Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),
Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!
First Impression: Well this was quite the tale here. A short story and a half this one in terms of quite how much we see happen even though in essence this whole thing was just this one big fight scene there.
Anyway let's get right to it,
They were fools to think they could hold him. Icarus is the child of prophecies and destiny have rarely any hold on him. The ancient Greeks told stories of him. A boy who flew high and thus the world pulled him down. The boy in the stories was naive and optimistic. He has no fictions about his fate.
The entrance hall that greeted him is large and full of light, decorated with beautiful wall frescoes and a beautiful floor mosiac. All those stories he has heard from Shayd is true then. The Citadel is indeed beautiful. Well, it was. Now, the roof has caved in and all the windows had been smashed, covering the floor with pieces of concrete and broken glass. One of the walls has several huge cracks in it, looking as if it was going to collapse any moment.
The floor was littered with a good two dozen bodies in various states of mutilation.Most of them bore sword and knife marks of some sort, several of them had been burned or frozen by his magic. The floor was covered with blood. There were long bloody streaks in the crumbling walls. Tant de choses fragiles.
Well this is quite the take to start off with. Not often you see Icarus in a story, well not often you see him in a position where he isn't that naïve person who flies too close to the sun. Immediately it seems like this is going to be a far more interesting take. Let's see where we're going with this.
Icarus walks over to the cracked wall, carelessly nudging past the corpses and skipping over slowly growing pools of blood. His tunic is splattered wet with blood, his face sprayed with slowly drying droplets of red.He gets an excellent view from here, the whole city of Vivere laid out before him.
Icarus is not angry. He is– if there was something beyond rage, beyond anger. Beyond the destructive furor verging in madness, that would be him. His face is cold, still like marble. Immovable, resolute, and for a moment he thinks if he looks like the gods did when killing his namesake in the stories
Well you can definitely see that that is a powerful little moment there as Icarus stands in the midst of horrifying and still at the same time strangely just powerful scene there. It's definitely an introduction and a half there.
"You are an idiot. ", Shayd calmly informs King Fariq.
Fariq looks expaserated, unbothered by Shayd's steady stream of insults since he arrived.
"I have already sent three mages after Icarus. "They can delay him but without you, he cannot be defeated. "
"Why did you take away his ability to travel to other realms ?", Shayd bites out, bored stiff from Fariq's deflections." That's why you adopted infant Icarus, didn't you. You cannot let anyone but you control that power." His fury is a live wire..A bottomless pit into which he will fall and never stop falling.Nails dig into his skin, eliciting spasms of pain from his flesh.
"He wouldn't stay here otherwise." Fariq finally looks up, weary eyes fixed on Shayd's own.
Oooh okay it seems we're cutting away to whoever happens to be from the looks of things Icarus' adopted parents there. It does seem that despite being his parents in this moment they're trying to find a way to stop whatever deadly rampage we were witnessing in the scene before us.
" You raise him alongside Valerie, leading him to believe that he is a prince. Then you tell that child of thirteen that no, he is not a part of the royal family. Merely an adopted pet. After that, you take away his title, consign him to to the state mages' care…"
" There was no need to prolong the farce…"
" They treat him like a lab experiment. Alternately fawning over him and punishing him if he dares to breach their most minor edicts. He is a prisoner of his own power.He centers his worth around that unique ability for the next fifteen years. And when he finally grows a mind of his own, you strip him if that ability. You cannot have your pet free, can you ?
Well it certainly looks like maybe things were a little more complicated than just a simple adoption there. Well, the plot is certainly thickening quite a bit and we're getting the impression that there was quite a bit more to this whole scene than what just immediately meets the eye at the start. There's definitely a lot of backstory behind all of this that we haven't seen yet.
But Shayd knows with a bone - deep certainity what Fariq did with Icarus. He ripped Icarus from a loving family and fed him dreams of glory. And when the time was right, he once again ripped those dreams away from him. Reminded Icarus of his place. He left Icarus with the state mages, those wolves, and didn't spare a second glance. Impotent grief will do nothing to change that.
Shayd knows what he is. That he is selfish. That he takes people for granted. They are all temporary and disposable, only there to serve a purpose - to admire him, to have sex with him, to fight him. That he is self - centered asshole who sets the rules by himself and expect everyone to fall in line with it.
That he is not worthy of his family name.
" I hope this is the final time we see each other, Uncle. ", he whisphers a final sentence, and storms out of the room.
