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Far From The Valley, Dark Forces Gather..
02.04.2013 20:040 people like thisLike
 

Several leagues from the entrance to the hidden valley, one of the multitude of dimensional portals had appeared, its opening heralded by a growing stillness that was soon broken by the crackle of dark energy in the center of a small glade, followed by the sound of tearing fabric as the portal stretched open, much like the pupil of a cats eye. No matter what angle you faced the portal from, it appeared the same way, an eclipse with pointed ends, much like someone had cut the fabric of reality and now held it open. Peering into the portal was pointless, everything was a distorted haze, like looking through a poorly made bottle, no distinction of shape or form, just motion and flashes of light, similar to lightning burst but without any thunder being heard.

 

It was from this gateway into the physical realms that they came, a vast horde of demons pouring out in every direction with whoops, howls and varied cacophony of demonic calls. While most seemed content to mill about aimlessly, chattering away in excitement at being set loose, others moved with definite purpose, some taking to the air, spreading out with watchful eyes and keen senses. Others took off a quick run, hunting the wildlife in the immediate area, killing skinning and dragging the carcasses back to the majority, saving the cleaning of their kills for later. They were demons, there wouldn't be much left of the prey as it is, why waste anything one of them probably had an appetite for? As this went on, others had come through and begun felling trees, clearing the area and expanding outwards, the wood being used to construct a crude camp, the skins and bones that didn't get eaten, used to decorate things in a simple, brutal fashion.

 

Those without set tasks, or simply to lazy to work yet, all turned a frightful gaze towards the portal, some of the smaller demons beginning to tremble in abject fear. The reason soon stepped into the realm, the ground beneath its cloven hooves decaying away with each heavy step. Twelve feet tall, dark crimson red in color, a hide and skull girdle about his waist holding his loincloth up, though it only barely covered his dignity, diagonal leather straps crossing from hip to shoulder, another skull mounted at the point they met over his massive torso, the shoulders decorated with more hides and bones and an obscenely huge sword gripped in one massive clawed hand. Two long horns protruded from either side of his forehead, set inline with his glowing, cruel stare and curling majestically as they extended from his skull by a good foot and a half. He was the image of your classical Demon, brutish, burly, horned, hoofed and tailed. When he turned around, two ugly scars were seen on his back, the remnants of where his grand wings had once rested, lost in a disagreement with something far greater than he at the time.

 

Surveying the camp, the beast strode about, the lesser demons scurrying madly to get out of his way, the workers all diligently at their task, not daring fail lest they incur the wrath of this larger being. It was apparent from their behavior that he held some form of status among them, and given that he eventually settled into the largest structure available, atop a very large seat made of trees and bones, draped with the hides of what prey had been killed, some of which was clearly human, it was clear he must be the leader of this particular horde. The demons had been working with supernatural speed, and it had taken only a few hours for the camp to be completed, food and slaves captured from a close-by settlement already being brought forth for inspection, the brute getting first choice over which he would keep to sate his varied hungers.

 

As imagined, the screams, cries and general sounds of suffering and woe began to fill the air, along with the stench of burnt flesh, gore and gods know what else. In the course of half a day, the demons had arrived, conquered and now settled in, ready to begin their masters work on the morrow. The portal remained open, kept that way at this end by means of demonic sorcery, a construct set up around it, maintained by chanters that kept up a constant rhythm. Any reinforcements or information would have to come by the portal, so keeping it open was far easier than trying to create a new tear between realms each and every time something was needed. The portal and chanters were under constant guard as well, demons with specialties for such work being kept posted at all times, much like the rest of the camp. It was all fairly and surprisingly coordinated, stark contrast to the crude and primitive layout of the camp. Just because they were demons, didn't mean they didn't have a sense of order in their own right.

02.14.2013 03:400 people like thisLike
 

Almost two weeks had passed since their entry into the realms, and still the demonic horde was no closer to discovering the whereabouts of their target. Knowing better than to test their masters patience even a little, they had expanded their searches, taken over a couple more small settlements and expanded their foothold, becoming quite the sizable force that none seemed willing to reckon with just yet.

