Legends of cobalt

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Blessed Light

Percy bashed the side of Nellie’s head with Bucephals’s war hammer. Light flashed from the impact and Nellie tumbled across the floor. Percy turned and walked toward her.

“You are supposed to be extinct!” Nellie lunged toward Percy.

Percy blocked Nellie’s claws with his sword. He twisted the war hammer in his hand and drove the spike into Nellie’s ribs. Light flashed again. Nellie screamed and pushed Damian away. She tried to fly away. Percy slashed his sword across Nellie’s back and black blood splashed the stone floor.

“Wy, where are you?” Phebes cried, “Wy?”

“I am here.” I pulled myself across the floor with my good arm.

“What’s that light I keep seeing?”

“It is Percy. He is fighting Nellie.”

The giant wolf whimpered and crawled toward Fredrick.

Percy flapped his magic eagle wings and flew into the air. He flew after Nellie and cut her off. Percy threw all of his weight behind a double strike. Nellie fell back to the ground, her bloody and bruised body smashed several benches. Percy flew toward her like a hawk. He pinned the little girl’s body to the ground with his sword.

Phebes coughed up blood. “Is he winning?”

“He is for now.”

“That’s good.” A bubble of blood popped from her lips. “At least someone will live.”

I tried to crawl faster. “We will all survive this.”

The vibrating snap of breaking metal echoed off the walls and roof. The dyed glass windows shattered and swarms of bats flew in. The bats flew in a tornado around Percy. He swung the war hammer and the bodies of dead bats littered the floor. The bats flew away from Percy and out the broken windows.

“Where did those bats come from?” Phebes coughed.

I closed my fingers around her hand. Percy landed opposite me. He fell to his knees and closed his wings around us. Percy cradled Phebes’s head like a child and rested his other hand on the wound in her stomach.

“Hey,” Phebes whispered. “The wings are cool. When did you get those?”

Light flowed from Percy’s hand. Phebes’s breath grew more steady and came easy. Without warning, Phebes rolled onto her hands and knees. Blood filled vomit sprayed the floor from her lips. Percy ran his fingers through Phebes’s hair and held it away from her face.

Icy, necrotic pain shot through my arm and I winced with the pain. Percy closed a hand around the wound in my arm. Light flowed from his hand again. A calm warmth washed over me like a hot spring bath in winter and pushed the creeping cold of death from my body. Percy let go of my arm and I rubbed the healed skin where Nellie had slashed it.

“Go help Bucephalus.” Percy rubbed Phebes’s back as she spat more blood onto the floor.

I shifted back to my knees and stood up. “The dragonman is in poor shape. I do not know if he will survive.”

“Go ahead, I’ll be…” Phebes vomited again.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

***

I inched towards the unconscious body of Fredrick. A bear-sized wolf sat by the dragonman’s head. A low growl emanated from its throat. I kept my hands in front of me and knelt beside Fredrick. I extended my hand to a slash wound in his clavicle. The wolf flashed its teeth and barked, but let me proceed. Radiant light flowed through me and into Fredrick’s scaly flesh. After a brief eternity, Frederick’s chest expanded with air. His eyes fluttered open and he jolted up missing my head by a hair’s breadth.

“Lady!?”

  “Easy, everything will be alright. We’ll find her “ I put my hand on his chest and lowered him back down.

The wolf licked Fredrick’s cheek. He met my gaze and Fredrick’s eyes rolled back. The wolf stood opposite me and licked my face from chin to eyebrows. It laid back down and rested its head on Fredrick’s chest. 

I rocked back onto my feet and looked around the ransacked sanctuary. Phebes continued to heave and vomit blood. Wyanet’s stout figure supported Bucephalus’s hulking frame. Jacquelin rocked back and forth in a ball towards the altar. The young woman from the island comforted Jacquelin. The woman smiled at me, nodded, then vanished. The radiant wings on my back faded and I felt colder after they vanished.

