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513607 No. 513607 ID: 0eef61

God above me, protect and hold me close as I walk through this accursed land. Steer from my path the beasts that harm men, and women. Remove from my tread the thorns that would entangle me.

I entreat you, God, on bent, tarnished knee, for I am in the dust and you are in the Palatine gardens of the sky. I have made mistakes, and you are infallible. I have been hurt, and you are untouchable. I have been foolish, and you are omnipotent.

But still I petition at your splendorous gate, Lord, and still I strive to bring goodness into the droughted, cracking world. Because I know no course but goodness, and no aim but its attempt, no matter how ineffectual. Because I do not know what I may do but cast a stone into the yawning pit of wickedness.

Because your love is all I have left.
194 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 517692 ID: d1d627

Santus Scutum, or Santus Trasis.
I'm for Santus Scutum, for building into the Shielding Mage, specialty-wise.
No. 517693 ID: f2c20c

Uh oh. Just one tent means that you won't have any privacy for sleeping. Which means... unless you sleep in your mask and everything, Calidore might see your face. This would be avoided if he sleeps outside of the tent. Or you could, I suppose. Having the tent flap between you two would prevent another shock this early in our partnership with him.
No. 517735 ID: 01531c

Does the Revenant Mage even need to sleep?

I would be best to claim the outdoors at night for 'meditation'/'prayer', as you are now a man of God and Satan.

Any guesses on what Trasus Obscurus Sanctus would do?
No. 517740 ID: c31f72

Lets try out vomus sanctus. Or sanctus vomus.
No. 517742 ID: 0eef61
File 137153819552.png - (177.73KB , 800x600 , 45.png )

Sanctus Scutum creates a glowing shield of pale runes in the air. Any projectile attack that strikes the shield imbues it with destructive power that buffs my next attack spell to include whatever elemental Word of Power the enemy's spell used. This also allows any allied mages to "charge" my attacks by casting at me.

It is entirely useless against physical attacks and builds a great deal of attunement when cast, but the applications are supremely interesting.
No. 517750 ID: 0eef61
File 137154103517.png - (28.73KB , 800x600 , 46.png )

"Why, exactly," says Astrea, "is the one-armed man the one who is setting up the tents?"
"It's all right," calls Calidore.

"I do not know how," says Spidrift.
"I was under the impression you slept in the woods a great deal," says Astrea.
"Of course! But it was usually inside a bear."
"You're joking with me."
"I am most certainly not! There is nothing better than a fresh bear corpse for warmth and shelter."
"Bears don't go near dead bears. And I would hate to have to fight a bear."

"I can help, Calidore," I say.
"No need," he says, brightly. "They're both already up."
"I won't need one," I say. "I, uh, I want to take in the stars."
"Which is also what I want to do!" Spidrift immediately stands by my side.
"Whoa, now," says Calidore. "I've only set these up for you folk. I was going to sleep outside from the start, to give the lady some space."
"Well, I'm sure I'll be perfectly fine if I have to share one," says Astrea, impatiently.
"No, I insist," says Calidore.
"I'll go in the tent!" says Spidrift.
"Which tent?"
"I shall be fine outside," I say.
"And I!" Spidrift claps a hand on my shoulder.
"Allow me," says Calidore.
"Maybe inside," I mutter.
"Well someone needs to sleep in the other goddamn tent because we brought two goddamn tents," says Astrea, hotly.
No. 517751 ID: c31f72

We uh... We could put that... Whatever that thing is that we have pulling the wagon in the tent?
No. 517752 ID: 933f92





No. 517754 ID: 35edd4

Give Astrea a look for her language/tension, but don't say anything. Inform Calidore that if he's indeed content to sleeping outside--as he seems to be accustomed to, not to mention that this was his idea--then we would be happy to share one tent with Spidrift and allow Astrea the other, as is proper for a lady.
No. 517756 ID: 0eef61
File 137154240102.png - (7.56KB , 800x600 , 47.png )

After much wrangling ("Perhaps we could have a gentleman's tent with myself and milord and a ladies' tent with yourself and Oken!") Calidore eventually ends up outside.

I sleep in a tent with Spidrift, who wishes me a cheerful good evening, rolls over, and instantly begins to snore.

I admit that despite his unorthodox tendencies and his general air of menace, having him with me is a comfort, after a fashion. Out of all my companions, perhaps he is the only one with my best interests constantly at heart, as unnerving as that can be.
No. 517757 ID: 0eef61
File 137154241481.png - (3.62KB , 800x600 , 48.png )

I lie back and wait for a dream to take me.

