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The Gambit of Souls [Storyline]

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The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 10:11 am



Forsaken Daughter

There was something different about everything.

It wasn’t something as simple as just the events that transpired in the previous few days, if it had even been that long, but something else. A sense of urgency perhaps? Fear? From the confines of her cell, the only thing that Vyra was able to tell for certain was that it felt different.

But then again, perhaps it was just her.

It had felt that so much time had passed now since all of this began, since that fateful day that she had set out in search for someone to help her control her Magic. And to help her maintain control of the darker Vyra inside of her; the one that she – with great reluctance – had to admit had proven to be a valuable asset since arriving. It was a tragic tale of irony, knowing that a part of her that she hated vehemently with everything in her being was one of the key reasons for her prolonged survival here.

But it was not just her, but much in part thanks to the woman who rested beside her within the cell, Seras. Perhaps a chance of fate that the two encountered one another, maybe just dumb luck, but the woman had proven to be an invaluable asset to Vyra during this period. As a protector of sorts, it was impossible not to notice the similarities between how she treated Vyra as to how Alisa had been over the past two years. But particularly different between the two cases, where in Alisa undoubtedly had the strength to completely prevent such a scenario like this from ever playing out for as long as it had, Seras had a particular level of strength that could not be represented in Magic.

A trait that perhaps made her stronger than Alisa, in some way.

A strength that Vyra could not help but admire. And perhaps to some extent, wish she had herself.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:41 pm



Forsaken Daughter

It was not quite clear just what time of day it was. It was never particularly clear for that matter. It did not help matters that the system in which would have perhaps most been viable to giving some semblance of time – when they ate – was being routinely interfered with. After the events that had taken place a few days ago maybe, the guards had ceased with their inconsistent, but certainly inhumane, treatment of Vyra for the most part.

Whatever transpired there, something had happened that seemed to significantly shift how the guards had been viewing Vyra. Unlike before where they were willing to all but threaten the girl, now it seemed that they were almost intimidated by her. Further, it seemed almost as though they were afraid of the pale woman too, which was surprising. Almost as surprising as her more frequent presence near Vyra and Seras. It left Vyra uneasy. There were a point when she had first arrived that the idea of her paying any heed towards the Demi-Human would be nothing short of an anomaly.

But now though, the pale woman’s presence was not expected as it was just more to the sense of if it happened, it happened. There no longer had to be something challenge imposed upon Vyra or act of barbarism set to take place to demand the woman’s arrival. Vyra struggled to figure out if that was a good thing entirely, but she wanted to be optimistic. If nothing else, the woman seemed calmer, the colder persona that Vyra had figured to be associated with the woman replaced instead with a different demeanor, at least towards her.

Maybe it was some level of empathy that she had developed towards the Demi-Human.

Or was it something else?

Throughout it all, Vyra could not help but have the feeling that the pale woman was purposely watching the two of them, Seras and Vyra. Watching, waiting, waiting for something, but quite what it may have been, she had not the slightest idea.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 5:08 pm



Forsaken Daughter

“You’ve noticed it too, haven’t you?” Seras asked, the woman leaning against one side of the cell, staring out and watching the world from beyond the steel bars, taking notice of the pale woman having walked by, taking a quick glance at Vyra before averting her eyes to Seras, then turning her head away entirely. “Seems she has taken quite the interest in you. I would say it’s a good thing,” she said as she gently rubbed the back of Vyra’s head, “But I would be concerned if I were you.”

Vyra simply sat there with her legs crossed in the center of the cell, similarly watching everything going on around them, much like Seras. “I am. What do you think I should do?”

Seras gave a weak sigh. She wished she had an answer that would be sufficient, “I don’t know. All I can say is don’t try to fight her. Notice the guards. Notice how they respond to her than days ago. I don’t know whether to think of that as a good thing or a bad thing honestly.” She took to one knee, draping her arms around Vyra as the woman rested her head softly against Vyra’s, “Just be careful. You’re safe now; best not risk that.”

Her heart skipped a beat at Seras’ gesture. Sudden, but not unappreciated. Yet it only seemed to contrast the stern words lightly echoed by the woman into her ear. It was apparent enough that Seras was suspicious of something, similar to Vyra, and even though she may have had some faint levels of optimism spurned over the past few days, the doubt she heard just then seemed to resonate even harder. As she kept her eyes trained on the pale woman she reached up and managed to find a grip upon Seras’ wrist, giving it a tight grip as to convey some sort of reassurance. “I won’t,” she said softly to avoid it being heard by others.

Namely the pale woman, who had begun making her way towards their cell.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:36 pm



Forsaken Daughter

“My, now here is a sight. You two seem to be rather close. Prisoners of the moment perhaps,” the pale woman remarked casting a gaze onto Vyra and then letting it remain for a time on Seras, who similarly returned a stare of similar focus. “The girl, I have business with her.”

Vyra could feel the arms wrapped around her tightening. Looking up, she could see that Seras’ looking right at the pale woman, feeling another confrontation inevitably about to come again. “What business is that? You plan to put her through life and death circumstances once again?”

