II: Overthrow

Iaurdagnire's picture
[ Please do not place "track" comments here; this will not be updated. ]
Dag & Apeldille collaboration.

Part I | Part II | Part III

"Hm-hm, you and I both know that there are many who see us as senile old fools holding on to such things. If the elite above us cannot manage the simple task as giving ones word, who are we to keep such things alive."
He sounds argumentative, as if there is still a war raging inside himself. A warmth under his hooves is encouraging as Ephiré makes his firm way up the hill, but Dag stands steadfast to his place on high; an immovable mountain in the impending darkness.

"The world is changing, Ephiré. There's no place for dignified nonsense anymore. I have nothing to gain or to lose; why should I come to the defence of something so meaningless to Them, hm?"
Dag smirks as he turns around to meet the large moose face-to-face. They both posture as their eyes meet, standing just inches away from each other in the silence of the morning.
"What are you going to do, Stormbringer?"
The corner of his mouth lifts in a cocky smile,
"Tell me I'm wrong? Tell me that a life is worth living, even if it is short, and that I should die to please the notion that everyone matters?"
It is then he notices that Ephiré is more trim than usual, filled out with muscle in preparation. He knows very well what the tightly wound bull is going to try to do.

Dag leans in, his small black eyes fierce in the surrounding white and staring deep into the hollows above the sharpened, battle-ready beak of the raven stag as if to say... 'try me'.
"Life is suffering, and we all end up the same way."

The almost-black stag is as silent as ever when Iaurdagnire speaks; his face and body betray no feelings. His mind is a vast ocean of tranquillity. Perhaps you could see an endless sadness deep within his dark eyes if you were to look really closely - but within a heartbeat's time it is gone and replaced with the usual distanced gaze.
But at Iaurdagnire's last words, something snaps. A mad gleam is lit in the raven stag's eyes. His usual calm demeanour vanishes from one moment to another and the black of his tines seems to deepen into the very colour of the great, dark Void. He takes a deep breath and when he speaks, it is with a voice strained and pained by countless long, cold, lonely years.
It is filled with the sound of a thousand terrible things.
"Don't you dare say that to me, Iaurdagnire. Don't you dare."
Very few have seen the quiet giant even remotely upset, much less angry. This is more than anger, this is white-hot fury and madness; Iaurdagnire's words seems to have hit a sore spot.


The two stare at each other. Poised. Ready. One of them will have to move.

The torrent of cold black rage bursting inside him assures that Ephiré is the first to rise; a deep rumbling growl resonating throughout his body as he does so, while his opponent remains silent. The second Dag sees Ephiré's mask tip, he too rises onto his hind legs, and the pair strum their powerful legs in unison to plough the other back to the ground. If an onlooker were to see these titans scuttering on their hooves in balance, and hear the thuds as they struck each other’s bodies, one would fear for the trees surrounding them. Branches snap and fall above their heads as their antlers wrestle inside their boughs, but they cannot not stay aloft forever. Dag's heavy crown and long body falters, and Ephiré sees an opportunity to strike a blow to his chest. A sharp hoof's staccato against his friends patterned chest draws a new carnelian marking in blood.

From his immense throat, Dag produces a series of lion-like, guttural roars before a long, resonating rumble that Ephiré can feel vibrating through the ground as they rounded each other. It is Dag's turn to test Ephiré, and remind him what kind of a force he is up against - one that had challenged the very ocean and slaughtered razor-toothed creatures unknown -, though neither of them had ever seen their respective skills as warriors. Ephiré doesn't have time consider a tactic - a wall of twenty-two tines now rush towards him, a barricade which he has no choice but to meet and take defence. A terrifying crunch cuts through the forest, and the far sound of water scattering on the pond is heard as wading birds take flight. The force of the impact ripples down Ephiré's shoulders as he is bulldozed off the summit of the hill, his hooves creating ditches in the earth as he scrabbles to maintain his footing. Dag had locked him into his central beams, and as if to make Ephiré aware of just how much control he has, he pulls the giant moose to his side and back up the hill. A stag cannot wield such an extraordinary weapon without knowing the finer details of how to utilise it, and after perniciously grinning down the beak of his prisoner, a sharp turn of the head alters the position of Ephiré's tines in his own. They are now loose, only for the Fortress to then unleash the purpose of his gaping outer pincers.



