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The Animus Records

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The Animus Records Empty The Animus Records

Post by BlazeZeroThree on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:51 pm

Hi! This is just a little thread I've decided to make for posting narratives/essays/whatever that I've written dealing with Animus lore and events. I'm pretty sure most will be DoT-related, though I'll note if there's anything particularly special with whatever I write that I choose to release. Comments and critique are welcome and encouraged. So, without further ado, have some little reading goodies:

A Conversation in Brief

The warm sands are blown from the gentle breeze emanating from the tall hooded figure walking past the arid shrubs. A brilliant night sky above, adorned with an infinite field of stars upon its celestial sphere shines a pale light onto the landscape below, illuminating the rugged mountains surrounding the arid valley. The hooded figure, clad in strange blue bindings and a ragged brown hood walks past the scattered , perfectly shaped orbs hovering just above the flat ground. He wields a silvery, stainless, shining scythe as he passes over the land with a pure indifference in his blue ember eyes. He stops as he sees some unusual radiation from several nearby orbs, clumped closely together, and stares as he interprets the meaning of the disruption. Silence prevails.

Until it is broken by the exotic sound of a purple portal opening a fair distance behind Animus I. His 'son', Animus II, stumbles out of the portal and collapses onto the sand. He promptly stands and brushes the sand off from his coat, the vials of chemicals clinking against each other in a harmonic jingle. The father plants the hilt of the scythe into the ground, remaining inhumanly still and quiet. The portal shrinks and dims as it closes. A moment of silence as the son looks to his father.

“Everything's gone to hell. I guess I need someone to talk to,” the son says, raising his hands slightly with a markedly irritated expression over his face.

The father raises the back of his hand up, in a gesture for silence. He peers over his shoulder to watch his son with his burning eyes for a moment.

“I sense a boundless anger in you. Revenge. Death. What ails you?”

“I want Vectorous dead. I want Ruckus dead. I will bring justice for their crimes, even if Chris won't.”

The father shakes his head and lets out an echoing sigh. “I should have expected this from when your lover's soul was briefly disconnected from his body.” The father turns around to meet his son's glowing blue eyes.

“He murdered Chris in cold blood. There was blood all over his office that I built for him. He was dead on his desk when I found him. A gaping hole in his chest, piercing through to the other side. The image of Vectorous just walking in, piercing his sword through his spine. It's...” He rubs his head with both hands as he shudders. “It's something I can't forget.” “You must never disregard your memories.”

The son glares. “What, so you can continue spreading your bloody doctrine of suffering and despair for the sake of teaching a lesson to the mortals? You know I've broken off from that, because I don't serve the planar council. Just like you wanted me not to.”

The father raises his scythe and quickly tears a hole into space itself, shattering the fabricated world around them both. The son crosses his arms, unfazed. The world shapes itself into a familiar cave, with burned webbing and scorch marks over the rocky bridges spanning between broken islands above an endless abyss.

“You read through your books and you observe nature as it operates upon its surface. Perhaps you understand the proper means to swing a sword, or the proper substances to construct a deadly device. But you still have not yet learned to contemplate the meaning of suffering and hardship.” The father walks along the familiar route where deadly spiders once crawled.

“I’ve gone through plenty.” The son narrows his eyes as he treaded along the path. Their voices echo throughout the empty cavern.

"You are young. The fire still burns strong within you." The father nudges the remains of a dead spider over an edge. "Too strong."

"I don't think you understand at all what this is about."

The father continues moving forward towards the altar, remaining silent, listening patiently.

"When have you ever had to deal with loss? That feeling--the sense that I just lost someone that I love--is something you've never had to deal with. You don't really get how I feel, why I'm just so angry about this--why I want those... those freaks dead!" The echoes ran through the hall.

"I have. And more importantly, I've learned how to forgive."

"I don't believe you."

"If you don't trust me, then you should leave."

The son remains silent for a moment, then approaches his father on the altar. "I'll listen."

