Fields of Ash and Blood [complete]

Postby Claincy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:28 pm

Eddard hits the ground near the Canal running, and spares but a glance for the corpses of his fallen soldiers. If there are any survivors from his little band they are not nearby. He sprints full speed and in moments is surrounded by the Lord Ruler's soldiers. At first they just look at him with surprised faces, trying to figure out if he is friend or foe. But soon they start to realize that he is in fact an enemy, and move to attack them. Eddard ignores their blows, and dodges around them as best as he can. Soon however the bodies become too thick, and he is forced to slow his reckless charge. His progress is impeded further as the enemy soldiers turn their attention to him and move to attack. Soon he is surrounded by men trying to strike him, grab him, or drag him to the ground.

Then the soldier directly in front of Eddard is flung into the air. Then another, then two more, and there is a short path in front of him. Eddard dashes into it and glances up to see Jastes giving him the thumbs up from the sky. The two of them charge forward, Eddard running with the mad speed of a Pewter-arm in full form, Jastes using Iron to pluck soldiers up and fling them out of his way.

Within but a minute or two they have reached their own army, who welcome them with cheers when they recognize them. Moments later the soldier's cheers turned to panicked shouts as the Lord Ruler descends upon them.


Rashek walked forward confidently, surrounded by a maelstrom of deadly chunks of metal. He didn't so much as lift a hand, but even still iron helmets, steel swords, arrowheads and discarded bits of armor whirled about at his command, striking down all those insolent Skaa rebels that dared to stand against his power. He felt the Mistborn and the Thug drawing closer to him, and he turned towards their approach. The two Allomancers where all that was holding the remnants rebel army together now. Soon this would all be over.
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Postby Claincy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:28 pm

Shadow burns Atium and winces when he sees the cloud of darting blue images around The Lord Ruler. The tyrant is burning Atium too, or maybe Electrum. Shadow turns his own Electrum on, then sprays a handful of coins at his enemy.


Eddard raises his arm to cover the eye slits in his visor as The Lord Ruler sidesteps Jastes' coins, then pushes them in Eddard's direction. With a series of "pings" the coins ricochet off his armor harmlessly. Then he feels his armor shift, twisting and stretching against the straps as The Lord Ruler simultaneously pushed and pulled on it.

Eddard dashes forward and strikes at The Lord Ruler with his spear, scoring a glancing blow on the creature's arm. It's barely a scratch, but it's enough. The wound distracts The Lord Ruler, and Eddard feels his armor relax.


Rashek glanced at the cut on his arm, then expended a bit of gold, healing it instantly. He looked up and into the eyes of his foe. Time to end this.
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Postby Claincy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:30 pm

Shadow shoots another handful of coins at the Lord Ruler as he soars through the air, hoping to catch him off guard with the different angle, but to no avail. The Lord Ruler deflects the coins without so much as a glance in their direction.

Not like that! Jastes Prime's voice growls in his head. You'll never defeat him with coins, he can-

Shadow blocks out the voice as his attention is drawn to Eddard's darting Atium shadows. The branching cloud of images coalesces into one shadow and-

"Eddard!!!" Shadow screams, though he knows he is already too late.


Eddard eyes the Lord Ruler carefully, his enhanced mental speed allowing him to take in every minute detail. He readies his spear to attack again when he hears Jastes screaming at him. A split second later, the Lord Ruler smiles confidently. Well that's disconcerting...

The Lord Ruler swells in size as he draws upon his metalminds, his muscles expanding to many times larger than that of a human, or even than those of a grown Koloss. The tyrant's suit is shredded by his increased bulk, leaving him clothed in nothing but his jewelry and a cloth wrap around his loins. Eddard takes a step back reflexively, and in that moment the Lord Ruler moves, blurringly quick. Too fast for a regular man to follow, but not Eddard.

He watches with horror as the hulking Lord Ruler dashes forward in a fraction of a second- less than that. Eddard tries to bring the tip of his spear between himself and the behemoth, but in the time it takes him to shift the spear a few inches The Lord Ruler is already there, reaching out to grab him around the neck with one massive hand by the waist with the other. Eddard is jerked helplessly into the air, and pain blossoms within him. The world spins slowly by...

