The Forsaken Race; Darker Times

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Outside Sources

Submitted: November 18, 2017

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Submitted: November 18, 2017

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The sky was tinted orange from the setting sun. Kita tripped as she scurried to catch up with Timbur and Seyber. The two demons had not slowed down once, and Kita was constantly stumbling over random cracks in the mountainous land that was outside the Raven's Cavern.

"You're such an idiot," Timbur muttered. "Can't you stay on your feet for more than five minutes?"

Kita felt flustered about having her clumsiness called out on. "I'm sorry. It's hard to keep up without tripping. This land is really uneven."

Naturally, Seyber decided to defend her. "Timbur, leave her alone. You can stop being a grumpy smartass for at least five minutes."

Timbur sneered at this. "I'm sorry, but who the hell died and made you the beta?"

"Jackass," Seyber muttered, while Timbur stormed ahead of them. She ignored her brother, though, and lingered behind a bit to speak with Kita.

"Ignore him," Seyber spoke in a quiet manner. "It's just that all the trouble we've been facing has made him more irritable than usual. That, and keep in mind that you're still on his bad side. That's not good, if you want him to lose his short temper."

Kita only shrugged her shoulders. "I'm used to it. Timbur's been doing that ever since I first met him. This is no surprise."

Seyber nodded in understanding, then ran ahead and caught up to Timbur. 

Kita was happy to see that Seyber's grudge against her had finally been appeased. For a while, Seyber had been avoiding her for what she had done to Zin and her. But this grudge did not last long. Seyber was back to her friendly self. The same couldn't be said for Zin or Timbur. They were the only two who still resented her. Zin was able to cooperate on rare occasions, but Timbur often got annoying with how much he fought to resist seeing Kita as an ally.

He was getting better, but now Timbur's going to get touchy again, isn't he? It's hard to tell, with him.

Kita saw that their place on the twisted stone path became more familiar. From her surroundings, she was able to tell that the Raven's Cavern was not far. However, she shuddered upon knowing that they were getting closer. The thought of meeting beings from other races made her nervous. Kita knew who Druitt was, and remembered a reference to Griffon, but she had never heard of a Ritin.

"Seyber, what is a Ritin?" Kita asked. "A kind of elf? Demon? Dwarf?"

"None of those," Seyber replied. "The Ritin are a tribe of bird-folk that keep to themselves. Nobody really knows where they came from. Rumors say plenty about them, of course, but nothing's been proven. The only believable one says that they're a crossbreed of harpy and sylph."

Kita cringed at the thought. "That's a bad combination."

"Agreed," Timbur muttered.

"I know it sounds like it," said Seyber. "But it's not the sylph you're probably thinking of. The Ash Sylphs aren't like the Aubades. Ash Sylphs are actually kinda friendly, but not really toward us. It's one reason why it's suspected that the Ritin are evolved from them."

"I've never even heard of the Ash Sylphs," Kita remarked.

Seyber chuckled a bit. "Well, if I took the time to tell you about every creature and race that was out there, then we would be here for a long while. About a hundred races, and more beasts."

Once the path turned, Kita only nodded and stopped talking, ending the conversation. Not far was the pitch-black entrance of the Raven's Cavern; a long slit-like entrance in the ground. Sure enough, two figures stood just outside. Kita recognized the first as Druitt, the Kaen Demon that worked for the Zyreans. Kita still could not entirely trust this demon, as she'd been told by Leiytning that the Kaen race was 'borderline primitive' and that Druitt himself was a shifty being. The red skinned, crutch-baring demon glared at Kita with angry amber eyes.

"Why is there a sylph with you two?" Druitt growled.

"Good to see you too," Seyber remarked in a sarcastic manner. "This is Kita, and she's a friend of ours. You can consider her Kodin's replacement, I guess."

Druitt sneered, letting out an unsettling cackle. "You've all gone crazy if you think you can trust an Aubade of any sorts. Even Kodin was a nerve-wracking thing." He waved his hand dismissively. "But, who am I to judge if your leaders have finally cracked, eh?"