 

It was during a routine change of the guard when some 'excitement' arose in the camp. Whether through negligent overconfidence or devious design, a small number of newly acquired slaves managed to free themselves, making a break from the camp and scattering in five different directions, hoping to increase their chances of seeking aid to free the others and send the demons packing.

 

Naturally an alarm was raised and trackers sent out after them, but the overall atmosphere of the camp seemed more lax and bemused than you would expect. Even the brutish commander of the horde had a sly smile on his face, only issuing a fraction of a typical beating to the trackers that 'lost track' of their prey. The remaining slaves just cowered all the more, the almost grimly gleeful attitude the demons were adopting all the more terrifying to the poor broken souls in the cages and pits than the usual terrifying attitude of simply being demonic.

 

Something was going on, but all they could do was pray that at least one of the runaways found hope somewhere.

02.25.2013 12:530 people like thisLike
 
It had been week that his clan had been destroyed. After he had escaped from the torture he had run nonstop for days. His cloths dried with blood both his and others. Now just a few weeks later he couldn't stay in one place for to long still or they would find him. While he was running he came a crossed an isolated village. He stalked around the outskirts of it for about two days before he went into the village. He had to be sure it was safe before he spent any amount of time there. Only moments after he had gotten something to eat the village fell under attack and he could not get away for it wasn't a normal attack. It was demons. He was taken in and held yet again. He managed to talk some of the others to try and escape with him. It took a few days to work out the plan and figure out the times the guard changed. Then on the day of he managed to get ahold of a small dagger and cut the ropes that bound him than freed the others and with haste they made a run for it splitting in different directions to maximize their chances that at least one of them would get away. He chose a southward direction and ran with all that he had in him, using every trick he knew to gain even just a little ground on the place that he escaped from. It had felt like days that he ran none stop. He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold out. He was tired, hungy and just about our of any energy he had left. He had been thinking far to much about how he was and not paying any hed to the path that lay before him and his foot caught a root causing him to tumble head over heel and land flat on his back. He tried to get back up but just couldn't gather the strength to do it. His normal sun kissed skin was now pale and pasty from lack of nurasment. So he just lay there and waited for what he knew was now the enviable. He lay there and waited for the god of death to come and take him away.
02.26.2013 04:140 people like thisLike
 

The moment the fifth of Bayne that had headed for the entrance of the valley, left it, he soon realized just how protected it was. Now back in the outer world, the overwhelming presence of the countless demon gates struck his senses like a hammer, his hackles raising and a snarl rolling deep in his throat. The distance was too great, but he knew there were demons about in the Mortal Plane, and far more than when he had returned from his time spent away training. He could only surmise that the protection over the valley had somehow hidden this state of affairs from him for Bayne not to have picked it up sooner.

 

Focusing on the energy of a camp of the foul creatures, which was an amusing thought considering Bayne himself was Demonic, he headed off at full speed in the general direction it was coming from. They were being far too obvious, he knew it, but the only one who would do something so blatant, at least so soon after Bayne had returned, was surely dead and dust by now. Moving with the ethereal grace the shadow-wolf form bestowed upon him, Bayne covered a large distance in a short amount of time, only to come up short when he caught the scent of something wounded.

 

Mortal blood, tainted by the stink of Demons, was near, and following it he soon came upon the runaway, collapsed and on Deaths Door by the looks of him. Gazing down with his violet eyes wide in a curious manner, the wolf sniffed at the person, even going so far as to nudge the mans sunken cheek with his snout.

 

Hey, you alive? Blink or something if you can hear me. Did the Demons do this to you? How many are there? Hoi, you listening to me?!

 

While in this ethereal state, Baynes voice wasn't exactly audibly transmitted, but more transferred directly to the recipients mind, similar in fashion to how his summons spoke to him, but unlike that connection, Baynes version was purely one way. He couldn't read thoughts, only send them. The fact he was pestering someone that was barely alive was purely a personality quirk of his.