She chuckled, “Heh, think you’re smart. I entertained those fools’ idiotic suggestion once and only once. Idiots that don’t appreciate the endgame, everyone wanting a turn when I still hold the board.” Vyra squinted, confused by the cryptic words of the pale woman. If anything, it made her all the more hesitant to accompany this woman. “It’s time you and I finally put on our long-awaited performance. What do you say, Vyra?”

Her blood ran cold. It felt like her heart froze in fright. The woman’s words, the way she said her name, the fact that she even knew her name, it instinctively wanted to make Vyra scurry to the furthest side of the cell, hoping to keep any and all distance away from the woman. But she remained there, within the arms of Seras, unsure if she were more afraid of the woman or more confident in Seras’ protection.

“What’s wrong, a bit of stage fright?” The woman asked condescendingly. It was impossible not to notice the small smile lined along her face the moment she had mentioned Vyra’s name. Looking closely, she could see the fabric along Seras’ clothing shifting as the Demi-Human tightened her grip upon the woman’s arm. “I see… Fine, if it would make you feel more at ease, your friend can join you.”

The woman waved her hand over the cell’s lock, a faint wave of Magic appearing for a brief moment, quickly fading away and instead producing the sound of metal gears grinding. A second later, the cage door swung open, narrowly avoiding the pale woman as she casually stepped backwards. Moving to the side, she made the faintest of gestures, pointing outside towards a familiar sight of the long, dark hallway. “Shall we?”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:05 pm



Forsaken Daughter

The walk was too similar to the past, the appearance of the lights as they barely provided sight through the cobblestone feeling just as it had the time before and the time before that. Perhaps the biggest difference, for which Vyra was most thankful for, was the presence of Seras, who walked side by side with her, the two of them remaining only a couple of feet behind the pale woman as she led them down the hallway.

It was odd.

On one hand, it should have been a welcome change. Having Seras making this trek instead of a small deployment of armed guards, especially one that wanted to inflict harm to her, was certainly an improvement. But having the pale woman escorting them, it was hard to say if that were better or worse. Considering her Magic though, it was impossible to not be terrified at the possibility that she just unleashed it upon either of them.

It also ruined any prospects that the two of them may have had at escaping either. It would take no time whatsoever for her to perform her Magic, whether it was weakening either or both of them, or one of those illusions of her coming to life and putting them down.

It was brilliant to some degree. Without having to rely on any amount of guards and the biases and moments of incompetency that may come with it, she was able to single-handedly ensure that the pair would comply with whatever command she issued.

The trio continued along for some time through the tunnel, it seeming to feel infinitely longer than past trips Vyra had taken through this route. At some point, they came to what felt like the lone deviation that they had encountered since they had begun going down this tunnel; a group of about four guards who appeared to be in formation along both sides of the hall. Though she saw them, Vyra thought little of it, assuming that the pale woman’s escort was going to be the extent of it.

She could not have been more wrong.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 10:23 pm



Forsaken Daughter

Once they passed by, she would have figured that nothing would have happened. As they got through the first pair of guards, the duo sprang to life, both of them taking hold of Seras as they pulled her away, her screams suddenly clearing the silence that had otherwise occupied the tunnel. In the same second, the two guards ahead suddenly collapsed, falling to the ground with wet thuds. Vyra barely had time to react to the cries of Seras before she was pounced upon by a pair of the illusions, the duo pinning her against the wall as she winced in pain.

A brief moment of stinging pain radiated through her as she felt the tip of a blade entering into her neck, not enough to put her life at risk, but simply enough to make sure she could register the pain. “Let’s end this charade. Show yourself. I’d rather not have to cut you open if I could avoid it,” the pale woman said with an unexpected level of viciousness in her voice. Turning her head towards Seras, she took a moment to let the image of Seras’ situation sink in before turning back to Vyra, “Take the woman away, I’ll figure out how to deal with her later.”

The pale woman stepped towards Vyra, running her finger along the faint trail of blood that stemmed down the Demi-Human’s neck. In an instant it had become a hand gripped along Vyra’s neck, squeezing a little tighter and tighter with each passing second. “I know you can hear me, so stop wasting my time and come on out.”

Vyra tried to fight back but between the damages immediately inflicted upon her body, the illusions pinning her to the wall, and now the chokehold being applied by the woman, there was no way for the Demi-Human to muster enough strength to pull the hand away.

After some time, the light faded from Vyra’s eyes and they went turned into nothing but deep pools of black void. Seeing this, the pale woman smiled and released her grip of the Demi-Human’s neck, the two illusions also releasing their grip of her. “It’s about time you made yourself known. For a second, almost believed you would have allowed her to die,” she mused, the viciousness that she displayed a moment ago having completely disappeared for a much more casual tone.

She took a moment to respond, spending a moment massaging her throat, some aggressive coughing clearing up whatever may have lingered from Aegir’s little stunt. “Couldn’t think of a nicer way to ask me to show?” Vyra glanced at the bodies of the two guards that lay there against the walls in contorted positions, “Just a little extreme, wouldn’t you say?”