Timbur growled under his breath. "Watch that damn tongue of yours, Druitt."

Before a fight broke out, the second creature who had come interrupted. This was none other than Griffon. The goblin was hardly taller than four feet. His skin was sickly green, and he wore nothing but a loincloth and a leather belt containing several sachets that were holstered to it. He eyed Kita with bleak black eyes, and tiny fangs could be seen through his slightly-gaped mouth.

"G-Griffon thinks that new sylph, name...Ki-ta, is ally."

Druitt shot him a glare. "What makes you so sure of that, imp?" 

"Griffon saw her in the Raven's Cavern," Griffon spoke in a fast and hectic voice, pointing to the cavern's entrance. "She was working with demon leaders, yes. Thundur save her from muldarchs, and she is friend to both of twins. Is Griffon right, Ki-ta?"

It took Kita a moment to register Griffon's confusing style of speech. "Uh...Yes, that's right."

"Isn't there supposed to be a Ritin?" Timbur interrogated, searching the place. "Where is-"

"I'm here!"

When a third voice interfered, it seemed that it was coming from above the group.

The flying thing was a female Ritin. She had descended, landing gracefully next to Griffon. The Ritin looked different from what Kita was expecting, for sure. The bird-lady had long dark hair, wore beige tribal robes, and any skin below the neck was covered in light brown feathers. Her arms were long wings with hands on the joints, while her upper lip and nose were truly a short beak.

"Sorry if I caused a delay," the Ritin spoke. She brushed out her robes, and some feathers, before clearing her throat. "My name is T'Kala. I was told to report here for observations on the Aubades."

"The twins won't be joining us," Timbur explained. "You are to report what you saw to me, then I will relay the message."

"Very well," said T'Kala. "And because of that, I'll assume you're Timbur...the beta, yes?"

"Leiytning's apprentice," said Timbur, nodding in assent. "But if we can move onto more pressing matters, now, then I'll ask what you've seen with the Aubades. Nothing good, right?"

"That obvious, isn't it?" Druitt muttered.

"Yes, Druitt right," Griffon agreed. "Griffon tried to observe one sylph patrol, but they find and attack him on sight! He was not able to find anything, no, nothing."

"I did find the sylphs trading with someone," said Druitt. "Griffon getting caught stirred them up, though, and I wasn't able to tell who the other race was. I could tell that they were digging up more from some kind of ruin. They had collected a few old trunks, records, and some broken weapons. There were even a few pieces of walls with engravings on them."

"Damn," Timbur muttered. He glanced at T'Kala. "What about you, birdbrain, what've you seen?"

"Birdbrain?" T'Kala muttered. "I actually have seen something interesting. I didn't see them trade anything, but I did see a group of sylphs talking with a group of Storm Gargoyles. They weren't fighting. They just came, exchanged a few words, then went their separate ways."

"Gargoyles, eh?" Seyber murmured. "What would the sylphs want with gargoyles?"

"I asked the same thing," T'Kala replied. "I couldn't find much. I'm sorry, but it was hard for me to get close due to their impressive security."

"This is very useful," said Seyber. "Suspicious trading, and talking with gargoyles? Huh...We'll look into this, and update you on further activity."

"No need to worry about telling me," said T'Kala. "Us Ritin don't share borders with Sybilius, so we aren't too worried about them."

"Then why go through the trouble of watching the sylphs?" Timbur inquired.

"Because I work for you Zyreans, who do share borders with them," T'Kala explained. "I often check on Sybilius because of my ability of flight; I can fly anywhere in the Northern Territories."

"Good to know," said Seyber. "Now, then, we should all get back to work. Keep your eyes out for anything else."

The team all gave the respectful goodbyes and agreements, except for Druitt, who only muttered something and started off. When Seyber started to leave, too, she realized that Timbur was already out of sight. She and Kita ran to catch up to him. 

When Seyber finally caught up to Timbur, she punched and snapped at him for not waiting. Kita ignored the argument that rose between the two, instead caught in her own thoughts.

