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clys

Immortal Triumvirate ~ Chapter One

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Clys was making the final preparations on her grand experiment. At last, the time was approaching when she would exit her dead and cold body, to enter a brand new one, warm and living. And she would take all her powers with her, including the immortality of undeath. This would be the culmination of all she had worked so hard for, for so long. The knowledge she had gained would grant her the keys to life itself, and all who followed her would benefit. The Immortalis would have achieved its goal - the restoration of immortality for the Sindorei. And Clys would be able to save her dear Danlily and Kittsu from ever growing old. They would live together, forever, and watch as their enemies perished to the ravages of time.

"They'll die without me even lifting a blade," Clys chuckled to herself. "All I'll have to do is wait, and they'll all turn to dust beneath my feet."

She gazed into the glowing tube that held her new body. She had grown this one slowly, with exquisite care. It had to be perfect, without flaw or defect. She had used a new technique to create a true blank body, without gender or features. When her spirit entered the body, then it would take on its final form, an exact expression of her will. She could see in her mind's eye how she would appear. It would be much as she had looked prior to her death, only better. She would be tall, slim, lovely beyond reckoning, with flawless skin, radiant hair, and deep green eyes.

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"Gods, I can't wait to have my hair back!" she exclaimed, fluffing her ratty brown locks. "And now, the final adjustments..."

She took a small test tube off her worktable, and swirled the contents. This was the final ingredient. She would pour it into the tube, wait a few moment for the chemicals to react, and then the body would be ready. She had practiced and practiced shifting her spirit out of her undead body, and had spent many hours exploring the realms in a bodiless state. It would be the work of a moment for her to leave her undead shell behind, and enter the new body, impressing upon it her will and memories, and shaping it to her desired form.

Clys opened the cover of the body containment system, ready to pour the contents of the test tube into the fluids inside. At that very moment, the door to her laboratory swung open with a crash, and three people shoved their way through it.

((prelude to this story is here: http://tn.yzeens.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2803

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The sisters exited quickly from their meeting with the Lords. Clys, as usual, did not attend as was demanded and therefore there was no one to stand for the most powerful third of the Triumvirate, the one that holds half the votes of the family corporation. Danzrielle kept up the best she could, tripping all the way to her mount behind Danyxandra who leaped gracefully from stairs to sidewalk, to curb and to street until she reached her own mount and set it on a hard ride straight to Nex’Cruor Manor. “Twenty-four hours. Twenty four hours and they think they will dissolve the Triumvirate! I will NOT lose this Triumvirate!” Danyx snarled through gritted teeth as she flogged her ride to race faster. “They will not take this from us. Clys will name an heir and she will do so now. Today. Period,” she continued to snarl as she flogged her ride harder.

The manor rose up before them, looming dark and foreboding with tall, square towers. Only the gods knew how deep the manor ran underground on the crested cliff the manor’s foundations were sunk into. They had passed what seemed like miles of mulberry trees, the trees themselves a heady and vast plantation of silk worms madly spinning the mana-infused silks that would become protective robes for priests and warlocks as well as for those who could afford the expensive fabric to be used as extravagant everyday wear.

Danyxandra’s mount reached the manor’s doors first and she slid from her ride, throwing the reins to a servant with a snarl. Danzrielle stumbled off her mount, handing the reins to the same servant with a weak smile.

Danyx bounded the steps, not bothering to pound on the door; she threw it wide, letting it bounce hard against the walls. Pulling a braided rose-vine whip from her hip, she unfurled it with a crack, rose thorns flinging against walls and terrifying servants. The Nex’Cruor butler, Skafloc, skittered to the forefront, standing bravely before Danyx,

“May I help you, Baroness?” the butler asked.

“Clys, Where. Now!” Danyx snarled.

Skafloc instinctively turned his eyes down a hall and quickly recovered, “Madam Clys is not to be distur…”

Danyx marched down the hall, tall spiked heels divoting the expensive wooden parquet floors. Danzrielle skittered behind her sister on sensible low-heeled slippers. Danyx stopped abruptly. She sniffed. She squinted at a door and then another. Ignoring them both, she raised her leg and kicked the panel between them and it gave way to reveal a secret doorway with stone steps traveling down into darkness. “Danz! Light!” Danyx snapped and Danzrielle jumped. Danzrielle grabbed two candles from the hall and quickly returned to her sister and together they plunged down the dark stairs and into the tunnels.

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"Blast it! " thought Skafloc. The two sisters had caught him by surprise. Mistress Clys had left very specific instructions that she was not to be disturbed this day. Yet here they were, demanding to see the Mistress.