Aegir shrugged, “Been enough problems since your… Hmm, what would you call it? Other half? Since it arrived, have had enough questions as far as loyalty amongst my people.” She pointed forward, advising Vyra to follow along, “As far as I’m concerned, if they can’t be trusted, then they’re disposable.”

“Cold,” Vyra said plainly. It was hard to challenge that reasoning though. The nature of whatever it was that Aegir and this group were truly about, if people were not fully committed towards it, and by extension her, then in the end they stand to be liabilities. “So, why go through all of this just to speak to me?”

“We had a deal, didn’t we? I plan on seeing it carried out…”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:53 pm



Forsaken Daughter

By the time they had proceeded through the remainder of the tunnel, Vyra had almost expected to end up in a similar setting as in the past, some large makeshift-like arena or observation room. To her surprise, they had entered what seemed to a fully functioning room, in many way mirroring the main room in which Vyra had first encountered Aegir and where her cell had been located in. Waiting within the room, there were no shortages of guards present, the few who weren’t fixated upon Aegir and Vyra instead keeping their attention solely towards the decrepit old man from a few days before, tending to some sort of creation.

Vyra hoped to get a better glance at what the old man was working on, hoping to figure out just why it demanded the attention of so many of the guards. Though much of her vision was obstructed by where the guards were standing, she was able to get a quick glance at what Vyra suspected had to be several orbs which seemed to be exact clones of the orb that the man had utilized before. The same sort of device that caused the weakened and broken slaves to become feral monsters.

Barely even a step was taken closer to the apparent device before Vyra felt a forceful grip upon her shoulder. Turning around, she saw Aegir giving her a disapproving shake of the head, “You will see soon enough. For the time being, you just wait here.” Keeping her grip on Vyra with one hand, with the other hand Aegir pointed towards a pair of guards and beckoned them to her. “Make sure she remains here.”

Perhaps emboldened by the change in the guards’ behavior towards Vyra, she thought that there may have been a chance that she could just go ahead and still see what was going on. Sadly for the Demi-Human, the guards whom Aegir had collected here seemed to be far more resolute than that of what had been responsible for monitoring Vyra and Seras’ cell. She took a step closer and was immediately forced back. Another attempt and was met with much the same result. While not content with this situation, Vyra reluctantly complied with the guards’ demand. More specifically, it was when two other guards arrived did she finally stop trying to take advantage of the situation. But, even while resigned to this particular spot in the large room, she was still able to get a less-than-ideal glance at Aegir, hoping to gauge exactly what was going on.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:34 pm



Forsaken Daughter

He did not notice Aegir as she approached, far too preoccupied within this, his magnum opus. A lifetime’s worth of research, another lifetime’s worth towards the application and design, and now upon the third lifetime’s worth of investment, the actual birth of his design. He had given everything towards perfecting this; branded a heretic, exiled from his people, ostracized from his colleagues, regarded by the law as a monster and condemned to death. But, a second chance now had been given, and the man known only as Croutke was determined to see his dream come to pass.

A vicious grip took him by surprise, the vice wrapping around his forearm as his body was jerked entirely, his legs nearly failing him from the surprise and ferocity of the pull. “Hey! Be careful you foolish ape! Do you not know how sensitive-“ His words were cut off by his own noticing of Aegir. As the gap between them closed to the point of having a conversation between only active parties, he performed a mock-elegant bow, “Ah, Mistress Aegir. What an unexpected surprise. Have you come to witness history?”

“Is it ready?” Aegir asked, uninterested in the excitement that Croutke was conveying towards his project, the disinterest causing the man to frown slightly.

He nodded, “Nearly so. At this point, simply a matter of honing the radius, selecting the proper levels, all things considered it’s actually rather impressive how even the most minor inconsistencies can adversely affect things. The merest change of a couple of degrees is all that it would take to result in calamity!” Croutke peeled his focus away from Aegir and onto his creation, looking at it with a feeling of pride, “Truly, I could spend days talking about it. Once this is all over with, we ought to sit down and have a chat. I think you’d find it incredibly interesting.”

“I’m more interested in making sure that it works. Its success is why you are here and not waiting for the Gallows in Era, and I would hope that you remember that.”

“Oh, how could I forget? Seems a fact that nobody can allow me to ignore,” Croutke grumbled beneath clenched teeth. He may have been free from the Rune Knights and their captivity in Era, but he was hardly free. “But you needn’t worry. Everything will be ready. Question should be, have you fulfilled all of your preparations?”

“Indeed,” Aegir shot a brief glance in Vyra’s direction, whether or not the Demi-Human managed to see her, it was difficult to tell through the same sea of bodies that seemed to separate between the two. “Everything is ready.”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 3:02 pm



Forsaken Daughter

To say she was bored was a gross understatement. Though much of what was to come was a complete unknown to Vyra, to know that Aegir stood to carry out their agreement was delightful enough. She had been restrained to having to watch from the sidelines for much of this endeavor, the only solace that ever seemed to come of it being the few moments in which Aegir had set her up to play. Whether deliberate or otherwise, it was always good to experience the world.

