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The Reaper Wants To Eat You


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#1
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Amid the dust-ridden wastes of Plex, shadows collected and coalesced. Darkness solidified and brightened into color, as a girl with sand-colored hair and black robes over pale skin rose from the inky black plane. Once she fully formed, she reached into her heart, pulling out a long stave in a burst of light, both ends unfurling into a silver and gold double-headed scythe, a beacon of light in an otherwise bleak and unforgiving land. She looked around, her face blank as always, taking in the dark landscape as she began to walk. She didn't know exactly why...but she had a...destination, in mind. Somewhere, here in this Hellscape, she had a place to go...a purpose.

But who knows what it was?



#2
Kaleb

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Things were... Odd in Plex. By all accounts, it should have been a barren wasteland of darkness, devoid of any life. But somehow, undetected by most, it seemed that a civilization of some sorts had risen within the darkness that was Plex. Beyond the hills where this woman emerged, below, there was a valley -- a prarie of dark, tall grass. Black grass. And in this prarie, among a few homes made of a black brick, there were children playing. Zarethians, Aralangs, Sages. Playing together. There were women hanging clothes on clothes lines. A few men on a front porch smoking pipes, a dog on the porch next to them. They looked incredibly normal, but the black prarie they were in radiated darkness, and the homes that there village was made of were made of a black brick that seemed to radiate dark energies. Despite this, these creatures of various races seemed to be carrying on like normal, as if they weren't in Plex. As if they weren't all supposed to be enemies fighting each other.

 

They all wore black jumpsuits with red markings upon them, small markings all across their sleaves, their pant legs, the chest of their suits. Writing. Writings in some ancient text. And what's more? The markings were different on each jumpsuit. Whatever these markings said, whatever words they formed, each suit had a different set of text. This seemed to be the only clothing these people owned. The clothing the women were hanging on the lines were all the same -- jump suits with red text.

 

Something else appeared to be strange about this picture, though. There was the faint sound of a clock ticking, humming in the background of this scene. And it was something that these people appeared to notice, too, though it was something they also appeared to be used to. They didn't pay the clock ticking much mind, but every once and awhile, one of the people below would have a look of slight concern. No, they all seemed to have it, buried underneath their happy expressions, if you looked close enough. It was the slightest signs. Feet tapping. Women sweating slightly. They all appeared happy, they were all playing their roles. But deep inside, they were all very, very anxious.


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#3
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The girl walked through the town-apparently it was on the way to wherever she was headed-but did not converse with any of the people within. She did look at them though. She glanced at the scene before her, seemed to read the words on some of them. Or...Not; her eyes lingered on some of them, yes, but it was like she wasn't looking at them, but through them. Still, everything appeared to satisfy her, and she proceeded through the town nonetheless...Until she reached its centerpoint. Once here, she glanced around, taking in the area, keeping an eye on the village's denizens, seeing how they reacted to her.



#4
Kaleb

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As she walked, each citizen who she passed did seem to pay her some attention: an odd stare here, a pointing gesture there, but after a moment they would go back to their own activities. None of them stopped what they were doing on her account, but it was obvious that she did not belong. Some glanced at her with an expression of knowing sorrow, as if they perhaps had been in her place once, though rather they had or not remained to be seen as nobody quite knew if this woman was to become one of them, a new recruit in the slaughterhouse, or if she were here for some other reason.

 

Still, there was something else off about this town. All their actions seemed to be rehearsed, like part of a show. It was as if this woman had just walked on stage during a Broadway production and the actors and actresses didn't know how to react, but then, the show must go on. Still, the woman was there and it did throw them all a little off balance. As evidence of this, one child failed to catch the big, rubber ball that the group of children had been playing around. He'd easily caught the ball eight or nine times in the last few moments, and this mess-up obviously effected him. He dropped to his knees crying as the ball started rolling away, towards the woman.

 

Now, when a little kid is crying, you'd expect someone -- maybe his mother -- to react. But the women kept hanging their clothes, the men kept smoking their pipes. One little girl, with a look of sympathy on her face, started to walk towards the crying boy who had deposited himself on the ground, prepared to place a comforting hand on his shoulder, but another boy with similar features, perhaps her brother -- they were both Zarethian -- reached out and stopped her, shaking his head. The boy on the ground kept crying.

 

One human child started walking towards the newcomer woman, prepared to grab the ball as it stopped near her feet. The actor was going to casually retrieve his prop. He stopped when the ball reached the woman's feet, glaring at her, paying her more attention than anyone else here had so far. He carefully studied her facial features. However; before he had a chance to speak or continue retrieving his ball, the sounds of the town were suddenly drowned out by the sound of a gong or bell of some sorts, the chiming of an invisible grandfather clock that had just now reached midnight. Panic filled the boy's eyes, and the eyes of everyone else in the town, and then, suddenly, they...