“Where’d the blood-sucking bitch go?” Bucephalus limped toward me with Wyanet’s help.

I helped Phebes back to her feet. “I don’t know.”

“I bet she ran away when all those bats got here.” Phebes clapped a hand to her mouth, her eyes opened wider. 

“It doesn’t matter. We need to find Olivia and get out of here. It’s going to be a long walk to anywhere safe we can rest.”

“She is here.” Wyanet glanced back at the wolf. “ Can you heal another person the way you did for Phebes and Fredrick?”

“I don’t think so. I used all of my power on the three of you.”

Phebes pushed me away and vomited again. “By the Wildmother, the Winter Maiden and the Dawnfather, when will this stop?” Another torrent of red vomit shot from her mouth.

“I can still do something.” Bucephalus pushed Wyanet away. “Where is she?”

Wyanet pointed to the giant wolf guarding Fredrick.

“We came here to hunt down a pack of lycanthropes, and here I am working with one,” Bucephalus chuckled.

The wolf bared its fangs at Bucephalus then batted its snout with its paw. The wolf whined and twisted. Its fur fell away and its snout retracted. The wolf’s paws grew into hands and feet. Thirty seconds of crying and contorting metamorphosis transformed the wolf into Olivia. She sat naked on the floor, her body covered in pink slash marks.

“That won’t be necessary, Father.” Olivia covered her chest with one arm and lifted Fredrick’s head into her lap with the other. “My wounds heal faster than most. Although, if you wouldn’t mind, could someone please find me something to cover up with?” 

I unclipped my cloak and draped it around Olivia’s shoulders. A sharp, shrill, tin whistle blasted into the vestibule of the sanctuary accompanied by the sound of splintering wood. A chorus of matching whistles accompanied the first in the damp night air throughout the city.

“Took them long enough.” Olivia struggled to her feet and held the cloak closed.

I offered my arm to help hold Olivia up. “Who’s here?”

“Before my wolf took control, I managed to get a message sent to the constable general for help.”

Dozens of men and women wielding short clubs and daggers flooded into the sanctuary through the doors and broken wall. A woman with iron-black skin and vibrant eyes pushed through to the front of the constables. A heavy stone club and a sabre hung from her belt. Epauletts dangled from the woman’s shoulders. 

“What happened here?” The constable general’s voice sounded more like tumbling rocks than human speech.

“We found a cult, and came to break it up and got beat up instead.” I pointed at Olivia with my thumb. “If you don’t believe me, ask her.”

“Constable General,” Olivia smirked. The Constable General and the surrounding constables snapped to attention. “My associates and I need a ride back to my manor.”

The story will continue, June 11th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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Legends of Cobalt

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Failing Light

Nellie slashed through my shield. Her claws dug down to the bone in my arm. Icy, necrotic pain pulsed through my veins. Nellie shoved me to the ground and stepped over me. I crawled toward the rows of benches on either side of the walkway. 

Damian attempted to stab Nellie. She caught his sword. Damian countered with a spinning kick. Nellie grabbed his ankle and hurled him across the room. 

Phebes shot an arrow at Nellie. Nellie flew at her and pierced her hand through Phebes’s gut. 

A line of orange light streamed out of Olivia’s stick. Nellie burst into flames. She hissed at Olivia and threw her through a wall after ripping her chest open.

The Dragonman screamed and took a deep breath. Nellie jumped on him and a bolt of lightning shot from his mouth into the roof. Nellie tore at the Dragonman’s face, neck and chest.

Jack hugged her knees to her chest and cowered beneath a statue of a woman holding a sword and a key.

I whispered a prayer to the spirits and wrapped my fingers around my tattered arm. The healing energy of the spirits stopped the bleeding and fixed the rotting flesh, but the muscle still ached. I ignored the throbbing pain and pulled myself towards Phebes. She gasped for air in a growing pool of blood.