Not like the world Aegir was selling was all that impressive. Dark, ugly, a place more resembling that of where someone would go to die than to ever hope to survive within. Unsurprising, especially through the lenses of what exactly she found herself fighting against; prisoners long past their worth, a creature begging to be put down, and guards who either blindly followed a leader without knowing any ideals or otherwise surrendered their ideals in favor of their own pursuits. A far cry from the world that Vyra had positioned them in, the luxuries of the Blue Pegasus Guild Hall, the life that came with it being something that despite her hatred for Alisa, even she could appreciate.

And it was only a matter of time before she was back there. And only her.

Thus, when the Demi-Human noticed Aegir proceeding back, she could not help but find herself straightening her posture, almost anxiously awaiting what was to happen next. “So, this is it? We finally move onto the part where you carry out your part of our deal?”

The pale woman’s lips parted into a small smirk, it contrasting slightly against the weak nod that she provided towards Vyra. “Heh, nothing seems to much get past you, now does it?” She turned her head, scanning the room, getting a head count of the guards who had been in the room initially, making sure that everyone whom she wanted in attendance was present. “Everyone, gather ‘round!” Aegir called out, the masses all swarming together to convene nearby the duo of Aegir of Vyra, it becoming the focal point of their collective attention. “It’s been a long while now. Plenty of time invested, numerous lives lost, sacrifices made, but it’s finally paid off. Our friend here, regardless of how some of may have felt towards her, we can recognize this. She is valuable… And finally, we seize that for ourselves…”

Vyra did not see it coming.

She hadn’t the time to react, nor expected it to occur, but as Aegir spoke, a pair of her guards had cornered Vyra, taking hold of her, effectively pinning her down where she stood. In the same moment, another pair of guards leapt forward, some sort of device within their hands. And despite Vyra’s struggles, it seemed that they got exactly what they were going for, the sound of metal pieces clicking together as the latter two guards backed up, everyone looking on with joy at the sight of the metal collar that was now secured around Vyra’s neck.

Unable even to get her arms around to pull at her, Vyra growled out in anger towards Aegir, furious at the woman for what could only have been viewed as a betrayal, and similarly upset that she did not see it coming. “What? We had a deal!?”

Aegir turned her head to face the Demi-Human, a look of hubris and condescension clearly evident upon her face, “Deal? Oh no, you see, there was never a deal. It was a tempting offer, don’t get me wrong. But, why work with you to bring down Alisa, when I’ll just force you to do that instead. Really, it’s perfect. I get what I want, and I don’t have to worry about you.”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 3:54 pm



Forsaken Daughter

“YOU CUNT!!” Vyra bellowed out, not even hiding her contempt towards Aegir.

Her reaction only seemed to generate a fit of laughter out of Aegir, “Hahaha, did you actually expect me to agree to your little deal? Beyond the foolishness that would come with working with someone as deranged as you, do you actually think I would be dumb enough to just assume you would carry out the execution of a guild leader?” The woman’s laughter seemed to lead the symphony of laughter that echoed throughout the amassed guards.

All of them laughing at Vyra’s expense.

She calmed herself, pausing her laughter just long enough to mock Vyra once again, “If that’s what you actually thought then maybe I’ll actually be doing you a favor making you a thrall…”

“A lot of talk for a soon to be corpse,” Vyra growled through clenched teeth, hoping to tap in and produce something, some sort of Magical effect, but despite her hardest efforts, nothing seemed to happen. She tried again, and nothing! Wide-eyed, the reality was beginning to set in.

“Having trouble?” Aegir asked in a deliberately taunting manner, “Don’t expect to be playing with your little Magic. Notice that little collar around your neck? A little toy we picked up some time ago from some former Rune Knights. Special technology really, prevents you from being able to cast any sort of Magic whatsoever.” She drew a wicked smile as she watched the terror begin to seep over Vyra’s face, perhaps the first time that truly the dark persona had seen fear in a long while, “After letting you use your Magic for us so often, giving us the wide range in how you can control it, you think when it mattered most that we wouldn’t have preventative measures?”

“I’m not too late, am I?” A familiar voice seemed to be the disconnect between the reality of what was happening, as Vyra turned her head towards a parting in the guards’ enclosure around them, revealing a very familiar sight.

The woman whom Vyra had bonded with throughout this endeavor.


“I thought you would be waiting until this was finished with,” Aegir said, a hint of annoyance within her voice as she addressed Seras.

Seras nodded, “I had planned to. But,” she gave a long look towards Vyra, “I found myself more intrigued than I had expected myself to be.”

Vyra was not sure as to whom she found herself more furious towards at this point, Aegir or Seras. She should have seen it beforehand, the fact that Aegir had from the start been the one manipulating everything was something that left Vyra in a fit of rage. But Seras, to have seen the relationship build between her and the other Vyra, for there to be even an artificial level of closeness between the two, despite what she envisioned to happen to her in the end, there was something even worse about Seras had done.

