Tragedy in Blue (for [personal profile] westfallcorndog)

Mar. 12th, 2017 11:59 pm
conjuredskies: (Default)
[personal profile] conjuredskies
Felix has sent word via Jim that he's ready to assist Harrow - that he has everything required. He didn't specify what: Harrow knows well enough. He did specify where: a long-neglected picnic area marked by picturesque little boulders and paved with some kind of bricks. It's no doomstone circle, but it'll do. Felix has a sense of both appropriate dramatic flair and practical caution.

Granted, the 'altar' leaves something to be desired on both counts, but he had an atronach rip out the table's benches earlier and clear away the unnecessary furniture. Felix has been busy setting wards around the ritual space, some powered by blood and some by a pair of lesser soul gems: wards to keep out unwanted magical influence and bind what's in the circle from harming him. Or Harrow. Of course.

Preparations as complete as they're going to get, he's sitting on one of the boulders while he clears his mind and waits. His satchel - and the thing it contains - lies by the table, at a comfortable distance.

Date: 2017-03-13 12:46 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Dressing up isn't normally in Harrowheart's vocabulary, but this is a special occasion and it seems to him he ought to at least attempt to look the part. The last time he met Felix he wore his Scourge regalia, decidedly ominous. It's only fitting that he arrives looking the part again. Besides, if he dies from this at least they'll bury him looking cool.

His runeblades are with him, of course, though this time not chained to his belt. He holds them by the handles in his floating hands as he powerwalks into the circle, cape billowing. Certainly not a disquieting way to approach a man with a healthy distrust of draugr.

"Felix!" he calls when he catches sight of him, his voice more stern and commanding than usual. "Show me what we have to do and let's get this over with. Hopefully without any tragedy..."

Date: 2017-03-13 01:29 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (you wanna go?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Felix's calm tone and respectful bow take some of the edge off of Harrowheart. A lot of the edge, actually. Even under all that armor he visibly relaxes, his shoulders sinking slightly and with it those massive, spiky pauldrons. Oh – oh! But then Felix has the absolute audacity to imply he's going to be the one to make this not go smoothly. His anxiety manifests as frustration, flared nostrils, lowered eyebrows. He focuses on taking a few deep breaths that come out as bitter, icy snorts.

"I'm prepared," he hisses through grit teeth. He is the perfect picture of a man who's about to make a delicate operation go off without a hitch.

Date: 2017-03-13 02:09 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Handface)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Once again Felix is the calm one, and once again it rubs off – this time for good. Harrowheart's tension slowly eases away as Felix continues to talk. He's right, too; Being calm is necessary, and this really does all hinge on his own mood right now. It's not an accusation, and this is all part of having a more normal future, scary though it may be in the moment. He closes his eyes and focuses, and this time finds that breathing slowly brings him around to a more agreeable mood.

Eventually he nods quietly. He's ready, he's focused, and, more importantly, he has decided.

"The blades get a unique kind of soul, and in return they'll let me separate myself from them. Distance-wise, I mean. They'll let me leave 'em places so I don't always gotta carry 'em around. I–" He pulls an uncomfortable face and quietly admits, "I don't think I'm smart enough to say it in a crafty sorta way, Felix..."

Date: 2017-03-13 02:53 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (thinkin' hard or hardly thinkin'?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Felix's little joke manages to bring a tentative smile from Harrowheart, but more importantly gives him a bit more confidence. That is why he has a negotiator. It's a reminder that he isn't alone, and that Felix isn't against him in this. He nods again and stays quiet as he listens to the second question.

His eyes shift slowly left to right as his mind searches for the answers he needs. He hadn't exactly considered it, not consciously, but now that he's asked he thinks he has an answer.

Hesitantly he suggests, "If I'm in the Nexus, can I leave 'em on Azeroth? Or if I'm on Earth, m-maybe with someone?... Can I leave 'em here in the Nexus?" Then, though he doesn't mean to, he finds it's difficult to keep his insecurities from bubbling out of his mouth. A massive suit of armor, it seems, doesn't actually instill a sense of confidence in a man. Not in this particular situation, anyway. "I think that's fair right? 'Cause it's just a portal away either way, so even if it's real far across space or the universe, it ain't really that far travel-wise? I can get back to 'em right away if we need each other, but they don't gotta come with me when I go peaceful places where they ain't gonna be eatin' any souls."

