Written and illustrated by [Aeolynn] and [Ravendust]
Discussion of Origins
(Click the names to be brought to their pages)
Raven awoke with a start as her alarm blared into life. Sweat beaded her forehead as she drew in a shuddering breath and swung her legs over the side of the bed. The blistering heat of the early summer was already sweltering in the second floor landing.
She stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen for a glass of ice cold water, running her fingers through her short mussed black hair. Raven leaned thoughtfully against the counter as she drank the water, debating just what she would do to while away the heated day.
She grinned as a thought occurred to her, and after rinsing the glass she headed back upstairs just long enough to grab a t-shirt and shorts. After dressing and running a brush through her hair she threw her shoes on and slipped out the back door.
The heat wasn't as stifling outside, a cool breeze caressed her damp cheek for a moment before the air grew still again. Raven wandered down the path into the woods behind her house, she enjoyed the silence and relaxation of the morning as she came across a rather large stream. It was her secret place, she hadn't told anybody about it, had no intentions of it either. Slipping her shoes and socks off she waded into the icy water, shivering as it closed over her shoulders when she reached the center.
Giving a sigh of contempt she closed her eyes as she ducked beneath the water's surface. Something colder than the water swept over her ankle, causing Raven to gasp and splutter to the surface.
As she was about to dismiss her feelings of unease she released a cry of pain and surprise as again she felt something cold. This time, however, it wrapped tightly about her torso and dragged her beneath the surface of the water before she'd had time to draw in a single breath.
There was a blinding flash of blue light, and for a moment everything went black. When Raven managed to pry her eyes open again she saw that the surface of the water seemed to be growing further and further away. She was being dragged into a black oblivion, further and further from the surface. No!
She thought, though even those precious thoughts seemed to drift away from her. Not like this, I can't die!
Raven struggled fiercely against what was yanking her down, she kicked at the cold thing
that clutched her, her fingers prying at it as she strove for the surface. Her lungs burned and things were growing dark again, as Raven was about to give in to that ever luring darkness her head broke the surface and she drew in a single ragged breath. "H-help!" She managed before her exhausted limbs gave out on her and she was dragged beneath the surface once more.
Nearby on the beach, two figures lounged lazily next to a fire, their old dinner lying burnt amid the embers. One, a black and white sphinx and the other appearing human. The sound of a splashing caused the creature to raised his head, his panther ears piquing to listen. "Sounds like someone is in trouble." Ckor mentioned in an off tone voice, looking to the water in distaste, "I think she needs rescuing... from the water."
Asities sighed and stood, "I take it you have no intentions of stepping off of this beach?" He questioned, glancing towards the water, "Fine..." He kicked off his shoes and moved quickly towards the lake. Drawing in a deep breath he dove in, slicing through the current as he moved to where the girl had gone down.
He moved quickly down into the depths, his eyes open as he sought any sign of life. Finally he saw, shimmering on the lake's floor was the demon- Shálier. He also saw the limp figure of a girl that the beast was drawing towards its great maw.
Thinking fast he held his palm out and the water bubbled fiercely. Shálier released a piercing scream that was unfiltered by the water and released its captive. Asities kicked downward and wrapped an arm about her waist-he received no reaction as he swam fiercely for the surface, his lungs burning for air. A few minutes later he dragged himself onto the beach, panting for breath.
Padding over, Ckor nudged her wet shoulder with a paw. When she didn't respond the sphinx lowered an ear to her chest, "Good job, you swam fast enough that her heart is still beating." Ckor murmured to his fellow, easing his weight to one paw as he placed the other on her still chest. Within a few seconds the skin was dry as that part of her body was pushed back in time to when she was last breathing. When the girl started sputtering he lifted his paw daintily and licked the water from it, glaring at her down his nose with annoyed eyes. "You're lucky I heard your plea." He said condescendingly.
"Really now, Ckor, you make it sound like you do more than sit there and lick your rump all day." Asities muttered.
Raven's eyes fluttered open and she took in the scene around her, she struggled to her feet and skittered backwards, raising an arm almost defensively, "W-who are you?" She demanded, Must be dreaming... Or- she refused to finish her thought.