“You bitch…” She hissed at Seras, utterly livid towards everyone. “I will make you pay…”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 6:43 pm



Forsaken Daughter

“I would say you’re rather brave, but given you’re as much aware of your situation, I think foolish is more appropriate,” Aegir remarked, taking great delight in this whole situation. After some moments of simply admiring how frustrated it had made Vyra, Aegir turned her attention elsewhere, looking back to the decrepit, old man who had been silently working on his contraption. “You know, perhaps that’s it,” she remarked looking back at Vyra, “You think there’s a way out of this. I don’t think you quite realize just what game we’re playing now, do you?”

“Does it matter,” Vyra asked, spitting in the face of one of the guards holding her after he had jerked her arm in defiance. “You’re pretty confident in whatever is you’re planning. What would me knowing do?”

“Nothing. I just want to keep seeing the fear in your eyes…” A simple gesture of her hand was all that was required to convey her intentions, the two guards who had restrained Vyra now escorting her as they and the rest of the entourage watching headed towards the old man and his contraption.

It was at this point that Vyra finally saw the thing in its entirety. A weird fusion of strange glass vials, orbs, and other devices fused together with large pieces of metal into a sort of half-cauldron structure, with nearly half of the lid having been seared down to house what looked like another of the glowing spheres that Vyra recalled seeing the old man hold only days before. Various thin and thick tubes of different colors and material seemed to be connected to the surface of the orb, in some cases just at the surface and in some extreme cases seeming to be infused deep within it.

Vyra could not deny that she was enthralled by it, but for all the wrong reasons undoubtedly. She had seen what the old man had done with one of those orbs before. At the time, she had thought that Aegir had ordered the man to use the orb to prove a point towards the guards. Only now was she realizing that in fact it was always intended for her. Aegir had made a point of disposing of those who had displayed a lack of loyalty; if those guards had been problems as she described them to be, then their deaths were inevitable.

The only actual person that that display before was meant for was her. It made her think; every single thing that Aegir had put Vyra through, every step of it was intended for this moment right here.

From the very beginning, perhaps even before she had even proposed the idea of some any sort of agreement, Aegir had planned this for Vyra.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 7:43 pm



Forsaken Daughter

Aegir watched Vyra carefully. Or more specifically, she watched the Demi-Human’s reaction upon seeing the orb within Croutke’s strange device. It were as though a string of realizations were dawning upon the girl, one after the other slowly painting out the futility of the girl’s situation. “Soul Magic,” she started, keeping her focus fixated on Vyra all the while, “Quite an interesting Magic. Nobody wants to believe that it exists. And yet, everyone would kill for the chance to have it.”

“It used to be that the only time you would have ever heard of the concept was when one cult or another tried to bring forth some sort of deity into this world. Would use it to try to remove the soul of whatever unfortunate host it may have been and then replace it with their supposed savior. It never worked after all. Can’t completely erase a soul, no matter how hard you try.” Aegir paused, watching Vyra remain fixated on the device, “But you can rewrite it.”

Suddenly Vyra shifted her focus away from the device, instead looking directly towards Aegir, realizing the full extent of what was to happen. “You wouldn’t…”

“Why wouldn’t I? You’re too dangerous to let exist. Your other, the real Vyra, lacks the will to keep you in check. And as far as I’m concerned, this thing can erase one of you or both of you, so long as I get my little sleeper agent.”

The emotion ran right through Vyra. Fear. Panic. Everything seemed like it stood at the edge of oblivion and as she looked into the eyes of Aegir, she knew that the woman was not bluffing. Everything had led to this, and perhaps by her own hand, perhaps not, Vyra had allowed herself to become not just a pawn in this woman’s game, but to become this woman’s pawn. Period. “Please, don’t…” she begged, not concerned with the optics. She was desperate, praying that she could find some way for the two of them to work things out.

Some sort of compromise.

Anything at all.

“Cute. I can appreciate your begging, but it won’t do any good.” Aegir turned her head towards the old man, whom had otherwise made himself hidden within the focus placed upon Vyra and Aegir, “Croukte, you may begin.”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 7:49 pm



Forsaken Daughter

The sounds of scraping metal, fluids sloshing through vials, and an otherworldly hum coalesced together into an odd, if not haunting sound that seemed to completely and utterly dominate the room. Vyra struggled to hear herself think, feeling that any moment from now would end up becoming her last. Similarly, Aegir watched with great anticipation as she waited with baited breath to see the Demi-Human’s glazed over face, indicative of the soul ready to be rewritten.

More time passed and the sound only seemed to get louder and louder. Color appeared to swirl around the contraption, the orb within the center of it glowing bright as a greenish hue began to spread and expand, illuminating the room in its own right. It was an impressive, if not frightening display. The color grew thicker, the glow more intense, and the sound more deafening before eventually it became a point of immense power concentrated.

Like that of an explosion, it became something in which one could neither be around nor listen to, but for all of those within the room presently, to escape now would be futile.

Then it died out into nothingness.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:16 pm



Forsaken Daughter

She opened her eyes.

She expected that she would have been gone.

But Vyra was still there.

Still herself.

The Demi-Human could not believe it, convinced that just a moment ago she would have been lost forever, but there she stood.

Still alive. Still herself.

“How!?” She heard Aegir yell in utter disbelief. The pale woman stared daggers into her, a part of Vyra half-expecting the woman to immediately use her Magic and completely and utterly rip her apart. And yet, she did no such thing, but instead turned her complete fury towards another person instead, “CROUTKE! What the hell happened!? Your machine failed!”