The father nods. "You are a man of wits and rationalism, are you not?" He looks up at the dagger floating above the beacon.

"Yes, I'm hoping so."

"Then you understand the danger of a clouded mind. I shouldn't need to tell you this. Your anger clouds your thinking, impairs your judgement for the future. Many men have been consumed by the fog of these emotions and have descended into the abyss of hate. This only leads to sorrow, regret, and death. I have seen many men fall to this fate, and I have seen their souls fade. For you, I cannot allow this."

"Then what would you have me do?"

The father opens up another portal and steps through to the smoldering ashes of a building where hope was once found. "Listen to the world."

"What, as in collecting observations?" The son reaches down to pick up a portrait.

"Yes, exactly so. Don't just listen to the voices within yourself that attempt to guide you towards their screams, but instead ask and observe all around yourself. Coming to me is a first step. The world, as you would certainly know, holds the answers to the questions you seek. You've asked why the sky rains and why the rivers flow. When men weep and when they laugh. Seeking guidance from the world, from those around you, from the stars and from the oceans, is no different." The son glances up from the portrait to his father, nodding in understanding.

"But I will not be providing this answer to you directly. It's my hope that you'll find the answer on your own." The son looks down at the portrait, hiding a grimace of disappointment.

"I understand that you seek a more specific answer for your ailment--what should be done regarding recent tragedies." He steps through one last portal onto the walls of the modest logging village. "I will still do my best to guide you."

The son watches from the ground below.

"You are not like other men of the world. While you may appear and feel as though you were one of them, you are a child of the realm of dreams and souls. You are not mortal." The father points up into the sky, towards the stars. "Time has no place here."

"And praytell, what does that have to do with how I should be viewing things?"

"You have the great fortune of ignoring that terrible restraint that bars mortal men from so much of the world. You have the option of transcending time--and thus space--and yet your mentality lies in that of the constraints of mortal men. Why not give yourself time to think, space to breathe?"

The son rubs his neck, looking down onto the ground.

"Cherish the mortal world while before it warps around you, for change is inevitable. But you are safe from change in our realm while you remain here. I'll now ask you: what will clear your thinking so that you may find the answers you seek?"

The son looks up to the stars, and watches. Watching without the clouds in his head, without the anger to drive on his fire. Watching for an answer.


The father quietly nods in approval, and taps his scythe on the floor. The son smiles faintly as he steps into the portal behind him. The father turns around to view the forest beyond. "Something I wish I had learned many years ago." He sighs as the world turns back into sand and mountains.

Author's notes: Apologies for the stupid little 'smart quotes' and thus formatting inconsistencies, I switched from Word to a plain-text editor. This hasn't been proofread or revised. I'm not happy at all with the consistency of the story, but I remembered I had this sitting around for the longest time and decided I wanted to get this done for the sake of actually finishing something.

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The Animus Records Empty Re: The Animus Records

Post by BlazeZeroThree on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:45 pm

House of the Rising Sun
"That's some bright light, if I ever saw one." Animus kept his hands firmly over the boy's forehead as he lay asleep.

The bright light shone from behind the wings of the modern guardian, flying above the metropolis streets below. The light shone off the grids of windows from the beige buildings, the guardian's neutral expression stared down at the landscape below. Not condescendingly, but not with any trace of warmth. Just observance. He continued to fly as he brought light to the desolate landscape below. The breeze was light, the landscape bare, yet structured, and no one listened. No one saw, no one believed. The guardian simply continued on his way, arms to his sides, wings in flight...

The real world within the boy's room returned to vision. Various baseball memorabilia decorated the bedroom, with some cards scattered along the floor, a wooden bat propped up in the corner of the room, and a black-and-white portrait of the First Orcish League of Chicago tacked onto a wall hovering over a modest stocked with various schoolbooks. Norman stood quietly by Severus, both listening patiently as Animus narrated the dreams. The boy's father sat in front of the two, pulled up in a plain maple chair, slouched forward as he watched over his child.