Ckor puffed out his chest and looked offended, "Of course I don't! You silly drake, all you have to do to keep up your appearance is to roll in the sand." He raised a paw to his chest with slight indignant tone to his voice, "I on the other paw have to go to the Haven to make sure I look presentable every day." His light blue gaze turned to the girl and he quirked his mouth, "Hey you're pretty cute for a half-drowned human girl."
"Don't be so promiscuous, Ckor." Asities shook his head, he turned to look at the girl, "I am Asities, this is my companion Ckor. May I ask of your name and purpose here?"
"Raven..." Her voice was distracted as she looked around, "But... where exactly is here?" She didn't recognize the area, not the lake, not the shore, and most certainly not the trees that surrounded them.
"This is the planet Siisiron," Ckor answered quickly, his chest swelling again this time in pride at the quickness of his answer. Draping a wing to one side, the sphinx cleared a new patch of sand for himself, before laying down. He put his head on his paws and watched the edge of the sun hit the trees. Night would be upon them soon.
"Siisiron? I've never heard of a planet Siisiron..." Raven played with the hem of her shirt, a nervous action that she was rarely conscious of.
"Siisiron is a very well known place." Asities replied tersely, "Tell me, where are you from?"
"Why should I tell you anything?" Raven replied, "I'm done answering questions until I get some answers of my own."
"And who are you to demand that of us? Asities fought off the demon to save you, and I set back your body's time to make you breathe. Again, I ask, who are you to demand of us?" Ckor was agitated and his fur was standing up on end. He flashed her his fangs to get his anger across before he looked to Asities to reason with her.
"Demon?" Raven shook her head, "You know what? I don't have to take this." She turned and ran swiftly into the trees, this was a dream, or something similar, and she needed to find her way out somehow or other.
"Ckor, I think your inability to keep your mouth closed in times like these may turn out to be a problem after all." Asities sighed.
The sphinx sighed as well, "My turn to save her eh? Seems like she hasn't seen the likes of us before, even if drakes are common." He grinned at Asities, "Besides, I think you would scare her in your other form, I'll bring her back to your place." With that said, Ckor stood and bounded off into the growing darkness... never know what one could run into when the beasts of the night come out to hunt.
"Good luck." Asities turned and picked up his things before heading in the opposite direction.
Raven moved quickly, ignoring the sting of roots and rocks beneath her bare feet. She didn't look back, she refused to do such a cliche move while she was running, even if she burning with curiosity to make sure that she wasn't being followed.
Above the sound of her own footfalls was the whisper of another sound. Something was following her, a dark shape in the light of the sunset, running with a purpose. After a minute the form was closing in and the sun's light vanished, letting the full moon take to the skies and setting everything in a white glow.
Raven finally gave in to the desire to glance over her shoulder. The motion was quick, however as she was turning to gaze back at the path she felt a moment of shock as some hard object crashed into the side of her face, bloodying her lip and causing her to lose her balance and fall. On her back, the branch cracked and landed just beyond her aching head.
With a growl, something pounced on top of her, dripping saliva down her neck. Its yellow eyes glowed in the slight light and bounced off of its long, glistening teeth. As its fangs inched closer and closer to Raven's throat, a yowl sounded off to the side as Ckor, racing through the underbrush like a rabbit, leapt and knocked the beast from the girl, tussling a few feet away.
Raven released a cry of pain as fire exploded in her shoulder. She immediately pressed her hand to a jagged wound where the beast's claws had gripped her. Slowly she sat up, bracing herself against a tree as she warded of the distinct feeling that she was going to be ill. Luckily her other shoulder hadn't been in its grip.
The fight didn't last very long and the creature that had attacked Raven went limping off with a yelp and Ckor cursing it in hissing syllables. When the sphinx turned back to her his eyes widened when he realized she was bleeding. A flash of light and a flurry of feathers came into existence and faded. Replacing the sphinx was Ckor, in human form, his hand extended to her while his wings stretched pleasantly behind him. "You are hurt," He stated softly, his voice sincerely concerned. In this state he appeared as a fit male, wearing only a pair of pants.
