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Downfall is the second chapter in Fate.

CharactersEdit

Major CharactersEdit

Minor CharactersEdit

  • Old man

Previous ThreadsEdit

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RoleplayingEdit

Section 1: The DreamEdit

In the dark, there is a little light. Brenton is laying right beside a little bonfire he made with dry wood and sticks. He has closed his eyes and is looking at the mere centre of the flames, praying. Suddenly the flames take form of a winged woman of fire and light, who starts to talk

  • Spirit: You are a little Sun. Inside you, there is flame wanting to burn away your body and become a star in the sky and bring back the light to the land os Fate. The womb of your mother was burnt by flames before you were born, and, somehow, the seed of a star became your heart
  • Brenton: Oh, spirit of the fire... Please tell me I dont have to continue fighting...
  • Spirit: You have to. You are the only one who can bring the light back to these cursed lands. You gotta get a horse and go to the royal castle
  • Brenton: A horse? But... I dont have a horse...
  • Spirit: Just get one!
  • Brenton: You mean...
  • Spirit: Do whatever you need to do! It is the world that depends on you
  • Brenton: Steal one....
  • Spirit: You gotta look for the sacred Torch that contains the spiritual light. She would be inside the palace, somewhere
  • Brenton: Why?
  • Spirit: Just Do It!

The fire spirit bursts away. Breton wakes up, scared and yelling.

  • Brenton: It was just a dream...

Or at least It looks like

Section 2: The Old ManEdit

The first light on a cloudy day finds Brenton panting from the fright of his dream in the streets of Catalona Town. It is very early in the morning, and an old man emerges from a nearby house.

  • Old man: 'Ey! What's all that racket? (The old man turns to Brenton) 'Ey! You there? Wazzat in your head now, boy, lyin' an' yellin' in the street like that? Go on, now. Off with you, boy!
  • Brenton: Leave me alone you coot!
  • Old man: I'll leave you alone once you get away from here, ya dirty urchin! (he continutes walking at Brenton, swinging his cane)
  • Brenton: Get away from me you crazy old man!

Brenton pulls out a knife and holds it in front of him. The old man stops and stares at the blade.

  • Old man: (to himself) That's Lunar Steel. (to Brenton) Where'd ya get that?
  • Brenton: I found it! Now leave me alone! (brandishes the knife)
  • Old man: Careful with that boy. A weapon like that never brought anything good into the world and never will. You'd be better off burying it somewhere.
  • Brenton: No. It's my only weapon.
  • Old man: Then take it far away from here. There's some stables on the south edge of town. Get a horse and get out. If you're still here at night, I'll get a mob on your tail, I swear I will.

The old man walks back into his house.

  • Brenton: What the moon was up with him? And why did my knife bother him so much?

Brenton shrugs and heads south to the stables.

Section 3: The StablesEdit

It is very early in the morning, and the sun has barely chased away the ominous glow of the moon. Tallulah, with her rucksack over one shoulder, creeps out the door leading to the stables. The Windrift family is known for having some of the finest horses in Catalona Town from Silverwing. Tallulah had been formally taught to ride sidesaddle, and she had taught herself to ride like a man when no one was watching. She plans to take the white horse that she always liked to ride and escape to Silverwing on horseback. She stops to think a moment about what she would do once in Silverwing, and suddenly, she hears the rustle of hay crunching underfoot. She is not alone in the stables. She hurredly crouches and waits for the person to reveal himself. Brenton walks into the stables and looks around not seeing Tallulah.

  • Brenton: Well at least that nut knew where the stables were.

He walks up and down the row glancing at each horse.

  • Brenton: Bah. These creatures all look the same to me. Might as well just grab one and go.

He pops open the latch on the white horse's stall and immediately sees Tallulah.

  • Brenton: Hey who are you!?

Tallulah opens her mouth, about to say, "Who am I? I should be asking you the same question, you thief!" but stops, seeing his hand fly instinctively to the hilt of his knife at his belt. She decides to play the polite, harmless girl her mother had always wanted her to be, but with a tad of added ignorance. Maybe a bit more than a tad.

  • Tallulah: Lilac Hummingrose. (she curtsies and tilts her head inquisitively.) And who do I have the pleasure of addressing?
  • Brenton: Bah. Nobleman's brat. (stops and thinks) Might be able to ransom her though. Probally fetch a good price. (frowns) No, I always hated that sort of lowlife. Can't exactly leave her here though.