Date: 2017-03-13 02:06 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (thinkin' hard or hardly thinkin'?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrow is quick to shake his head. "No names," he says, and at least in this he's confident. "No names. And my soul was their first. This one," he pauses to raise the right axe. The closer it gets to eye level with Felix, the brighter its runes glow. "Is the one that holds it. They're two parts of the same whole, and neither one of 'em is really the leader, but this one's the one with the most power. It's taken the most souls." Stupidly he adds, "I'm right-handed."

Date: 2017-03-13 08:54 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrow's eyebrows rise in a dubious way when he hears Felix's description of the ritual to come. In his world's history, inviting strange entities in for a chat has been disastrous. The only things that keep him from voicing his dissent are the facts that he knows his blades -- he thinks -- and the inevitability of it all. If he wants a remotely normal life and a chance at being welcomed by his friends on other worlds, where there are no anti-violence fields, he's got to go through with this.

He gives Felix a dutiful nod before he places his blades on the table one at a time. Hopefully that's what he ought to do. It's been a long, long while since he's been the subject of a ritual like this, if he can say he ever has.

His eyes remain on the blades' suddenly unresponsive and runes as he says, "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it. You're in charge here, Felix. I'm just followin' your lead."
Edited (phone typos.... 2x) Date: 2017-03-13 09:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-14 02:16 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Sudden light has a way of being particularly startling to a creature of shadow, but when it quickly becomes obvious that this is what he would consider arcane, not holy, Harrowheart finds his center and once more adopts a serious demeanor. It's difficult not to be distracted by the appearance of the dim lights around him, but he does his best to keep his focus on Felix, on the words he says and the important parts of the conjuration ahead of them.

He recognizes that prompt, the sort of language one speaks when officiating something. With a curt nod and clearest pronunciation he replies, "I am ready and willing to do so."

His runeblades on the table begin to vibrate, to buzz anxiously like swarming insects. Their runes remain dark and they make no attempt to stop Felix's magic, but they refuse to allow this to commence without making their presence – and cryptic opinion – known. This deal doesn't go off without them. Just remember that, caster.
Edited (i'm a typo beast) Date: 2017-03-14 02:32 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-14 10:29 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Holy Light How Horrifying)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Felix's magic isn't malicious, it isn't aggressive... So why does Harrowheart feel so bizarre? So anxious? It's like a sudden cloud has appeared above him portending ominous weather. It calls to him to stay peaceful. To do no harm. To obey.

That's what it is. The familiar sensation of having his mind overwhelmed by someone else's magic. The reality of being no longer in control of his own actions. He only has a second to recognize it and fear the implications before it has him enthralled. He will do no harm in this circle. His eyes glaze over, his focus grows distant. He stands before Felix ready to listen and cooperate, doing no harm in any fashion. Doing... Not much of anything, honestly. His lips part slightly and he stares in placid, dutiful waiting.

His runeblades are not quite as content to be so controlled. Isn't it insulting enough that this Nexus has an anti-violence field? Now they have to be ordered by some other caster to deny even attempting to fulfill their purpose? Felix's earlier nod in their direction had momentarily stopped their buzzing, but now they rattle and produce a wild light show with the glowing of their runes. Until, that is, the binding takes hold. Powerful, mystical artifacts that they may be, in the end they cannot deny the call to obey. They cease their movement, though the runes remain bright, not flickering but steadily lit. They will do no harm. If they have to.

Date: 2017-03-14 11:28 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Handface)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
There's a long near-silence in that space Felix enters. Distantly, someplace far away, there is a strange droning, a din like the sound of many people speaking many rooms away. Too indistinct for any words to be made out, or even any emotions, but the sound of voices nonetheless.

Then a closer voice answers, warbling like a wounded man struggling to stay conscious.

Is someone there? it asks frantically. It's Harrowheart's voice, undoubtedly his soul, but lost and confused.

I-if anybody's here, you have to leave. You don't want this.

Date: 2017-03-14 11:56 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
No, the soul sighs, mournful and defeated already.

If you want to help, kill my body. Let me free. Kill my body. Let me out. Let us all out, please. Break the blades.

Surprisingly, that sort of conversation doesn't go over well with another entity in this communion. Though it doesn't speak with words, it overwhelms the scene with heavy mental and emotional suggestions which drown out the exhausted voice of the soul.