"I-I'm fine..." Raven blanched, however, as she made to stand, and instead she slumped back against the trunk of the tree, squeezing her eyes closed to try and center herself once more.
"No, no you're not." Ckor responded back, stepping forward to encircle her with his wings as he looked over her wounds as much as he could with her clutching them. "I can't heal these if I cannot feel them," Ckor told her gently, "Let me take you to Asities where it will be safe to use other means to heal you." His bright blue eyes looked around them for a moment before his gaze found hers again, "If you're dizzy close your eyes like you have been doing and lean your head against my chest." Without warning her he grasped her legs in one arm and scooped her into his embrace and took off into the air.
"I-I don't understand what's happening." Raven's voice was barely above a whisper, "I'd like to have thought I'd be okay with something like this happening but... it's all wrong. If this is a dream, why can I feel the pain?"
"A dream?" Ckor repeated after her, the wind brushing aside his hair as he flew as swiftly as he dared with her. "This life is as real as it gets, and I've been around a long time. This is no dream..." He looked up to get his position from the stars. In no time he spotted the lantern Asities put up during the night to keep beasts away and landed in a trot, slowing to a walk. "Here you are," Ckor set her on her feet, making sure she was stable before urging her toward the small, but brightly lit house.
"No, because creatures like you don't exist where I'm from. Maybe in books and movies... but not really." Raven said.
She moved slowly towards the house, it was cozy looking, welcoming in its bright demeanor. Raven wasn't so sure she really wanted to resist taking in everything that was happening. She felt a sort of calm overtake her and drew in a deep, shaky breath.
Once she was walking on her own, Ckor, now back to the familiar sphinx, padded around her and went up to the door. Pushing with a paw, the door was actually split into two separate moving things and the bottom let Ckor in with a soft swish and returned to its closed position.
"Ckor, you've returned, did you find the girl-" Asities stopped when the main part of the door swung open slowly and she came in as well, "What'd you do to her?" He gasped.
"It wasn't him." She glanced away with a shrug, though regretted the action a moment later as pain flared in her shoulder once more.
"Sit on the couch please," Ckor ordered, but his voice didn't have any venom hidden within, just a slight urgency. With a practiced movement the sphinx grabbed a shallow tin from a small pile and went into the other room. A lot of species were unnerved while under the administrations of a sphinx for healing. Most felt awkward with knowing that it was the sphinx's spit that was the special salve that healed flesh wounds quite easily. Ckor came back a moment later, the tin full of a pasty white substance which he gave to Asities.
Raven had sat down willingly almost as soon as she had been invited to do so, "What's that?" Her tone was wary as she inquired about the tin.
"This is a salve for your injury." Asities replied, "Is it going to bother you for me to get it worked into your wound?" His voice was soothing.
"Just... Just do it." She looked away as he knelt on the edge of the couch and dipped his fingers into the tin. As gently as he could Asities wiped the salve over Raven's injuries.
Ckor propped up his chest by having his front paws on the edge of the couch while he watched Asities work, a hint of worry in his eyes.
"There now..." Asities set the tin aside, "Why don't you lie down and rest for a while? It's getting late..."
"Late?" Raven echoed, she was growing drowsy, though could swear that it was early afternoon, not evening.
"Obviously since the sun is set it is now late." Ckor muttered, the familiar sarcasm dripping from his voice as he moved back and refolded his wings. Normally the couch was the sphinx's place to sleep, but for now, he let her have it and laid himself on the wooden floor.
Raven laid back slowly, "But it wasn't late... It's only been a few..." She drifted into a light slumber before she could finish the thought.
"I'm gonna do a quick sweep outside then head for bed myself." Asities said.
"Alright. I'll keep an eye one our new... pet." Ckor replied, grumbling and moving so his back was facing the couch. He shut his eyes and sighed before letting himself fall asleep.