Dag tosses them inwardly in turn, and like the deadly swipes of a bear's paws they each dive into his opponent’s shoulders in rhythmic succession. Coarse gurgles of pain scrape Ephiré's throat as he is pummelled, each blow piercing the muscle and leaving two deep puncture wounds in their wake. Jolting his head back and forth he untangles himself from Dag's clutches, writhing and withdrawing until they break apart, facing each other and heaving for breath.
"I am being merciful," Dag maniacally cackles, "I'd rather kill you for being brave enough to face me, than watch you die by another with the rest of them."
The madman gleam in the raven stag's eyes only shine brighter at Dag's words and a joyless smile touches the corner of his mouth.
"You might find I'm hard to kill, Iaurdagnire."
With that, 'Scar-giant' smiles and stomps the ground, rearing and throwing his head to show the ease of which he can tear up the air with his severe supernumerary tines. There is blood trickling down Ephiré's legs into puddles where he stands, the pain forcing him to hold his head low and giving Dag another opportunity to take him down.

Roaring victoriously, Dag leaps into a charge and thunders toward him. Ephiré holds his ground until the last moment where he narrowly misses the wall of tines by side-stepping, bouncing his hindquarters away from being caught out. Dag turns and rears to swing his antlers down and across in a wrecking ball motion, aiming to knock Ephiré off his feet... but he simply isn't fast enough. Any and all attempts to strike are skilfully avoided; Ephiré's shorter body and long legs allowing him to pivot and make precise movements rather fluidly around the long and top-heavy brute. But the longer Ephiré runs rings around him the quicker they both tire. With a last heave, Dag grunts to try and injure one of the mutilated shoulders further, threads of saliva spilling from his mouth as he does so. Another miss, and as if to mock him, the raven stag darts alongside bowing his head low, his own impressive tines hooking into the behemoth's thick hide. With a sharp turn, the flesh rips open as Ephiré departs to a safe distance.

Still contained upon the hill, they pause from their battle to catch their breath. Steam rises from their backs, and one of Dag's hind legs is seen to be twitching with the sharp pains throbbing from the deep and open wound inflicted upon him. Ephiré can see how to conquer the Fortress' wall - to slowly chip away at the foundations. He doesn't allow Dag to rest long before springing forward again, swiftly jamming his antlers into the weakened hind leg. As Dag tries to follow on his movement, he spins and successfully drags a tine across the other side. This continues for some time, the one particular right leg being shredded with each pass of Ephiré's attack. Through all the growls, hisses and animalistic profanities, Dag manages to knock him a few times before catching both of Ephiré's antlers into just one of his.

The patterned stag cruelly chuckles. Got you.

Ephiré says nothing, but had Dag in that moment glanced at him from the corner of his eye, he would have seen the raven stag's face alight with a joyless maniac grin, lips pulled tight around teeth stained red by a trickle of blood down his cheek.

However, even though Dag manages to drag the moose bull around just a few feet, suddenly he can feel himself being pushed downward; with only one tine interlocked, he is not the one with all the strength at his disposal. Dag's muscular, tree-trunk of a neck counts for nothing as Ephiré clenches his teeth and pushes down, down, down, with all the leverage and full control over his body's strength despite his wounded shoulders.

An increasingly dark rumble rises from Ephiré's chest as one of Dag's hooves bends, reducing the giant to being down on one knee. Summoning all of his might, Ephiré rears to momentarily break away before coming down on him with all the rage of a mountain's storm, crashing his antlers headlong into Dag's before he can recover to stand. Utilising the momentum of the collision, Ephiré pushes to drive Dag backwards so fast that his back legs are swept under him. Releasing their antlers, Dag is thrown spectacularly down the front of Dandelion Hill, body battering the ground and antlers digging up the earth as he rolls. He comes to a stop in the now massacred flowerbed at the hill's base.