A wicked, almost sickly laugh escaped from the decrepit man. As he stepped forward, he continued laughing, acknowledging Aegir’s glare with a focused look of his own. “Ehehe, you think that it failed? Not at all… Look around you…”

Aegir – and Vyra by extension – looked around at everyone within the room, quickly realizing the frightening reality of what had happened.

The man’s machine had not failed. It worked exactly as the man had intended.

Rather than turning Vyra into what Aegir had hoped that she would have been, an entity without a conscious, without a soul, without purpose, instead he had turned everyone except for Vyra and Aegir into exactly that. In a single second, the man had turned all of those most loyal to Aegir into nothing more than empty husks.

“You think just because you sprung me from the Gallows that I would have ever served you? You and your fellow Witch Hunters are a blight upon the world! I may die for this, but I will be forever remembered as the one who brought the end of Aegir!”

“Croukte…” Aegir growled under her teeth, watching with unbridled fury as she watched the man’s body collapse to the ground as her Magic ripped the man apart.

“Destroy Aegir…” Croukte croaked out with his last dying breath, what remained of his lifeforce being turned to fuel to create the last line of defense for Aegir. Against a threat she never imagined; her most loyal soldiers.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:50 pm



Forsaken Daughter

Vyra watched as the chaos unfolded. The woman Aegir, matched against a full battalion of her once loyal forces, all of them now having turned into rabid husks, no different than that of the weakened slaves that she had herself put down. But though they may have at the surface seemed the same, watching the encounter play out was a completely different story.

One of them lunged for her, but Aegir was quick enough to react. The illusion struck it somewhere in the midsection; not a blow intense enough to be lethal, but enough to slow it down at the bare minimum. Then came the second on the heels of the first, and like before Aegir was able to react, but not completely. She took a knife wound to the thigh; far from fatal, but it stopped her in her place.

Two more struck. The illusion managed to slit the throat of one of them before they even came close to Aegir. The other reached for Aegir but she was able to respond to his grip with a knife through the bottom of his skull, the pale woman getting an up close view of the blood pooling within the mouth, the glinting metal protruding through the tongue into the nasal cavity.

Four rushed at Aegir, another falling to the Illusion, but three managing to get to the pale woman. One struck her in the shoulder; a superficial wound at first glance. One lunged for her heart but she was able to sidestep it, the pressure from her earlier wound forcing her to lose her footing though she was able to first connect her knife with that of the man’s throat, quickly retracting it as she fell to one knee. The fourth pushed the previous out of the way and tried to strike straight down upon her skull. She countered, her cross arms managing to catch the man’s wrist before he could connect, just long enough for the Illusion to slit the husk’s throat.

That left only four remaining, but Aegir barely seemed able to continue. Her wounds, few in total, were proving to be far more taxing upon her body than she had anticipated. She seemed to perpetually remain on one knee, a thick coating of crimson now coating it from the knee and below, leaving a pool of blood where she knelt. Vyra simply watched, as though she were invisible to this entire confrontation, and she preferred that. Whatever the reasoning for all of this, whatever the history between the old man and Aegir, it was clear that Vyra was no party to it, and in his betrayal of the pale woman, the man offered Vyra with a great opportunity and spared her from a fate worse than anything she could have imagined.

The remaining husks operated around Aegir, like lions hunting a wounded gazelle. It seemed that they knew she was weakened, a rare instance of any intelligent thought within these husks that Vyra had seen to this point. It left her wondering if perhaps these husks, or perhaps more specifically these guards, were far more intelligent than what she had first given them credit for. Truly, for whatever she may have thought of the guards that were encountered before, it was clear that these were Aegir’s most elite.

One lunged for her, he connected with the knife glancing off of her forearm. A defensive sacrifice, taking the minor wound to enable for the kill, which Aegir succeeded with her own lung, missing the center of the husk’s neck but managing to still strike at the central veins. The second would have had a clear shot if not for the Illusion that managed to strike at it first, it in its last moments taking a wild swing at Aegir, missing completely.

Two remained. Aegir still fought on, but barely. Her illusion seemed to remain fighting and it charged at one, for the first time going on the offensive. The husk was unable to react quickly enough to the illusion, and despite its best effort to fight, it was eventually ripped apart as well. But in the time that it took fighting, it failed to recognize the one that had snuck up on Aegir, managing to get a knife into her gut before receiving one directly through its eye. A suicide mission, but one that proved effective as Aegir fell to her knees, simply looking down at the knife thrust directly into her gut.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 9:11 pm



Forsaken Daughter

The carnage seemed to end as quickly as it had begun.

In what seemed like only a short few seconds, everyone seemed to lay dead. Each guard had fallen to either Aegir’s own hand or that of her illusion. The illusion – perhaps the greatest threat that still existed – was gone. Aegir, she remained there, but barely. As the woman simply knelt in a growing pool of her own blood, she admired the wounds committed, not sure whether to be more impressed by the wound or that there were as few of them as occurred. Whether she appreciated the fact that Vyra was still there or not, it did not seem that she cared much.