"Good night." Asities slipped out the front door and allowed his transformation to take hold. Crimson scales sprouted along his form and he took to the skies, circling the area three or four times over before he was satisfied that they were safe for yet another night. Finally he allowed himself to head in to bed as well.
Stretching out in the morning sun, Ckor warmed his belly in its red rays, soaking in more of the heat with his wings. It was still early in the dawn and the sphinx, as a god, did not need as much sleep as a mortal.
The door opened slowly and Asities waltzed in, his rod over his shoulder and a pail filled nearly to brimming with his fresh catch. The merry tune he'd been whistling to himself faded as he closed the door softly. "Morning, Ckor."
Ckor rolled over, which, seemed impossible with his wings but the sphinx pulled it off quite nicely. Yawning, he grinned, "Oh Asities, how nice of you to fetch me my breakfast." The god was of course joking, and stretched briefly before going to the barely warm coals and set about bringing them back to life.
"I couldn't sleep much last night." Asities shrugged, "As such I decided to head out and collect an edible breakfast. I trust that you can handle filleting them while I finish a few other things?"
"Of course," The sphinx responded, bringing up a live flame a moment later. Grabbing the bucket in his mouth, Ckor brought it back to his fire and began the delicate process of taking out the bones. When he was finished he delicately placed them onto the grill, even going as far as to grab some lemons and herbs from a nearby shelf.
Asities set the table quickly, setting out hot rolls and fresh raspberry jam. There was a bowl of apples from one of the nearby trees set out as well. "Did we still have any butter, Ckor?" He asked, "I didn't think I saw any..."
"Some, not that much though. I know I used the last of the honey yesterday." He licked his lips at the thought, "It's up with the last of the turkey eggs."
"Should we make eggs with the fish?" Asities mused aloud as he made his way over to the icebox and slid the lid aside. He rummaged around until he found the wrapped butter, "Well, its better than nothing I suppose." He closed the icebox and took the butter over to the table.
Ckor glanced over at the sleeping girl, "No. There's only enough for us. Better to wait till she goes on her way." He took a plate from the low shelves and stacked the steaming fish before taking it to the low set table. Settling himself on the pillows, Ckor licked his paws clean and looked over at Raven again.
Raven stirred and sat up slowly, when she felt no pain she was surprised. Her fingers reached up to her shoulder and touched the flesh tenderly, as though testing it, "That's odd..." She murmured.
"Feeling better?" Asities asked, "How about something hot to eat?" He indicated the table.
"You must be human to be able to sleep as long as you do..." The god muttered before shuffling his wings impatiently.
"Gee, what was your first clue?" Raven stood slowly and made her way over to the table, "Smells wonderful..." She said gratefully as she felt her stomach tighten hungrily
Ckor had already set his plate before she had come over and started to eat, taking considerable pleasure in the honeyed milk he had made the previous day. A strange rumbling rent the air and the sphinx glanced over at Asities while he finished his first fish. One of the other god's volcanoes was around but he was sure that Asities kept them fairly inactive.
Asities glanced up, his eyes blurring as he spread his consciousness to the flames of the area. After a moment he shook his head, "Not a volcano... maybe distant earthquake." He shrugged, delving into his meal hungrily.
I wish I knew what was going on, everything's happening so fast my head is reeling... Raven thought as she picked at the meal, taking small bites occasionally.
"I'll check it out." Ckor said, standing, feeling gracious after a good meal. With a nod of his head to Asities, the sphinx sauntered through the bottom half of the door without a second glance at Raven. A soft shuffling made it known to the others that he took off into the air and the sound gradually faded. Less then a minute later something large landed on the patched leather roof, making some of the seams split open, dropping an unconscious sphinx onto the table. A mix of Ckor's blood and the last of their food splattered this way and that as it looked as if he was covered in tendril like burns.
Raven released a startled yelp and leapt backwards, knocking the cushion backwards, "W-what happened, didn't he just leave?" Her tone was edging on blind panic.
"Ckor!" Asities stiffened as the rumbling grew louder outside, "We have to go, now." He glanced towards the door, not sure how much time they actually had. Quickly, he hefted Ckor over his shoulder and grabbed Raven's hand, stumbling towards the back door.