Ooooh well that definitely conveys quite a bit and suddenly our perspective shifts again as we end up getting another person to see as the true villain behind all of the horrors that are ongoing at the moment. I am loving all of these little twists so far. Let's see where this will take us next.
Icarus bares his teeth, wading into the fight. He is not expecting much of a fight. He is prepared for one nevertheless.
" We don't need to do this.", Einar says, throwing a fireball into Icarus' face. He is one of the three mages Fariq has sent him. As if these pathetic creatures could do anything to him.
" I have missed you too.", Icarus sneers at him.
An armored helmet hides Einar's expression.It adds something to the verbal sparring,requiring that Icarus uses at least some of his concentration to decipher the tone of the man's voice.
"Well, I sure as hell haven't missed you, cupcake." Einar snaps back. "Not a fast learner, are you, Icarus. Give up--" he snaps an magic - infused armoured arm down, blocking Icarus from ducking. "Because--"
Well it looks like we've got a fight on our hands back where Icarus happens to be. Its hard to tell precisely who this is meant to be but it does appear as if this is perhaps one of the mages sent for Icarus, and one who happens to know Icarus on some level or the other.
"You--" another, faster, deflected by a magical shield, "--cannot--" Icarus snaps out a kick, easily dodged as Einar uses his remarkable ability to fly out of Icarus's reach. "-- win--" Einar dives for him, but Icarus has trained with the greatest warriors of Vivere, knows how to leap into the tackle to meet him in the air, catching his arms and dragging him back onto the rooftop. "--this--" Attack, deflect, defend. Icarus begins to grow bored. "--fight!"
"I beg to differ," Icarus says sweetly.
"Oh, baby, you know I like it when you beg," Einar quips, aiming a blast at Icarus's face.
Icarus snarls, unsure if he's furious or aroused by the man's insolence. Rather than decide on his own feelings, he decides instead to tear Einar's hand off. Catching the armoured in his hand, Icarus draws in the energy from yet another blast from Einar's palms, and converts it to heat.
Oh well that was quite the move there. This battle is definitely turning out to be a lot more than what it seems to be on the surface and I am loving it. You are hitting the beats of this fight really well here. Especially those bits of dialogue sprinkled in amongst the action just works perfectly with this.
Einar screams, as his gauntlet glows, suddenly red - hot, warping soft under Icarus' grip.
"Did you really think your meager grasp of magic, which I mastered in my cradle, could defeat me ?", Icarus hisses at him. When the man responds with another pained groan, Icarus flings him aside and prepares to…
Icarus finds himself crashing head-first through the roof, down three stories and suddenly covered in plaster and rubble, blinking in amazement. Dancing black spots hover in his vision.
Zuri floats above him, draped in her red cape and golden armor.
Oooh well it seems like we've got another one joining the fight here in the moment where the first attacker there did seem all set to be defeated. Well this is turning out to be an awesome fight scene here.
Suddenly, William is here , lifting him up and tossing him out of the window. He can see the pavement below, rising up to collide with him.
It's as if they think Icarus has no more tricks up his sleeve.
Icarus snaps his arm outwards, drawing his magic around him like a cloak, and disappears.
William's sword swings at the empty air where Icarus isn't, Zuri spins to face Icarus who appears behind him. She isn't fast enough and a white ball of energy blasts her back a good twenty feet.
Icarus laughs. He can't help it.His heart is beating wildly in his throat. He revels in that ugly, rotting specks of fear lurking in William and Einar. He is a god amongst men. A trail of destruction, a blaze of brilliance. And he loves it.
" Tired already, are we", he quips and smiles. A smile that promises that somebody somewhere is going to get hurt.
Ooooh well it looks like we've got all three of those previously mentioned mages then. And quite clearly Icarus does in fact happen to know all three of them. Icarus' confidence there as he has to go up against all three suggests he definitely does have several more devastating tricks up his sleeve there and he's all set to cause as much chaos as he possible can in this moment.
When Shayd lands on the roof, the playfighting that has been going on between the four mages stops. Einar, William and Zuri steps away, creating a wide berth between him and Icarus.
His skin prickles all over at the true-blue eyes sweeps over him, sizing him up and taking him apart like an underperforming engine, even if there’s not an inch of that skin in sight.Icarus' pale skin nearly glows in the reflected sunlight before that light slinks away to die in a loose deep-green shirt and much more form-fitting leather pants.
Shayd tries to ignore the blood.