Tallulah pretends to not hear Brenton muttering under his breath.

  • Tallulah: I see you've met Lumi? (she turns to stroke the white horse's head.) I was just thinking about taking Lumi for a ride outside of town. It's always nice to escape for a bit from all the hustle and bustle of Catalona Town. (she pauses, then tilts her head again.) But if I may ask... did you have an errand here?
  • Brenton: Hah. Yeah, I've got an errand. I plan on leaving with that stupid creature. Why the Moon do you care?

Tallulah widens her eyes in horror, as she supposes Lilac Hummingrose would. But beneath her innocently horrified expression, her mind is racing, calculating how long it would take this boy to draw his knife; how long it would take her to mount and gallop away with Lumi; which way she could run if the boy took a swing at her or got on Lumi first.

  • Tallulah: Lumi is not stupid! How could you say such a thing! (she edges closer to Lumi, pressing herself against the horse's side and throwing an arm around her neck, as if Lumi had heard his words and Tallulah was comforting her.)
  • Brenton Bah. I don't have time for this, I need to be out of here by nightfall.

Brenton pulls out his knife and spins it into a forehand grip and raises it above his head to smash Tallulah over the head with the hilt. But Tallulah is ready. One arm still around Lumi, she vaults onto the horse. Lumi spooks and rears up, kicking Brenton in the face and bloodying his nose.

  • Brenton: Heh. You're a good liar girl.

Grabs his nose and twists it back into its normal position, picks up knife from ground

  • Brenton: Any noble brat would have just cowered while I nailed them. Now tell me. Who are you, and why are you here?

Tallulah has to stop and think a moment whether to trust this boy. Stalemate. She is on a horse, but he has a weapon. And it seems he can see through her lies, so she might as well tell him the truth.

  • Tallulah: Tallulah Windrift. You must know by my name that I indeed am a nobleman's daughter. But I'm running away. Now I ask you the same question: who are you, and why are you here?
  • Brenton:Heh. Well what do you know, a noble with guts. I'm Brenton, you don't need to know my familly, and I'm here to steal a horse, duh.
  • Tallulah: These are my father's horses. A month ago I wouldn't have let anyone touch them. But I don't have much choice, seeing as you've witnessed my running away. I'll tell you what: you take a horse, you never saw me. You... tripped over some hay and whacked your nose against the stable wall, if anyone asks. Do we have a deal?
  • Brenton:You aren't much of a negotiator. I tell your father, who thanks to you giving me your full name I can find easily, and your entire life gets screwed over. I want that horse in addition to full gear and a big sack of gold. And I'm a street rat, I don't need an explanation for a broken nose.
  • Tallulah: You aren't much of a negotiator either. You really think I'm gonna give some dirty little urchin my favorite horse, full gear, and gold? Hah! I hope you're not under the impression that I'm some stupid "noble brat" who thinks that I can get away unnoticed and my life won't be screwed over. Do what you like; go and try to tell my father. I don't care. I'll be halfway to Aarden before you'll get an audience with him. Now I've got a marriage to escape and can't waste any more time. Good day.

Tallulah urges Lumi forward, and the horse rears up, then begins galloping out of the stables, but suddenly falls to the ground hard, throwing Tallulah off. Tallulah looks around and sees that Brenton had thrown his knife and cut a small incision in Lumi's leg, not hurting her but startling her enough to trip.

  • Brenton:Never try to outwit a commoner, it never works.

Brenton walks over and kicks Tallulah in the back of the calf, effectivly parylizing her leg, and then picks up his knife.

  • Brenton: So now, care to renegotiate?

Tallulah tries to move, then realizes that she's paralyzed, on the ground, with a knife pointed at her. Trapped.

  • Tallulah: Err, yes, sir. Whatever you say, sir.
  • Brenton: Hah! Old style kiss up. You arn't like most blue bloods. You use your wits, know how to lie, and know when to give up. I'm starting to get an idea. If I travel alone, it will take me months to sneak into the place where I've got to get. If you go alone you'll be gang-raped and murdered within a week. So how about a deal?