A slender wolf the size of a bear padded through the hole Olivia made. The wolf kept its head low and bared its teeth. It circled Nellie, a growl in its throat.

I pulled myself up and braced my back against the benches. A warm light glowed where Damian had landed.

“The bitch appears.” Nellie climbed off the Dragonman and stomped on him. “Your brother tried to fight me alone too.”

The wolf barked and sprinted at Nellie. Nellie flew into the air as the wolf lunged for her throat. The wolf stood on its hind legs and knocked Nellie back to the ground. Nellie slashed her claws across the wolf’s face. The wolf yelped and jumped back.

Nellie hurried to her feet and attempted to fly away again. 

The wolf snarled and closed its jaws on her ankle. The wolf shook its head back and forth and threw Nellie like a squirrel. The wolf ran over and pinned Nellie to the ground. Nellie struggled against the beast’s weight. The wolf snapped its massive jaws at Nellie’s throat.

The glow from the front of the room grew brighter.

***

Warm water lapped at my skin. The boiling sun beat down on me and the salty breeze tousled my hair. I sat up and looked around. White sand beaches trapped between an emerald forest and an aquamarine ocean stretched as far as I could see in either direction. Gentle music drifted from the trees and played with the steady rhythm of the tides. Overhead, an albatross called to the world.

I stood up and the warm sand begged me back. I studied the tree line and spotted a smooth stone path winding into the jungle. I took a last look at the ocean and followed the winding stone path. Monkeys chattered and played around me. Birds sang their sweet songs and flitted about. A monkey carrying a mango scampered onto the path ahead of me and offered me the fruit before running back into the trees.

I continued walking along the path. The sun never changed its position. I came to an open-air temple deep in the jungle. Waist-high flower beds filled with blue and white flowers surrounded a small pool at the base of a gentle waterfall. A woman close to my age sat on a stone bench with her feet in the pool.

“Hello, Damian.” The woman patted the bench beside her. “Or do you prefer Percival?”

I sat down beside the woman. “Where am I?”

“Right now,” The woman took my hands in her warm, soft ones. “You are standing in a cathedral, preparing to attack a dangerous vampire disguised as a child. Your friends and allies lie bleeding around you. One of them has little time remaining before she meets the Raven Queen.”

An image of Phebes getting stabbed filled my mind. “Why do I remember this place?” I waved my hand at the temple and the jungle around us.

“This is my home. This is where I and many of my followers come to find peace. We are safe here.”

“Why am I here?”

“I needed to speak with you and my time is limited. You must return to your friends soon.”

A harsh voice in my head shouted something I didn’t understand and punctuated with a crack of lightning. I jumped to my feet and looked for the source.

“Damian.” The woman slipped her warm, tender hand into mine and pulled me back to the bench. “Your father has unlocked a dormant power that has hidden within you for many years. I wanted him to do so sooner, but now you need that power to save your friends.” She took my face in her hands. “This power will allow you to accomplish great things, but it will also turn you into a beacon for darkness.” She pulled me to my feet and kissed my forehead. “I couldn’t be more proud of the man you are and will become. Now go, your friends need you.”

I stepped into the pool up to my waist and turned back. “Who are you, and will I ever see you again?”

The woman smiled back at me the way a mother does a frightened child. “My true name and the names of my kin aren’t known in your world anymore. On Cobalt, I am called Everlight. As for seeing me again, I have been by our side for many years. Our paths have crossed many times already, and they will many more. Until they do, Damian, go with my blessing.”

I slipped my head beneath the surface of the pool and a flash of light blinded me.

***

    “Damian?” Phebes coughed and a line of blood ran down her lips. “Please. Wyanet? Where are you guys?” Her tears mixed with her blood. “Please, I don’t want to die. Not here. Not alone. Please guys, where are you?”

“I am here, Phebes.” I fell to the ground and crawled to her. “Save your energy, I am here, we will be fine.”

