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 Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.

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Father Dagon
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PostSubject: Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.   Tue Dec 13 2011, 21:59

Hey all.
This is the story of the rise of my Archon. You can read the backstory at the link in my signature. It is not organized into chapters at the moment, so the stop/starts might be kinda annoying.
Anyway, I welcome and expect criticism. Be brutal, but don't be rude.
But compliments are nice if they are deserved! *puts out tip jar*

Anyway, without further ado,

TRISTATIAN: A DARK COMEDY
PART I.

Lady Vivyrus Tristatian sat upon her throne, her hand carefully cradling her head. She sighed heavily
The throneroom was devoid of any company. It was a long, tall room, buttresses flowing up the grey stone walls from a grey stone floor. There was no ceiling, only the point at which the walls joined as tapering space finally constricted into nothingness. Between each pair of buttresses was a tall window, looking out into the Dark City. At one end of the room was her throne. At the other end of the room was a mirror, flanked on either side by a passageway that lead to other parts of the tower.
She looked up from her ruminating into the mirror. Like all her people, her skin was pale, white as milk. Her hair was black, long and flowing, her eyes violet. Her nose was elegant, her lips perfectly formed. Her cheeks were smooth and perfect. She wore long, flowing black robes of fine silk over a suit of leather made from some of the finest specimens in the galaxy.
She was supposed to be at a peak of a society based upon desire, and yet she wanted nothing. She couldn’t make herself want anything. There were only the basic drives of survival, the need to breathe, the need to consume, the need to replenish her soul.
She pressed a button on the side of her armrest.
“Send in the musicians.”
Her voice was sweet, but tired, as if exhausted with life after only a hundred years.
From one of the entrances came six musicians, each carrying an instrument. Each one took his place between the buttresses and began to play.
A lovely, mournful tune began to fill the chamber. It was beautiful, a little rapture in that room. The singer sang songs in forgotten tongues, but the words were enchanting. For hours, the Lady sat their, trapped in solitude despite the crowded room. It sometimes seemed that music was the only thing that could keep Vivyrus from utter despair.
Her rapt attention was shattered when a voice came through the intercom.
“Lady Tristatian, Zaszick has arrived with news.”
She gave the hand signal, and the musicians fell silent.
“Leave me.” Her command was cold and serious. Gone was the tiredness of the voice that had invited them in.
The musicians packed their things and shuffled out of the room. She pressed the button on the intercom. “Send him in.”
She leaned back in her throne. Her eyes had narrowed into slits. Her hand crept across the armrest and felt for the splinter pistol on the other side. She knew better than to trust those who called themselves messengers. And she knew that this one had been delivering messages for Lord Zaqat.
Zaszick walked as if fatigued into the throneroom. His ghostplate armour shined with its forcefield, even in the gloom. His feathered wings were folded against his back, guarding the stimulant dispensers mounted behind his shoulders. The haemonculi had done a fine job altering this Dark Eldar into one of the winged messengers known as Scourges.
“I bid you a good evening, Your Grace. I bring a message from Lord Zaqat.”
“Speak now, Zaszick. You have my attention.” She leaned forward and folded her hands before her lips. What would Zaqat have to say to her?
“He says, ‘Lady Tristatian, I hope you are well when this message finds you. Yes, you heard correctly, I hope you are well. You see, I’ve grown weary of our two great Kabals fighting over territory. I wish to meet in parlay that we might discuss the possibility of peace and a fair division of, or perhaps mutual occupation of, Food Factory 213. Perhaps we could negotiate a trade of properties and arrive at a mutually profitable conclusion. I eagerly await your reply. Regards, Udiac Zaqat.’”
Vivyrus’ eyes narrowed again. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a vial full of clear, yellowish liquid. “Here.” She threw it at Zaszick, who clumsily caught it. “The antidote.”
“It is much appreciated, my Lady.” Zaszick finally allowed the sickness of the poison into his voice before draining the vial. After a second he staggered back, stood erect, and crushed the vial in his gauntleted hand.
“Tell Zaqat to send an emissary to the Vandaris Bridge at 4000 hours. My representative will be waiting there.”
“Very well, my Lady. Shall I be off?”
Vivyrus’ voice was cold. “Be off you shall. Farewell.”
Zaszick spread his wings as he bowed, and folded them again as he stood straight again. He turned and left the throneroom from the same door through which he entered it.
Vivyrus leaned back in her throne. She stroked the skull ending her right armrest, the skull of the first human space marine she had slain. She fingered the holes drilled in it through which wires reached into the brain. Ha. Brain. If one could call it that.
Zaqat couldn’t possibly think she’d fall for such a trap, but sending an emissary was simply part of the dance. She wanted to see what game he was playing at.
She stood up. This was enough for skulking. It was time to pay a visit to her associates downstairs.