First the sky, with millions of tiny flakes of ash fluttering their way to the ground, silhouetted by the red light of the sun behind them.

Then the earth, bloodied and trampled and littered with corpses. Eddard notices Robert's corpse among them, not far away, looking strangely serene.

Eddard lands on his back, facing the sky. I'm still alive, he realizes. He tries to roll to his feet but his body doesn't seem to work right. He flares his pewter, and with its strength he manages to push himself up a little. He sees the Lord Ruler- now regular size again- standing over him. He kneels down over Eddard, examining his torso.

Eddard tries to shout his defiance at the monster, but it comes out as barely more than a hoarse whisper. "You can kill me... and my friends... but there will always.. be those that fight you... One day we will... slay you and... end your tyranny... forever."

The tyrant ignores him, so Eddard spits in his face. The bloody wad strikes the Lord Ruler's cheek, but he ignores that too. "As I expected," he mutters, grasping something beneath Eddard's breastplate. Eddard feels an awful wrenching sensation deep inside him, and agonizing pain seems to tear through his very soul. His mind goes numb, and his vision fades to blackness.


"Eddard."

Lyanna's voice, but different from before. Clearer, more... true.

"Lyanna?" Eddard whispers, opening his eyes. The sky is no longer red, speckled with ash. It is lighter... white. His little sister stands over him, smiling softly. "I failed, I- I'm sorry."


"Let's go home, Eddard," she says, holding out a hand to him, still smiling. A feeling of peace washes away Eddard's disappointment.

He reaches up and takes her hand.
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Postby Claincy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:30 pm

Rashek tucked the bloody piece of jagged brass in his sash as he walked away from the body. It would come in useful when he created new inquisitors to replace those he had lost today.

He looked up and found the Mistborn, circling in the sky. One more. Burning steel, he launched himself into the sky as well.
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Postby Claincy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:32 pm

Eddard's dead! They're all dead! I'm the only one... Seeing his last ally fall, Shadow moves to flee Better to live to fight another day... he drops another coin and burns Steel, soaring away from the Lord Ruler's ship, the Lord Ruler watching him stonily as he escapes Self preservation, that's the key to... as Shadow soars away over the barren landscape a canal takes shape in the distance ahead of him, the Lord Ruler floating above it. Pivoting in the air, Shadow darts away in the opposite direction, breezing through the falling ash What was... ahead of him, the barge appears again, and he sees again the Lord Ruler approaching him in the sky... Shadow's vision clears and he realises he has merely been circling the barge, he hasn't departed at all. Shadow's mouth twists into a wicked smile unbidden, and Jastes Prime, next to him grins "We're in this for the long haul, buddy!" Gritting his teeth, Jastes tries desperately to flee again, but by then the Lord Ruler is too close. What is going on?! Nevermind, think, think... he's covered in metal... of course, Prime said he was a Feruchemist...

The bracers Jastes prime whispered into Shadow's mind,They're his feruchemical metalminds! Remove them and it will weaken him.
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Postby Claincy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:54 pm

Shadow dashes through the air, trying to escape the Lord Ruler. He glances back over his shoulder, but can't find the tyrant. Shadow frantically scans the sky, but there is no sign of The Lord Ruler. Then Shadow notices a small cluster of blue steel-lines leading up, and following them he sees his foe, just in time to feel the weight of The Lord Ruler's steelpush crash into him, forcing him towards the ground.

Shadow reacts instinctively, pushing out against every metal source he can feel- swords, spears, helmets, breastplates... and the Lord Rulers jewelry. An hour ago it wouldn't have been enough, but with Jastes increased allomantic power it is a different story. With The Lord Ruler and Shadow both pushing against each other, one of them has to move, and Jastes had an entire battlefield full of metal to anchor himself.

The Lord Ruler is launched hundred of paces into the air by their opposing pushes, far past the point where he can reach any anchors from below.


