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 Ancient Ways

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Zas B'ul

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Posts : 628
Join date : 2013-08-29
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Ancient Ways   Thu 14 Aug 2014, 16:43

No sooner had Zas fallen into his slumber in the penumbral remains of Perdido atop his death scaffold, than he awoke to the loud noise off to his right of shattered glass and men cursing.
Zas looked around and saw that he was no longer laying atop a scaffold, but was simply resting on the ground in the middle of a small town the size similar to that of Blazer's Mill but the buildings and people looked more like the original inhabitants of Perdido in the middle of the afternoon.

Zas turned his head to the direction where he'd heard the noise that had jarred him conscious and saw a lively Saloon with a large now broken front window and a slumped over unmoving body of an man. Despite Zas being roughly 30 yards from the entrance to the bar, the air smelled strongly of firewater. A closer gaze at the man laying crumpled on the ground revealed more that the Silent Strider was not expecting.

The man had a long buffalo-skin coat that was missing many patches of fur. His boot heels were extremely well worn, and smooth. He had obviously been on the road without a horse for quite some time. He carried with him in a holster a single heavily rusted pistol complete with a belt full of ammunition, as well as a half broken musket that lay in the dirt beside him. As Zas approached the man, he could see the man himself was ancient. His face bore many scars and bruises, and was full of wrinkles and there was even a small trickle of blood beginning to work it's way down his forehead. The man lay there just long enough not breathing, that Zas began to wonder if him being tossed out the window had killed him.

Zas turned his head inside to peer at the crowd of roughly 20 men and women of ill-repute who had gathered around a table, returning to whatever they had stopped to do when the elderly man had been ejected from the establishment. He couldn't see through the crowd what they were doing, but past experiences had taught him that it was likely some form of game. Zas then looked back down to the ground where the old man had been, to see only a vague impression in the dirt of where a body had once lain.

He was surprised instead to see the older man gazing back at him at eye level, completely healed from the ordeal and the many scars that were once on his face erased. The man's eye's pierced through Zas. They served as empty grey-colored pits full of sadness, pain, and blood. Without a word the man brushed past Zas and stepped back through the broken window. Zas followed the man's every move. Zas made note that the man's weapons now seemed to be in perfect pristine condition and were the absolute newest models available. His haggard appearance now gone, replaced by a cool freshness that was completely ethereal.  

As the man approached the table, he pulled out his pistol and slowly loaded it with rounds from his belt. When he had finished, he lifted the weapon up and fired into the crowd. Each shot hit true, but the people near the table paid no attention to the bodies rapidly piling on the floor. This was likely due to the fact that the pistol fired it's entire contents in total silence.

The old man ceased firing only when there was but a single man left sitting at the table. He pointed his revolver at the lone man at the table and held it there trained on the man's head. The man was a bulky, muscular cowhand who rolled a pair of dice onto the table. As the dice left his hand however, he looked up from the roll and stared at the old man in utter horror shaking his head slowly back and forth, as he did so reaching for his pistol, but his hands were shaking so badly that he couldn't un-holster it. He then tried to grab the pile of coins and cash he had nearby and threw it towards the old man with the gun, but the coins flew wild and the cash fluttered down to the floor in front of the old man's feet.

The old man gestured to the right with the pistol and the cowhand begrudgingly complied forcing himself for a few steps in that direction before dropping to his knees, and clasping his hands together in a prayerful manner. As he did this, the Old man swapped his pistol for his musket and approached the man. The man still on his knees continued praying in a language Zas couldn't understand, as the Old man lowered his musket and placed it into the man's mouth. The man's prayers became increasingly more difficult to hear as he began to make a gurgling, gasping sound with each breath halfway between a sob and the more disturbing death throes. The old man after a few moments kicked the man backwards to the floor and fired his musket with a loud -Bang!- that echoed the area like a great thunderclap.

The cowhand's body convulsed for but a moment before growing still indefinitely. The Old man for his part, set the musket down on the floor leaning it up against the table and set down at one of the now empty chairs and called to Zas, "Come, join me son." The Old man's more bedraggled appearance began to return once more, and his face seemed to also return to it's scarred original form before Zas's eyes.

Zas not wishing to provoke what he believed to be his intended target's wrath, came through the doorway to the Saloon and after stepping over the bodies covering the floor, seated in a chair across from the man wordlessly.

The Old man looked at Zas for a long moment before saying in a matter-of-fact tone, "I'm curious about you. You are different, and I don't just mean your wolf nature. You don't seem to be overly anxious or excited to be here...so you're no fool, yet You don't seem to be surprised by being here either. That either means you expected to meet me and you want something or you are brilliantly observant and pieced out who I am, where you are, and what just happened and simply have no questions. Which is it?"