Yet another race I've never heard of. I haven't even heard of the genus. Does 'gargoyle' make these things like the statues in castles? But, I guess I did get the exact opposite of what I originally expected from a demon race, so maybe the gargoyles will be different, too.

Kita thought back to when she had first learned about the demons. Everyone, though mainly Corelia, told her that they were monsters; heartless beings that only wanted to inflict damage and cause harm to others. Corelia even began using specially crafted lies to twist Kita's mind.

She doesn't care if they're innocent souls or corrupted monsters. She just wants them dead no matter what. And after finding out what happened to the Zyreans...how can she sit on that damned throne without gagging at the blood on her hands?

Kita asked this to herself, even though she already knew the answer. Leiytning, Thundur, and the others had explained everything. The demons always did have a bad name, and it was that scourged title that led them to their unfair and undeserved fate.

She'll never feel guilty about any blood on her hands. As long as that blood was demon's, that is.

From there on out, not another word was spoken on the way back. Kita, Timbur, and Seyber all retreated back through the mountainous land, into the portal, and onto the Dead Beach. 

When Kita landed on the beach, stumbling a bit as she did, she saw that a steady rain had begun to fall, leaving the sand wet. Timbur had left them already. Along with rain and the demons' voices, Kita could also hear the sound of scurrying paws. 

Well, he's finally getting brave enough to come out.

Sure enough, Kita turned to find a small, white, fluffy dog rushing over to meet her. Sand flew up behind him as he ran. While anyone else would be surprised, Kita felt indifferent when a high-pitched voice came from the animal.

"Where have you been?! You've been gone all day! I was worried!"

"Sorry, Stud," Kita replied. "I was just busy, that's all. Not to mention, I get bored easily on the beach, so I need to keep busy."

"I'm bored, too!" Stud argued. "It doesn't help that you leave me, and with monsters right outside!"

"Kita!" Seyber interfered, making the dog coward. "The others are training in the Combat Room. Why don't you join in and take a bit of notes?"

"That sounds great!" Kita replied. "Just give me one second, and I'll come with you."

Seyber nodded, then retreated a bit and waited by the entrance. When seeing that there was a good amount of distance between them and the demon, Stud gained the nerve to speak again.

"Stud had a sarcastic tone. "Well, isn't that just great? Now they're training you to be a killing machine, just like them!"

Kita laughed a bit, after hearing this. "I'll never be anywhere near as skilled in combat as the others. I don't have the resilience, speed, strength, and I don't even know how to use a weapon of any kind. However, it is a good idea to learn some self-defense strategies."

Stud flattened his ears, clearly unamused. "Why?"

"I can't always run from the fight," Kita explained. "I need to know how to protect myself. Now, can you please run inside and get me that one empty journal and my pen?"

Against his better judgment, Stud obeyed and helped. He dashed back into their chamber, and returned only moments later with a black pen and a small book clasped in his mouth. Kita took the journal and pen from him.

"I want you to come too, alright?" Kita spoke. "I'd like for you to learn to get along with-"

"Absolutely not!" Stud barked. "When I said I was bored, I didn't mean I wanted to get eaten!"

"Demons don't even eat anything," Kita snapped. "Nor are they aggressive. Just avoid Timbur, and everything will be alright. You said yourself that you were beginning to somewhat approve of Seyber."

"A demon is a demon!" Stud argued.

"I will drag you in there with me," Kita argued. 

Stud growled, then ran back into the one-room house at a high rate of speed. The door slammed shut behind him. Kita rolled her eyes, but didn't try to stop him. Instead, she ran to meet Seyber at the fortress entrance. Once everything was set, the two started off.

The Zyrean Emblem on the boulder that stood in front of the cliff glowed with a white light, then the rock disappeared, revealing the opening of the entrance tunnel. Seyber shifted into wolf form, while Kita ducked through. The Hex Den was empty, but Seyber led the way past the den and out onto the stone path that was carved into the huge stone walls of the volcano-shaped area of the fortress's main room. Kita was still not used to the fortress, and almost immediately became lost when they had descended into the forest that stood at the bottom of the main room.

"I always forget how big the fortress is," Kita remarked.

