The soldiers eye background music

Rick Haukins sat alone at a small wooden table. Reflecting on the events the past few days. 12 soldiers in training had died during the corruption. (the term most soldier were now using to describe the strange phasing in of the beyond the past few days) 12 soldiers too many. He had only a few men and women left with the mettle to fight the tide that would surely come again. His hard eyes drifted to the lone bottle of brandy on the table accompanied only by the small crystalline glass next to it. twist, click, glug, splash, gulp, clink. Rick no longer cared about savoring the taste. with Enjoyment came memories. he only cared about the effects. The nobles were fighting again, the leadership bickering about who should be in control. glug, splash, gulp, clink. They were killing each other again. the people that his men lost their souls and minds protecting were killing each other again. Some had had the gual to ask him to help them to kill each other. His brow furrowed for a moment then hardened back to stone. He no longer had the passion to be angry. With anger came memories. How much time did they have? How many more times would they cut their loses in order to live a few more weeks. Glug, Splash, Gulp, Clink. He wiped the questions from his mind. With answers came memories. Tomorrow he would train another unit of the fallen saith. Glug, Splash, Gulp, Clink. tomorrow he would get those four new recruits into their battle harnesses for the first time. Glug splash, Gulp, Gulp…Clink Tomorrow he would discipline the one recruit who looked just like…. And then the memories came.

He layed his head back in his chair as his mind began to struggle through the haze of alchahol to torture him. struggle to break out of the bunker of dormancy he desperately forced it into. The recruit who looked just like Rebecca… images of her laughing, fighting, Smiling, sleeping, Dying… Her last glance that haunted almost calm look of someone who knows they are about to cease. Her gaze began to merge with others, dozens of other brave men and women, hundreds, The eyes of that look flickered from brown to glacial blue to green to golden to red from man to women from soldier to child. How many souls had thrown him that last desperate look over his life as they were ripped into the blackness? the look that regardless of what other cluster of mixed and terrified emotions overlayed it always asked one thing… “remember me”. The chair fell backward as Rick lurched to his feet hand splanted on the table head hung eyes burning. The mostly empty brandy bottle clattered to the floor. Rick clenched his teeth not daring to close his eyes for fear of what he would see when he did. He threw his head back.

Down the street Sophia Heroditous heard a howl not unlike that of a dying animal come from the soldiers district. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she continued walking. weeping for someone who had long since run out of tears.

.....An unseen battle

“Go!! Run!!” Gregory high guard shouted to the wide-eyed alchemists behind him. “We will hold it off” Theodore created a wall making array and sealed off the street between the alchemist and the..creature The creature would break such a wall easily but Gregory was thankful for it. It broke line of sight between himself and his charges so they wouldn’t have to see how terrified he was. despite this he readied himself drawing his blade and preparing to put the grotseque thing before them back beneath the earth were it belonged. He was about to put this sentiment into words when a croaking laughter rasped out of the things throught.

“Twisting turning little worms drawn out by the rain, Ripped apart by little birds bringing death and pain.” its eyes locked of Gregory The sing song quality of the words was dissonant from the deep sluggish voice the versed them. Gregories battle cry died in his throught. The one eye of the creature focused on him with relentless intensity the other gyrated in its socket like a thing trying to escape the grotesque its body had become. and somewhere in the depths of that eye Gregory could see a tortured fragment of a psyche a soul half devoured and fully mad begging for sweet nothing to take it. Gregory faltered he could not face this thing the Idea that there was something human in that twisted shell terrified him more for reasons he could not explain. his sword grip loosened. Under that gaze his stance faltered. but as his courage was about to give out a reassuring hand was placed on his shoulder.

“at piece borther.” Vincent said to him, his serene smile the same as always. “we are the high guard. Whatever we face it shall be overcome.” he turned towards the creature thier stalwart cousin Gorge stepping up beside him. “WE ARE THE HIGH GUARD!” he repeated in a great shout. “Never Dishonored!”

“Never Defeated!” Gorge, and Theodore continued
“Never Alone.” Gregory breathed with and edge of determination his grip tightening on his blade his will set. They charged.