" You should stop when you still can, Icarus."
"But why would I ever, Shayd.", Icarus retorts, a mischievous smile playing at his lips.
Oh it seems even the person calling out the uncle from earlier has arrived here to try and stop whatever rampage has been started out by whatever revelation seems to have happened that Shayd confronted the uncle about. Loving the way these two POV's manage to combine here.
That's the wrong thing to say. " Don't tell me what I have suffered." . Icarus hissed venomously.Strained and sharp azure eyes flickering with a primal rage, vicious and raw.This was a man who just wanted everything around him to burn and crumble to ashes, right before the flames he lit swallowed him whole.
And dammit if Shayd doesn't exactly understand what Icarus is saying. Shayd has never liked being told to do things. He is the black sheep of the royal family, a disappointment to every living creatures of Vivere. Talent and brains don't mean shit if you are found drunk in shady bars three times a week. Everyone except Icarus, he had hoped.
" Why the Citadel ?", Shayd asks.
Okayy...well this is proving to be a really interesting conversation and I really like how the battle doesn't really seem to stop during it. It goes to show both just how powerful of a fighter Icarus is and it makes it seem that much more realistic given the kind of stakes that we are working with in this moment.
" I want to destroy Vivere. And this seemed as good as any place to start. " Destroy a kingdom single-handedly. Shayd would have laughed at Icarus if he thought Icarus meant it.
Zuri and William are already impatient, itching to attack. Their somewhat civil postures are again slipping into defensive ones. Sighing, Shayd snaps his arms out and summons his magic.
Well it looks like despite whatever that is, even with Shayd understanding where Icarus is coming from, there's not much choice there but to simply fight this out because Icarus seems very set in his plans here, ones that appear to be at least somewhat justified by how he was treated.
" Why are you giving me this ?". Shayd looks at twenty five year old Icarus. They are at the top of a tower of an active construction zone. Icarus has woken him up and involved him in a merry little midnight chase and finally led him here. Its a patchwork structure. The building would be named 'Citadel' when it's finished. It will be an art gallery where the kingdom's greatest pieces will e displayed for royal guests. It's not nearly done, but Icarus had scaled it with ease. Half - horrified and half - delighted, Shayd had followed. 'You are mad', Shayd had yelled out. Icarus had merely laughed.
" Do you trust me ?", he had asked.
" Should I ?", Shayd has replied.
Icarus smile is the death of angels; Lucifer, laughing. “No,” he says, meeting Shayd’s gaze straight on. “Trust me anyway.”
They end up sitting together on the edge of the roof, shoulder-to-shoulder, although Shayd isn’t quite as eager to let his feet hang free off the side and has them crossed beneath him in a nice, stable tailor’s seat. The whole of Vivere is laid out before them. His heart is screaming, still, and his breathing has yet to go back to normal. Adrenaline is one hell of a drug.
Oooh okay somehow we've got ourselves into a little bit of a flashback. It does seem like we have got ourselves almost a bit of a reference to whatever secret magic is going to end up being used in the main scene there. There's definitely something about this little conversation and this little gift that seems to suggest that.
Icarus drags up reserves of magic he's never before dared, forges a sword from lightning and ice, darts screaming across the skies to strike at his enemies's heart. He burns through everything, all the weapons in his arsenal, and fights as if his energy is endless.
Icarus has twenty seven years of hate to fuel his rage. It's enough. He needs nothing more.
He may be about to fall, but this shall not be a fight easily forgotten.
"You shall pay for your betrayal!" William says, wielding his sword.
Not bothering with a response, Icarus throws himself forward to attack, his blue-gren spear flashing, forcing the mage to take first one step back, then another. He slices a thin piece of flesh from the creature's cheek, cuts the guard clean off of its helmet, and smirks as he hears the thing's furious howl of pain.
Oooh we can actually see Icarus being affected there. Even though he is doing so much to just somehow hold his own against all four of these fighters now, you can see that it isn't exactly a walk in the park and Icarus absolutely just has to draw on every single bit of fighting knowledge he has to try and make things happen. I think that's a beautiful way to sell quite how big of a fight this happens to be.
Shayd fires three ice blades at him. Icarus' magic shatters them mid-air. He sents the shards flying back at Zuri and Einar.
Icarus flings himself into open air, catching Einar in an embrace.
"What the shit!" Einar screams, unable to see Icarus clinging to his back or to manoeuvre his way free.