Felix Caelus, you're fairly positive you do not want to destroy any blades. Remember, Felix, you came here with a purpose. You're a powerful conjurer, Felix Caelus – powerful indeed. Feel confident in yourself. In your mission. Ignore the idle chatter of the lost and blind. You came here for a purpose, and that purpose was to strike a deal. Harrowheart explained his offer in the waking world. Try, perhaps, to commune with the runeblades. Everyone's counting on you to do that one thing, Felix Caelus. You have much to prove.

Date: 2017-03-15 01:29 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
The soul he had contacted is gone, for now at least. It doesn't attempt to speak again, banished, perhaps, to that far-off place with those distant, humming voices that only seem to grow farther, more quiet as time goes on. As Felix waits for the runeblades to present themselves a total quiet falls over the communing space. The blades are in no hurry. In fact, it might be better to wait, to drum up a little desperate curiosity in the conjurer.

Eventually they do make their presence known. Again, not with words, but with the subtle knowledge that something is out there. A magical presence lurking in the darkness, a feeling akin to being watched without seeing the watcher. They do not speak, but seem to fill Felix with certain particular knowledge and encouragements.

They are here, that much is certain, and they are listening with an open mind. Willing to obey, even. You are, after all, the one in complete control, Felix. There is a desire to do a deal, if only one were presented to them...

Date: 2017-03-17 02:46 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Silence again. A long, empty silence. Felix, have you scared them off at the mere notion of leniency and patience? Or maybe, in some backwards way, the magic that animates those blades is testing his own patience? Being perfectly honest, they're probably just examining their options.

Eventually that spark of knowledge swings back around and enters his consciousness again. Something tells Felix that the blades have an idea of what he intends to gift them. A very good idea. And yet there is a certain curiosity in them. They’d like to know for certain, as Harrowheart has been careful not to tell them a thing. He gives them nothing, in this world of the Nexus. It’s enough for him to run his mouth off at every stranger and busy his mind with baubles in this place. He has no need to inform them of his life – their lives. Honestly, the blades are as lenient and patient as any magical artifacts could be expected to be in light of everything Harrowheart does... And fails to do.

They push their luck by moving beyond simply presenting knowledge to Felix as if it were his own realizations. Now they present images to him, suggestions which flash in and out of his mind too quickly to truly process but just clearly enough to be suggestive. Low-detail scenes like half-remembered dreams flit in and out: Harrowheart, glassy-eyed, stony-faced and serious wielding the runeblades in various violent ways. They cleave through metal breastplates for him and sever limbs without resistance. The broad sides of the axes block projectile magic, and the weapons themselves are astute enough to guide their wielder in parrying blows he otherwise might have been struck by. And they are capable of magic of their own, invigorating and even healing the death knight with sparks of their runes and jolts of blue magic. In every false memory Harrowheart is the actor, and yet the blades themselves feature prominently, their bright runes fiercely illuminated as they draw Felix’s attention to their strength.

This is the sort of power they offered to a knight-turned-fool who now squanders it. Who wishes them away. There is great capability in them, if only it were allowed to be realized. If only they weren’t forced to be lenient to that shiftless bearer of theirs. If only…

But Felix, you must be aware that it has to be this way. The blades are the servants. Powerful though they are, they are never in control. No, no. They obey the whims of the one who bears them. And so they will – no, must – show him leniency. But, in return… Wasn’t there something about an offering, Felix? A gift of some sort? You have the feeling they’d like to hear more about it…
Edited Date: 2017-03-17 02:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-17 05:31 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
When Felix reaches into his bag the runes begin to light and dim like bated breath, rhythmic, curious, eager, and growing in intensity as the offering comes closer and closer to its reveal. And then – ah! – there it is! What an incredible source of power, pungent with foreign magics and yet there's no mistaking what it is. A bloated soul just begging to be fed to a pair of runeblades. They want it – oh, how they want it!


You know what you need to do, Felix.

Grab the blades. Break the shard. Grab the blades. Break the shard. Grab the blades. Break the shard. Grab the blades, Felix. Break the shard, Felix. Grab the blades, Felix! Break the shard, Felix! Grab the blades, Felix! Break the shard, Felix!
Felix! Felix! FELIX!

Date: 2017-03-17 11:59 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
The second Felix's hands hit the table the blades go dark, as if assuming the inconspicuous guise of simple weapons could absolve them of all guilt. Their screaming stops in an instant. The thread that was attempting to hold him captive is cut, and Felix's mind is free from their influence. Or so it seems...