Once standing, Dag looks up to Ephiré who has overthrown his stronghold and taken his place. They are both utterly exhausted, each with injuries so severe that under any normal circumstances they would have been forced to stop. But both are as stubborn as each other, and they simply stare, waiting for one to show a sign of giving in. Ephiré moves his front legs farther apart to alleviate the stress on his punctured shoulders, and that is all Dag needed - an opportunity.

He didn't roar or make any other vocalisation to signal his action. It was all or nothing; Dag erupted into a full-on gallop and raced up the hill, eyes fixated on Ephiré who he had no time to move, only prepare. Ephiré lowers his antlers and braces for impact, but instead his head is dashed to the side by a sideways sweep of Dag's artillery, quickly followed by a shoulder-barge causing him to stumble and expose his flank; he had been blind-sided. It is Dag's intention to return Ephiré's action, and he drives his antlers under the raven stag and dangerously shows his strength to do the same. Ephiré is shoved and tossed over in a similar fashion, legs crumbling beneath and falling down the back of the hill toward the Ruins.

The sun has now risen fully, and Iaurdagnire takes his rightful place at the summit.

"You see, Ephiré!"
Dag shouts, his voice crackling through his rasped breathing,
"My reason is my strength, so I cannot lose!"

Ephiré's roar is the very foundations of the world crumbling under the weight of a universe filled with black stars. Never has his voice been heard like this in the forest — the cracking, thundering, stone-grinding-stone shriek resonating into the earth, rumbling under the giants' hooves. The madness in his eyes is now replaced with something else entirely; a black empty gaze devoid of the smallest shred of anything that is Ephiré.
Only blood-lust in his eyes as he rises to his hooves, unknown energy resources making themselves known as new strength trickle into his bones by Dag's self-confident boasting. He barely looks at this thing his friend has become before him; his heartfelt fury making everything around him seem weak. There is an aura of unyielding fortitude emanating from him, and in himself a feeling of pure force of will that could fell the Great Oak and dismantle every wall of stone in the Ruins.

Iaurdagnire can see that feeling in the raven stag's eyes; and the giant knows that only the slightest push will send Ephiré into the rampage he is all too ready to unleash. The red-chested bull raises his head high, and looks down upon the one beneath him, his brontidal rumbles tickling through Ephiré's hooves once again. And he is away, trotting down the hill in long muscular strides while exposing his deep steel-grey metallic side - torn and bloodied - daring the fallen to meet him on even ground and try his hand again.

Ephiré does not hesitate to charge the moment Dag in his line of fire, head down in a stampeding trance with only one allowed outcome: to take him down. Let loose the storm.

... But Iaurdagnire's growling stops as soon as he sees the sharp beak of the mask turned downwards. Ephiré, engulfed within his own mind's overwhelming tempest does not care to look up; if Dag is to move, he will simply follow - relentless and unforgiving until Dag is seen beneath him.

Iaurdagnire stands still, every ounce of malice and intent leaving him. Ephiré cannot not see the normality of his face.

His friend just stands there...

... and exposes his throat.


Thinking you were right, Only

Thinking you were right,
Only to find that you're unkind.
But ironically you will always be,
Belle of the ball at least to me.

I'm caught in the symmetry of your mind...
Sighthoundlady's picture

As hard as it is to read

As hard as it is to read about these two fighting, it is indeed epic. Very well done. Heart was in my throat.
Hraeth's picture

Not really sure what to write

Not really sure what to write here, but it was an awesome read. Well done, you two. The artwork's beautiful, too.
Pegasicorn's picture


Fincayra's picture

I loved reading this.

I loved reading this. ♥
FaunGrae's picture

It fits.

It fits.