It gives Icarus enough time to catch his breath, certain that the others won't risk injuring their comrade.
Icarus is tired.
Loki leaps from Einar's shoulders to the perch where Zuri has sequestered herself to recuperate. Before he can make another move, she slams her hand down and a wave of energy erupts out, blasting Icarus off his feet and onto the stone wall.
Well it looks like despite having managed to hold his own, Icarus is in fact tiring quite a bit and the other four are only just getting steadily more mad as this fight continues. Things certainly aren't looking particularly good for Icarus in terms of managing to actually win this particular fight.
Three seconds later, he finds himself at the wrong end of an energy blast comprising of the combined power of the four mages. Its one second more before he can disperse his shield and transport himself. He appears behind the group. Zuri blocks most of his blow, but his knife slices along her forearm before vanishing into nothing. She howls in pain, rivulets of blood spurting from the wound.William rounded on him, lips curling in a grimace of fear and hate. Icarus punched him full in the jaw, not holding back. His head snapped back and he went flying. He transports himself away before Shayd's fire can touch him.
Icaus' face is pale, his eyes wide open. It takes him six seconds to catch his breath, a wet rattling in his chest that doesn't bode well for future efforts in deep breathing.
Oooh this is powerful yet again. It seems Icarus is in fact now taking a couple of hits as well. It almost feels like he's fighting with the last dregs of life and power that he has in him and even as he's not holding back and dishing out injuries to the other four he himself is slowly falling here.
He feels like a mockery of the stone warriors of the past. Fractured and fragmented. There are cracks criscrossing all throughout his torso. Blood is seeping steadily out of the fissures, and he can't do anything, because the pain which he has always felt is a crescendo underneath his skin and it is breaking free.
So many threads, so many choices, so many many fates. All his; none his.
Oooh that's a beautiful line there at the end. I think it sums up what we heard of this backstory so far quite nicely. We're definitely seeing Icarus getting ready for something of a final stand there, one where it seems he plans on defeating his opponents and then perhaps perishing himself from those injuries.
" Kill you ! Why the hell would I do that ?". Shayd pauses a moment before adding. " Are you high ? Not literary high. Which we are by the high. Thousands of feet high. A teeny tiny fall would make a intenstine-flavoured pasta out of this pretty body. But what I mean is, are you high metaphorically. Or sort of metaphorically, I guess."
Icarus laughs, stretching his arms out behind him and leaning back; moonlight turns him to marble. A soft, dazzling sound, too brief, but wonderful." Its not like that. I am powerful." Icarus says this without a hint of modesty." And something might happen to my mind someday. Mind magics are uncommon, but not rare.Its still not cause for worry. Its unlikely you will ever have to use it. But I want you to have it nonetheless.It will strip away my power."
Before Shayd can say something to suss out this bullshit lie, Icarus kisses him. The kiss is hungry. It feels like a miniature supernova condensed into a pair of lips and hands and Shayd can't get enough of them. There's a raw gleam in Icarus' eyes and Shayd can't help thinking what they will look like in the dark, above him.
The gemstone is promptly forgotten.
Ooooh well isn't that a spicy scene to link back to. Well that flashback is certainly a scene and a half there in terms of outlining the connection that Icarus has to arguably his most powerful opponent in this fight and suddenly we can see quite a bit more about perhaps the emotion behind how Shayd understood Icarus' position and that just injects that much more power into the fight that we are witnessing play out here.
It's a sorry sight. He screams vehemently as he does. Shayd casts a small spell to ensure he isn't reduced to mush when he hits the pavement. The gemstone sits dead in Shayd's fist, its power used up. Something essential and vital has been torn away from Icarus. The magic of the gemstone has sunk into his power and wrenches Icarus' magnificent power from his chest.
Icarus' face whips around to him. Fury bleeds into the marble planes of his face,now, and Icarus bares his teeth in a snarl, bitter and hurting, an animal struck.
All Shayd wants to do is to throw down his blade and grab this stupid fucking kid and wrap his arms around him; run his fingers through his hair again, grip it just enough out of affection, tiptoe enough so he could whisper into his ears that it’s going to be okay, Pretty Boy, I know, I’m sorry it got this fucked up and I’m sorry you’re so fucked up but you’ll be okay because so am I, kiss those tears running down his chin, run his tongue across his cracked lips and dart it behind his teeth, hear those whimpers and half-sob-half-moans as fists clutched the fabric of his tunic, yanking them even closer, together.