Being a large cat, with large wings, carrying Ckor around was no easy task, but for a god it wasn't that big of a deal. Banging his head against Asities' back, Ckor awoke in the foulest of moods, "Fucking demon!" he hissed, squirming on the drake's bony shoulder. It was a good thing he didn't drop the sphinx though because right when they got outside a meaty tendril slammed into the ground behind them.
"Ckor, stop squirming or I'm gonna drop you!" Asities hissed, struggling to keep his balance as he pulled Raven along beside him, "What happened exactly, you haven't been gone that long..." His eyes widened as realization hit, "You jumped back in time, didn't you?"
"Had to," He answered gruffly, "Was the only way I could get back fast enough to give you some warning." With his light blue eyes behind the two of them, Ckor could see the earth demon speedily gaining on them, "To the air, to the air!" The sphinx shrieked being able to do nothing but watch as the demon was almost upon them.
Asities winced at the sphinx's screech and nodded, setting his jaw grimly as he allowed the transformation to take hold. In one fluid movement he threw Raven onto his back and leapt into the air, opening his wings as several tendrils passed over the ground below where they'd just been standing.
Once again Ckor was able to see behind them, well, at least for a few seconds every wing beat. In horror he watched as the earth demon's limbs reached up into the sky, following them upward.
Asities released an ear shattering roar as the tentacles wrapped about his back legs. His wings strained against the air, yet he was going nowhere, the struggle was exhausting. The demon jerked on his legs and Raven, who'd been hard pressed to find something to grip properly, lost her hold and slid down to the end of Asities tail, which she held onto tightly to keep from making a fall to certain death.
Amidst all of the appendages a giant head appeared, glinting in the morning light as it was covered in crusted jewels and bright minerals. At least one tendril was touching the three of them and the very air seemed to still. All sound stopped. All movement stopped. It seemed an eternity before a deep thudding was heard, coming closer and closer until all they wanted to do was to cover their ears, but they could not. Reality seemed to shatter and a bright light filled the void... and not even two gods could stop the strange event until sudden heat grabbed at their senses and sand filled their sight.
Both Asities and Ckor had been rendered unconscious after landing in the scorching sand. Raven leapt to her feet immediately, ignoring as her bare feet burned. She looked between the two uncertainly and the shelf of stone that seemed a shelter from the sun and heat.
Making up her mind quickly she ran over to see that it was a safe area. The sand was cool, though the air was still stifling. It didn't appear that any animals- deadly or not- were residing there so she ran back towards her two companions. With a small grunt of effort she began to drag Asities, whom had changed back to his humanoid form, across the sand and into the shade. As quickly as she could she did the same for Ckor before collapsing against the rocks, breathing hard from the effort of dragging the two.
A soft chattering sounded above the three, and an odd lizard poked its head at them. Its eyes were of the deepest red and it looked as if it were suffering from a sickness, or radiation poisoning. The colors were gray and dim and it seemed as if the only color came from its eyes. Hissing as Raven caught sight of it; the lizard scampered away, however, not after taking a long look at the two gods.
"What a creepy looking lizard... I hope they're not all like that here..." Raven shook her head and glanced over at the two unconscious gods, not really sure what to do. She felt drained from the effort of dragging them across the desert, and on top of that her feet ached fiercely for being subjected to the scorching temperatures of the sand. Ckor's injuries, though, seemed to take precedence, she needed to find a way to clean and cover them... Her blue eyes searched for something she could use.
His tail, which had been lying under the burning sun started to twitch until it was finally under the shade. Blinking, Ckor looked around himself before blinking again, and focusing his gaze on Raven, "What happened?" The god asked softly.
"I really don't know." She shrugged, "One minute we're running from that... thing and the next we're here, in the desert and both of you are unconscious... Do you have any idea just how heavy you are?"
Ckor glared at her... but didn't answer. Instead he began the long process of licking his wounds clean, which, was something new for Raven to witness. She had not seen where the mysterious white salve had come from, but if she was watching it was obvious that Ckor was using his spittle to heal the multiple flesh wounds he had received.