Nellie braced her feet against the stomach of the wolf and kicked it away. The wolf landed on another bench, smashing it. The wolf got to its feet and ran at Nellie again. It closed its jaws on her arm and smashed her against the floor. Nellie dug her claws into the side of the wolf and pulled. The wolf yelped and dropped Nellie. Nellie hit the wolf with her other hand. The wolf whimpered and backed away.

“I am sick and tired of adults ruining everything.” Nellie closed her hands into fists and battered the wolf’s head. “And your family is the worst!” 

The wolf collapsed and tried to crawl away from the child.

Nellie grabbed the wolf by its scruff and rolled it over. “You mutts are strong. Maybe if you lived longer you could beat me.” Nellie put her claws on the throat of the wolf. “But there is one thing you need to win that you never have.” Nellie tightened her grip. The wolf whimpered and tried to break loose. “Your pack.”

Percy walked up behind Nellie. Eagle wings made of pure light grew out of his back and his eyes glowed with a warm radiant light. In one hand he carried his sword and in the other, he held Bucephalus’s war hammer.

Percy smashed the hammer into Nellie’s head. Light burst from the impact and tossed Nellie away. “I don’t need a pack.”

The story will continue, June 4th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Creating original content in an online space is a time-consuming process. If you find it in your heart, please donate a few dollars at the link above. Thank you, you are appreciated!

Show us your fan art at us with the hashtag #CobaltLegends on Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured on one of our posts.

Legends of Cobalt

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Obliteration

“Grab them!” The cult leader bellowed.

A dozen cultists fanned out around the sanctuary space. They marched toward us with simple weapons in hand.

“That’s him.” Jacqueline tugged at Olivia’s dress and pointed to the cult leader. “That’s the father who gave me the cleaver.”

Sweat dripped from Bucephalus’s snout. “Hold together. Watch each other’s backs.” He gulped. “They’ve got the numbers, but we’ve got better training.”

Wyanet crouched behind her shield. “Bucephalus, you and Phebes take the left. Olivia, you and Fredrick hold the right. Percy, with me in the centre.”

I slid my sword free from its scabbard.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to die at the hands of lunatics.” Olivia twisted and contorted her hands. A line of purple energy shot from her fingertips. The line separated into three bolts of magic and shot toward a cultist. The bolts punched through a cultist woman’s chest and stomach. She took another step forward and fell over.

A bowstring twanged and a cultist to my left screamed as an arrow shaft bit into his thigh.

“Sorry!” Phebes loosed another arrow into the man’s lung. The man fell back into a pew.

Jacqueline sprinted between us. She charged the cult leader with both stilettos in hand. She stopped ten feet short of her mark. Blood sprayed from the severed necks of the cultists flanking their leader. Jacqueline took a stunned step backwards.

The cult leader looked behind him. His allies’ bodies hit the floor. The cultists’ bodies erupted into showers of crimson. Their laughs and cries of elation echoed off the stone walls.

 The cult leader turned to us and grinned. “The angel of the whispered one is here.” He dropped his knife and spread his arms wide. “Take me, Blessed One! I am yours!”

A small viscera-covered hand punched through the cult leader’s torso. 

Jacqueline took another step back. She dropped the dagger in her left hand. 

A second hand punched through the cult leader.

Jacqueline dropped her second dagger.

The hands grabbed both sides of the hole they created and ripped outward.

Jacqueline Sprinted back to our line and hid behind Bucephalus. “What is she doing here?”

The body of the cult leader separated and crumbled. It spurted more blood onto the floor.

“We need to run. None of us can beat her.” Jacqueline tugged at Bucephalus’s skirt. 

“Can’t beat who?” Olivia flicked her wand into her hand. 

“Thanks for leading me to them.” Nellie stepped through the gore. Blood spattered her face, stained her dress and matted her hair. Nellie licked the blood from her fingers. “They were a nuisance. They kept interrupting my plans.”

Bucephalus stepped behind me. “And what plans are those?”