Normally the Mistborn's steelpush wouldn't have bothered Rashek- he could have just tapped weight and forced the rebel down- but when the Mistborn pushed the bloody piece of brass at Rashek's waist was torn free. That was unexpected- it took a lot of Allomantic strength to push against a Hemallurgic spike. Rashek pushed against the Mistborn's armor, and reaching out, was able to catch the brass spike, but it moved him far beyond the reach of any anchors in the process. Tucking the spike back into his waist-wrap, he waited for gravity to do its job.
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Postby Claincy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:55 pm

Perhaps there is another way, Jastes Prime whispers, There, below you, by that fallen banner. Retrieve those spikes.

Shadow looks down, seeing the banner lying amid a field of corpses. One of the dead soldiers still clutches a long spear, with a bloody chunk of an inquisitor mounted on it. Understanding seeps into Shadow's mind, and he drops to the ground next to the spear. He bends down, and a moment later straightens up again, clutching a bronze spike in each hand.


Rashek fell towards the ground, but as he drew near the blue allomantic lines from the battlefield below came back into sight. He caught himself, and rotated in the air. He drew upon Tin, and there in the distance, across the canal, he could make out the Mistborn, standing defiantly and facing him.
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Postby Claincy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:30 pm

Shadow, gripping the spikes tightly, turns and launches himself at the Lord Ruler. He is greeted by a hail of swords, helmets, and other assortment of metals launched at him by the tyrant. Glancing at his Electrum Shadows, Shadow deftly follows their cues, turning and weaving, dodging many of the weapons, and sending others whistling down at the Imperial soldiers below.

In a few seconds he has cleared the deadly projectiles and finds himself face to face with the Lord Ruler


Rashek snarled. Judging by the renegade mistborn's puches and pulls, the man was skilled, but still, that wasn't enough to account for his great strength. Rashek glanced at the man's chainmail armor, covering his torso. Covering more than that? Covering hemalurgic piercings? Rashek noticed the weapons that the mistborn held- two large bronze spikes. Inquisitor spikes. Yes, the man had been dabbling in the forbidden art.

What a fool.
Last edited by Herowannabe on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a couple of my typos
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Postby Claincy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:36 am

Shadow scowls at his enemy, feeling a hatred well up inside him more powerful than any emotion he has every felt before. All around the two of them Atium and Electrum shadows dance and dart about in a mind-numbingly complex jumble. Shadow ignores them, and flaring his metals, he launches himself through the air at the Lord Ruler. The tyrant raises an arm to block or strike, but Shadow spins under the arm, bringing his left arm around to plunge the spike into the tyrant's chest. He feels Jastes Prime's influence guiding him for just a brief second, and the spike is driven deep in between the Lord Ruler's ribs. Shadow doesn't have any way of telling whether the spike is placed correctly, but Jastes Prime's mad cackling inside his head seems a pretty good indicator.

Shadow catches a glimpse the perfected version of himself out of the corner of his eye, flying through the air near the conflict, watching the Lord Ruler. The Lord Ruler, in turn, glares at Jastes Prime- but, how is that possible? Does the tyrant have some way of seeing other people's gold images?- then turns his attention back to Shadow.

The tyrant pushes himself forward, once again moving at an impossibly quick speed. Shadow tries to push himself up and out of the way, but isn't fast enough. The Lord Ruler is there in an eyeblink, and with arms the size of tree-trunks, he grabs Shadow's chainmail and tears the armor in half. The move spins Shadow around, and he pulls on a half dozen sources of metal, stopping his rotation with a jerk. Shadow locks eyes with his enemy again, just long enough to see the triumphant grin flash across the Lord Ruler's face.

Then, the full weight and power of a god smashes into Shadow.

In an instant Shadow's coin pouch is ripped away from his belt, along with the remnants of his chainmail armor, and in that moment Shadow also feels an enormous pressure in his chest and back and stomach- The Lord Ruler's allomancy affecting the metals inside Shadow's body. I knew it was possible! Shadow thinks briefly, and then his mind and body explode in pain as several of the spikes are blasted through his chest and out his back. Some part of his mind registers that the strength of several of his allomantic powers is diminished by the loss of the spikes, but the wave of agony that follows it washes away any other coherent thought for several moments.