02.27.2013 16:200 people like thisLike
 
How long had he been laying there. How long had it been that he had gotten away. He was about to just give up and let go when he felt something nudge him. Maybe if he didn't move it would go away he thought. That's when he heard the voice....but it wasn't like he was really hearing it. It was in his head. Was he crazy now on top of everything else that had happened to him. Suddenly he shots up dagger in hand not sure what was waiting in him . He looked around almost missing it as he looked around so quickly. Then he looks again seeing the wolf that was almost shadow. Maybe he was crazy. He shakes his head an backs into a tree "What the hell is going on here. First the shit with my clan now demons. So of a bitch"
02.27.2013 17:270 people like thisLike
 

If the person had waved the dagger about, it would have passed right through the wolf, which definitely would have made him question his sanity. Given the guys rather lively reactions, Bayne solidified himself more, appearing as a dark wolf with violet eyes rather than a living shadow, though the edges of his form were still blurred to a slight degree.

 

So you're alive after all. seems your luck hasn't quite quit you , though I dare say it hasn't improved any.

 

The wolfs ears perked, his head turning back the way he had come before looking to the male once more. The events in the valley had finally reached him, specifically what his other parts were up to at the current moment.

 

Things aren't looking too good back there either but I may have no choice here. Can you walk? If not I'll call for some help but I think it best we get you somewhere with a soft bed and warm meal. Once you recover, we can talk about these Demons you mention. If things are as serious as I feel they may be, we're going to need a few able bodies to come up with a suitable plan of action.

 

The 'voice' stopped there, the wolf sitting back on its haunches and watching the male and the area both, clearly on the alert for anything out of the ordinary that may be around. Last thing Bayne needed was a set of encounters while divided, the less often he lifted his limiter, the happier he was.

03.05.2013 17:340 people like thisLike
 
"Umm no I can walk but how far is it" he asks as he looks at the wolf and puts the dagger away looking around. He pushes off the tree then looks back to the wolf "I've been in worse conditions before but the demons have many held captive, I was caught in one of the most recent raids....but I'm a little crafty so I got out of there as quick as I could with a few others. We split up in a few different directions and here I am now.....talking to a wolf, in the middle of the forest running from demons. Yup that about sums it up" he says and scratches his head
03.05.2013 19:400 people like thisLike
 

Listening to the males story, Bayne actually chuckled, the sound becoming audible as his form shifted into a smokey haze, to reappear as the man in rags. Taking a lean against a nearby tree he looks back the way he came, trying to recall just how far he had traveled.

 

"Well I'll make myself look like this then, I'm sure it'll make things a little easier on you. As for how far, that's rather difficult. I travel faster than most beings but it's probably only half the distance you have come from that camp. On mortal legs, probably a further two days journey to the village, three if we try for the manor instead, including a detour around the brawl going on in the forest."

 

He shrugged, then fixed his gaze and a charming smile on the other male.

 

"They call me Bayne by the way. Well met."

03.16.2013 18:230 people like thisLike
 

While waiting on the man to answer his greeting, Bayne gets an update from the valley copies of himself, his eyes going wide as his power unleashes itself without warning, forcing a few choice words from his lips as he reigns it in as best he could, his delimited senses scanning the immediate vicinity and beyond for the five minutes his power is overflowing.

 

"Why am I such a blasted show-off. I don't sense anything near but they're going to feel this whether I try to suppress it or not. *****!"

 

Looking to the male, the weariness comes over him, dropping Bayne to one knee as it had done the others, though after a minute or two he regained some strength from the dissolved fourth part of himself. Back in his ragged form once the limiter is put back in place, Bayne got back to his feet, his expression wary, cautious, and non too happy.

 

"If those Demons that held you felt what just happened, we need to move, and fast. Unless they're here for a purpose and their orders absolute, that much dark energy is going to draw them like wasps to marmalade."