Nellie smiled. “To make a paradise for my brothers and sisters. A paradise where we don’t  grow up, starve or die.”

“She’ll kill us all,” Jacqueline muttered. “Don’t listen to her.”

“I won’t kill you, silly. Like I told you when I killed your master, I want you to join my family. It won’t hurt long.”

“Nellie, dear.” Olivia extended her empty hand to the bloody orphan. “Why don’t you come with us. We’ll give you a hot bath and see if we can help you.”

“NO!” Nellie stomped her foot. “Adults always ruin everything, even when I tell them what to do.”

“Adults only want what’s best for us. That’s why they do the things they do,” Phebes pleaded.

“I thought someone who grew up homeless would understand,” Nellie snapped. “I’ve seen savage men buy the innocence of girls for coppers and a meal. I’ve seen boys starve in the gutter while fat priests gorge themselves on stolen wealth.”

“I’ve got issues with the clergy too.” I waved at the bodies strewn about. “They’re corrupt and need change, but that doesn’t mean they all need to die.”

“You’re stupid if you think they’ll change,” Nellie laughed.

“My people always help those in need.” Wyanet took a step forward. “Take us to your family and I will see that they get the help they need.”

“Since when have your people been friends to ‘colonisers’,” Nellie hissed.

“They are to children.” Wyanet shrank back.

“We’re trying to make things better,” Olivia replied. “My family and I.”

 Nellie laughed a laugh that filled the entire sanctuary. “Your family?” She sneered. “Your family has been trying to kill me for more than a century. I’m why that monster hides in your blood. You try to hide it with the way you dress and that ridiculous proper way you always speak. I see it though. I see the murderous hunger in your eyes.”

“What are you talking about?” Olivia straightened her skirts.

Nellie covered her mouth with her fingers. “You didn’t know? Benjamin did. That’s why I killed him, just like I’ll kill you.”

Olivia flicked her dagger into her other hand. She levelled her wand and dagger at Nellie. “What do you know about Benjamin?”    

“I killed him,” Nellie shrugged. “I wanted the inquisitors I tipped off to do it, but they got wiped out by a cult, like this one.”

Bucephalus roared and barrelled through Wyanet and me, knocking us to the ground. He charged at Nellie, ready to gore her. Nellie caught Bucephalus by the horns. Bucephalus pushed Nellie back five feet. Nellie planted her feet and lifted Bucephalus over her head. She turned and smashed the hulking Minotaur into a handful of benches. Bucephalus lay motionless in the pile of splintered wood.

Nellie walked toward us.

Wyanet jumped back to her feet and got in a defensive stance.

I raised my hand and pointed at Nellie. “Fostu!”

Thorny vines sprouted from between the stones and wrapped around Nellie’s legs. She scoffed and took another step faster than I could see. Nellie stopped in front of Wyanet.

Wyanet thrust her spear forward. Nellie Smashed Wyanet’s spear to splinters. Wyanet held up her shield for the next attack. Nellie’s claws ripped through the rawhide shield and the arm supporting. Nellie shoved Wyanet out of her way.

I drove my sword at Nellie’s throat. She caught the blade and tossed it away throwing me off balance. I used the momentum to shift into a spinning heel kick. Nellie caught my ankle and chucked me toward the altar like a broken toy.

Phebes loosed and arrow. It missed its target.

Nellie flew at Phebes. She cut her bowstring with a finger and punched her claw into Phebes’s stomach. Phebes fell behind the pews as I collided with the altar. Anger and desperation formed a pit in my throat.

A bead of orange light hit Nellie in the back and flames engulfed her. Nellie hissed back at Olivia and flew towards her. Fredrick stepped into Nellie’s path, swords at the ready. Nellie Pushed Fredrick out of the way and landed in front of Olivia. She slashed her twice across the chest and threw Olivia through the wall.

“LADY!” Fredrick screamed and took a deep breath.

