes, but she eventually came to and found herself being carried through the empty sky. The angel caught her gaze up at him, and he calmly smiled.

His smile was then met with a fist.

“Oof!” he blurted awkwardly.

Zethra knocked herself out of his grasp and skewed his flight, causing them both to cascade downward into the cliffside of the Fae Forest. Dirt and stone rained all around them as they smashed into the ground.

“What the hell are you doing, angel?!” Zethra yelled as she pushed herself up while hurting all over again. “Don’t patronize me!”

“I... I mean... I wasn’t... I...” the angel stuttered, nervously rubbing the back of his head.

“Get out of my sight, you winged freak!”

The angel took a few steps back, but didn’t argue. He turned and flew off into the distance. Zethra watched with a confused and irritated expression.

What the hell... did he just forget what he was or something? she thought to herself. Why is there even an angel here anyway?

While stretching out her sore shoulders and arms, she walked to the edge of the cliff, seeing the Dark City in the distance. She sighed.

Before she descended, though, she heard a small crack behind her. With a roll of her eyes and a groan, she quickly turned around.

“What now?”

Perched on the branch of a tree was the enlarged raven, cocking its head as it watched her. Zethra stared back at it for several seconds, waiting to see if it was going to do something. It didn’t. Angrily, she picked up a stone and lobbed it at the bird.

“Just go away!” she yelled. The stone hit the branch, causing the raven to fly off with a caw. “God. What does everyone want with me today...”

“Want with you?”

A thousand chills clawed their way up Zethra’s spine as a voice came from nowhere. She whipped around in all directions before locking onto a figure in the dark. She couldn’t make out any features, aside from the swishing of what appeared to be a large, fur coat.

“No, my dear, I simply want to set you free.”


Glossary - Day 10

UNALIGNED

- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active

- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant

- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

- Akulien / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

- Maelomi / Race: Unknown / Status: Active, Tavern Mistress

- Vairnlor / Race: Lich / Status: Active

- The Father / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

- ? / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active

- ? / Race: Angel / Status: Active

THE FAE COURT

- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active, Fae Queen

- Kael / Race: Fae (Kelpie) / Status: Active

- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active

- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active

THE LEGION

- Garren Myzen / Race: Lich / Status: Active, Legion Tyrant

- Sirena / Race: Elf / Status: Active

- Odeel / Race: Demon (Succubus) / Status: Active

- Zethra / Race: Demon / Status: Active

THE FELINE ROGUES

- Zephryne / Race: Feline / Status: Active, Rogue Leader

- Licitaila / Race: Feline / Status: Active

TERMS

- Tylarus: Name of land.

- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard and Basin.

- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.

- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.

- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.

- The Tithe: Fae Ceremony meant to bind Solitary Fae to the Queen’s rule through two sacrifices.

- The Wastelands: Northern plains, home to the Legion.

- The City: Capital of the Wastelands.

- The Rogue Woods: Western woods, home to the Feline Rogues.

- The Raven: ?

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