Animus pulled his hands away. "And that's about it. It just keeps going on, and as far as I can tell, it's not going to be changing."

"Alright... Mr. Vox, I believe you. That's what Tommy's been saying he keeps seeing, drives him nuts. I still don't get how he can be seeing these things if we haven't even taken him out to New York or some kinda big place like that. Still, I'm thinking the angel thing could be coming from whatever they're teaching him in Sunday school down at the church. What do you think?"

"I'm not sure. I'm going to have to run a few checks around the house to see if there's a particular something hidden away. It's complicated."

"You keep telling me things are complicated without explaining anything, is there something you're trying to hide? I can listen."

Animus began to respond, but was interrupted by the tune of the radio as it switched on. The father shrugged a bit and stood up from his seat. Coffee was ready.

"It's normally been my custom to let people know everything about what's going on, but I've just been avoiding that recently. It's nothing I can't explain myself, because they're truly not hard to explain, it's more that people tend not to believe me or mistake me for lying."

Norman leaned forward a bit. "Or they sometimes get violent."

The father put down his mug. "I'm not going to get violent. And considering you're some sort of dream reader--or some kind of Soviet spy--I'm pretty much open to anything." The mother quietly laid down the plates of toast and butter on the table.

Animus took a sip of the black coffee, and looked down into the mug as he gathered his words. "A few things can be possible at the moment." Severus glanced at Animus before he took up a slice of toast.

"But most of those things are based on a particular component of nature, and what happens when that thing gets messed around with or goes wrong. Tell me, Mr. Harper, do you believe in magic?"

The father raised a brow with an incredulous expression. "I'm sorry, do you mean like card tricks or the Easter bunny?"

"No, I mean the kind there's old tales about with people flinging fireballs from their hands or flinging objects around with their minds."

"No, I don't believe in witchcraft."

Animus briefly lifted a hand, then glanced over to Severus, who had a mouthful of toast. He paused his chewing to slowly shake his head. His gaze then moved over to Norman, who also shook his head accordingly.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Harper, I'm afraid there's not much more I can do here, then." He slowly stood up from his seat, and the other two stood up after.

The father then stood up as well. "Just tell me. Please."

"I know it seems like we're keeping secrets from you, and to be honest, that's because we are."

"Are you some kind of witch, then?"

"I guess you could say that."

The father glanced around the room nervously as though there were yet another presence other than the stranger and his friends and the mother, then spoke, "But can you help my boy?"

"I might be able to. I can't make any promises."

"Then tell me what you need to do, and I'll try not to get in your way unless it's some kind of unholy ritual."

"There's nothing unholy here. I can promise you that. I've had experience in dealing with both unholy things and rituals of all kinds. Trust me, rituals are for amateurs."

The father skeptically raised a brow, and nodded to allow Animus to continue his speaking.

"Anyway, the first thing we're going to do is check for unusual sources of... magical energy, I suppose you could say. It's obviously interfering with your son's sleep and dreams, and if his dreams are any indication, I think whatever's broadcasting those images into his head might be trying to persuade him of following the broadcaster's will."

"Broadcasting? You mean like the radio?" The father and mother both quickly glanced over to the radio in the room, still quietly playing its swinging tunes.

"Yes, but with images. There's a pretty good chance it's nearby, from what I can sense. Norman?"

Norman nodded and raised his hand, palm extended in front of him, as it glowed a warm aura of light. Animus and Severus loosely gathered behind him as Norman closed his eyes and slowly navigated through the rooms in the house. The father and mother soon followed.

The group finally turned back towards the boy's room, and Norman closed his hand as it returned to his side, now instinctively gripping the hilt of his sword. "It's strongest in here."