Nellie lunged at Fredrick and tackled him to the ground. A bolt of lighting from Fredrick’s mouth struck the cathedral ceiling.

I staggered to my feet and collected my sword. A calming, warm, chill flowed through my veins.

“You have been to my temple,” A strong thunderous voice spoke in my mind. Blinding light filled my vision. “You have learned part of my history.” 

I took a step down from the altar.

“It is time you learned how to use the power hidden within you.”

The story will continue, May 28th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Creating original content in an online space is a time-consuming process. If you find it in your heart, please donate a few dollars at the link above. Thank you, you are appreciated!

Show us your fan art at us with the hashtag #CobaltLegends on Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured on one of our posts.

Legends of Cobalt

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Blazing Path

We crept through the shadowed abyss of tunnels below Vercingetorix. A small collection of dancing lights and the point of Wyanet’s spear illuminated our path.

“I had no idea these tunnels even existed.” Olivia ran her hands over the cold wet stones. “And they all lead back to the main temple?”

“The Conclave doesn’t like people knowing our secrets.” Bucephalus’s horns scraped against the ceiling.

“Do these,” Olivia paused to think, “priest tunnels exist below every shrine? What is their purpose?”

Fredrick walked hunched beside Bucephalus. “Why no light?”

Wyanet whispered to me. “That symbol is a dark sign amongst my people, but none of our medicine-men or dream-keepers knows what it is. Do you know anything about it?”

“Sweeney raised me outside of the church. If it had to do with the Fae courts, I might, but I’m clueless about it.’

A voice outside our lights gurgled. “Who… trespasses… here?”

“I am Father Bucephalus, Lieutenant of the Inquisition.” Bucephalus hailed from the back of our party. “My companions and I are here to aid you. Let us pass, Brother.”

“Bucephalus…inquisition…?” The voice gurgled.

“Something is not right.” Wyanet lowered her shield and braced her spear against it.

I loosened my sword in its sheath.

“None… may pass… here.”

Two points of blue light glittered in the shadows. The clatter of bones and shuffle of feet moved toward us.

“You will… serve… the… Whispered One.” An undead wight with a bloody handprint on its breastplate stepped into the light. Two skeletons with short bows flanked the wight. A mob of zombies shuffled up behind them. 

A skeleton loosed an arrow at me. I caught the shaft and threw it back. The arrow passed through the skeleton’s ribs.

“Destroy… all…life!” The commander waved its sword at us. The zombies staggered forward.

A bead of orange light zipped between Wyanet and I. Wyanet spun her shield behind her. She grabbed me and held me against her chest. The orange bead connected with the commander’s forehead. Fires exploded in the tunnel. A shock wave tossed Wyanet and I off our feet. The heat and the light faded as fast as they appeared. Fredrick vaulted over us, swords in hand. Wyanet and I scrambled back to our feet.

The wight, blackened from the explosion, blocked Fredrick’s first assault. Fredrick brought his second sword around and pierced the wight’s abdomen. The wight snarled back at him. Fredrick slashed his first sword in an upward arch, slicing his opponent’s arm off at the elbow. The wight swiped at Fredrick with his other hand. Fredrick jumped back, pulling his second sword with him. Fredrick brought both swords together and sheared through the wight’s neck. The blue glow in its eyes faded as the head thunked on the ground.

Fredrick wiped the ichor from his blades and returned them to their scabbards. “Clear, lady.”

“No point wasting time on trivial things.” Olivia tucked her wand back into its sling. She walked past us and took Fredrick’s arm. She waved her hand and the floating orbs of light drifted down the tunnel. “Are these things common in your tunnels?” 

“Why would we keep a perversion of the gift of life for security?” Sweat matted Bucephalus’s fur.

Jacqueline shook, her eyes as wide as saucers. “That’s why we’re not supposed to be down here.”

Wyanet put a hand on Jacqueline’s shoulder. “Is everyone all right?”