Will Satan visit me?

Will I see Rebecca again?

Anticipation knots my throat.

But it slowly fades, and I simply grow drowsy.
Perhaps this evening will be the first night I shall simply rest.
No. 517758 ID: 0eef61
File 137154245639.png - (12.95KB , 800x600 , 49.png )

But outside, in the open night air, Calidore's dreams are anything but restful.

It is the same as it always is. He is running through the forest, clutching his saber in his intact right arm. His young, new-budded muscles twitch with adolescent clumsiness.

The Duke should be chasing him. He should be feeling the hunting dogs' teeth sink into his shoulder at any moment. But something is different.

Something in the air is very wrong, and he knows the Duke is not here in the forest with him.

She is.

With her jet fur and her wolf smile and the will-o-wisp eyes that pierced right through him and stared at every part of him he has hidden behind the helm and the coat and the jokes.

She is somewhere in the forest, twisting and frighting through the gnarled branches of the wood.

But why does he run? Why the sword?
Is he chasing her, or is she chasing him?

No. 517761 ID: 9ddf68

should it matter if she is chasing you or not, to chase down a demon is to chase down death itself but if she comes at you, you will show her you are no easy pray. You shouldn't fear her for if you do she has truly won.

(Also since when the hell did Calidore touch our placatory? did the Boss man just leave us in the wagon or something? In the middle of bandit country!? It's like he's trying to get us stolen)
No. 517767 ID: f2c20c

We spread to his allies, regardless of physical contact, it seems.

I imagine Calidore would be chased, because he does not wish to have his secrets revealed. The sword is more to clear a path than it is to fight the demon, as to fight her directly would just get him in deeper shit.
No. 517798 ID: 591152

your secrets and not so dark that you must run from the demon that threatens to reveal them, are they? you know she is evil, chase her down.
No. 517802 ID: d1d627

We flee, to avoid her from tracking us, the sword, is to clear our way through the tight, tangled underbrush and for general self-defense, though hopefully it won't come to that.
No. 517839 ID: d59dc9

I'm not suggesting that you're gonna be running away like a little bitch. you're a mage. you're badass. deal with this shit.
No. 517974 ID: 0eef61
File 137161367837.png - (7.46KB , 800x600 , 50.png )

He runs from her.

The low branches tear at his clothes and the briars tangle his feet. He hacks at them with his saber, but he hears her.

He sees her.

She is in the trees, her tail switching back and forth. "Caaaalidoooore," she whispers, her voice like drizzling wax. "I see you, Calidore." She is on all fours, leaping gracefully from branch to branch. They remain perfectly still as she lights from them as if she were not even there. She is naked.

"Why are you running, Calidore? Are you afraid of me?" She laughs, low and smooth. "I can't hurt you, Calidore. I'm sworn not to, remember? C'mere."

No. 517976 ID: 9ddf68

If she means us no harm then why does she chase us.

also is seems you can't outrun her so try and save some of your energy incase this turns into a fight... also you seem to be good at ice magic, can you create a fog or mist to hide yourself in? If you can't run hide, if you can't hide then all that is left is to fight.
No. 517977 ID: 57a559

Why would coming there be in his best interests? We could just keep going and going and going until we're comfortable.
No. 517978 ID: f2c20c

Jerruv said she could not endanger your soul. This does not mean she cannot harm you in other ways.

Ask her what business she has in your dreams. Is she trying to expose your sin, as is the Demonic way?
No. 517992 ID: 0eef61
File 137161700317.png - (9.69KB , 800x600 , 51.png )

"If you mean me no harm why do you chase me?"

"Why do you run?" She laughs again, and vanishes once more into the woods.

"Jerruv said you cannot endanger me," says Calidore, gripping his saber. "You cannot endanger my soul."

"Jerruv can't see inside you, Thrillant Mage." The snap of a bramble.
"But I can."

From the dense forest, like a swooping trace of ink, she springs at him.

No. 517994 ID: 35edd4

Interpose your saber and brace. She can't maneuver while in midair.

I hope.

If this doesn't turn into a fight, ask her what her point is. Don't let her get to you.
No. 518000 ID: 57a559

The key here is crucial
Simply don't care
No matter how much she says you do

I could also try this
Please stop this Layla, we know you can hear us too. I don't know if Calidore can or if he thinks this is a part of him or whatever.
It's going to get annoying quick. And it's impolite.
No. 518002 ID: f2c20c

A penitent man would not fight the demon that comes to punish him for his sins.