Palace Tristatian was a soaring reinforced-glass starscraper, reaching for the sky like the arm of an infernal god of ice. At its pinnacle was a single point, a crystal star glowing white. It served to warn pilots to stay away, less they be decimated by the anti-aircraft forcefield. Further down, panes and panes of glass eventually receded. Statues of a substance between crystal and marble stood on pedestals. There were seven in total, one at the corner and three at either side of it. The six at the sides were of dracons, some of them still alive. They stood proud, in flowing robes, holding halberds to show their rank. The one in the center was incomplete. The crystal-marble was blocky and undetailed. The face was amorphous and unrecognizable. It stared, holding out an unformed staff towards the Great Gate of U’Tradioth.
Down further, the building became wider. Massive flying buttresses of white crystal seemed to hold it down to the base of U’Tradioth, standing Palace Tristatian like a sentinel watching the tenements and businesses surrounding it.
Sleek Raider craft few in and out of the tower’s hangars. They flew between buildings, the kabalites on board keeping a careful eye on the proletariat. Listening devices on board ensured that no utterances were made against the ruling Kabal of the Bliss Bereaved, that no support was whispered for Zaqat’s Kabal of the Flesh Unwound.
Lady Vivyrus watched this from the glass tube that contained the descending elevator. Scowling, she thought of the rise of all this trouble.
It happened when she first rose to power. After she murdered her father, the whole region of U’Tradioth fell into chaos. It took months before order was restored, and by then, it was too late.
Udiac Zaqat had seized the opportunity, and had raised his street gang to the status of a kabal. The Kabal of the Bliss Bereaved suffered betrayal as thousands of kabalites changed allegiances, refusing to be led by one little more than a girl. The Kabal of the Flesh Unwound took half of the region of U’Tradioth, and the Kabal of the Bliss Bereaved retained the other. Since then, the two kabals fought a secret battle against one another. The Supreme Overlord would not tolerate open warfare, and neither kabal could possibly stay his will.
She remembered Zaqat’s plots against her. The poisoned meals, the bombed bridge, the irradiating of one of her barracks. Her eyes narrowed as she looked towards his half of U’Tradioth.
Tonight, all this would be repaid.
Everything would be repaid.