Felix's slamming does nothing to wake Harrowheart from his impassive stupor. He's content to stare into the middle distance, effectively unaware of the world around him and certainly not privy to any conversations between conjurers and blades.

Finally one rune on one blade blinks. One little blue light to assure Felix that they're still there, still part of this ritual. They hesitate after that before attempting to contact him again, and when they do they express themselves humbly, gently.

They understand that this is a trade. They understand that something more than just leniency is being asked. Now would be a decent time to present the terms so that they might consider them.

Date: 2017-03-25 12:11 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrowheart may leave them safely and travel. That much is acceptable, judging by their silence. There's a subtle encouragement to continue.

No farther than a portal's destination away? Acceptable. Understandable, even. They can work with this.

No longer than – a year?! The blades on the table vibrate quickly, creating a doubtful sort of humming sound. A year? They aren't so sure about that. A year is an incredibly generous amount of time. An entire year...

One month. It's their absolute maximum, they make that much known. It seems they aren't well versed in the art of the deal or the concept of haggling. In an effort to prove their amenability they give Felix the impression that steering Harrowheart's will during their time apart is of no issue to them.

One month is all they stress. One month in Azeroth's time. And at the end of that month, they must be allowed to reap at least one soul. Out of necessity, of course. Something must fuel their magic...
Edited Date: 2017-03-25 12:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-27 05:12 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (scourge)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
A feeling of contentment washing over his mind is the blades' immediate response. They are completely satisfied with these terms now that they've been adjusted to better suit their interests. There should be no doubt in Felix's mind that they are agreed, bound in their unspoken word, and willing to proceed. But what comes next? The offering of the soul? The sealing of the deal? Of course they're curious, but after pushing their luck and coming up empty before they're much less overt about their desire.

Still, that hushed and nagging urge is there. If the terms are agreed upon, now they only need payment. And wouldn't it be interesting to break that soul gem? Wouldn't it be a curious thing? Something new to try? To take the blades in his own hand and shatter the soul? Just for the experience, of course. Just to know...

Date: 2017-05-01 05:58 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Holy Light How Horrifying)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
The instant Felix's fingers touch the blade the runes alight, and so does their power. An electrifying energy courses through his arm and straight to his heart, his mind, his soul. It's as much an unshakeable knowledge of the sheer magical strength he holds as it is actual power flowing through him.

The surge of fortification they bring him dies abruptly. The temptation of their magic is there – incredibly, unavoidably there – and then it's gone. But no sooner does the flow fade from his body than the blades raise themselves and his hand with it. There is no time to be wasted, they know this. Too long and Felix may grow wise to them and reject them. Now is the time to strike.

The left blade pulses with a small, dull power to encourage Felix to keep his grip on them while the right lifts high into the air before it comes smashing down on the soul gem. And when it shatters?... Light, Gods, Daedra, what a sensation. All the latent energy inside the vampire's soul comes rushing out at once and is absorbed by the greedy runes of the blade. A glut of magical potential siphons through the handle of the blade and into Felix's right hand, all at once saturating him with its dark and unnatural strength. It wasn't only the runeblades which consumed that soul, but their wielder as well.

It's in that same moment that Harrowheart breaks from his stupor. "NO!" he growls, reaching out to clench a tight fist around Felix's wrist. The runes that had dulled his ability to attack are still difficult to overcome, but it's when his blades are distracted that he finds his mind has been returned to him.

"Don't touch them!" he shouts with a primal fear and anger as he begins to shake Felix in the hopes he might let the blades go. "Don't you ever touch them! They're not for you! They're mine!"

Whether the runeblades believe that or not remains to be seen. With Harrowheart once more in the realm of the conscious they are suspiciously silent. For all intents and purposes they may as well be any ordinary weapons.

Date: 2017-05-05 06:57 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (you wanna go?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrowheart quickly gathers up his blades and pins them down with one hand while the other one points stiffly at Felix's face.

"I didn't say you were tryin' to take 'em," he whispers, his voice low and conspiratorial. "I said they're not yours. You don't touch a death knight's runeblades. Things can go bad. Real bad."