"Yeah," Seyber agreed. "And it just keeps growing."

Kita was surprised by this. "Really? How does that work?"

"The fortress is a strange but special place," Seyber explained. "Places like this are created when the real world and parts of a spirit realm merge into one whole new structure that stands between realm and reality. Ours is the Fortress of Time, because it's made from a piece of the Eternal Realm; one of the countless dimensions for spirits to dwell. And because it's the Eternal Realm, time doesn't really exist here. In case you haven't noticed, it's always midnight in this room."

The branches of the many trees blocked sight of the sky, but Kita was hardly able to see through it. Through the circular break in the roof of the giant room, Kita realized that a crescent moon was shining in the night sky. This was certainly off-putting; moments ago, when she was out on the beach, the sun was still partially risen.

Kita gasped at the sight. "That's incredible!"

Seyber nodded. "Well, we're almost there."

When Kita inspected for herself, she realized that they had reached the north wall of the fortress. A dark tunnel stood before them, carved out of the stone. It was bigger than the first entrance tunnel, which led to and from the Dead Beach. Kita was able to hardly fit, but still had to maneuver awkwardly so as to make it across the uneven ground and twisted path. The tunnel curved left, right, and even upwards. 

When it finally ended, they had found themselves in a large stone cave. Different weapons were hung on racks attached to the walls, and a staircase descending into another room was on the opposite side. Jem, Scorch, and Zin were battling not with weapons, but with their magic. Kita was relieved to see, upon second glance, that everyone was just sparring, not actually fighting. Everyone except Timbur, who just leaned against the wall while sharpening his machete. It seemed he had just arrived recently.

Jem was first to acknowledge the new arrival, and spoke to her fighting brothers, "The mortal's here, you two. Watch the crossfire."

"Hello, everyone," Kita greeted.

Timbur only grunted at the sight. "Why is the mortal this far into the fortress? It's hardly tolerable when she's in the Hex Den."

"'Mortal' has a name, y'know," Kita muttered. "I came because Seyber said you were training, so I figured that I could take a few notes for self-defense."

"That's actually a good idea," Scorch agreed. "With everything that's been happening, it would be better if you knew how to defend yourself. We won't always be able to run to the rescue."

Timbur only glared as Kita went off to the side wall, leaning against the wall as she started jotting down some advice which she already received from the others. She and Seyber continued to speak to each other.

How can they still treat her as one of us? She can try all she likes, but I still remember what she did, and who she is. A damned sylph, and they're all the same.

After looking around the place again, Kita realized what had been throwing her off. "Where's Leiytning?"

"Good question," Seyber muttered.

"Leiytning's in the Oculus Cavern," Zin answered, pausing from the fake battle. "Meaning if you want one of us to retrieve him, no."

"Agreed, very much," said Scorch. "I'd rather not get torn to shreds by that...thing."

Suddenly, a rock hit Zin on the shoulder. Jem was laughing at him, and Zin snapped something at his sister, then tried to fire a shot of water magic at her. The fight continued to escalate from there.

Seyber rolled her eyes at this typical sight, finding some amusement in it. "Let that be a lesson, Kita. Never let anything distract you on the battlefield."

"Noted," Kita replied, laughing while she watched the siblings argue as they sparred. Scorch was using more hand-to-hand combat than magic, due to his magic being a very destructive element. Jem still used her earth magic, casting spells with sand and stones. Zin's ability to generate water from thin air was impressive, but it was not as effective as the other elements. She began jotting down random notes.

From what I've learned, few use only magic as their weapon. Even then, it's a fine art for traditional battles in several races with the capability to use it. The rules...could be a bit less complicated. Let's see if I can remember this; wind and water elements have their uses, but they have a less damaging effect. They also have minimal weaknesses. Fire and electric are the most destructive, but their instability means they have more weaknesses.

Seyber broke Kita from her thoughts. "You seem a lot weaker than other sylphs...Weaker in strength, I mean. Speed is out of question. Sorry if that was insulting, but I say that because those facts are why you should practice using agility in combat. That will still require you to be fast, of course, but it seems to best suit your scrawny build and weapon of choice."