Brenton kneals down next to her and gives a sly, slightly cruel, smile

  • Brenton: You get me into the imperial palace, and I keep you alive.
  • Tallulah: (pauses, then realizes that with her leg and Brenton's knife, she'll have to do whatever he says.) You have a deal. But we have some immediate issues we have to deal with, firstly, my parents, who will wake soon, and secondly, my leg. Any suggestions, O Great and Mighty Brenton?
  • Brenton: Easy. I pick the lock, go inside, unscrew the doorknob, pull all the stuff out so the door latch can't be pulled back, and they can't get out. As for your leg, it will be back to normal by the time I get back.

Brenton walks out to mess with the door, leaving Tallulah on the floor. She tries to move her leg, and after a few moments, she manages to move it a few inches, but not without a shoot of pain through her leg. She bites her lip, trying to keep from crying out.

  • Tallulah: May I ask why you wanted to get into the imperial palace?

Brenton come back from sabotaging the door just in time to hear what she says

  • Brenton: No. Now get up, we're leaving.
  • Tallulah: Yes, Brenton. (She stands, winces, grinds her teeth in pain, and begins limping after Brenton.) I was asking because if you wanted to see the king, or the queen, or the princess, it'd be way easier than to sneak in and try to go through the castle unnoticed. Just one of the advantages of being a noble; I can get an audience with royalty relatively easily. But if we try to go stealth, it would be harder, and would ruin my father's name if we were to get caught.
  • Brenton: Were you listening earlier? That's the reason I'm staying with you, and not slashing your hamstrings and stealing your horse! Here saddle up these two horses also, you know how to do it better then me.

Tallulah takes two saddles that were hanging on the wall and lets two brown horses out of their stalls and saddles them up.

  • Tallulah: Here, you take Roswell, I'll take Rosalind. They're brother and sister and they work well together. (she mounts the smaller horse, Rosalind.) It will be easiest to see Princess Adelaide; she's not as busy as her parents, and I already know her somewhat, anyway. Is that what you had in mind?
  • Brenton: Sure why not?

Brenton grabs a loop of rope and threads it between Roswell's sadlle and Lumi's.

  • Tallulah: All right, to Princess Adelaide it is.

Tallulah and Brenton finish readying their horses, with Lumi (limping only slightly) following behind Roswell, and begin to journey towards the castle.

Section 4: The CastleEdit

Tallulah and Brenton ride until they are within sight of the castle, then tie Rosalind, Roswell, and Lumi to a tree. They approach the drawbridge, which is lowered every morning at dawn.

  • Tallulah: (whispering) I'll speak to the guard. (She walks up to the guard standing watch at the entrance, with Brenton following close behind.) Good morning, sir. (she bends heer knees in a formal curtsy.) I am Tallulah Windrift, the daughter of Baron Godric Windrift of Silverwing. My acquaintance and I wish to see Princess Adelaide. If Her Highness could spare a few moments to speak with us, we would be extremely grateful.
  • Guard: And what business do you have with the Princess?

Tallulah turns and looks at Brenton for help, but he just shrugs and mouths that he has no idea. Suddenly, the sound of wingbeats fill the air, like blackbirds, only much, much louder and more ominous. Brenton and Tallulah turn around just as a bloodcurdling shriek fills the air, and red and black dragons appear flying over the city, straight towards the castle. On their backs ride the Empusas, the feared creatures with the bodies of women, but cruelly inhuman faces and minds. They have black irises and are dressed in dark black outfits, warriors' clothes made of the strongest dragon hide leather.

  • Empusa: Get the princess!

The Empusa that speaks rides a dragon bigger than the others, and seems to be a leader of some kind. Some of the dragons breathe fire at some of the buildings, some made of stone, some made of wood. They seem to be doing it aimlessly out of spite. Tallulah stares wide-eyed at the advancing Empusas, frozen in fear. Brenton grabs Tallulah by the front of the shirt and yanks her behind a nearby tree.

  • Brenton: Idiot! Do you want to die?
  • Tallulah: I'm sorry, I... (she trails off, then looks first at the Empusas, then at the castle.) What are we going to do? Try to go help the princess, or run away?
  • Brenton:(Chuckles) Easy. We wait until the palace guard has killed most of these creatures and then we join the fight to kill the last few. That way, we're safe but still look good.
  • Tallulah: (grins, then laughs softly.) I like how you think.