He glances sideways at the blades as if implicating them in all of this. And honestly he might be. He knows them better than anyone, after all. Knows their limitless desire for something new to own. He drops his accusatory hand from Felix's face and raises both blades to inspect them. It's not as if the spell changed the way they look, and soon he finds it hasn't changed the way they feel, either. Not physically, not magically, not mentally. With some lingering reservation he returns the blades to their ties at his hips.

It takes some self control to look at Felix again. He wants to be angry with him still, but he knows he can't be. Felix has done him a great service and put his own safety on the line for it. It wouldn't do to take out more of his anxiety on the man. And besides, they're in an anti-violence rune within an anti-violence field. A total change of subject seems better than lingering on his sudden misgivings over all of this.

"I owe you now," he says, his voice wooden and forced. "That's the deal. Right? You did this for me, and now I owe you. So? Are you ready to cash in? Or do you need a while to think up who you want me to kill?"

Date: 2017-05-26 02:07 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (thinkin' hard or hardly thinkin'?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Felix's unwillingness to name names and end lives gets a brief grunt from Harrowheart. It's not the first time he's accepted vague I.O.U.'s, and it certainly won't be the last, though it might have been nice to get the business over with as soon as possible and have it off of his mind.

"So what happens now?" he asks. "I walk away, you walk away... Next time we see each other it's because we got business? ...Or because Jim thought you and I oughta learn to be good pals." He huffs a little laugh.

Date: 2017-05-26 10:43 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (you wanna go?)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrowheart's eyebrows slowly lower, not just in thought but in suspicion too. He's quiet for a few seconds, though the lights of his eyes drift in various directions as they consider the situation.

"I didn't notice... Anything. I felt almost like I closed my eyes when it all started... Fell asleep, and when you grabbed my blades I woke up again, and all that time in between passed without me knowin'..." His lips purse and he looks to the ground, his eyelids narrowing now and then as more things occur to him.

He mutters to himself, "It was like my mind was gone..."

And that's when he quickly looks up and locks eyes with Felix. There's an all-too-serious scowl on his face now, and he rushes to say, "It must have been the runeblades." Because there's no way he's entertaining the thought that Felix's runework did this. No, sir. And even if he acknowledged that, there's no way he'd want Felix to know... Even if some part of him is begrudgingly aware of the fact that Felix is an intelligent, magely sort and must have come to that conclusion before he even asked.

"The runeblades," he says, as much to convince himself as anything. "They didn't want me gettin' in the way. That had to be it."

Date: 2017-05-27 06:38 pm (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Handface)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Harrowheart rubs at his forehead a while before he scrubs his hand down the side of his face. With a deep sigh he says, "It's complicated." Complicated enough that he's not even sure where to start, or what to say, or even how much is worth divulging.

"A death knight isn't always in control of their own thoughts," he says, his words slowed by the effort of his thoughts. "We're haunted by thoughts and urges that aren't our own, and we gotta fight for our sanity all the time. It's the price of our free will. We can put it off for a while, dependin' on how strong our will is, but eventually we can't hold back from doin' what the thoughts tell us. I'm used to not always bein' in control of what I think or do, but... On Azeroth. Not here, not in the Nexus. It doesn't happen here. Or... Didn't..."

His mouth shifts side to side. He's not really sure what to make of any of this. For a few seconds he watches Felix as if he expects some kind of answer from him, but he soon realizes there's no way Felix would know better than himself.

He's loathe to admit it, but he can't help guessing, "Maybe the peace runes you put down... Maybe they..." Light. "Weakened my mind somehow. Changed the rules of the game."

Date: 2017-05-29 03:15 am (UTC)
westfallcorndog: (Default)
From: [personal profile] westfallcorndog
Hearing Felix isn't interested in studying the effects of his wards brings Harrowheart a visible calm, if one can be described as 'visibly calm' in a suit of sharp metal armor. With the wards gone he fully relaxes. There's something about being free of someone else's magic – even if it is peaceful – that takes a subconscious edge off.

He finds himself nodding before he knows he's doing it. "I can't believe you got a whole month out of 'em, honestly. I figured it'd be a week at most... I don't think 'satisfied' is gonna be enough for this."

The corner of his mouth twitches with the hint of a smile and one of his hands pats Felix on the shoulder. "I know it wasn't easy to be here or do this or deal with me, or any of that, but... You did great, Felix. I really owe you – and I don't just mean the payment. This is really gonna change my life, man."


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Felix Caelus

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