The elevator creaked to a halt as it reached one of the last floors below Palace Tristatian, almost to the last level, the access vents for repairs to the city’s structure. Below that was a long drop to the end of captive space. If one were to fall, he would fall for miles before hitting the edge, his body dissolving into the warp.
But this level had nothing to do with maintaining the city or disposing of bodies without evidence. This level was the domain of the Asphodel.
The Dread Coven, the Reaved, the Endless above the Endless, all were names for the Asphodel. As Lady Vivyrus stepped from the elevator, she saw, in the dimly lit hall, upon the wall, a sprig of flowers encircled, drawn in dried blood on stretched skin.
Few would have dared to go further than that. Most would have turned and gone back up the elevator. Lady Vivyrus was one of the Few.
She strode with confidence deeper into the halls of the Coven of the Asphodel. The air was cold, strange poetry and commandments of the Lord of Pain lined the wall, written in blood. She heard echoes of metal scraping stone, the slick sound of scalpels carving into skin. She could see her breath.
But she was not phased. She pressed onward. She had been down here many times, and she walked as if, even down here, she were queen.
In the half-light, she saw a hunched figure quickly move from one doorway to another down the hall. Strange bone-protrusions shot from its back, and around its waist was nothing more than a leather apron, hanging with surgical tools.
“Wrack!”
Her shout rang through the hallway, breaking the eerie quiet.
The creature stuck its head out from the room. An iron mask covered its face.
“I wish to see your master!”
The creature nodded, and disappeared again into the doorway.
Vivyrus did not interpret this as rudeness or defiance. She knew the wracks had duties to perform, and was sure someone would come to lead her to the one she wished to see.
Soon, a smaller wrack stood before her. Its flesh was covered in surgical scars, and, around the chest, it became clear that the wrack was once female.
The wrack beckoned, and she followed it deeper into the complex.
Vivyrus was numb to the horrors that happened past the doorways that lined the halls. When her eyes strayed into them, she saw blood-encrusted operating slabs. Hanging over them were mechanical arms ending in drills, shears, surgical lasers. Occasionally the room was occupied by a few wracks surrounding the slab, enacting orders whispered to them by the strange beings hovering above them. But if one were to attach a heart monitor to the Lady’s arm, they would find no quickening of the pulse.
The wrack lead her deeper into the winding catacombs, the labyrinth of horrors in which resided the Haemonculi of the Asphodel. The Lady’s eyes could penetrate the darkness and see the hideous glyphs and signs upon the walls made of brick and papered with skin. In the distance, she heard hideous, muffled roar of altered creatures.
Eventually, the wrack stopped, and pointed at a door. Lady Vivyrus understood that the wrack would advance no farther, and passed through the door alone.
She beheld a grand antechamber, a giant, dome-shaped room. The sloping ceiling was obsidian, the ground was grey brick. Before moving closer, she decided to enjoy the show for a few moments.
Chained to the floor were thousands creatures. Some of them were Eldar, some of them Human, some Tau or Ork. They were held in place, unable to move. And most horrifying of all, they were attached to machines.
These horrible machines, connected directly to nerve endings, had one single purpose: to set a victim’s nervous system alight with horrible pain, pain beyond pain, pain beyond all things.
The creatures screamed in agony perfectly on key. Their vocal chords had been modified to only screech at a very precise pitch. Their wails reached riffs and crescendos, an incredible complexity of sound. Rising, booming moans and shrill shrieks, it all came together in a symphony of agony.
At the center of the room, standing on a pedestal, hovering above a baroque keyboard, was the master of U’Tradioth’s greatest agonies. Radian Yrreth played with unmatched passion. His four hands danced across the keys with a terrifying precision, sending pulses of agony into the various animals down below, their screams forming music the beauty of which only the Dark Eldar could truly appreciate.
Lady Vivyrus stepped forth into the chamber and walked between the wailing instruments. She proceeded to the center of the room.

_________________
The Kabal of the Bliss Bereaved
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibmcsEGLKo&feature=related
/\ Every human being should watch this video.
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.   Wed Dec 14 2011, 01:16

I'm enjoying this so far Smile I was intrigued by what you did with the Scourge. Your description of the Haemonculus hive is good, too. Sorry for the lack of proper critique, it's late and I have work, but I'll check back for more!

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.   Thu Dec 22 2011, 04:20

Oi! I was going to use a concert of pain concept in my story thief, thief! Wink

Overall I rather like it. My biggest critique is a simple matter of formatting - on forums like this I think you either need to use indents or provide extra spaces between paragraph breaks. As stands your story was just a little rough on the eyes to read.

Overall I liked the description and the ideas. A Kabal operating as a supreme dictatorship is a cool idea and one I'm highly amused by.

A slight mental niggle for me is why the Archon would be walking along without guards into a Haem's den. It might just be part of her personality, but most dictators tend not to stray very far from a core of bodyguards, and by the current description of her she doesn't appear to be armed. Minor quibble, I'll happily admit.

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Father Dagon
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PostSubject: Re: Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.   Sat Dec 24 2011, 05:28

The following contains a scene that some might find uncharacteristic of the Dark Eldar. However, this is a Dark Comedy after all. Just know, their friendship is completely selfish. It's not as long as the first update, but I'll give you some more after the Holiday.

Without further ado...

TRISTATIAN: A DARK COMEDY
PART I (cont.)

She approached the virtuoso from behind. She walked up the steps to the grand keyboard and stood a few meters behind him.

“Radian!”

No good. The piercing shrieks of a choir of human females had drowned out her voice.

“Radian!”

The Haemonculus heard this time. He ceased his playing and turned to face her. A smile on his face revealed his perfect white teeth.

“Ah, Lady Vivyrus! It is truly a delight to see you! You do not visit often enough, my dear.” Radian Yrreth’s voice was deep and somehow sensuous, contrasting sharply with his yellow eyes, his bald head. He wore a leather suit and stood not on his legs, but on a slithering, elongated spinal chord. His upper pair of arms was graciously open wide, while his lower pair of arms folded near his chest in bizarre sincerity. His belt hung with hooks and scalpels.