“I think I lost my eyebrows.” Phebes rubbed her forehead. 

“That was reckless. You could have killed one of us.” I sheathed my sword.

“I took a calculated risk, and it paid off.” Olivia moved the head of the wight with her toe. “There was no way the two of you could have held them back.” Olivia started down the tunnel. “The way is clear for now, we should continue onward.”

Wyanet sighed and kept her arm around Jacqueline. I hung back with Phebes and Bucephalus.

“Are you okay?”

Bucephalus leaned against the wall and tugged at his breastplate. “I will be. This reminded me of some bad memories.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” Phebes asked.

Bucephalus straightened. “I want a drink and to be rid of this cursed land. But I can’t do anything I want until we finish this job.” He pushed after the others.

We walked for another half hour until a wall of wooden boards blocked the tunnel.

“The cultists must have sealed it in case their guards failed.” Olivia ran her fingers across the rough wood. “Easy enough.” She flicked her wand into her hand.

“Before you go blasting.” I forced Olivia’s hand down. “Let’s try a more mundane approach.” I pulled the hand axe from my belt. “Ceph, Fredrick, let’s tear it down.”

The three of us hacked through the wall in minutes. Stairs on the opposite side ascended into more darkness. We climbed the stairs and emerged in an alcove behind the statue of a dragon. 

“Where are we?” Phebes flicked the nose of the dragon statue.

“It appears to be an antechamber of some sort.” Olivia inspected a statue of a woman clothed in vines.

“This leads to the main sanctuary.” Jacqueline pointed to two twin sets of polished wooden doors banded in bronze.

“We will start there.” Wyanet grabbed the handle of a door and threw it open.

The seven of us slipped into the sanctuary. A dim light in a myriad of colours fell from stained glass windows overhead. Eight columns carved in the visages of the gods supported the high ceiling. The thunk of the closing door echoed throughout the massive room.

“Nice of you to join us,” A man called from the altar. The glow of candles framed his body. “We needed more sacrifices.” He stepped down from the altar. Blood stained his body and dripped from the curved dagger in his hand.

A dozen more cultists appeared around the altar.

“We wanted more offerings than the bishop.” The leader walked closer. “And you have answered our prayers. Like lambs to the slaughter.” The cultist smiled. “Grab them.”

The story will continue, May 7th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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Legends of Cobalt

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Down Once More

A child wearing an elegant dress wandered into the dining room.“Livi, where did that other girl you brought home last night go?” She clutched a stuffed toy wolf to her chest.

“What do you mean, Ophilia?” Olivia placed her knife and fork on the table.

“That girl you brought home last night with the cold blue skin. I woke up this morning and she wasn’t there anymore.”

“Does she mean Nellie?” I stuffed a piece of bread in my mouth.

Ophilia nodded emphatically. “I think that’s what she said her name was.”

Lord Tiaran swept into the dining room, William on his heels. “Good morning everyone. I do apologise for the abysmal state of breakfast, but I have many mouths to feed. Are you prepared for today?”

“We’ll have to stop by the Atropa Belladonna to collect a few extra things, otherwise yes.” Bucephalus liked a glob of jam from his thumb.”

“It would seem though, that our guide vanished at some point in the night,” Wyanet added.

Lord Tiarna stroked his chin. “What does that matter? You know where you are going, and you’ll have my daughter with you if you need to go anywhere else.” 

“Street kids know things that nobles don’t.” Phebes blushed and turned towards Olivia. “Not that I’m saying you’re dumb or unskilled. That’d be really rude… I’m going to stop talking now.” Phebes trailed off and stared into her breakfast.

Lord Tiarna shrugged. “If you need another guide, take Jacqueline.”

Olivia pushed back from the table. “Father, is that a wise decision?”

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. She has been under observation for two days now, and you removed the curse yourself. You want a more knowledgeable guide, she’s been inside the building you are heading to. Plus, she can defend herself. Give Jacqueline a knife or two and you don’t have to worry about her.”