"You have the ability to heal? That's actually kind of neat." Raven sighed as she shifted against the rock, it was uncomfortable and warm. "I hope that things cool off soon." Shielding her eyes she glanced skyward, and paled as she noticed not one, but three suns resting high in the sky.
"Only wounds of the flesh." Ckor commented, continuing to clean himself. True to his cat nature he was very thorough and was soon done.
"Everything's so strange... I keep expecting to just wake up and be home again." Raven glanced back over to Ckor, "Why am I here?"
"I haven't an honest clue. For some reason, the water demon, and the earth demon have been meddling in the affairs of both mortals and gods." The sphinx glanced at her, "I can't seem to shake this feeling of dread... for two demons to be working together... or is it just some strange coincidence?" He shook his head, "Whatever it is, I can sense some shift in power in balance... I don't like it."
"I-I don't like it either." Raven shook her head, "I much prefer my house and computer. My stories, at least there I knew I was safe and not liable to run into real trouble... Here everything's just so... so unpredictable, I just don't know anything anymore."
"Stories?" Ckor's ears perked up, "What kind of stories?"
"Fantasy... Well, I guess it really can't be considered fantasy anymore considered I'm doing things that were only thought to be possible in dreams or on paper... Can it be considered nonfiction now then?" She felt like she was taking herself in circles with the comment, the realization was beginning to sink in, the shock fading, she really was living a fantasy, but who would ever believe her when she got home? "If..." She corrected herself aloud, not even realizing that she'd done so.
"If?" Ckor repeated, puzzled. He didn't understand how this human thought they weren't real... or made out of paper or what not. It was somewhat refreshing to talk to someone that didn't call him Guardian or revere him on sight. Asities had been brought up on a world that was one of the few that weren't governed by gods, so Ckor had never had to worry about it with him.
"I'm just worried that... maybe I won't be able to find my way home. What am I going to do if I'm stuck being dragged to all these strange places?" Her lip quivered, but that was the only outward sign of her general distress.
Asities groaned and sat up slowly, "Where... are we?" He managed, looking around uncertainly.
"A desert." Ckor answered, padding over to the other gods side, taking in the wound on his ankle, "Stay still." He commanded before setting his rump down and began to lick the cut clean. In a few ticklish moments it was over.
"That demon brought us here?" Asities stood after Ckor had finished and stretched, his muscles ached from the effort it had taken to try and escape, "It seems rather warm here, hm?"
"That would be explained by those three suns." Raven pointed skyward, her chin resting on her knees, "Hopefully it'll cool down by nightfall..."
Ckor shook his head, "Don't think we have a choice." The sphinx was facing, and staring at a dark cloud on the horizon. It was getting closer. "We need to find some shelter... there is a sandstorm coming." Unhindered by the heat of the sand, Ckor approached Raven and offered her his back without another word.
Raven stood and hobbled over to Ckor. "A sandstorm?" She shielded her eyes, she couldn't see more than a distant shadow on the horizon, "How long do we have?"
"Not long," Asities boosted Raven onto Ckor's back quickly, surprising her with the motion, "We need to go, now."
Without waiting for her to get settled Ckor took off in a trot till she managed to get a hasty hold on his mane before he really ran. He didn't look back. Asities was a drake, and even in human form those attributes still presented themselves.
Asities loped easily about ten feet behind Ckor, his gaze seeking out any form of shelter that could protect them from the scouring sands that were descending upon them.
Raven kept her head close to Ckor's mane trying to shield her face from the dry wind and the suns. It was bright and hot, both were making her slightly dizzy. She took several deep breaths to steady herself and glanced up again, looking for anything that would be suitable for the three of them to hunker down in.
Surprisingly fast, the sandstorm was nearly upon them when Ckor spotted the small dark spot on the sand. Lightning quick he darted inside the small cave, coughing from the bits of crystal in the air.
Raven slid off of Ckor's back and released a cry of surprise and pain that was almost lost upon the howling winds of the sandstorm. "What is it?" Asities asked, brushing the sand from his clothes as he turned to look at her questioningly.