Animus quietly nodded, and started searching about the room for the source. The parents stood at the doorway, the father rubbing his forehead with a handkerchief, keeping the mother close. Animus then abruptly paused, and looked over to Severus, who was standing in a corner of the room with his closed shortsword switchblade in his right hand. Animus gestured towards the baseball bat in the corner; Severus swiftly proceeded over, unsheathing his shortsword, which glowed an unnerving sickly green aura. He quickly, almost instinctively, sliced the bat open in half; two neatly sliced bits of sapphire rock fell to the floor out of the cut wood. He picked up the two halves, and pocketed them.

"What was that thing?" The father squinted his eyes.

"It's a broadcasting node." Severus continued studying the sliced bat.

Animus elaborated, "Whatever was putting those images in your son's head should be gone now, at least. It does mean that someone or something was behind this, and might have gone about doing this intentionally, and that worries me. Still..." The eyes in the room turned to the boy.

Color returned to his face as he snuggled into the sheets, smiling. All was well now. The parents sighed in relief as they knew.

"That also means we still have work to do. We're going to have to figure out what was broadcasting those images and why." Animus gathered himself and began making for the door, Severus and Norman in tow.

"Thank you, witch-man." The father smiled.

"I was glad to help." Animus smiled back and promptly took his leave to embark on his investigation.

Author notes: meh. Made this out of boredom. I'm not completely decided on Animus III's background, and I'm not even sure if I want him being a different person from Animus II. But anyway, have some illustration of my weird alternate modern-contemporary era. It's not fantastic or flowery or anything, again, it's just the byproduct of both procrastination and boredom.

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The Animus Records Empty Re: The Animus Records

Post by BlazeZeroThree on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:03 pm

Part 1
It was late in the evening, and the candle was running short. Animus placed his pen into its inkwell, scooted his chair back, and headed down the hall into the storage room in search of another candle. A quiet night, as usual, as Chris was once again out with his patrols. The floorboards creaked under his footsteps, yet the silence still prevailed. He pulled out a key, and slipped it into the lock, and with a turn, all the torches in the hallway extinguished themselves, and the door slammed against Animus. Perhaps not so usual a night.

Animus awoke in a plain stone room, sitting freely in a chair in the center of the room. Antimony stood in front of him, his hands patiently behind his back, awaiting his return to consciousness.

“Antimony? What the bloody hells is going on here?”

“Oh, Animus, good, you’re awake. Can I get you anything? Tea, bread… cake?”

“Now that you mention it, I am kind of thirsty—why did you bring me here?”

“I will bring you some water. I would appreciate it if you stayed in this room. Any attempt to escape will result in your disintegration.” Animus folded his hands, glaring at the undead.

Antimony left the room as the door slammed shut behind him. No lock. Animus sighed, and looked around the room, noting the odd smells of the place. It seemed familiar, yet he couldn’t quite recall what its origin may have been. He stared at the door, now contemplating escape. His thoughts were cut short as Antimony returned with a pitcher of water, which he placed on the floor beside Animus. He didn’t touch the water.

“Whatever you want, Antimony, you’re not going to be getting it from me if you’re going to be doing it like this.”

“You really want to get to the point, don’t you? Very well. I just want some information from you. I understand you have a great deal of knowledge on the nature of the soul, and I’m very interested in having some of that knowledge.”

“What, do you want me to teach you how to manipulate souls?”

“Not the basics, I’ve certainly gotten those down. Not even the more intermediate material, because I’ve studied and worked with those materials too. No one at the League of Dreamwalkers has the knowledge for which I seek—but you do, because you’re the Dawnlands’ premier… what are they called, anyway? Soulmancers? Soul scientists?”

“You could’ve just asked.”

“I could, yes, but I’m positive you would’ve rejected any notion of assisting me.”

“I would if it involved hurting others, which I know you’re damn good at doing.”

“It doesn’t involve hurting anyone. If anything, I think it’ll do great things for everyone.”

“You’re lying.”

“I may be a compulsive liar, Animus, but that was the truth.”

“Is that a paradox?”