The first blow sunk deep into the creatures side. in response it backhanded Gorges face off sending blood and brain matter spattering across the street. Flinging their former companions body rag dolling into a building. Then it lashed at Theodore who deftly dodged using his nimble frame to his advantage .three swords sunk into the things ribs but the high guard were too used to their opponents dying when mortally wounded. It grabbed Vincent hand and sent its other hand tunneling into Vincents chest he screamed for a moment before a root like appendage ripped up his throught and into his brain making a sickening slurping sound as Vincent’s head crumpled inward like a deflated balloon. The last thing Gregory saw was his youngest brother tumbling away in horror shouting at Gregory to get away from that thing but then something made contact with the back of Gregory’s skull. And Gregory high guard was no more….

An unseen battle

The three brothers stood in the small secured lab staring intently down at the cluster of alchemists on the floor in front of them. Gregory high guard had herd of the madness before a mental affliction that began a quick and steady dissent beyond sanity’s grasp a dissent caused by witnessing a horrible event or lingering in the dark places world to long. That journey had been made by this young girl this poor soul named Eve. Even by the noble high guards reckoning she was too far gone. mumbling dark nothings at the world around her trying to run to the outer wall whenever she wasn’t drugged or held down and screaming uncontrollably at nothing anyone but her could see. It had saddened Gregory greatly to see someone so young barely ten if that in such a state. More so because he had known he was powerless to help her. Now before him four alchemists and a homunculus were performing a mind delving in unison to try to save the unsaveable. to drive out the madness that had taken root in this girls mind. The four sat in a ring hands pressed palms to the earth around the glowing and crackling alchemical array. On the east side of the circle sat Rita Citen the diamond alchemist. Her long luxurious hair and tantalizingly revealing clothing blowing back and forth lightly tossed about by the activation energies. Beside her sat Luthur Algol the second son of the Algol house. To gregoriy’s knowledge being second son in that house made him akin to an illegitimate son if he was not able to prove his quality to his house. Well he was showing his quality now according to high guard standards his elegant features already glistened with sweat from the strain of the activation his brow forrowed with focus to save the young orphaned girl. opposit him sat Cassi Zuri a young medical alchemist whose pale features and dark eyes stared vacantly into the center of the array at Eve as her mind battled with some unseen adversary. and completing the circle Amina De-clairmont sat. Gregory shifted at the sight of her he was glad he had not been assigned as her bodyguard the subtle yet unmistakably seductive curve of her figure and all to clear eyes would have made it hard for him to focus on work despite himself. The final figure was by far the strangest. Everyone knew of humonculi in arkham but this one was a new sight a woman at first glance yet unmistakably not human on closer inspection she had small featherlike wings were human ears should be and her hair and eyebrows also seemed to be closer to golden feathers than hair she was the first of a homunculus class known as a siren.

The five of them had just activated the mental delving Array. intrusting Gregory and his brothers to break their connection to the array should they show signs of distress or alchemical backlash. in the last 10 seconds Cassie had started to sweat profusely and was breathing heavy, the homunculus had a red scar-like pattern appear across her face and the other three were breathing like they had run a marathon. 15 seconds now. Luthur twitched slightly as alchemical energy pealed out of the array striking his legs and leaving odd bruises spidering up them. Theadore, Gregory’s youngest brother looked at him questioningly. Reactions rarely went on for this long even delving ones. the strain on their bodies even with four of them supporting the reaction would be too great to bare very soon. The crackling of the array grew more erratic the light of it began to take a reddish hue. the first signs of a backlash. the three high guard knights got in position to pull the participants away something that was only safely possible with a delving array. As if on que Eve’s eyes shot open and she let out an earsplitting scream. all four humans around the circle began to go limp their breathing growing dangerously shallow. on Gregory’s signal they were jerked away from the array. Anymore time connected and they would all die of exhaustion. as each alchemist was pulled away their eyes snapped back into focus flickering immediately to the girl in the now fading array. she had stopped screaming and was now breathing gently looking more peaceful then she most likely had in months. she opened her eyes weakly and gazed over at her exhausted saviors. “Are you feeling alright eve.?” Luthur choked out between labored breaths.
“yes” she replied quietly “I’m feeling better now Galahad, I’m just really tired” her eyes drifted shut again and she was in the dreamless sleep of exhaustion.
“I can’t believe it” Gregory breathed “they actually did it. they actually saved her from the madness”
“nothing is certain” Vincent Gregory’s second brother said “they may have only driven its effects back temporarily but either way it is a miraculous feat”
“And deserving of high praise” Theodore added “let us send word back to our house to let it be known that these alchemist are indeed Honorable or at the very least brave for their actions have spoken well for them this day.”


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.