Stepping through the blood and gore, Vyra made her way towards Aegir, for the first time since arriving here that she felt the tables were turned. Even on her knees, Aegir barely stood a foot or so below Vyra at maximum height, the difference between the two still not quite mirroring the size difference between them from earlier. “You’re still alive…” Aegir said in a weak voice, it being a complete contrast to the condescending tone that she had spoken with earlier.

“Surprised?” Vyra wanted to gloat. She wanted to rub it all in Aegir’s face. How she failed. How Vyra would still be alive and she would soon be dead. But it almost felt like it wouldn’t have mattered. Though she doubted that the woman would ever admit it to Vyra, Aegir knew that she was going to die. The first wound, the wound to her thigh, likely could have been fatal without proper attention to quell the bleeding, but the gut wound combined made it an all but certain death sentence.

It did not matter at this point. Aegir was going to bleed to death.

“Far from it…” Aegir coughed, “There was always the chance that he would betrayed me. But it was worth the risk. You… Your situation… It was too good to pass up on…” Aegir pulled her hand from her stomach, gazing at it for a moment, the thick layer of crimson being almost deep enough to see her own reflection within it. “Unfortunate that this was how it ended…”

Vyra could not help but let the laugh escape from her mouth, “You think it’s over?”

“Isn’t it? Only a matter of time before these wounds take me. You’ll find your way out of here, maybe. Maybe not… But at least you’ll breath after this.”

In a rare act of compassion, Vyra put her hand upon Aegir’s shoulder, almost as though to comfort her in her last moments. She watched as Aegir began to move her hand towards Vyra’s, but pulled away at the last moment, to the delight of Vyra; she did not want blood on her hands. For a moment, they remained like that, Vyra just watching as the life slowly began to leave Aegir.

Then the Demi-Human lifted her hand and wrapped it around Aegir’s throat.

Then the other hand was there too.

And Vyra began to squeeze. Her grip tightening with each second, her eyes fixated on those of Aegir, watching the pain and surprise and fear within the pale woman’s face as the life rapidly faded.

She squeezed. And squeezed.

And then there was a snap…

A smile on her face, Vyra looked closely, staring into the eyes, looking for that spark. Any sort of indication of life still within the woman. She saw nothing. One last check to make sure and still, nothing there.

“Now it’s over,” Vyra said coldly as she let go of Aegir, pushing her away as the body flopped over, awkwardly landing within the pool of blood that soaked the ground just below them.


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:02 pm



Forsaken Daughter

Vyra was ready to leave.

She was ready to be done with this place forever.

To be done with these people. With this collar that sealed her Magic. With this damned Soul Magic.

She had gambled heavily on trying to win over the war that she was waging within her own body, within Vyra’s body, much like she had.

And they both nearly lost.

Hoping to take advantage of the situation had proven to not be anywhere worth the risk. Her approach to this point had proven to be fruitful, and as far as she was concerned, she was ready to return to those methods. She didn’t need the help of Aegir to gain control of Vyra.

She was already well on her way to achieving that.

Vyra was ready to leave. Until something caught her eye…

Seated there, in the corner of the large room, somehow having managed to avoid everything that had been going on, was woman known as Seras. The bitch that had betrayed Vyra. But there was something different about her. The energy was not there. The life was not there. Her eyes lacked the color within them. At this point Vyra knew exactly what she was looking at. It was Seras, technically. But it was no longer truly her.

Seras had become a husk.

“Heh, isn’t this a sight? You’re still alive?” Vyra said aloud, unsure whether or not Seras could understand her at all. A nod coming from the woman though seemed to answer that question, as well as give significant intrigue to Vyra.

“You understand me? Speak if you can.”

“Yes,” Seras responded. Her tone was flat. There was no emotion within her voice. Simply answers to questions.

“Interesting. So tell me, Seras, if that is your name, just who are you? Really?”

“Seras is my name. I serve Aegir as her advisor. I was the one who taught her her Magic.”

Hearing this caused Vyra’s eyes to widen. This was an unexpected development, but one that she was very interested to hear. “You did!? Magic like that…” Suddenly, a thought occurred to her. “Hold on, you, were you able to tell the difference between myself and the other Vyra?”

“Yes. We both could. You may share the same body, but you exist as your own entity with Magical capabilities. We can see the differences between the two as clear as night and day.”

“So this whole time, you knew the difference. And what did you get out of all of this? Out of that little persona I suspect you were playing, am I right?”

“Yes. After Aegir recovered you from the your battle in Hargeon, we quickly realized who you were. We had long been monitoring you, had known of your situation with your two conflicting personas. I wanted to know more so I created that false persona to get close and see for myself.”

Vyra wanted to be angry, but not for her own sake. Rather, she was more upset for Vyra’s. While she may have wanted control over their body, it did not mean that she wished for her to be heartbroken and she saw clearly that she cared for Seras. If she were to know the truth, Vyra hated the idea of bringing that on the girl.