Well it looks like despite all of that Icarus does in fact manage to fall there after all and now suddenly it seems like less of a flashback and more of just the present which is a little confusing. Perhaps I interpreted the earlier thing a bit wrong as a flashback but it is hard to see at this point. Let's see where the rest of this is headed.
He hated how Icarus still looked sorry, even as his lips trembled with rage.
He wants to wreck something, anything, anyone.Was it Icarus himself, standing rigid as he gawked down at him with those proud, tear-streaked cheeks? Those pink lips parted? The shuddering fingers that had been pressed against the left side of his chest, now raised away from his chest and in front of both of their visions, red clearly visible on them as well as the spot on his green blue tunic growing bigger?
If attention whores needed attention to thrive, so be it, because it damn well saved them.
He pressed his lips together. Staring down that hard gaze, and wondering if he imagined the brief flicker of something like yearning across Icarus' face. “Is pride really worth dying for?” Shayd pushed, a little harder, and Icarus' smile is knife sharp and doesn't touch his eyes, something startlingly brittle about the expression.
Well this definitely seems like we're at the end of this here fight, Icarus is a bit too wounded to actually be continuing with this fight. It now remains to be seen if somehow Icarus can be subdued and some sort of healing can happen here or if we're just going to see it all end in misery and pain.
“I have so very little else."
His next breath is like broken glass, sharp and brittle in his chest; claws around his heart. He opened his eyes to see Icarus watching him dark gaze too heavy, and he had to look away, gritting his teeth.Shayd wishes he could have done more. He wished he could have given them their improbable happiness.
Einar and Zuri approaches. He stops them is a gesture. They are eager to kill, eager to please King Fariq.But they have not known the cold sting of fear,the bitter caricature of despair, like Shayd does. It makes him sympathize a little more with his lover than his peers do. They bristle, but they obey.
Icarus's eyes flick over to them and he chuckles." You know, I am already dying, right ?"
He does. No one survives having their magic torn. Not even Icarus.
Well that's quite the statement. I really thought that just maybe despite all of what we saw earlier we're going to see Icarus have some sort of moment after this fight but it looks like the wound he's currently on the floor from will be fully fatal there. And now we're certainly barreling towards something bittersweet at best.
"How much time do you have left ?". Shayd's voice is quiet and toneless.
Icarus shrugs. "Five minutes give or take."
"Did you ever love me ?", Shayd asks. He makes no attempt to hide the quiver in his voice. He has never needed any pretense with
Icarus. "I did.", he adds, perhaps uselessly.
Icarus looks away, his face going through a myriad emotions, before finally settling on a wan smile. "Thank you for loving me then." He gulps before continuing, " You know, I would have never killed you, right ?"
Shayd nods. That's as close to a declaration of love as Icarus will ever come.
Well it looks like we are embracing the bittersweet in that moment and that hint of love that we saw is truly there but it seems it has all been realized a bit too late in this fight and ultimately Icarus is going to perish after making that one last little declaration.
There's no flowers at Icarus' grave. Shayd hadn't expected anything else but the reality still smarts. To think that he was the only friend of that bizzare, intoxicating man seems…unbelievable. If the world rejects someone like Icarus, Shayd doesn't want anything with that world.
But it was not the world who failed Icarus. He did.
Something sharp-edged and dark slithers into his chest and wraps itself around his spine. He wants Icarus here. He wants to tell stories and jokes to him. Something that would bring bright amusement to those too-blue eyes, or something that would catch his attention and keep it, breath held in anticipation against the next knot in the tale.
Something halfway between a laugh and a sob crawls it's way out of his throat. He really wanted Icarus damnit.
He can still him in his mind's eye, like it was yesterday. Dark hair, pale skin, razor cheekbones. Annoying drawl, contrary nature, sharp eyes.
In the end, Shayd leaves the flowers at the grave and walks out of the cemetery. He makes the customary promise to himself that he won't return here next week.
He doesn't keep it.
Well that's a powerful ending to cap it all off there. I think it truly is quite beautiful there to see. In the end there was love, and because of many other misunderstandings and horrors that happened it had to end in that tragedy. I think you go a wonderful job capturing the gravity of those final moments there.
Aaaaand that's it for this one.
Overall: Overall you've managed to tell a surprisingly powerful tale there through the medium of just this one long fight. Its really amazing how much backstory and emotion you managed to pack in here and ultimately I think it leaves with quite a few emotions to think through. Really quite well done there.
As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.