ForTwoLifetimes, Moonsoverwater, PandaXiongMao, MissButterflyCaught, FaunGrae, All the same, a friend with many names.
Avatar by Meadow Sig by SightHoundLady
Kaoori's picture

thinking of usual calm ephire

thinking of usual calm ephire turning into a full blown angry bull is terrifying.

It's like clash of the titans.

well done.
Apeldille's picture

A big thanks to you Dag for

A big thanks to you Dag for letting me participate in this ♥

also so excited for the next part waaah

gglidden's picture

Quote:thinking of usual calm

thinking of usual calm ephire turning into a full blown angry bull is terrifying.

It's like clash of the titans

I definitely agree with that. Although I never really roleplayed with Ephire, seeing him this angry and picturing him with an insane is beyond terrifying.

I really enjoyed reading this, I'm anxious to see what happens next. c:
Ring The Bells That Still Can Ring.
Forget Your Perfect Offering.
There Is A Crack In Everything.
That's How The Light Gets In.

(A part of the lyrics of Leonard Cohen's Song "Anthem")
Seed's picture

Boy, this is some intense

Boy, this is some intense stuff... This second part was really well put-together. Can't wait to see more!
Hart's picture

Dag seems to be acting very

Dag seems to be acting very wolf-like, especially in his pose... I wonder if he's possessed or something.
parrotsnpineapple's picture

I think ephire caught a

I think ephire caught a cold....
He isnt acting the way he would D8

Anywho. Wow.
Apeldille's picture

Dag's words seems to have

Dag's words seems to have poked at a very sore spot -- I had no idea Eph would be this angry because of it. Rather surprising~

Silverpaw15's picture

*futilely keeps clicking the

*futilely keeps clicking the "part II" text.*

This is amazing. O_O I can't wait to read more.
Iaurdagnire's picture

Lung - Ha, nice choice of

Lung - Ha, nice choice of music after all...
Sight - Thank you. We were going to try and find epic battle music, but we didn't want to overdo the epic (;
Hraeth - Glad you enjoyed it!
Pega - .u.
Fin - ♥
Faun - Hm?
Kaoori - Ephiré is fucking terrifying! The clash of the titans phrase was always in my head writing this haha.
gglidden - Yay, I can't wait to post what happens next! But I've not been well so I'm a little behind ^^'
Seed - I had you in mind every time I had to try and distinguish between who is doing what to "him" and who "he" is haha. Really pleased with how well it came together.
Vee - Hm, I didn't really realize that. I imagine his behaviour to be prehistoric and dinosaur like, for some reason... just because he's massive haha. But also, I hope Dag's behaviour comes off... undesirable and fake.
parrots - Eph caught a bad case of the batshitcrazies. ♥ (:
Silver - Ahh is that confusing? I underlined it so that you know you're on part 2... but thanks, sit tight!

-Highfives 'Dille all over again-
Hart's picture

Very much so. This story has

Very much so. This story has me very emotionally effected. So much worry for them both! I keep stalking things like a bitch lol.
You two make a great collab!
Silverpaw15's picture

Pfft. I guess it was. Or

Pfft. I guess it was. Or maybe I'm just tired. xD
Although, it is one of the principle rules in user experience design to not underline text that are not links. ;D In this case, the brighter text might've been enough on it's own.
But meh.
Awesome, nonetheless!

Woah.. This is amazing.

Woah.. This is amazing.
Munkel's picture

I love to see Ephiré like

I love to see Ephiré like this for once, but I love the whole of this.. simply amazing c:
Iaurdagnire's picture

Vee - Stalker put your stalk

Vee - Stalker put your stalk away and have fun at Mis' place instead. Nothing will be happening to this until I get my butt in gear!
Silver - Haha you're being taught technical things I see? From a design perspective, the rules are different. Much to teach you, I have... but that can wait for msn. I think you'll find it interesting.
Selruil - Thank you (:
Munkel - Only once, though. Right? ;;
Munkel's picture

Yeah I hope so ;n;

Yeah I hope so ;n;