“No. For the duration of this conversation, I’m completely open to you, Animus. I expect you to do the same, because we trust each other right now.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“But you do. You’re trusting me not to kill you, because you’re speaking against what you think I want you to say, and I’m trusting you not to bolt out past that door and out of my grasp. You’re still fully armed, as am I. We hold each other bound by mutual threat, and yet we trust one another not to use that force against one another.”

“That’s not entirely true. You could kill me, yes, but I’m not as vulnerable as you think I am. If you were to kill me, I’d just be reborn in the dream realm and I’d be fully aware of what you’ve done.”

Antimony let out a cavernous chuckle. “And so we come to my requests. Just two, nothing more. First, I want you to lend me a copy of your compendium on soul manipulation. Second, I want you to listen to me.”

“No to either. We’re done here.” Animus stood up, but Antimony held out an arm to block his exit.

“Animus, please. We haven’t spoken properly in the last three years. I know you’re scared of the past, but it’s time the past caught up with you.”

“The past is over, Antimony. Bad things happened to good people, and I’m sorry.”

“You’re only sorry if you repent.”

“There is nothing to repent for because everything was destroyed.”

“I am here, am I not?”

“Antimony, look at yourself. You’re the one desperate to escape the past, not me. You’ve never left the past where your wife and child died—and I’m sorry to bring that up—but you know you’re trapped in that past, and you’ll do whatever it takes to put your focus elsewhere. Your undeath and your magic, all for an escape. You curl up and whimper whenever you have your episodes of the past that flash into your mind. Antimony, I’m sorry, but there’s truly nothing I can do for you. Perhaps if you could find trust in others so you could have someone to confide with in your times of need, then you could find some help digging your way out of the dark pit of the past, out of the cesspools of momentary escape. But you won’t earn anyone’s trust—not mine, nor anyone else’s—with actions like this.”

Antimony stared long into Animus’s blue eyes with their faint glow. He then shook his head and placed a hand on Animus’s shoulder, and then pushed him back into the chair.

“Animus, you believe too much in your powers of speech. Perhaps you may speak or philosophize your way out of trouble, but you don’t know the truth. You don’t know what I’ve been through, or what I’ve seen, or how I feel. You speak about my escape and about trust, but you don’t know the truth. You speak empty politics, because you think I don’t know better, and that your honeyed words must contain truth. No, you know nothing about me now, but you want to believe the lies you’ve fabricated about me. Lies that everyone in the Dawnlands has tried to spread and believe about myself and my kind. You might pride yourselves in vertias, but all you care for is the politica: who is friend and who is foe. The living are friends. The undead are enemies. Faelar is a friend, Chris is a friend, and the Phidelius Empire is your enemy. You want to know who is with you and who is against you. It makes things neat. Organized. You don’t want this barrier broken, because then things get hard. It destroys the political. And you know what listening to the enemy means—formulating your own conception against whose side you’re supposed to be against—will do to you: you start to think differently. You hesitate to swing your scythe. You begin to wonder about your actions. You ask too much, and do too little. Is destruction truly evil? Can we ever accept corruption? Must we always seek justice? Questions you aren’t supposed to ask. And you know where this all stems from?

“Empathy, Animus. Yes, your basic human capacity to see through the eyes of another. Everyone has this capacity—yes, even I. But empathy cannot be triggered simply through knowing friend and enemy, no, you have to know the other and their place in the world. And this made you who you are today, Animus. You were chaos and mania once. You’ve butchered and tortured before the Dreamwalker Project. I know your history, Animus.” Antimony pulled the blue gas mask from his pocket, tinted grey with years of disuse.

“You almost killed the man you’re going to be married to in due time. Tormented him, trying to break him. It was your duty to the gods. You were sent down, and that was your purpose of being. But you began to understand each of the Dawnlanders. Those that would come to save you—you began to empathize with them; understood that they were more than people who just wanted to get rid of you. They wanted to help you. And they listened. They listened, and you did too. When they offered you help, you listened. When you spoke of souls and corruption, they listened. You became sane. You could once again see the world without obligation to your pointless duty. The world became clear. You broke the bonds of the gods. That is what makes empathy and that is what it can do to you. When you tap into that, you change. You see.”