"I stepped on something..." Raven crouched down and touched a large, broken skull in surprise. Beside it was something else, her fingers eased it into the air and turning it, she noticed that it was an eye patch and it was strangely made. She eased it into her pocket and stood, hefting a larger piece of the skull into the air, "What could this have belonged to?"
Ckor frowned and turned around fully to examine it closer, his eyes seemingly drawn to the long, and surprisingly sharp fangs protruding from the upper jaw, "I don't recognize it."
Asities paled, he felt a familiar cold sensation in his chest, "That's the skull of a lykodine..." He pointed to a small notch in one of the fangs, "That gives it away." His expression hardened, "The notch is kind of like the barbs on a fishing hook, help to keep a grip on something while its in... Keeps the lykodine from losing their prey."
"That sounds horrible..." Raven said, "But how do you know this?"
"I was attacked by a rider years ago." Asities replied, "It was an experience that I will be hard pressed to forget, no matter how much time passes."
Ckor simply nodded and looked away, remembering the day Asities' father came to him, begging for more time with his son before his enevitable duel with the lykodine rider. But Ckor couldn't stop fate, only prevent it for a while. Those seven years were the happiest of the elder drake's life. However the rider hadn't stopped with his father, he had wanted to kill Asities too. The lykodine had snatched up the small boy in his jaws, when Asities snapped and became a very angry drake. Ckor had arrived just as the lykodine, and his rider turned to ash. He had slinked away, only to face Asities twenty years later to reveal his hidden lineage.
Raven dropped the skull, "There's more." Her tone was flat.
"Lykodines, and their riders are the worst scum you will ever find. When they just started bonding, they would kill entire races just for the thrill of the hunt." Ckor spat onto a nearby skull. "They are a race fading into a bloodstained history, and good riddance! You will never meet a more cruel being then a lykodine rider." Stalking further into the dim cave, Ckor spotted something shiny on a human skeleton. "Asities." The sphinx said, brushing the sand off of it, "This isn't good."
"What is it?" Asities stepped over the skeletons that lined the floor and came to stand near Ckor, "What's wrong?" He wasn't sure why Ckor seemed so nervous over a small badge with an unfamiliar insignia.
Raven didn't have the heart to step over and around the skeletons as the other two seemed to have. She stood near the entrance of the cave silently, apparently lykodines and their 'riders' had made very bad and bloody names for themselves, I wonder though... are they really all that bad? she thought to herself, playing with the patch that she had pocketed thoughtfully.
"This is one of Ehzitil's worlds." Ckor nearly cursed, shaking his head. The god of war, bloodshed and torture. Just what they needed. "Well, at least there is a portal on this dry heap of a planet. All three form's have one."
"Three forms?" Raven questioned, then shook her head, "Never mind, but about this portal... Where exactly would it be located?" She feared she already knew the answer but needed to ask anyway.
"More than likely it would be located near him... In his home or temple." Asities spoke up, "At least I'm thinking that would be an accurate assumption, wouldn't want one out for the public to use, you know?"
"Ehzitil is famous for his massive castles with numerous torture devices inside." He listened to the howling air outside the cavern, his tail twitching, "We will have to find a way inside." Ckor growled, barely audible with the sandstorm around them, "I hate not having any control of the situation... but we must head to Ehzitil's palace."
"Isn't that dangerous though?" Raven asked, "Infiltrating a god's home and all? I'm sure he won't just let us waltz in and use the portal... We could very well die!"
"That's a chance that we're going to have to take." Asities replied grimly, "We need to find out way out of here one way or another..."
"Unless another demon pops in and steals us to some random planet again," Ckor muttered, completely sarcastic. He perked his ears, "Sounds like the storm is abating."
"Don't say that..." Raven groaned, "It's happened twice already, what's to say something like that won't happen again?"
"She's right, you know." Asities agreed.
The sphinx rolled his eyes, "We should probably get into the air as soon as we can... will be easier to spot a city that way."
Origins the Second Chapter