Danyxandra, the more aggressive of the two had not waited for Skafloc's warning. Instead she stormed off in the direction of the catacombs, Danzrielle on tow. Stopping at the obvious basement doors, Skafloc watched in horror as she kicked in the secret panel leading down to Clys' secret laboratory. She motioned to her sister to grab a couple candles.

Skafloc grabbed a third candle and followed close on their heels, “My ladies…this is highly highly inappropriate, and you know it! Do not risk her ire!”

Ignoring him, the sisters decended into the dark depths of the laboratory. Skafloc pursued them. " This is going to be nasty!" he thought. He continued to protest as loud as he could, hoping that his voice would carry down to the depths.

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Down the tunnels twisted, converging with other tunnels and more stairs going deep into the bedrock beneath the manor. These met with yet more passageways. The land beneath the manor was a virtual crypt of tunnels. Danyx paused when needed, sniffed, sensed for the shadow of Clys. She could feel her sister trembling as she traveled. She knew Danzrielle was secretely terrified of Clys. Danyx pretended to loathe the Madam in the presence of her sister, but secretely she admired Clys’ power and strength. She did not want to go up against the Madam Nex’Cruor but something had to be done, and it had to be done right now. She only hoped that the Nex'Cruor's majordomo wouldn't interfere. He couldn't interfere, dammit. This was too damned important!

A hall with many doors on each side, cells. Chains rattled behind some. Moans could be heard behind others. A large door stood at the end of the hallway, ajar. Danyx stared at the door a moment. She inhaled deeply and with determination, she shoved her way through, standing at the entrance of Cly’s deepest lair, the main laboratory of Clys Nex’Cruor.

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Clys spun toward the open door, laying down the test tube and grabbing her daggers in one swift motion. It took her only a moment to realize who was there, and she waved her daggers as she spoke angrily.

"What the hell is this? Danyx? Danzrielle? And Skafloc, didn't I give explicit directions that I was not to be disturbed? I don't have time for this! Whatever it's about, it will have to wait!"

Clys began to try to herd the three people out of the room.

"Go now, go! All of you, out!"

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Being careful to keep the daggers in sight at all times, Skafloc swiftly blurted his apologies to his Mistress, " I tried to tell them that My Lady. They would not listen. Indeed, they barged right past me and busted down the door to your lab."

Skafloc bowed low as he slowly retreated before Clys' angry advance. He cast a glare at the two blonde women beside him.

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"Do you see all this?" Clys continued, as Danyx and Danzrielle still stood there. "This is my grandest moment! Right there in that tube is my new body, nearly ready for me to inhabit. Do you understand? The fucking Lords will have NOTHING to say anymore, once I regain my full flesh. They won't be able to undermine my authority, then. No more of this nonsense about a living heir. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Now get the hell out of here and let me finish my work!"

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Danyxandra listened carefully to Clys. She nodded with respect to the Madam but did not back down. "I will stay and watch then," Danyxandra stated firmly, her chin set stubbornly. Standing up to Clys was a dangerous position, but the Triumvirate meant too much to this family. Someone had to have some sanity. What if the experiment failed? Danyxandra wanted to see if this crazy experiment worked, because by the gods, if it failed, someone was going to have to do something fast or the family would lose everything, the silk and tobacco plantations, the vineyards, a legacy that spanned hundreds of years. This was just too damned important. The family could not lose the Triumvirate, she could not allow the Lords to dissolve the family corporation.

Danzrielle shivered behind her sister. Danyx’s eyes followed the electrical lines attached to the glass case, noted the liquids and tubes. She pondered the pulsating, giant crystals. She looked again at the body encased in the glass, the body that in just a few hours might be the new home for the spirit of Clys Nex’Cruor, whole in living flesh again. Danyx thought she saw the wrapped body within the glass case twitch. She squinted and looked again. She was sure she saw it writhe on its own.

Danzrielle saw it too and leaned closer. Reaching out tentatively, cautiously, she did not have the same caution with her own clumsy feet and tripped over one of the many electrical cables snaking across the floor to the experiment’s glass case. Flailing to catch herself, her hand landed on a flexible hose and she grabbed onto it like a vine to steady herself. The hose gave way, spewing burning liquid like an errant firehose full of acid from one end of the cavernous laboratory to the other. Screaming in agony Danyx and Danzrielle fell. Danyx landed atop the glass experiment case, shards exploding all around her. A large chunk of glass plunged through her leather chest guard and ripped through her heart. Danzrielle twisted, still trying to catch herself her feet ripping up electrical lines. The power within the now freed lines surged them like living pythons, spitting sparks and igniting spills puddled through the cavern. Clys howled. Danyx gurgled as blood rose from her serrated heart and she landed in death upon the body of the experiment. The shard imbedded in her chest co-imbedding the chest of the body of the experiment, her blood and the blood of Clys’ waiting fresh body surging together.