 

Froze.

 

The women's hands were still reaching out towards the clotheslines. The little boy was still crying. The human kid was still staring at the newcomer. The men, seemingly knowing what was about to happen, had all had the common sense to take the pipes out of their mouths. The town itself wasn't in stasis, just the people. Their pipes still smoked, the clothes still gently vibrated in the strangely chilling but light breeze of Plex. Everyone but the newcomer had paused.

 

And then, someone started whistling. From the nearby house where many of the man sat still, in stasis, the door opened and a somewhat human-looking creature came out onto the porch. Only, he wasn't human at all. His hair was a golden blonde, and his entire skin seemed to literally glow brightly, strictly contrasting the normal darkness of Plex. The creature seemed to wear some sort of gown that only covered his front, like a hospital gown, only it was white, like a sheet. From his back, majestically wide, white, arching wings extended in either direction, extending out several feet from each side of him. This creature was an angel. Around his foot, there seemed to be a black cuff of some sorts, tightly locked to his ankle. Chains extended from the cuff, though not very far, into a small, six inch portal behind him that seemed to follow him around everywhere he went, lightly floating just above the ground.

 

The angel, a male with wavy but boyish hair, closed the door to the house above him, whistling the tune to what sounded like some sort of nursery rhyme as he snatched a pipe out of one of the frozen gentlemen's hands and took a whiff. He coughed slightly from the first puff -- he didn't smoke much -- but seemed to get the hang of it after his first puff. With the pipe in hand, the angel calmly and routinely continued walking, checking each of the faces of the men on the porch before leaving and further inspecting the town. If he noticed the newcomer, he said nothing as he walked over towards the group of kids.

 

He shook his head as he saw the frozen scene before him, the crying boy on the ground, his tears suspended upon his cheek, half-fallen. He walked over to the boy, sighing as he placed a hand on his shoulder. The moment he did, the boy unfroze. Panic on his face, he looked up at the angel above him.

 

"P-p-please," the boy spoke in Common, a language familiar to anyone who frequented the more populated parts of the Mortal Dimension, "Don't hurt me. I dropped the ball. I didn't mean too!"

 

"I'm sorry," the angel replied, in the same language, an unsympathetically cool tone to his voice, "But you know the rules. He's got to eat, too, you know. And if you can't do your job now, when the binding isn't even complete, what's to say that you won't do your job when you're needed? You're messing up the spell."

 

"But it was only just this once! I promise! It's all because of her! She distracted me!" the boy pleaded, pointing across the way towards the newcomer woman. "She distracted me, I promise!"

 

The angel noticed the newcomer now, turning his head to face her. The town was a small town, much like an old western town, consisting of only one "road", a wide ally between the two rows of buildings on either side of this town. This road, of course, was made of the same soil that covered the rest of Plex -- some sort of dark, almost muddy soil. The angel's eyes scanned the newcomer as he finally stood to full height, a massive seven foot tall. He touched the shoulder of the boy once more, and the boy froze again.

 

"And who might you be?" the angel questioned the woman.


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#5
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As the ball rolled to her, she stopped it with a touch of her foot, but didn't otherwise react to it. She didn't seem to have much of a reaction to the women folding clothes, or the men smoking pipes, or even the child that broke down crying after dropping his ball. She did look to the boy who approached her-warm purple eyes looking over him and a calming, yet sad, smile, but she spoke no words. Just as well, as he froze shortly afterward.

 

She watched the scene play out in front of her-the Angel walking from the house, taking the pipe from the man, and giving his judgement to the child. Still she said nothing, but calmly watched the events. Then the Angel froze the crying child again, and looked to her. He was tall, imposing, for sure, but the blonde girl remained undaunted-still cool, calm, and collected. A twinge of melancholy perhaps...But that wasn't anything new. Still, she did not react overtly to him...until he asked her his question. That was the moment she opened her mouth...And an echoed, harmonious voice came forth.

 

"I am an agent of fate, who has defied her destiny. A keeper of the one promise all uphold, who has yet broken her only oath. A guide who has lost her way and a shepherd who has abandoned her flock. I am the R?????e????a???p?????e??r????, Angel, and yet I Live. And I will fulfill my purpose."

 

As she spoke, the already dim lands of Plex grew darker. The embers in the pipes went cold, fires began to wane, light struggled to glow. But there was no fear to this darkness-it was purity, comforting. A shroud of peace and stillness of quiet.