It is time for your atonement, Calidore.
No. 518006 ID: 0eef61
File 137162119933.png - (8.60KB , 800x600 , 52.png )

Calidore brings the blade to bear but he is a boy. His form is clumsy. His magic is undeveloped. He can't help anyone, not even himself. He's too slow.

She pins him to the ground, crouching over him like a beast over its kill. Her grip is stunningly forceful.
"So strong," she purrs, squeezing his helpless swordarm. "So brave, you are. And so young. Younger than you want to be, aren't you, Calidore?"
She sits on his straining chest. She is soft as down, and round, and warm, and he must not think what he is thinking. "But you've been thinking it ever since you saw me, haven't you, Calidore?" she whispers. "What a burden you've placed on yourself. What sacrifices you have made to take what was yours, Calidore." She leans in and her smile is razors. He feels her hot breath on his face. "I see the blood on your hands. I know what you think. I see what you've done. I can find what you've hidden."
A hand creeps down his chest, ending at a point low enough to send an involuntary jolt across his shoulderblades.
"You're stronger than most of them. You're almost as strong as the one with the wooden mask, aren't you? You've spent so much time training and fighting and taking retribution. But you're so young, aren't you, Calidore?" Her tail brushes his stomach, back and forth. "There are things you haven't done yet, aren't there, Calidore?" Her eyes are burning. "Your masculinity. Your machismo. Your strength. You push yourself to the limit to prove yourself. You use it to take what you want. Position; power; revenge. But there are ways you haven't used it, aren't there, Calidore? There's something you've been missing, isn't there, Calidore?"

She bends down and breathes into his ear.
"I can help you."

No. 518007 ID: 88ef92

So can a number of other women.
Ones that aren't demons.

Get a damn hold of yourself Calidore, she's playing you for the fool.
You may be 'young' but you're old enough to control yourself, and your rage. Old enough to have lost an arm.

Think about your arm, find strength in it. You'll go on living until you can satisfy your needs in your own time.

Call out to god and he'll strengthen you
No. 518011 ID: bf54a8

No. 518012 ID: f2c20c

What the hell Layla! You said you were an inquisitor, not a succubus.

Calidore, you have a choice here. Get with a demon, or a fellow mage. Astrea is into you. It might be a good idea to enter a relationship with someone who doesn't want to rake you over the coals for the sins you have committed, just sayin'.
No. 518013 ID: 19b3c3

Yeah, no.

Just no.
No. 518016 ID: 9ddf68

"you're right, you can help me. You can get off of me"

remember what she said back on the wagon Calidore, "It is not the Demonic way to bring a good man to sin. It is the Demonic way to expose the sin that was there all along". She can't force you to sin but she said nothing about tempting someone and right now she is tempting you, don't fall for it
No. 518027 ID: 0eef61
File 137162537098.png - (5.32KB , 800x600 , 53.png )

"No," says Calidore.
"Yes," says Layla.
"You are not a succubus. You are an inquisitor."
"If you want me to stop," she whispers, "tell me to stop."

Calidore tries to say it. He tries to call for God.
But something black behind his tongue smothers the words before they come out. His lungs are as hollow as his waking prayers. Why can't he pray?
"You're a Sinner, Calidore Bruxhall." Layla hovers heartpoundingly close above him. His skin is hot and cold and pinpricking all at once. He is painfully, terrifyingly aroused. "I see a darkness. Hide it around everyone else, if you want, but you can't hide it from me. You don't need to hide it from me."

She inhales, and

No. 518028 ID: 0eef61
File 137162538352.png - (5.34KB , 800x600 , 54.png )

Calidore sits bolt upright with a drowning man's gasp.

He is covered in sweat. His heart is jackhammering against his ribs. His muscles strain. He pushes frantically with his right arm but he no longer has a right arm. There is nothing there, and no demoness before him. Only his own breath lancing out of him and the even, full-bellied saw of Spidrift snoring in the tent.
No. 518030 ID: 57a559

Easy Cal, easy.
She's right, you're a sinner. Guess what? Who isn't. She's dumb. A dumb furry goat demon girl.

And if you do got a big fancy secret in your past well big deal, you can only make it a big deal so like, reflect on it, and chill about it. Maybe talk about it with someone you can trust to not turn it around in your face like Layla. We're here for you.
No. 518031 ID: f2c20c

Calidore. I think we deserve an explanation. What have you done?