Vivyrus smiled in return, in her tired sort of way. “Ah, Radian, if I visited every day, then you would never have time to create art such as this.” She motioned with her arm towards the wretched, chained creatures surrounding them, gasping for breath.

Radian laughed. “Ah, yes, I do find time for my pleasures. Come, come, what kind of host would I be if I did not show my hospitality?”

Vivyrus followed Radian away from the pedestal, past the gasping, groaning creatures surrounding them.

Suddenly, a chained human lunged at them. His naked body was emaciated and scarred, a two-headed bird was tattooed on his shoulder. He shouted strange words in the strange tongue of humans. He struggled against his chains and the wires that wound into and under his skin.

Radian’s eyes suddenly caught fire. “You dare speak to ME?” His movement was like a viper as he struck, digging a syringe into the human’s neck.

With that, the human stopped moving. His eyes were frozen in terror.

Then he began to scream as his muscles began to swell.

Larger and larger, thicker and thicker, denser and denser. The skin ruptured. Blood and fluid burst from the wounds. The belly split open, and the entrails slid out.

Suddenly, the human’s screaming stopped as his windpipe swelled shut.

The haemonculus sighed. “I can’t have my pets trying to strike me. It’s a shame. Now I’ll have to find something more docile, and have to put in all that work to make it suitable for my organ. Come. There is drink nearby.”

Vivyrus and Yrreth strode away as the swelling face of the suffering human began to turn blue.



The parlour was a relatively small room. It was lit by candlelight. The walls were of stone brick, and the floor was carpeted, a strange thing to have in Commorragh. The carpet was bright red, and a cooling unit was built into the wall. Some chairs sat around a round table. Two of them were occupied, and the occupants sipped on hot drinks.

“Mordred and Sudaj have been working on their own projects, and they are making some progress, I must say. I don’t want to give away too much, but Mordred has been working on a rather beautiful Cronos. Those two were actually the ones who fashioned all these Wracks we have wandering around here. Oh yes, those of mine that survived have all become initiates. By the Muses, they needed so much surgery to get them looking presentable when I finally took those masks off.” Radian sipped his drugged tea. “Yes, they’ve all been digging into fresh subjects. Camon, a favourite of mine, has already started on lobotomies. That recent offering of slaves was quite wonderful, dear Vivyrus.”

“Ah, it certainly is all our best interests if I keep you happy, isn’t it?” Vivyrus sipped at her drink. It was warm and sweet. “How has Gabriel been?”

Radian’s eyes lighted up. “I’m so glad you asked. He’s been doing well. Much better than last time. It seems that his former personality has been subdued for the time being. There are advantages to using such strong-willed individuals to make a Talos, but sometimes they come back. I just severed a few lines in his brain, replaced them with some devices of my invention, and now he’s as pleasant as ever.”

Vivyrus smiled. “Yes, he is quite adorable.”

“And he’s just as playful as he used to be. He seems to wag his stinger with pleasure when he has fresh meat on his chains. He is such a lovely creature.”

“Speaking of which, where is he now?”

“Oh, he’s working with Sudaj right now. One of your warriors has decided to become a Scourge.” Radian laughed. “I don’t quite think he’ll make it to the aeries, but he had the money, so we’re hollowing out his bones anyway.”

Vivyrus rolled her eyes. “Oh, come now, don’t you think I have built some discrimination into the selection process? I say that if they aren’t worthy to be a Scourge, they aren’t worthy to be a Kabalite of the Bliss Bereaved.” She drank deeply of her cup. The chemicals within were lightening her mood.

Radian looked directly at Vivyrus. “So, my dear Archon, what brings you to my humble abode?”

She stared right back into his eyes. “Well, it seems I have an appointment at 4000 tonight…”

_________________
The Kabal of the Bliss Bereaved
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibmcsEGLKo&feature=related
/\ Every human being should watch this video.
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Tristatian: A Dark Comedy.   Sat Feb 11 2012, 16:40

I've been putting off reading quite a few of the stories here on the site, my apologies Wink

The new chapter is nice, there's a good slow build happening here. The introduction to the other Haems was a little off putting. Up to this point your descriptions have been solid and slow and strong, but suddenly we're bombarded with names and info and I'm left wondering how much of it will be useful later on in the story. Just felt off pacing wise - if that makes sense.

I also liked the new formatting better - much friendlier on the eyes for reading.

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