#6
Kaleb

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As the pipe that the angel had been smoking from went cold, a scowl spread upon the face of the angel as he studied the strange woman closely. He had not seen this particular reaper, but then, it wasn't like he was exactly involved with the administration of things upstairs. He was just an errand boy, and this specimen who had arrived was making his errand just a bit more difficult than he would have liked. Throwing the pipe aside, the angel prepared himself for whatever might happen.

 

"You should know, then, that this area is protected by our lord Eli. For what purpose have you come here,  R?????e????a???p?????e??r????? What is your purpose?"


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#7
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"Your lord, Angel." She said simply and matter of factly, as though the words weren't both treason and blasphemy at once, before hesitating to his question. She looked past him, as though choosing her words, before walking a little past him and pulling the darkness of Plex as though it were material. Shadowy wisps emerged from the solid blackness in her hand as she spoke.

"My purpose...Runs counter to the letter of your orders, though perhaps not the spirit. Rogue though I may be, I was once one of the intermediaries of Heaven and Hell. Light and Darkness...Those are forces we know intimately. I assume that your station here is to lock That away, slain even as it is. A spell to seal its power away, carved into place through routine and reinforced by Law. It will fail."

She pulled more of the curtain of darkness, of Negative, of Plex, as she turned back to face the Angel. She looked him in the eyes briefly before turning her attention down as she grabbed it with both hands, resting her double-scythe casually so that it leaned against her and one of its blades looping around her neck, and began to mold it. As she did, a soft glow of light emerged from her hands, seeming to eat away at the darkness...Parts of it, at any rate. But into other parts of it, the light flowed into it, weaving and flowing before fading. As she carefully molded and wove the shadows, the wisps burning off started to fade, the darkness becoming calm and stable. The whole while the same calm look on her face, a melancholy to her eyes.

"I do not mean that you are inexperienced, or that it will be because of error on your part. But this effort is a stopgap by design. It does not fix the problem, only puts it out of mind. As long as Plex remains as It is, there will be no finality to this. My Purpose, Angel, is Purity. Healing. Eli's Scriptures are correct and wrong, in certain ways. The Darkness does not comprehend Light, no...But neither does the Light comprehend Darkness."



#8
Kaleb

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"Hmm," the angel contemplated, pocketing the pipe in his white gown. "Well, you're talking to the errand boy, 'fraid to admit. Perhaps you should be talking to the man upstairs."

He watched as she manipulated the darkness skillfully.

"Say, how the Heaven do you know how to do that, anyway?" he asked, lightly chuckling.


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#9
Nisorin

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An odd little town, pretending to be quiet but it's its people sitting in tension. A Reaper breaking the monotony and rules of the town's facade. And now, for the unfortunate villagers,a new visitor comes with the intent to uproot their entire way of life. The air shifts and shimmers at the outskirts of town, gravity inverting around a golden line of light that splits the air. As the line thickens, dark energy sparks and crackles before suddenly splitting it wide. Stretching fifteen feet tall and four wide, reality itself opens like a great eldritch eye. The tear can be heard through the entire town, ringing with angelic tones but a rumbling, dark bass line underneath.

The priest walks forth through the rift, wings unfolding from his back. The rift snaps shut behind him, as he spreads his arms out wide. "Ah, it has been too long..." he says, the metallic scales on his skin shining a bright, holy golden light.. But as the light shifts they change in an iridecent shimmer, revealing the darkness mixed within him.

#10
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The angel cricked his neck to the side, grabbing his head like he was in excruciating pain at the sound of the rift opening. He turned his head to see the stranger standing not too far away, but when he noticed the golden light surrounding the stranger, the stranger nearly dropped to his knees. The master was paying him a visit! He was honored!

 

But no, upon closer inspection, this was not the master. Dread replaced joy, as the angel wondered who this could be. A new angel? No... Something darker. But this darkness was not strange to the angel. In fact, he had become fairly acquainted with darkness lately. Who was this stranger coming into town?

 

The angel turned back to the reaper. "Please, excuse me for a moment."

 

And then, he turned and started towards the stranger.

 

"You're interrupting meal time!" the angel shouted somewhat erratically. "All of you are! This is not going according to schedule."


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#11
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The priest smiles to him as the crackling energy slowly dissipates. "Unscheduled? My, how rude of me. Is there something I have missed in the last year I have been away? Tell me, does your beloved Eli still rule North?" He says, stepping up to the angel without any hesitation or fear, as most would have.

#12
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"Something you've missed?" the angel considered. "I don't know. I just follow orders. And you're breaking the schedule of things here."

The angel walked back up to the boy, still frozen in place, who had broken his role.

"I have to feed this young one to the beast below now," the angel announced solemnly. "That reaper is here to stop me. You've come at quite the strange time. Who are you and what do you want? As for Master, of course he's still alive. Can a God die?"