“Aegir is dead. Dead by my hands. Everyone under her is dead. Except for you. What shall I do with you?” She asked mockingly, having an idea in mind, but as she stared at the woman, the idea within her head came to final fruition. “Actually, this is what is going to happen now for you, understand?”


“Your little talent to tell between me and her is very fortunate. You’re going to be joining me in our travels now. Not just me, but the other Vyra. But I will make this very clear to you. I, the Vyra speaking to you now, is the single most important thing in your life now and will forever be. But you will not forsake the other Vyra. In fact, far from it.”

She smiled, so happy with what she had come up with for Seras. “That persona you put on for the other Vyra, whenever she exists, whenever you’re dealing with her, whenever you’re interacting with her, it’s that persona manifested. That persona you built, that is you. Your world will develop in time and you will flesh it out in its entirety, but that is your world. She is your world. You will treat her just as you had before, you will protect her. You will teach her. You will train her. You will act like the mother she is owed. Do you understand?”

“Yes. I will obey.”

“And when you are dealing with me, whenever I come forward and show myself, whether at first or at any point, you will become my servant. The persona you built for the other Vyra, you will drop it as soon as you realize you are dealing with me. Anything I want, anything I ask of you, it doesn’t matter what it is, you will obey. You will carry it out without hesitation, without any sort of reservations or concerns. I am your everything. You don’t exist without me. And you will do everything in your power to serve me.”

The idea of this was beyond exciting to Vyra. Even though she was ready to be done with everything about Aegir and her organization, to come away with Seras as her permanent servant, it would make it completely and utterly worth it.

“And you will train me and all of the Magics, the secrets that you know, you will bestow it all onto me. You will make it your mission to see that I get stronger, because I am your everything. I am your Mistress, now and forever.”

“Yes Mistress.”

The smile seemed to stretch from ear to ear hearing those words. “Good girl. Now, I am going to give the other Vyra control, and you are going to awaken her. You are going to save her. And you will begin the new life that I have given you. Oh, and when you address me moving forward, have some personality. I don't want to be talking to a drone.”


A Soul Divided


The Gambit of Souls [Storyline] Empty Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:22 pm



Forsaken Daughter

She did not know when it was that she had awoken, she did not know the circumstances surrounding it. All that Vyra could remember was seeing the pale woman wrapping her fingers around her throat, the light fading, and then everything went black. As she opened her eyes, she first noticed the reddish-purple hair, the warm eyes looking into her. She felt the hand upon her face, gently stroking her cheek, and as she returned to the world, she came to the realization she was once again in the warm embrace of Seras.

“You’re awake,” Seras let out a sigh of relief, “You were unconscious for so long, I was worried you would not have awoken.” Tears began to form from her eyes, “I’m glad to see you’re OK. I missed you Vyra…”

Vyra was slow to get up, an intense feeling of fatigue overwhelming her. How long had she been unconscious? How long had Seras been tending to her? Getting a bearing on her surroundings, she noticed that it seemed like they were somewhere else and after a short time, the realization dawned on her completely.

“Seras!?” She shot up and wrapped the woman in a tight embrace, looking around and realizing that they were no longer in their cell. They were no longer in the compound or whatever place it was that they were in once before. From what it looked like, it seemed that they were within some old storefront within Hargeon, the décor similar to what she had seen time and time again, light from the outside shining through the windows, multiple boxes laid out about throughout the store, indicating that perhaps they were in some warehouse or abandoned building. “Where? Where are we? What happened? Are you OK? I saw them take you..”

Seras smiled as she planted a kind kiss upon Vyra’s forehead, “I’m OK. I wish I knew exactly what happened myself. The guards, I don’t know quite what happened, but at some point, they were gone. I went looking for you and thank the heavens I was able to find you.” Vyra could not help but tear up listening to Seras describe what happened, “It took some time, but I was able to carry you out of their compound. Wasn’t easy, but we managed.” She glanced out towards one of the windows, “By the looks of it, I suppose we’re somewhere in Hargeon.”

Vyra looked out the window as well, realizing that she knew exactly where they were; the very same street in which she had run into the thug leader and his goons. The same place that Aegir had first “rescued” her.

They were almost home.

“What about the pale woman? Is she-“

Seras shook her head, “Don’t worry. None of them, not her, not her guards, none of them will ever harm you again.”

“But what happened?”

The woman sighed, “You don’t need to know that. All that matters now is that you’re safe.” She ran her hand through Vyra’s hair, smiling as she pulled her into a gentle hug, “Now, let’s get you home.”

Vyra was thrilled at the idea of it all, but then a thought occurred to her, one of immediate worry, “But what about you?”

“I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry, you’ll be OK.”

Seras had expected that to be the end of it, but the tight hug around her waist seemed to tell otherwise. She looked down at the Demi-Human and couldn’t help but smile slightly at the tears that were running down the girl’s cheeks.

“Don’t leave me…” Vyra said, nearly sobbing rather than speaking aloud. “You can stay with me. At Blue Pegasus! My room’s more than big enough! Just please, don’t leave…”

Returning Vyra’s hug with one of her own, Seras gave her another small kiss on the crown of her head, “Alright then. Let us go home then?”


A Soul Divided

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