Tallulah watches one of the Empusas fighting a guard. The guard lets out a grunt and falls, motionless. Suddenly, Tallulah's gaze turns to a blank stare, and the color drains from her face.

  • Tallulah: Yeah, but we forgot that we don't have weapons. I mean, what are we gonna do, throw rocks at the dragons and hope they choke on charred stone?
  • Brenton: Well I have my knife. As for you...

Turns and throws his knife at the empusa who just killed a guard. The Empusa lets out a shriek, crackles with a pale white lightning and explodes. Brenton starts back slightly

  • Brenton: Never done that before. Anyways.

He runs up and grabs the sword from the fallen guard and throws it to Tallulah

  • Brenton: Try not to trip and fall on it, seeing as it's unlikely you've been trained how to use that thing.
  • Tallulah: (she catches the sword and holds it with two hands.) Er, yeah. I'll try not to kill myself with this thing. I'm much better with a bow. It'd be convienent if we could find one, seeing as half our targets are flying.
  • Brenton: Become too lethal on a battlefield and all you'll do is draw attention. If you started pulling dragons out of the sky we'd both get mobbed. In that respect you're probally better off with the sword. Just let the guards take them out.

Tallulah nods, and the two duck back behind the tree they were hiding behind. Tallulah still clutches the sword with two hands, although the guard that it belonged to held it with one. Suddenly, they hear a shriek from the highest tower in the castle.

  • Tallulah: The princess! Princess Adelaide is in trouble! (she looks franticly from Brenton to the tower where Princess Adelaide's bedchamber is, where they heard her scream.)
  • Brenton: Ah, moon take it!

He runs towords the tower as Tallulah flinches at the explative. Seeing that the staircase going up the tower is blocked off by fighting he leaps at the tower itself, climbing up it like a monkey.

  • Tallulah: Brenton!

She runs after him and attempts to follow him up the vines running down the side of the tower, still holding the sword in her left hand. She tries to hold onto the sword and the vines at the same time, and almost falls partway up the tower. Brenton looks down, frowns and pulls an orange out of his pocket. He drops the orange where it splats to the ground below, gives Tallulah a meaningful look, and scabbles in the window. Tallulah glances down confusedly, and continues climbing, finally pulling herself with difficulty through the window. She picks up her sword, which she had dropped when she climbed through the window, looks up, and stares in horror. Brenton is fighting two Empusas and a third (Tallulah realizes with horror that it is the chief Empusa she saw earlier) is advancing upon Princess Adelaide, the latter being unarmed and slowly backing away towards the wall. Tallulah hesitates indecisively for a moment, because after all, she doesn't know how to use this sword, but she can't leave the princess and let her get hurt, can she? She rushes to aid Princess Adelaide.

  • Tallulah: (steps in front of Adelaide and faces the Empusa) Hey! Don't hurt the princess, or I'll... (she falters, then holds up the sword) I'll... have to hurt you!
  • Cheif Empusa: Heh heh. Foolish girl...

The Empusa waves her hands about slightly and suddenly strings of moonlight come out from her hands and wrest the sword away from Tallulah. Tallulah's eyes widen in panic, but she tries to cover up her fear by baring her teeth and raising her hands, fingers curved so that her fingernails can act like claws. The Cheif Empusa holds up her hand and six inch long sabers slide out of the end of her fingers. Brenton strikes down the last of his two empusas and looks over.

  • Brenton: Tallulah. Run.

Tallulah glances at him, nods hurredly, and flees from the room, wondering how the simple thing of escaping a stupid marriage landed her in mortal danger. In her haste, she almost collides with the equally hasty King Chester.

  • Tallulah: Oh, I am very sorry, your highness. (she quickly averts her eyes and curtsies)
  • King Chester: (with an almost mad voice) Where is my daughter? Answer me!
  • Tallulah: In the tower, your highness.

King Chester pushes past her towards the tower, and Tallulah spots an abandoned sword on the ground and bends to pick it up. She tenatively follows King Chester back to the tower, clutching her new sword. They see Brenton and the Empusa circling each other in steadily smaller revolutions, with the princess trying to stay behind Brenton. Suddenly the Empusa lashes out at Brenton, who ducks and moves his knife towards the center of the Empusa's belly to disembowel her. But her other claw deflects the blade and stikes Brenton straight in the chest. As it was a backhand, the claws did not slash him but he was still thrown backwards, his knife flying out of his hand and landing near Tallulah.