Zas scanned the Old man's face for a moment before responding, "I have come for help."

The Old man smiled, "I see. What is it that you think I can do for you, and more importantly, why should I help you?"

Zas looked at the man and said, "I intend to kill the spirit Akna. Noir-Kaermode has told me to seek you out before I hunt her, for she is powerful."

The Old man pursed his lips as he listened, his smile fading before responding, "Yes, that's well and good, but why should I help you? What is it that makes you right and justified in taking her life?"

Zas gives a confused look at the man as he says, "It is my calling to destroy the Wyrm. She serves it willingly. She must be destroyed. Her presence corrupts all who stand before her. I am made justified for I am a servant of Gaia."

The Old man nods, "So, let me understand this...you come to me and ask me to help you because you and her serve different masters. You think that causing someone or something to die based solely on who they pay homage to is justification for my intervention and assistance?"

Zas stares back at the man, taking a gulp as he says, "I ask you for your help, to end her life, because she refuses to die. My pack and I have killed her once before, though we nearly died ourselves in the process. Now we go into her realm to destroy her permanently, that life may be put into proper balance."

The Old man sighs, makes to stand up and leave, "You are young. It is wrong of me to try to debate you as an equal. You argue about what you do not understand. I am what I am because of what I do, because of who I am. You and I are not the same. I thought you were different. You are just like the others. Leave me to my tasks...go and find some other being to bother."

Noir-Kaermode appears directly behind the Old man and forces him back down into the chair, his claws embedded into the Old man's shoulders. He growls out, "You will listen to the young one. He comes seeking wisdom. To make right what is wrong. He is not like you for he does not know what you know. Hear him. Teach him. He is willing to learn." The death bear spirit then loosens his grip and comes to sit behind Zas.

The Old man gives a pained grunt and sits back down in the chair and says to Zas, "Alright then, Impress me. Tell me what makes your cause worthy of my time. If I like your words, I will aid you, if not...I will take your life as payment for my time."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Ways   Thu 14 Aug 2014, 20:12

Zas takes a breath to gather his thoughts before he says, "Very well. I agree to your conditions."

Zas then looks to Noir kaermode and then back to the Old Man and says, "In my people's legends, there is a tale of a hunt. It goes like this: When some children were playing one of them said, "I will be a bear." He made a pile of dirt which the other children carried away in their hands until it was all gone. In their absence, he made claws for himself of burned interwoven hide and muscles of gathered buffalo hide dressings. With these, he dug a deep hole into which he went so far that he could not be seen. When he came out, he was covered with hair to his elbows and knees. He went in again and came out with hair to his shoulders and hips. When he came out the third time, his body was nearly covered, and the fourth time completely covered with hair.
He went among my people, running in and out, and killing the other children. He then went off to the Navajo country and hid his heart near some oak trees at a place called, "open-mouth-bear". He then came back and again began to kill the people. Although they shot arrows at him, they could not hurt him. An Old warrior went to the Navajo country carrying his war club. The bear, seeing the danger, started to run to the place where his heart lay. The old warrior ran after him and came to the heart first. As he came near it he heard the oak leaves lying over it, making a rustling noise and the closer he got the more he heard a deep "bum-bump, bum, bum-bump, bum". It was the beating of the heart that made them move. The Old warrior swung four times, destroying the heart, and the bear, running close behind, fell dead."

The Old man listened intently, as did Noir Kaermode. When Zas had finished, the Old man stared at him and asked, "Interesting story son, had me going for a bit...but what's that got to do with me?"

Zas looked back at the Old man and says, "In the legend, a boy decided something was important to him, and using his mind he made himself invincible-able to destroy his targets. Yet, in the end it was an Old man that was able to kill the boy. Whether you agree with me killing the evil spirit Akna or not doesn't matter. What matters is solely your decision to help or not. My cause is destruction, and death of a potent enemy. If that is not honorable or worthy according to your standards, I then admit to knowing nothing of spirits."

The Old man smiles and says, "There-admittance to your ignorance...that I can work with. You accept that you do not know me. You do not boast with foolish pride, or provide a false show of bravado...you greet me and speak with me as candidly as you would an elder. I will honor your people's legends, and allow you to evade me until your time comes. All I ask is that you remember this and remember how you approached me-so that when your time comes, this Old man will not have to search for you long...but that you would seek me out."

Zas nods, "As you wish Old man."

The Old man looks back and says, "Call me Numoshamus."
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