Danzrielle continued to flail, twisting herself tighter in cables and hoses and tubes. A fire from one of the burning puddles streamed towards the laboratory’s main generator and suddenly the cavern lit with blinding light, the very foundation of the Nex’Cruor manor shook with the blast. Danzrielle was thrown hard against an outer wall out of harms way, bouncing while protected in her casing of rubber tubes and hoses.

Then darkness. A sizzle. A spark. The broken case of glass started to glow. A pair of strong arms reached up from under Danyxandra and wrapped themselves around her.

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Skafloc watched in shock as the chaos erupted before him. He saw Danyxandra fall into the glass compartment, shards erupting everywhere. He took a step forward to haul her off the casing when he was hit full force with a spray of viscous, burning liquid from one of the hoses that fool Danzrielle had torn loose and now struggled with.

Biting down on the pain, he made to grab Danzrielle and stop the mad woman's flailing. He could not locate Clys in the mayhem, and Danyx was still flopping within the shattered remains of the glass case she had fell on.

She was almost within reach when a blinding light and deafening roar assaulted him. Almost immediately he was struck with the force of a blast that shook the very walls. Danzrielle, all wrapped up and entangled in hoses and tubing was thrown far back against an outer wall of the chamber. Skafloc felt his feet lifted by the blast and he was tossed up and out, to strike hard against a neaby support beam.

He fell to the ground amongst the canisters, his mind growing dim. He had a brief glimpse of Danyxandra lying within the canister nearby, which had begun to glow. Then all went dark..

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Clys screeched in anger and horror as Danzrielle stumbled, but she was not close enough to make a grab for Danzrielle. She spun around, trying to protect the body lying in the tube. Just as she began to move toward it, there was a huge explosion and she was thrown across the room. Her head smashed into the hard wall, and she fell to the ground, limp. She did not see Danyxandra impaled by the glass. She did not see her life's work also stabbed through the heart by that same shard. She did not see the arms of that body reach up and encircle Danyxandra.

All was blackness and silence.

Clys twitched, and groaned. She sat up, groggily, and tried to look around. The lights were out, and even her shadow vision could barely discern anything. She slowly rose to her feet, and shuffled toward the emergency power switch. She flipped it on and the lights flickered. The room swam into focus as she brushed her hair from her face and looked around.

The body tube was smashed. Wires and hoses went everywhere, still spurting or dribbling their contents onto the now-slick floor, or sparking and sizzling with unspent energies. She surveyed the room, and saw only chaos. Skafloc was unconcious against the wall. Danyxandra appeared dead, laying atop what was to have been Clys' new body, there in the tube. A large shard of glass protruded from her back. There was blood and vat fluids everywhere. At the far wall, wrapped in hoses and tubes, Danzrielle wriggled, unable to free herself from the tangle which had miraculously protected her.

Ignoring everything else, Clys limped over to the smashed tube. All her work, destroyed. She prodded Danyxandra with a bony finger, and was surprised to hear a slight moan. She saw that the arms of the body she had been growing for so long were now wrapped around Danyxandra. She attempted to unwrap them, to free Danyxandra so that she could treat her wounds, if indeed she was still alive. The arms seemed to release themselves before she touched them.

Clys stepped back in surprise. The body should not be moving, not without her spirit in it! To preserve her immortality, she had had to make this body in a special way, using expensive and hard to acquire ingredients. That was also the reason it took so long to grow the thing. It was a blank, waiting for the inhabiting spirit to impress a form and gender upon it. It could not move on its own! And yet it was!

Clys took another step back as Danyxandra rolled over and sat up. She took yet another step back as the body also sat up. It had a face! A face she had never seen before! It was...it was...male! And it was very definitely alive! What the hell was going on here? There was a huge gash in the male's chest where the shard of glass had stabbed through, but it was closing as she watched.

"Holy motherfucking son of a demonspawn gnome," hissed Clys through clenched teeth.

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Danyxandra eased herself up. She looked over at her sister who had already healed her own few cuts from the explosion and burns from the flying acids. She looked over at Clys who stood cussing like a Dread Pirate. Danyxandra found herself sitting in the broken glass case, a man sitting beside her, his chest covered in blood, a hole healing itself. She watched, mesmerized. No one was healing him. His naked chest was healing itself. She looked up at him and smiled. Such beautiful eyes, she thought to herself.

