Bloodstone Fiction:Corruption Part 1:The First Meeting The female approached the gates of Mistas with confidence, completely ignoring the multiple Jukan bows pointed in her direction. Behind her folded crimson wings trailed a giant four armed beast bound with gleaming iron chains. “I want to speak with your leader,” she called from halfway across the wooden bridge. One of the Jukan guards lowered his weapon and strode towards her position. “Why should we take you to him?” The lizard-like man demanded with a disapproving hiss, “What is your business with Jirog?” “I just want to help him with his persistent problem of the Meer,” she smirked slightly, “It will be worth his while, I guarantee.” The reptile studied the succubus and her companion for a while, and then turned to one of his subordinates. “Get Jirog!” he barked. Moments later, the Jukan soldier returned to the gate, followed by an imposing Juka lord clad in coordinated pieces of polished iron and copper armor. His golden scales only appeared from the opening in his ornate helmet, and his jade green eyes examined the newcomers carefully. “Why have you approached my city?” Jirog demanded. “Speak quickly!” The succubus met his gaze with her own black stare, “I wish to secure an alliance with you.” “We have no need for alliances with lesser beings,” he snapped, “That creature cannot help us any better than my own warriors.” “He can keep the Meer and others outside of your gates while you train more soldiers,” she countered, “but he’s not my only source of power.” As if to prove her point, the succubus removed a grape sized red gem from the leather satchel at her side and held it in front of the Juka lord. “Hold this,” she stated. “We already have riches,” Jirog said, “your rocks are worthless.” “My rocks can make even your most inexperienced soldier into a formidable warrior,” she explained, “and with them, you can end the fighting with the Meer for good.” “You lie,” Jirog seethed, “Leave at once!” “I can prove it,” she motioned to the young juka sent to fetch the warlord earlier. “Hold this,” She told him, practically shoving the red orb into the soldier’s clawed hand. The fresh recruit looked stunned before beginning to glow red like the succubus herself. Jirog pulled his longsword from its sheath and charged his recruit, but the glowing Juka warrior parried the attack with ease. “Go on,” she urged, “return the attack.” The warrior pulled out his own sword and advanced on his warlord with no hesitation. Jirog attempted to block the blow, but fell to his knees from the sheer strength of his opponent. “That’s enough,” the succubus said, turning to the stunned Jirog, ”Are you convinced?" “Come,” the warlord told her, “We should speak of this more in private.” “I agree,” she smiled, “Please lead the way.” Part 2: Seeds of Rebellion Captain Varand put his freshly polished gauntlets on as one of his underlings entered the barracks with a message of summons from warlord Jirog. He grunted in response, and made his way to the central building his lord claimed. The double wooden doors opened with a loud whine, announcing the captain’s entry into his lord’s domain. “You summoned me, Lord Jirog?” Varand bowed. He pretended not to notice the strange succubus sitting atop an identical throne at the warlord’s side. “We discussed the conditions of an alliance,” Jirog inclined his reptilian head towards the female, “there are four big red gems outside the city gates. Bring them in and place them around the city, then give all of your warriors these.” He handed Varand a pouch. The captain opened the pouch to see it filled with marble sized gems. He dared not question his lord’s orders, and simply nodded in reply. “Once you’ve done that, station some of your warriors around the moongate to the east. They are to stop all travel into and out of these lands.” Jirog continued, “Is that understood?” “Yes, Lord Jirog,” Varand replied. “One more thing,” the succubus interjected, “Order those that stay behind to extract some valorite elementals from the mountains.” “They will kill our kin that mine for them,” Varand told her, “Why are they needed?” “Do as she asks, Varand,” Jirog ordered. “You are dismissed.” He left quickly as the succubus began caressing the warlord’s brow in praise. It was not his concern where is lord found happiness. The concerned captain distributed the gems as instructed, and then proceeded to have his underlings move the four giant ruby crystals into the city. Three weeks later, a fraction of the Jukan soldiers marched to the Justice moongate, destroying all who tried to stop them. Gypsy traders, Meer, and even some Britannian citizens fell under the immense power the blood red Juka warriors unleashed. The carnage did not last long before Britain’s Royal Guard started to investigate. Captain Varand watched helplessly as the mass of the guard overcame the strength of his bloodstone warriors, and in this most crucial moment, he hid. He cautiously followed the Royal Guard as they defeated the succubus’s gatekeeper and fought their way into Mistas’s center. The elementals mined and tainted by the gems also proved no match for the combined force. Hearing the elven ranger speak after the battle confirmed the Jukan captain’s suspicions that the bloodstones were not good for his people. The Juka who fled Mistas that night soon returned along with Jirog and the Blood Mother. The warlord praised the succubus for her timely warning of the attack and within another few weeks, summoned the captain to his home once again. “I have new orders for you,” Jirog stated, “We are to make use of the ratman and lizardman clans to retaliate against those invaders.” “Pardon me for saying so,” Varand stated, “but they will never agree to aid us.” “No, they will not,” the succubus said with a grin, “We have means of persuading them, though.” “What are my orders, Lord Jirog?” Varand asked, hoping to speed up the meeting. “Take one of those bloodstone nodes to each of the villages as a gift to the rat and lizard leaders,” Jirog responded, “and hand more small bloodstones out to your warriors and the other captains in your command.” “That’s all?” Varand asked. “Yes, captain,” Jirog said, “I will lead the submissive rats and lizards along with our kin into the human city of Cove myself.” “We are attacking humans? But the guard…” Varand started. “They will be no match for us this time!” Jirog said excitedly, “We will have a new settlement in the human lands!” “The bane chosen also seek to control the cities of Britannia,” the Blood Mother stated, “though they have agreed to coexist with us in Cove for a few bloodstones of their own.” “I see,” the captain replied in nearly a whisper, “Your orders will be completed, Lord Jirog.” Varand delivered the bloodstone nodes to the rat and lizard villages as the warlord instructed. The simple minded creatures were all too willing to accept the pretty stones, if only because they were shiny. The ratmen and lizardmen soon started to turn the same color as his bloodstone exposed kin and began to follow the Blood Mother’s orders. Some of them arrived in Mistas for Jirog’s assault, while others remained in a large group at the lizards’ village. When the planning was done, Jirog marched with his mismatched army to lay siege to the city of Cove. Left behind, Varand used his station to gather the remaining Juka in the center of Mistas. He was a creature of few words, but it was time he actually stood his ground for something. He could only hope others of his people would follow when he left.