03.20.2013 04:190 people like thisLike
 
"Blear" he all he could manage to get out before he was knocked back from the the actions of the man next to him. "Son of a bitch" he says as he takes cover behind a tree. Damn what am I going to do....this guys one of them. The though rang loud and clear in his head. He was still to weak to run good and it was still to far away to get away quickly. There wasn't a lot of options presenting themselves to him right then. He looks around and simply waits, wasn't a lot more he could do.
03.22.2013 03:240 people like thisLike
 

The Demons camp had gone into a frenzy of activity the moment they had felt, 'seen' even, that massive spike of dark energy, their cries in all their hideous manner echoing far and wide. The commander of the camp was quick to regain control of them all, mostly by swinging his sword and swatting them about with the flat of his blade.

 

"Fools! Don't just stand around! Trackers, follow that energy! Find out where it is coming from and what caused it. The rest of you, prepare to march! When the trackers report back, we go retrieve our prize!"

 

More caterwauling and hullabaloo rose around the camp, but a small team of trackers did race off, three in number, heading straight as an arrow for where Bayne was. The rest gathered into teams of five or six, preparing for the order to march on their prey and return it to their master. There was no mistaking it, the energy they felt was so similar to their masters it could only be the one they sought. The commander was certain of this and made his way through the portal on his own to report the find before any other could.

 

"My Master! I bear news!"

 

"What is it fool? Spit it out!" The warlock had made himself a throne during the time, mostly out of the carcasses of those that had displeased him by false report or simple ignorance. Reclining atop it, topless, with a pair of Succubi keeping him company and doing as handmaidens do, Anthraxus stared at the commander with a cold eye, awaiting the report with very little interest.

 

"We have found him. A powerful source of dark energy has revealed itself, so similar to your own that it can only be he that you seek. I have sent trackers to discern his location and given orders for the rest to march upon my return. Your wait shall soon be over my lord."

 

The warlock eyed the commander even more coldly than before, but the faint trace of a smile curled one side of his cruel lips.

 

"You seem confident in yourself, I need not remind you of what becomes of those that displease me with false reports or erronous judgement. Go, prove your worth, and I may yet bestow upon you the rank I took away."

 

The commander bowed with a fist over its dark heart, turning and striding off with purpose and a vicious scowl. The wounds on his back where his wings had been torn out ached even now, but the thought he would have them restored along with the rank that came with them should he succeed numbed his sense of pain until it were almost a pleasure. When he returned through the gateway, one of the trackers awaited him, informing him that the energy had faded away and he had been sent back to report this while the other two continued on the same course, intent on finding the source and reporting back.

 

With a sneer the commander merely nodded and strode to his tent, preparing himself to lead the march. He would prove to his Master that he was every bit as capable as those that remained in the warlocks 'trust', and if given the chance, he would bring the Hybrid BlackRose, beaten and bloodied, to kneel before Anthraxus himself.

03.25.2013 21:490 people like thisLike
 

Watching Belar take cover behind the tree, Bayne just stared at the male for a moment or two as he got his strength back slowly.

 

"It's alright, my energy doesn't affect Humans unless they're sensitive to energy in general. But because I let it out, we're in danger of being discovered, and that's bad for both of us. Last thing YOU need is being caught by Demons again, and the last thing I need is for them to come and force me to burn even more strength in dealing with them. I haven't actually fed yet so right now any unnecessary exertion is REALLY taking its toll on me."

 

He'd been putting it off time and again, and each time he used his powers, it took a little more from his reserves and made him all the hungrier. Leaning against the nearest tree, that look of a feral predator was just starting to come over him, hungry eyes and gaping fanged maw, his tongue licking over his elongated canines  at the mere thought of sinking them into warm flesh and gulping down rich, fresh blood.

 

Shaking his head he tried to clear his mind. Now was NOT the time to be thinking about how hungry he actually was. If things weren't getting out of hand all over, he'd already be supping on some clueless woman or beast by now and sating his needs. Instead, he was split three ways, dealing with possible Demonic attacks, demigods and angelic halfbreeds, and the collapse of the valleys guardian spirit. It was not a good day for Bayne, by any stretch of the imagination.