Kita unsheathed the small silver dagger from her dress belt. The sapphire that was studded at the base of the blade had an eerie gleam to it.

"I just brought this to use as a tool of some sort," Kita explained. "And yet here I used it as a way of killing one of the most annoying sylph lieutenants."

"That's how it should be used," said Seyber, chuckling a bit. "Do you mind if I see it for a moment?"

Kita nodded, then handed the blade to Seyber, who instantly flipped it into the air and twirled it between all four fingers before taking a more firm, threatening grip by the hilt. It seemed she was adept with the shorter, lightweight blades. This made sense, and was obvious when one saw either of the crystalized daggers sheathed to her sides.

"Just what I'd expect from a dagger-fighter," said Kita.

"This one isn't too bad," Seyber remarked, admiring the silver dagger. "It could use one hell of a sharpening, but in good condition, it could very easily defend against a tough beast, or a lesser warrior."

As she turned the blade again, Seyber noticed the odd sapphire. Though it looked normal at first glance, a strange feeling formed in her as she looked closer. When she did inspect further, she could've sworn that as a beam of light hit it, a symbol had appeared in the gem. It was invisible in the light, though. While it looked suspicious, there was a simple explanation. Seyber smirked at this.

She held up the dagger. "I'll bet you didn't know that this was cursed."

Kita flinched a bit, surprised by this. "It is? I had no idea!"

"The stone is what keeps it cursed," Seyber explained. "Since crystals and gems are typical vessels for magic, people would often incorporate them in weapon construction in order to get the necessary enchantments. And based on the kind of signs this one shows, it must be very old...Strange, where did you get this?"

"I stole it from my father, about twelve seasons ago," Kita replied. Twelve seasons is three years, right? Yes, that's right.

"And who did your father work for?" Seyber inquired.

"He was just some hunter," said Kita, shrugging her shoulders. "Although, I do have a few memories when I hear him talking about demons. I bet he was trying to hunt demons at one point."

Seyber sighed at the thought. "Makes sense. There are a few hunters or cultists that want to hunt us down. There's not a lot of them, but they're still a little problem we face every now and again. Most of them actually go for other demons, or for darker creatures, like ghouls or some gargoyles."

Kita sheathed the dagger as it was handed back to her. "You seem to have a problem with being hunted. And the sylphs have a problem with causing trouble."

"The sylphs just let greed get the best of them," Seyber agreed. "They crave immortality and wealth, and don't give a damn about how they get it. A lot of sylphs, mainly nobles, hunted us to harvest immortality for themselves. Of course, a lot of those immortal sylphs are dead. We weren't the only ones who were wiped out in the Extinction Battle."

"Really?" Asked Kita, finding herself interested in the subject.

Seyber nodded. "We may have lost more, obviously, but we took out a large part of their army and made sure that they wouldn't recover. Back then, they used specially designed weapons to kill us. It's why they were such a threat to our army. After the Extinction Battle, all of their weapons were destroyed in the battle"

"And they had no reserves or records?" Kita inquired, confused by that one point.

"No, they did. Plenty of blueprints and other things like that were kept, as well as extra weapons. But, all that mayhem was kept in one portion of that huge palace." Seyber gained a mischievous smirk. "There was a convenient fire, though, and all traces were lost to scorch-ing heat. Ever since, they haven't been able to create something that kills us. Everything results in not really our victory, but more of a draw. Until recently, that is..."

Kita released a heavy sigh. "Thundur's not getting better, is she?"

"Actually, she is," Seyber answered. "The recovery is very slow, but she's coming around. It's just that...we still can't get too hopeful. There's the chance that her spirit gives up, or her mind breaks from- er, well, there's a lot of things that can go wrong, is my point."

This time, Kita sounded more determined. "She has to be alright. We need her, and she knows that. She's not going to lose to a sylph, especially when that sylph is Corelia. I don't need to be a demon to know that much."

Seyber giggled. "I'm starting to think you know my mentor and sister better than I do."

"No," Kita responded. "I just know for sure that she can't stand losing."


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