Antimony knelt down to Animus in his seat, lowering his head. “All I ask is for you to listen to me.”

A brief pause.

“Speak. I'm listening.”
Author's notes: This is unrevised. Pester me via Skype if I don't get part 2 out soon, but I'm improvising as I go along.
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The Animus Records Empty Re: The Animus Records

Post by BlazeZeroThree on Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:24 pm

Part 2
“I’m going to start by telling you a story of a time long gone, back when I taught at the ether academy of Anthenrye. I knew a few people in town when I was teaching. And one of those people I knew was a man by the name of Anton. Big guy, pretty tall, had a penchant for casual card games and wood crafts. Never drank on account of his religious beliefs, and, well, he also claimed that drinking would poison his family. Let me tell you how I met him.”


“I don’t understand how you managed to guess the answer with an improper derivative, but I’ll accept it. With that, everyone’s free to go.” The professor began to erase the chalkboard in the musty room as the student at the front turned away. All but one of the students shuffled out of the classroom, who approached the professor.

“Excuse me, professor?” He turned around upon request.

“Yes, what can I do for you? You don’t look like any of my other students I recognize.”

“Well, no, I’m just here visiting on my free time.”

“That’s very odd. I had you figured for a soldier or laborer type, though, considering how dreadfully skinny and pale all of us academics look around here. What are you visiting for? Looking for someone?”

“No, actually, I was hoping to get a referral from someone… A, uh, endorsement for my application to the academy, so to speak.” The professor scratched his long white hair and glanced around the room.

“I’m not sure that’s how the application process works.”

“It couldn’t hurt.”

“What’s your name?”

“Anton Miller.”

“You can just call me Antimony. Now, before I can write any sort of recommendation, it’d probably help if I knew a few things about you, really… erm, how old are you?”


“A bit older than most of the students around here. You don’t strike me as one of those nobles that live around here.”

“No, sir.”

“You don’t have to call me ‘sir’. What are you, then?”

“I work for the jarl.”


“No, but anyway, I’m very interested in taking some time off so I can study here.”

Antimony raised a brow, but shrugged it off. “What might you be interested in studying?”

“I’ve visited a few other classes, and I think history is what interests me most. More specifically, military history with the Shire. You’re actually the only professor who was willing to talk to me.”

“I see. The other professors are a bit more… conventional, you could say. I’m going to be walking to the archives, you’re welcome to follow me.”

“I guess what interests me most is why all these wars and battles were started in the first place, basically, what people thought was necessary to justify all that bloodshed.”

“If you ask me, I’d just say it’s all for power and glory.”

“That’s what most people around here say, but there’s got to be more to it. I’m certain there’s certain things that go into those sorts of events, and I really would like to get to the bottom of things; really, I suppose you could say I’m more interested in figuring out why people act the way they do that leads their leaders to make those kinds of decisions.”

“Interesting. So you want to understand human nature more?”


“Good luck with that. There’s probably more to understand with humanity than decoding the entirety of the ether plane.”

“Hah, that’s probably true.”

“Damn, they’re still cleaning up after yesterday’s fire, and I didn’t manage to pickpocket a key—I mean, it looks like we just won’t be getting in.”

“Will you be teaching tomorrow?”

“Yes, actually, I’ll be running the basic alchemy workshop in the east wing in the afternoon. You’re certainly welcome to visit.”

“Will you be at the public execution tomorrow at noon?”

“Yes, why?”

“I just think they’re pretty nasty affairs. I mean, don’t people have anything better to do than watch people get their heads chopped off?”

“I enjoy them, personally. I’m sure most other people here in Anthenrye find it entertaining as well.”

“Very well. I will still see you tomorrow.”

“Goodbye, Anton.”

This is not the end of Part 2. I will continue to post more as I write more material, but I'm just posting this so I can show it's not dead right now.
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