A Tale of Sorrow
The voice in the dark rang in his ears,echoeing off unseen
walls,reverberating again and again,an eerie cacophony in the darkness of the immense void.
On his knees the man raised his head to question the unseen speaker "I don`t understand".
The echoes subsided,silence fell over his broken torso before the cold voice spoke again "At the end you fell Chongun,I watched your tears",old instincts returning the warrior went for his weapon,years of training making it more reflex than conscious thought.
Yet the weapon wasn`t there.
The voice rang out,cruel and mocking "The dead have no use for mortal tools,in life your blade served you as you served me,,yet both are useless to me in death"the laughter was deafening,filling the mans soul with fear,powerless he awaited his fate.
Flames sprang up around the dieing man as his spirit was burned from his body,moments passed as the fading flames consumed the last of the light,the blanket of darkness falling once more over the ancient chamber,forever hiding the scorched mark on the floor,the only mark of a sad warriors passing.
Huma stared into the flames,his blanket around his knees and his cloak wrapped about him,he was still cold "I am getting old" he grumbled to himself,and while he tryed to dismiss the thought,he knew it to be true,for he had seen it from the start,HumaOfLance was older than most men,he was even old in the times of The Great Shift,tonight, however was no time for complaining thought the old muse guide,the shaman was very specific about what she wanted him to do.
He unwrapped the pouch and threw the contents over the dancing flames,the flash blinded him and he stumbled to the ground.
The wind knocked from him,Huma checked his old bones and cursed the shaman for her trickery,it was somewhere between his intensive string of Bluetooth curses and his vast array of Barbarian style insults that the visions came,mercifully rendering the cursing muse unconscious.
A young knight drives his blade into the soft earth of a hidden grove,time seems to be differant here,years pass in moments,now a hall stands where the blade once was,the man still stands there yet sunlight shows the flecks of grey in his hair,and his expression is sadder, now time moves forward for the last time and the hall is a ruin,blight and corruption rotting the very foundations,where the sword once lay beside the grand hall,there is now a indent in the ground,where the knight once stood before the stone pillars,the weeds now cover.
Both sword and knight are gone.
The scene changes,like a pond rippling in the breeze,images stretch and form,flowing and moving into a greater picture.
An old knight lays dieing on the steps of Buya palace,too old now he was no match for the Blue dragon,the people looked on as the Chong Ryong palace defender defeats the old warrior.
EldritchFire knew this was how we would fail,he knew he was too old to fight,yet he couldn`t watch the blue dragon drain the magic from his land,he couldn`t stand by and watch while they destroyed all that he and the ones he loved had built.
Turning his back on the apathetic Chongun he had fought his last battle alone.
When hope is at its very lowest miracles can occur,Huma had one more vision that night,not of the past,but of the future,he saw a thousand wolves and a dragon,each wolf majestic and proud,the dragon was fleeing them.
Upon waking Huma had placed his adventuring cloak around his shoulders and stepped out of his door,before the figure in front of it could even knock. Fastening their cloaks about them,wordlessly,the two figures set off into the night,their passing unseen,cloaked in the soft veil of night. The journey was long,far into the wilderness they went,their passing un-noticed by man and beast,neither spoke,both knew if they were heard or seen it would get complicated.
The only sound that could be heard was the mysterious clinking of something heavy under Huma`s companions cloak.
By the time the two companions came to the glade,the portal was already open,Huma looked nervously at his companion,wordlessly the two sat down to wait,time was running out.
The boy Ildritch ran as fast as he could,behind him he could hear the curses of his pursuers as they gained on him,faster and stronger,these ogres were unlike any he had ever seen,he would die this night he thought to himself.
Young and untrained he had been no match for them,he remembered the words of his friend Arak as he had fallen,he had been told to run,and so he did. He wondered what a Barbarian might do in this sitaution,for his dream was to be accepted by them,his heart had always yearned to be part of a family,he had never known one.
Now the only person who cared for him was dead,the rage flared into him,defeat and anger giving way to sheer fury.
Stopping he unhitched his Hunangs axe and prepared to die,the ogres encircled him,wary of his sudden change of heart,what happenned next caused the boy to drop his axe and stare in awe.
The first ogre died within a yard of the boy,cleaved from shoulder to groin,face twisted in disbelief,two more fell in the same swing,dark blood spraying the grove,painting it with the dye of war.
The barbarian moved so fast she seemed to cast no shadow in the pale moonlight,a single battle cry and two more ogres fell to a thunderous flurry of axe blows.
Such was the ogres fear and confusion that they turned upon each other,easy pickings Wimp thought to herself.
The grove flared in holy light as Huma invoked the spirits of bygone legends to aid the Barbarian in her battle,the energy needed for it was immense and draining.
Feral and enraged the Barbarian ended the battle swiftly and mercilessly,none had been allowed to flee,that was not her way,a hint of sadness touched her cold blue eyes as she lifted her old friend Huma from where he lay,exhausted and tired the old muse had given his all,but was it too late she wondered,was this all for nothing.
As if in answer the portal flared to life and died,she looked at the boy,standing close to the portal,his eyes wide with fear as he regarded the spectre that had emerged from it,Wimp faded into the trees to watch from a distance,not wishing to disturb such a rare ceremony.
Ildritch stared,and the spectre slowly took form,into an older man,with kind eyes,a halo of fire burned all around him,his armour from days long past.
The boy would not remember the rest,for the memory would of driven him mad as the spirit joined with his,an infusion that would change his life forever.
When he awoke,Ildritch found himself by a stream,the barbarian Wimp sat close by,tending to the old magic used he had seen in the battle from before.
He felt odd,he felt like his memories,were not entirely his own,and he knew things he couldn`t of possibly guessed at before,he cleared his throat "What will happen to me?"he asked,Wimp looked up from tending the fire and spoke for the first time, "You are coming home IldritchFire,your training starts now".
Eldridge stood upon the bridge between life and death,the magic needed for the ritaul that night had drained him nearly fatally,yet it had been done. He had developed a habit of talking to his staff,as he did now,"Surely the only way to defeat magic,is to aid in bringing it back?"the staff remained silent.
"Bah,well I beleive,that one more person who can play a role in this game is one more nail in the coffin on non-creativity,don`t you agree?"he asked hopefully,in semming mockery the staff kept its silence.
"Bah,lets celebrate our slight on the dragon with a jug or two of ale eh?,I know Walsuk could never resist an old mans charm"Staff and Magician set off into the Nexus,unaware and uncaring of the trouble they had caused.
Somewhere between Eldridges seventh and eight flagon of fish wine,the entity that was IldritchFire looked out from the peak of Scribes mountain and smiled,this promised to be fun.Under the watchfull gaze of Wimp,he began his training.