 


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#13
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The priest laughs at his question. "How absurd. Of course a god can die. Eli lost his Brother last year after all. And, I believe you have another worry than this boy's fate, good angel. I seek audience with your Beast. I seek the remains of the construct Plex." He says, looking to the boy behind the angel. "Shall I free him for you?"

#14
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The girl simply watched the events unfolding around her. She'd been about to retort to the angel's insinuation when the newcomer came along, but even so she did not stop weaving the light through the dark material. At the angel's last claim regarding her, she simply responds,"I never claimed to be here to stop you, pointless though that may be. Do what you will with the child." She maintained a calm facade but turned her head down, pausing a moment before continuing her weaving of light into dark and glancing up to the newcomer. "I have doubts the Angel will allow you to visit with it. However, if you can indeed find some way to it, I would ask to join you. This process would be quicker if I were able to treat the cause of the problem, rather than the symptoms."



#15
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“The traitor did die,” the angel admitted, “As it was foretold, the day he left Heaven. Many of my kind left with him. What an unfortunate fate, to lose your wings in service to something so dark as destruction.”
There was a slight look of doubt in the angel’s eyes as he lowered his gaze to the chain around his foot, trailing into the portal that followed him everywhere.
“Those who sin against Eli, must pay for their transgressions. Now, I ask you again, stranger. Who are you, to come here and ask for an audience with that which our Lord has called unholy?”
The angel turned to the reaper now. “As I said before. If you have a problem with the operation here, take it up with the man upstairs.”

As if on cue, from the dark ground of Plex, on the hill just above the town, the ground began to furiously shake. The earthquake rattled the town, but the angel did not seem disturbed. He watched in awe and joy as a large, Heavenly staircase rose from the ground. With steps made of gold and ivory, the stairs kept rising and rising, far into the dark skies above, providing contrast with the darkness of Plex. At the top of the staircase, a glimmer of golden light shone down upon those below — the gateway to North.

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#16
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The priest looks to the angel, his smile fading. "Is that what you were told? No, Koty lived a long time after that. Married, had children. Then sacrificed himself to save his family. Do not, at least in my presence, diminish that." He says, before looking to the boy. With a flick of his wrist and a crackle of shining golden and dark violet energy intertwined, he releases the boy from his stasis. "Go back to your day, child. On my word you will face no repercussions from this event." He says, eyes locked on the angel.

"Now, on to the matter at hand. I want to see this, Beast, you have caged within Plex. And if the, Reaper you said? Wishes to join me she is welcome, but I cannot guarantee protection."

#17
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"I've no reason to. I am not asking permission, Angel, nor am I expecting you to stop following your orders, vain though they may be. You asked my purpose here, and I told it to you." She said, threading a final bit of flowing light into the tapestry she was weaving, before smoothing it back into the reality around her. As she did, the village around looked...Not brighter, it still bore the dimness of the reality that was Plex. And yet...A measure of the oppressive aura the village center bore was gone. Dark as night, yet not sinister; rather calming, comforting. This measure alone would quickly fade, subsumed by the rest of Plex...But it was a good marker of what she was here to accomplish, nonetheless. She turned to the newcomer, spinning her scythe out from around her neck and into her hand, saying,"I am quite able to defend myself, worry not. We are not as...well known, perhaps, as those in Eli and Radical's service, but we R̵͢͝҉ę̶̧̕a͠͏̵́͝ṕ͠҉ȩ̸̷̢͢r̷̛͢͜s̶͜͜ can hold our own. We come for all, in the end, and not everyone comes quietly to await their judgement."



#18
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"You misunderstand me, Priest," the angel spoke, with kindness in his voice. "We were not told lies. Destruction was vanquished during the war against the beast below. The same beast which you wish to speak with. Now, I will ask you one final time. Who are you? Think carefully before answering. Not all shall be permitted to gain that which they seek."

He turned to the reaper.

"Your actions are of no consequence to me. So long as you don't interfere with what we are doing below, or the workings of the dimensional core, you may purify this realm as long as you wish. You should know that the negative energies here ensure a well functioning Dimensional Plane. Do your actions seek to violate that?" he asked.


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#19
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The priest smiles to him, chuckling a bit. "Ah, of course you would not recognize me... I have, changed, a bit. I am Verrtsi Trolec, High Paladin of the Relorian Empire, here on business of a personal matter." He says, looking into the angel's eyes. "And worry not, I understand it's purpose in Existence, Engel" He says, wing unfolding behind him to stretch. "How fares the remains of Plex now, a year after the war?" He asks, not answering the Reaper though he does watch the display.

#20
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"My goals are, if anything, to maintain that careful balance. To return the realm Plex to its proper, natural state, what it was before the...Beast, as you call it, came to being." 




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