Layla is around, probably. Invisible despite the party not being where she needs to be invisible. You can confess your sins, if you want. To her and to us.
No. 518032 ID: c23ab0

I'm pretty sure the darkness in your heart does not coincide with your lust for a hot furry demon girl. Pretty sure. That'd be one lame sin, to pop a boner at a demon. Can you even boner as a revenant? A better sin would be like, you murdered an entire city state with agonising plagues and curses because you were wronged by your true love and wanted everyone to pay even the innocent. Now that's what I call a sin.
No. 518033 ID: be05c1

off of him, layla, by word of our creator.
report back to our master for a scolding.

strength calidore. it's a test you must not fail.
No. 518034 ID: 9ddf68

Calm down it was just a dream, a dream about a naked demon chick who you just so happen to be traveling with but a dream none the less.

And don't worry about what she has said, everyone has sinned and everyone is guilty of something and has some secrets they keep. But redemption is never out of reach and a sinful man can become a saint again if he tries.

Oh and if you start with that You are beyond salvation or some other bull crap along those lines I cane guarantee you that you can't even hold a candle to some of the people we've known and they have realize there mistakes and are seeking redemption and if they haven't given up then I'll be damned if you throw in the towel.
No. 518061 ID: f29aa1

She invaded his dream, perhaps with subconscious invitation, but only the Fae get a pass for that sort of lawyering.
No. 518074 ID: d1d627

Take heart, you were able to resist her wiles. You could not pray then, but I suspect that dream was not entirely yours. If you seek out God, he will open the door for you, do not worry, Calidore.
No. 518139 ID: 00d261

pray to God. your tongue will not be bound, and you will see that it was just a dream, and that all dreams must come to an end.
No. 518158 ID: 5869f6

Do not worry,Calidore. For you have resisted temptation.
You are no sinner...
No. 518718 ID: 0eef61
File 137187654885.png - (6.78KB , 800x600 , 55.png )

Calidore stands up. He draws his coat around him. A walk will clear his head.

His conscience is clear. The demoness was trying to get the best of him.

Was it simply a dream? Should he tell Jerruv? What would he say?

He stops, a hundred paces from the tents. His eyes sweep the darkened horizon.

Is she out there now, watching him unseen?
No. 518719 ID: 9ddf68

does it matter if she is out there? just keep your guard up and try and calm yourself. unless something life threatening come up it can wait until morning. And if you can't get back to sleep you can act as lookout for the group. I mean you are in bandit country right now so you have more to worry about then just demon harlots running around. Also on that note I suggest staying close to the tents.
No. 518720 ID: 19b3c3

>Is she out there now, watching him unseen?
Would it matter? If she's not there, you're allowing your own paranoia to weaken yourself. If she is, you're letting her win by worrying about it.

There is nothing for her to see, and no reason for you to care. If she cannot or will not fight you directly, torturing yourself in this way only plays to her advantage.
No. 518721 ID: f2c20c

Your conscience is clear, eh? Well are you a virgin? If she had that right, she's probably right about you being a Sinner. Yet, what is sin, really? Do you even know? What happens to people that benefit the world and those around them, yet still wind up in Hell, hmm?

Maybe you need to find out. Talk to Layla in depth, ask her about that dream you just had. She is with the camp, that you can be sure of. Call out to her- you are far safer in the waking world.
No. 518722 ID: 591152

talk about it with jurev if you want it to stop, he can order her to stop after all.

nothing he can do about your past though, and that is something you will need to atone for yourself before this story is over.
No. 518727 ID: 0eef61
File 137188165210.png - (7.86KB , 800x600 , 56.png )

Calidore considers waking Jerruv, but he supposes he should wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be difficult, even with their new demonic follower.

He does not dare call her name.
He mutters a prayer. His voice is small and dry and muffled. It doesn't travel far across the plains.

He's on the right side. He's righteous. She's a demon.

But how did she know? About his experiences and his... inexperiences?
No. 518728 ID: 0eef61
File 137188166657.png - (7.13KB , 800x600 , 57.png )

Calidore's vacant sleeve flaps and flags in the night breeze. He looks to the sky.

He is trembling.

The moon is bulbous and low, crouched behind the clouds that sludge their way across the sky.
There are no stars. You see one or two sometimes, through the grey, but not with the frequency Calidore remembers in his youth.

Their fires haven't shined here for a while now.
No. 518729 ID: 0eef61
File 137188167057.png - (190.75KB , 800x600 , 58.png )

He wonders if that's why he feels so cold.
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