04.03.2013 20:300 people like thisLike
 

The Demon commander, after giving the trackers report some thought, ordered it and another trio to follow its brethren to confirm their suspicions that they had indeed found their target. The tracker leaped away chittering wildly, grabbing three hound-like tracker Demons and setting a pursuit course for the two it had left behind. It had read the mood of the commander, failure and disobedience right now would probably cost half the camp their lives in an instant. Better to be far away should someone set off that pending explosion.

 

The pair of trackers that had gone on ahead of the one bringing reinforcements had slowed their pace, still heading in the direction the beacon of energy had come from, but in no real hurry to get there. All the Demons in the horde their Master commanded knew the prey they sought was powerful, so being reckless wasn't exactly on the menu. Of course, they were Demons, not exactly prone to logic or sense at the best of times without strict orders to follow.

 

This was proven when the pair happened to come into sensory range of their mark, only to find one worn Human escapee from several days prior, and another being that simply reeked of dark demonic energy and exhaustion. They had no way of communicating with their brethren, or knowing others were soon following them, so the quick discussion and foolish decision they came up with was all their own doing. Seeing as one was Human and the other exhausted, they figured it would be an easy thing to take down their target and drag his sorry carcass back to camp to reap in the bountiful rewards of having completed the task set to them.

 

They had forgotten the fact they were only ordered to track and report, the lure of glory and rewards too great for their feeble little minds to ignore. Decision made, they acted upon it, leaping into the area Belar and Bayne were at, both completely ignoring Belar as they bared fang and claw and gibbering maw at Bayne.

 

They were hound-like, same as those that were being led to them, but had no fur. Their skin was dark red, covered in scars, scales and pus-filled boils. They had four 'legs', if you kept the hound theme in mind, though their 'paws' were more ape-like than dog-like. No tail to speak of, two weird, wing-like growths on their backs, though clearly not for flying, but none of this was the disturbing part.

 

They had no eyes. Where their head part was, all you saw was a mouth full of teeth from ear-stub to ear-stub, and two massive slits extending from the end of their muzzle up to between those same stubs. The slits acted as you'd expect nostrils, flaring with each putrid breath of the creature, the 'nose hairs' lining the edges of the slits like eyelashes, pale in colour and clearly more for the purpose of detecting than keeping things out of the gigantic nostrils.

 

All in all, the creature was no beauty to look at, or smell for that matter, and the size of the beasts just made it worse. Their heads alone were a good eighteen inches long, their body length maybe three times that or so. They had the overall build of large Mastiff hounds, perhaps ones that had been cross-bred with pitbulls and some sort of monkey-fisted mole creature. They were quick too, as they demonstrated by lunging for Bayne in a flash, intent on ripping his limbs from their sockets so he couldn't get away as they dragged his maimed corpse back to camp.

04.04.2013 21:130 people like thisLike
 
Just as he started to come back from around the tree the monkey dog things jumped out at them, or more so him. Should he run? Try to help? Shit thing were looking very bad right then. So he stopped thinking. He reaches down into his belt and pulls the dagger form his waist and throws it hitting the closer beast right in the middle of its head/mouth/nose thing. After the dagger hits and sticks he takes off into the direction that this place was in.
04.17.2013 05:110 people like thisLike
 

Watching Belar knife-and-run, leaving one of the foul things making strange noises as it tried to shake the dagger free of its head, Bayne nearly lost his window of opportunity to dodge the second tracker, shoving it away from him and stumbling back a step. A strange and cruel expression crossed his face for a moment, and the energy Bayne gave off, changed.

 

"Well, if he's going to go all furry, guess I'll go all batty."

 

His cryptic statement was soon followed by a swirling column of dark mist surrounding the hybrid, glimpses of his form coming in snatches, but nothing really being apparent until the mist stopped. stopped dead actually, as if frozen in time, even the very atmosphere seemed to be holding its breath. As suddenly as it came, the mist retreated, moving in reverse and twice as fast, soon revealing something that was and wasn't Bayne.