“I thought the cleaver made her do all that stuff,” Phebes interjected.

“A curse can remove your inhibitions around a matter, but a curse can’t teach you things you didn’t know before.” Olivia folded her napkin and placed it over her plate.

Lord Tiarna waved his hand over the table. “By your own admission, Jacqueline is a skilled fighter.”

Wyanet tossed her napkin onto the table. “Who would train a child like that?”

“Many groups the world over teach children their ways from an early age,” William scowled at his father. “To make sure that their ideologies and way of life survive after they are dead.”

“If no one has any more pointless objections to make,” Lord Tiarna looked around the room. “I will have Jacqueline prepared and you can be on your way.”

“Maybe I should go with them. As an extra pair of eyes,” William suggested.

“No.” Lord Tiarna marched toward the door.

“Just to the shrine? As an escort?” William followed his father.

“I guess breakfast is over,” Bucephalus crammed the rest of his food into his mouth.

“It would seem so,” Olivia pushed her chair in. “Get dressed and gather your things. Our carriage leaves in half an hour. Fredrick, Ophilia, come.”

“Time to fight more monsters,” I sighed.

Wyanet put her hand on my arm. “We are better prepared this time and we are not alone.”

***

Our carriage reigned up to the steps of the shrine to the Father of Understanding. Phebes, Wyanet and I pried each other free from the bench and stepped out into the dreary afternoon haze. Fredrick and Bucephalus distributed our weapons from the carriage’s strongbox. Olivia checked the slender rod and dagger she’d strapped to her wrists.

“Why are we here?” Jacqueline climbed out of the carriage.

“This is how we are getting into the temple.” Wyanet slid her war club into her belt.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to go straight to the temple?”

Bucephalus secured a shield to his arm and fastened a hand axe to the strap on his rucksack. “We don’t want them to know we’re coming.”

“You, use, these?” Fredrick offered Jacqueline a belt bundled around a matching pair of stilettos.

“I guess I can.” Jacqueline took the offered knives. “Why are we sneaking into the temple?”

“Everyone ready?” Olivia inspected our party.

“Ready for what?” Jacqueline tied back the extra length of her belt.

The carriage rolled away. Wyanet and Bucephalus started up the stairs.

“Stick close, kid.” My foot landed on the first step. “And we can get out of this alive.”

The shrine looked the same as it had the night before. A handful of worshipers milled about. Our heavily armed and armoured party circled around to the back of the statue.

Phebes knocked an arrow. Wyanet, Bucephalus and Fredrick formed a half-circle around me. Olivia flicked her wand into her hand and stood beside Phebes. She pulled Jacqueline behind the line of fighters and held her there.

“Be ready.” I extended my hand to the button hidden in the sphinx carving. “We don’t know if they reset the trap.” I pressed the button.

The pedestal clicked. The sphinxes parted and turned inward. I braced for an attack. A yawning mouth of darkness opened before us as the doors stopped moving.

Fredrick sheathed his longswords. “Who… First?”

“I will.” Wyanet extended the tip of her spear to me. 

I grabbed the spear point and spoke the arcane word for light into it. Cool white light radiated around us and pushed back some of the shadows. The six of us followed Wyanet into the hidden stairway. A second click echoed down the stairs. We turned to watch as the door rumbled shut, sealing us in darkness. In the cool white light of my spell, painted in blood, a left hand marked the back of the door. An eyeball stared back at us from the palm of the hand.

“Father?” Olivia pressed closer to Bucephalus to get a better look. “I hope I’m mistaken, but is that…”

“The mark of the Whispered One.” Bucephalus turned back to us. “We are all in great danger.”

The story will continue, April 30th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Creating original content in an online space is a time-consuming process. If you find it in your heart, please donate a few dollars at the link above. Thank you, you are appreciated!

Show us your fan art at us with the hashtag #CobaltLegends on Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured on one of our posts.