Realizing she was in pain, she looked down to her own chest. A large shard of glass still lay stuck between her ribs and slightly to her left, through her heart. She looked at her arms, her fingers. She looked back at the shard in her chest and slowly she pulled it out. Blood oozed but slowed. She held the shard out, up towards a light and examined the instrument of her death. She tossed it aside and let it shatter on the stone floor. She pulled off her leather chest piece, and then she removed her pierced silk chamosile, baring her breasts. She looked down at her body and watched her wound close of its own accord without her sister’s paladin healing skills. Danzrielle watched, her mouth agape. Realization dawned on Danxyandra. She lived. Her flesh was whole. She whispered silently to herself… “Immortal.”

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Slowly conciousness returned to Skafloc, starting with the awareness of an electric tingling all over his body. His head hummed with a buzzing sound that slowly subsided, as did the tingling sensation as his surroundings came into focus.

Someone was talking loudly. No, not talking. Cursing. It was Mistress! Skafloc picked himself up from the littered stone floor and cast his gaze about the room. There was mistress Clys just beyond the smashed canister, looking beyond furious, her arms gesticulating with her emotions.

The object of her attention was semi sitting within the chattered canister. Danyxandra, who was peering down at the large shard of glass protruding from the center of her chest. Beside her sat a stranger. A naked male, dark hair with a large wicked gash in his own chest. As Skafloc watched, to his amazement he saw the wound close over and heal itself!

Scarce time did Skafloc have to wonder at what he saw when he saw a more amazing sight. Danyx, pulling out the shard of glass from her bared chest and watching in awe as her own wound closed over just as the man's had moments earlier.

He took some steps forward to come to his Mistress' side. As he approached, he heard Danyx whisper.. " Immortal.."

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Clys stopped swearing, a sudden realization hitting her hard. It worked! The power of immortality was hers! But...how had it worked? What exactly had occurred during the chaos and the explosion? She must know! She would take it all apart! She would figure it out. The key was here, right here!

She approached Danyxandra, reaching out to take hold of Danyxandra's arm.

"Hold still," she commanded. She took a scalpel from among the scattered tools and drew it across Danyxandra's inner forearm, slicing the skin open. Danyxandra winced, but did not protest. In a moment, the wound had healed, the skin closed, unblemished.

Clys dropped Danyxandra's arm and swung her eyeless gaze around the room. She spotted Skafloc, and beckoned to him.

"Does this affect you, as well? Were you also caught by the power?"

Without waiting for his answer she turned to face the male who was now sitting up and looking at her with a little smile on his face.

"And you! Who are you, who has stolen MY body? Where did you come from? How did you manage to get inside?"

The elven male pushed back a lock of his dark black hair, and looked at Clys with deep green eyes. He tilted his head to one side, and grinned. Then he threw his head back, and laughed, a deep, sultry laugh that started low in his throat, and built to a crescendo of merriment.

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Danyxandra blinked. She flinched when Madam Clys sliced her arm, then watched the slice heal with a wicked sideways grin. She looked up through her lashes to where her sister stood shivering and making little wimpering noises. She looked sideways at the naked man that sat beside her.

She tilted her head, wondering if this had affected the Nex'Cruor's majordomo. Then she looked again at her sister, the one who had used her paladin skills to heal her own wounds, a sister who had not been...blessed by the blast.

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Skafloc approached his mistress' side, arriving just in time to witness her experimental cut on Danyx' arm. Just as the chest wound had done, the forearm slice healed itself by its own volition.

His thoughts on the development were interrupted by Clys' voice, asking him. "Does this affect you, as well? Were you also caught by the power?"

Skafloc was about to answer but Mistress had already turned her attentions to the stranger sitting up in the canister. Discreetly, Skafloc withdrew his belt knife and made a slice across the meaty portion of his right palm, wielding the knife with his left as was his way. Immediately the blood started to ooze from the gash. Skafloc glanced up at Clys. She was talking to the strange male;

"And you! Who are you, who has stolen MY body? Where did you come from? How did you manage to get inside?" said Clys.

The male started laughing. Beside him, Danyxandra was looking about for her sister, who was still at the far end of the room, desperately trying to untangle herself from the mess of cables and hose.

Skalfloc looked back down at his palm. There was a stain of blood around the area of the cut, but no sign of the wound itself! The barest hint of a smile crossed his lips, then he quietly put away his knife. If mistress turned back to him to inquire once more or asks to test him, he would comply of course.

But Skafloc saw no need to volunteer that information out of hand.

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