 

A few inches taller, a few pounds lighter, a little leaner and a lot paler, what now stood in his place didn't stink of Demons as much as Undeath. When Bayne's eyes swept the area, his normally brown-green irises were now glowing crimson rings, his tongue licking along two incredibly noticable upper canine teeth, the lowers seeming to have shrunk to almost normal length. The only other noted changes were the shorter hair and rather regal attire; full trousers tucked into soft leather boots, a satin shirt with sleeveless doublet over top, and a long nobles coat over top of it all. All of it in shades of black and crimson, as you'd expect of a stereotypical Vampire.

 

Cracking the knuckles of each hand, Bayne smirked, his fangs long enough to protrude past his lips even when his mouth was otherwise shut. In a blur of supernatural speed, the creature that had been knifed now had a bloody gash running down its spine, the spine and dagger now being held by the hybrid as he licked the demonic blood from his long-nailed fingers.

 

"I do hope you put up more of a fight, filth. I hate to waste good blood, but this scat you fill your veins with is hardly worth calling that, let alone drinking, so maybe I'll let it slide this time."

 

even his voice held that regal, arrogant tone, the voice of someone used to being nobility, or perhaps just being better than those around it. The voice of a Vampire Regent.

04.18.2013 23:020 people like thisLike
 

The injured demon just lay on the ground in an expanding pool of its own disgusting fluids, its limbs twitching violently and grotesque gurgling sounds coming from its head region. It barely had been given time to realize it had been injured at all before it had its spine torn out of its flesh after the dagger had been dragged from its 'face' to its hindquarters along its back. Safe to say it probably wasn't going to last much longer.

 

The other tracker-beast faced this Vampire before it reluctantly, its sensory organs telling it that the target had become something else. The scent Bayne was giving off had changed drastically, the hint of his former self weaker with the overbearing stench of Undeath he now gave off. It knew its partner was beaten, but that had been a surprise attack, surely this creature it hunted wasn't holding back so much power as to merely seem weak.

 

Given no real choice, it charged, zigging and zagging, its speed equaling that of the supernatural as it sought to confuse its prey into misjudging its approach before it struck. It had to hope that Bayne was still tired no matter the shape he took, if not more so for expending his power to alter his state as he had done.

 

While this was going on, the other four trackers were closing the distance, the stench of spilled demons blood reaching their finely honed senses and urging them on. while death was an unpleasant thought, it was a preferred alternative to the fate they would suffer should they return to the camp with the news that their target had gotten away from them.

05.25.2013 20:290 people like thisLike
 

The next attack happened in the blink of an eye, with Bayne as the victor claiming his spoils, the fouled blood of the tracker demons he had slain. As he held the second one above his head and let its thick murky blood drip into his waiting mouth, something came over him, his eyes going wide and the corpse being dropped before he could drain it completely. Clutching his gut he began to vomit up the very same blood he'd just been consuming, black smoke begining to pour off him in waves, the scent and energy he gave off changing rapidly once again, leaving him on one knee this time.

 

"*************!" Cussing in his demonic dialect, the Hybrid resumed his worn out former appearance, though his eyes revealed a tinge of green that was brighter than usual.

 

"It forced me to change back, just how much energy am I planning to gather?" He was growling through grit teeth, staring in the direction his senses were warning him more demons were going to appear from. Even with his seemingly wild fluctuations of power and form, he was still sharp enough to track the presence of the rest of the trackers heading his way.

 

"Looks like I'm out of time."

05.25.2013 21:270 people like thisLike
 

Screaming, Bayne clutched the sides of his head, lifting his face to the sky as his energy became rampantly out of control. There was no hiding this time, he was on the ground,writhing in agony as part of his very being was torn asunder. He had been fine with the release of his limiter, but the moment things went wrong he had collapsed into this state, leaving him utterly defenseless. By the time the screaming had stopped, he was out cold, lost to the world and in no shape to do more than just lie where he fell, laying in a foetid pool of demon blood and viscera, as helpless as a babe.