  • Brenton: Oooh. That hurt.

In the panic of the next few moments, Tallulah and King Chester cry out at the same time.

  • Tallulah: Brenton!
  • King Chester: Adelaide!

As Tallulah grabs the knife and runs to Brenton's side, King Chester rushes to stand protectively in front of the princess and to confront the Chief Empusa.

  • King Chester: You dirty Empusa! You know you are not welcome here. Why do you trespass on the lands of Catalona? Why do you disregard the ancient agreement that our ancestors made that you would trouble our kingdom no longer? Your people are no more than dirty rotten lying cheating... nay, not people. Creatures. Well? Answer me!
  • Cheif Empusa:Do you really think I care what you think of me? That agreement was simply a way to keep you away from us as we consolidated our power. We need it no more. It is time for the moon to eclipse the sun for all eternity. Die now.
  • King Chester: What?! You--

With a screamed incantation and a slash of the Empusa's clawed hand, King Chester falls to the floor, bleeding from the neck. Clutching the wound and fighting to stay alive for a few more moments, he weakly turns to face first his daughter, then Brenton and Tallulah.

  • King Chester: Adelaide... children... don't... let... Catalona... fall. I will not..... rest...... until........ you.............

The king never finishes his sentence. With a shudder, he falls motionless, a pained expression frozen on the face of his no-longer living body. Tallulah, holding Brenton's knife in one hand and the sword in the other, sets down the knife and holds out her hand to help Brenton up from the floor. Brenton grabs his knife and then takes her hand and stands up.

  • Brenton: Thanks
  • Tallulah: Yeah. (she turns warily to face the Empusa.)
  • Chief Empusa: Aww, how cute. (she spits on the floor.) Too bad you have mere minutes to live. (she turns to face the tower window.) Sisters!!

The horrible sound of dragon wingbeats fill the air, and a crowd of dragons fly past the window, the Empusas jumping off their backs and into the tower room. Tallulah shoots a panicked look at Brenton, then turns to see the princess behind them.

  • Princess Adelaide: (whispering) If you hold them off for a few moments, I'll get us out of here. Hang on.
  • Brenton:(whispering back)Would we need to be in this room?
  • Princess Adelaide: (still whispering) Technically, no. Just somewhere close to me. If you leave, I'll have to follow, and this really isn't a good time for me to run.
  • Brenton:Good. Get just into the hallway. Now. Right outside the door. Tallulah. Give me the sword. Follow the princess. I'll be right behind you.
  • Princess Adelaide: That might be straining it, but... I think it will work. (she hurries out into the hallway, discreetly grabbing a small rucksack from the wall.)
  • Tallulah: Yes, Brenton.

Tallulah quickly hands Brenton the sword, and with a wary backward glance at the advancing Empusas, hurries after the princess. Once outside the doorway, she finds the princess standing motionless, a blank, glassy-eyed expression frozen on her face, muttering something under her breath.

  • Tallulah: Princess! Are you--

Suddenly, a blinding flash of light seems to shoot from Princess Adelaide's necklace, and a ray of light wraps itself around Tallulah, while another shoots into the tower. Brenton, Tallulah, and Adelaide find them instantly in a whirlwind of light, color, sound, fire, screams, faces, speed.... and then crash-land in a clearing in a forest, hard.

  • Brenton:What the? What did you do!? Some sort of black magic?
  • Princess Adelaide: ...I don't know. A sorceress visited me in a dream and taught me how to do it. Thank the stars it worked. I've never tried that before. You must see that this was a very urgent circumstance. (she turns away from Brenton and Tallulah to gaze at the castle, with only its highest spires visible above the treetops, then hangs her head.) As much as I hate to say this... my father is dead. My mother may go with him. Catalona has fallen.

(continued on Into the Forest)


 
Fate

Chapters
Tallulah's pastDownfallInto the ForestThe DreamCurrent
Characters
AquaralisBrenton EldEnki HarmonsonTallulah WindriftCatalonan Royal Family
Locations
Catalona
Bestiary
Dragons and Empusas

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