Gradually, sensibility comes back to Shadow, and he is dimly aware that he is lying on his back. He tries to gasp a breath, but his lungs don't seem to work anymore. He flares tin, and the shock of intense pain wakes him fully. The enhanced sensitivity also lets him feel what is wrong with his body. Several of his spikes are missing, and Shadow can feel blood leaking out of the gaping holes in his chest. Many of the spikes that are remaining have been driven deeper into his chest or nearly pushed out of his back. His ribcage is shattered, the bones broken in too many places to count, and Shadow can feel shards of his ribs lodged deep inside his chest. Along with the shards of bone, he can feel his lungs filling with blood. He tries to breath again, or to cough, but his body doesn't respond. I'm going to suffocate, Shadow realizes. Choke on my own blood.

A figure steps up to stand over Shadow, and with effort, Shadow focuses on him. It is Jastes Prime. The sunlight shimmers around his silhouette like a red halo. A crown of flames.

"Help me," Shadow tries to say, his lips barely forming the words.

Prime laughs. How utterly pathetic, he says, his voice laced not with contempt, but with gloating.

"But," Shadow mouths, his mind shocked by the glee in Prime's voice. "But we are the same. You were going to make me like you. Perfect."

The same? Prime intones mockingly, No, Jastes, you are but one more Electrum shadow, your fleeting existence serving only to show me the better path. You are like a Gold Cognition, something that never was and never will be, no matter how real you thought you were. You were my slave- No, my puppet. My automaton. An experiment, and a failed one at that.

"No," Shadow whispers, but Prime has already turned and is walking away, leaving Shadow to die in his despair.


Rashek tapped Gold, and the wound from the bronze spike closed up even as he pulled it free from his chest. Next he burned iron and pulled the other inquisitor spikes from the ground and from the Mistborn's corpse. They were too valuable to leave behind.

He turned and looked over the battlefield. With no leadership, the remnants of the rebel army were fleeing back into the woods, and the few dozen of his own soldiers that remained were content to let them flee.

In his head, Ruin had quieted. It seemed that all the death and destruction had appeased the Dark God, at least for the time being. Fortunately, there would not be any more killing today. Rashek would, of course, have to hold executions when he returned to Luthadel. He would do whatever it took to teach his ungrateful people to obey, to resist him no more.

He didn't mourn the loss of lives anymore. He was the Hero of Ages. His task was more important than the lives of all of his subjects. If only they could see that.
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Postby Claincy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:37 am

Epilogue

A lone figure sat atop the tallest of the nearby hills, watching the scene below. The battle was over now, and the rebels had failed. The Observer wasn't surprised, that's how these things always ended.

Ruin moved up the hill to join the figure. As always, the Observer could see his true form. Even though nobody else ever could, the Observer could clearly make out the short red hair, the scowl on his face, and the distinctive foreign clothing that Ruin always wore. So different from the Observer's own clothes. Simple and sturdy, good for keeping the ash off.

"Wull M'lord," the Observer said, "It looks like you failed again."

"Yes," was all that the god replied, his face dark as he looked over the battlefield. Below, the Lord Ruler's Caravan was starting to move again, pulled by the rebel soldiers that had surrendered. Or at least, those of the captives that the Lord Ruler hadn't ordered to be slaughtered.

"Now don't be down on yerself, I'm sure you'll get 'im one of these days," the Observer said encouragingly. "You just gotta keep trying. Like my Da always said, 'If'n you keep trying, eventually you're sure ta get it right.'"

Ruin made no reply. After a moment, the Observer rose, using his large broom to push himself to his feet. He didn't bother dusting the ash off his pants, he was used to it. He almost didn't feel right if he wasn't covered in ash.

"Wull," the Observer said to Ruin, breaking the silence. "I best be on my way. You brought us a heavy ashfall today, and someone's gotta clean it up." He turned and headed down the hill towards Luthadel, whistling an old tune as he walked.

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