08.09.2013 21:000 people like thisLike
 

It was that state that the small band of demonic trackers found Bayne, his scream guiding them like arrows from a bow right to their target. The 'leader', the third member of the first team, stared agape at the sundered remains of its fellows while the three it had lead to Bayne sniffed about the Rogue's form, latching on to each arm and the third struggling to get under Bayne's torso, all three turning as one to carry the unconscious Chimaera back to their master. The 'leader' took a final look back at the gory scene behind them before following the rest, only caring that their objective had been accomplished.

 

Carrying Bayne back to the camp was no small matter, they had to be careful not to inflict any injuries that might be blamed on them, while making as good a time as possible on their return. What had been a trip of minutes under their supernatural speed, now became a drawn-out trial of a few hours, returning to the camp as the sun set. The camp roused with a cacophony so loud it could have been heard for miles around even within the dense forest. The camp Commander beat several of the louder ones into silence, which soon spread to the rest as he strode with purpose towards the tracker party and their precious cargo.

 

Muttering something in the demonic tongue, the trackers grovelled in fear, letting the Commander take Bayne from them with ease as he threw the Rogue roughly over one shoulder. He jerked his head towards the slave cages, giving his consent for the trackers to get a 'reward' for their efforts, the air filling with Human screams as they fell on the helpless victims, the Commander striding for the portal with a sinister smile on his cruel features. The reward he would receive for trapping their prey before the other camps would be grand, he was certain.

 

Within the Warlock's citadel, the Commander made his way to the raised throne, kneeling before it and carefully removing Bayne from his shoulder, holding the senseless Rogue up in both hands, like an offering to some false god. The Warlock of course had known of the Commanders arrival and was already half-way down the stairs from the throne before the Demon raised Bayne up like a virgin on an altar. Standing before the pair now, the Warlock's cold stare took in the appearance of his arch-nemesis with great attention to detail, noting where the trackers had held Bayne's arms in their maws, the demonic bodily fluids soaked into Bayne's clothing from when he collapsed and the lines of blood at the corners of Bayne's mouth from when he had fed on one of the trackers. A cruel smile twisted his now ageless features as he laid a hand on the Rogue's chest, feeling the beat of Bayne's living heart within the Chimaera's chest.

 

"I would like to say it is a pleasure to see you again, filthy mongrel, but what is this state you are in? Just what have you done to yourself this time that I can not even enjoy having you at my mercy." His tone was clearly displeased, and the Commander started to worry ever so slightly as he felt the Warlock's aura increase, a sign that he was drawing upon the dark energies he commanded thanks to infusing himself with Bayne's blood over the decades of chasing the Rogue. raising the hand that had been laid on Bayne's chest, the Warlock summoned an incredible amount of energy into his palm, the air filling with the sound of energy arcing as it gathered into a visible, dark mass that steadily began to pulse in time with Bayne's heartbeat.

 

"Maybe this will bring you to your senses, Rogue, but I have no use for a mere shadow of who you are. Return to me when you have pulled yourself together." With those parting words Anthraxus slammed his energy-filled palm down onto Bayne, blasting the Rogue's frame with a massive pulse of dark energy aimed at his heart, the shock of the attack causing the Rogue to jolt awake and scream in pain as the energy tore clean through his torso, and the Commander's hand that had been supporting it, lancing into the floor like a bolt of dark lightning, the copy of Bayne being torn apart forcibly by the Warlock's will.

 

When the clone had finally vanished from sight, returning to its other parts within the valley with full memory of what had just happened, Anthraxus turned his back to the now injured Commander, stalking back to his throne with absolutely no concern for his minion's well-being. "When he returns, and he will, be sure to let me know. I want to greet him properly next time." The Commander, still clutching the wrist of the hand that had just been crippled by the Warlock's attack on Bayne, grit its teeth and bow it's head in acknowledgement, rising to it's feet and unsteadily made it's way back through the portal. Many demons felt it's wrath when it returned to the camp, which didn't stop until the Commander got tired of killing it's minions and returned to it's quarters, cursing both the Warlock and the Rogue for the injury he had received when he had been so hopeful of a reward instead. The welcome Bayne would receive should he return to the camp was likely to be very warm indeed, should the Commander have a say in it.