Spoiler“The King of Corpses will emerge, the Maiden will leave his path once more, and the next threat shall follow. The Brother holds plans what no man should. The King of Corpses and the King of Life stand side by side for one moment, aided by the King of Battle. The Brother seeks them all destroyed, neither for greed nor wrath, but for his pride.”
– Excerpt from the Tome of Time
King Doric stared out to the darkened city hundreds of feet below him. A snake-like path of lights and sound wound its way through the blackened human-made buildings and headed straight towards him, but curved to his left into his brother’s estate. An estate made in mockery of the building he stood on and the others that surrounded the far side of Arah. These buildings were the oldest buildings here, having been built directly by the gods. Those on the far side created a circle, separating one portion of the city from the rest – that portion being where the gods lived, and where no mortal was allowed.
The large, twisting and curving towers that no man could of built lay all around the city, and just out of reach to the so-called “Doric estate” that his brother built. Its mockery wasn’t just that it was built outside of the city’s god-made towers, but that of the seven towers the estate was made from, the central and largest was named after the king’s family. A testament to Herzog’s nature.
“My king.” A man said.
“How many times must I say it? When we are alone, my friend, I am no longer your king. I am your equal.” King Doric said as he turned to face his right-hand man.
“Yes, of course. It’s becoming a habit, with you almost always surrounded.” Malaquire said.
“Was there something you wanted?” The king said as he turned to watch the serpent of lights.
“I was merely checking up on you. You were up here for hours.”
“Waiting for what?” Malaquire decided to finally stand beside his king and equal, to watch the dancing and crawling lights. From where the king stood, just two steps would send even him to his death.
King Doric waited a long time before talking again. “Have you ever wondered why we’re here?”
“We’re here because the gods wanted us to be. Without them, we would not be on this world.”
“I didn’t mean our race. I meant the two of us. Why we are in this position of power. Why was I made king? Why were we chosen by them?”
Malaquire sighed. “You’re surprisingly philosophical today. You know as well as I that the gods have chosen us for the same reason they have chosen Grenth. And, it would seem, why Konig was chosen as well… Though why him of all people I do not know.”
“It was Dhuum who chose him.”
“And Dwayna chose you, and Balthazar chose me, and Grenth by Abaddon. You’re point?”
“It’s simple, Malaquire. Dhuum was a twisted god with equally twisted intentions. So he chose one who’d suit his desires. If Konig was chosen, then he suited Dhuum’s individual desires.”
“I still don’t see what this has to do with what you’re waiting for.”
Doric smiled in response and closed his eyes. “I’m waiting for the return of my nephew. I’m curious what aspect of Dhuum’s he was given… And I’m curious how the Six will react.”
“You don’t seem to be your compassionate self about him.”
“I don’t have to be. He’s no longer the little child I wish was my own. He’s grown up and has been cursed with a terrible fate he’s doubtful to know.” Doric looked up into the cloudy sky where no stars shown. “Besides, Dwayna gave me her life, not her compassion – if that could be given.” He paused for a long time, still staring at the sky. When he finally brought his head down, he asked “What do you think Konig was given?”
“Considering rumors claim he survived things that no other man could… probably death. It’s funny that the two Dorics chosen would be given the opposing aspects of life and death.”
“Funny indeed.” King Doric said, continuing to stare into the city.
Herzog kept his back straight as his horse continued on. The crowds’ cheers were mute to him, far from important enough to obtain his gaze. But they were why he returned with a lie. Byleth was well known for terrorizing Tyria, but suddenly grew silent as of late – perhaps he was the largest reason why the five other gods forced his former vizier to usurp the now former god of death. No, Grenth wasn’t his former vizier… Grenth was his brother’s former vizier.****
He was the vizier of the man who got everything, and took everything from his family. Everything Herzog had, he gained with his own sweat and blood. At least, that’s what he always believed.
Thoughts of Grenth turned to thoughts of his brother, and those thoughts brought up nothing but hatred. His younger brother who’s birth brought the death of their mother, who was already heartbroken from the death of their father not months prior. The three year old boy was left alone in the poor family to raise his brother. A brother he refused to name. And in the irony of it all, his name became the same as family’s name, forcing Herzog further into their shadow.
The nameless king. The one-named king. The old nicknames of King Doric ran through his head, barely soothing the hatred within him. Herzog closed his eyes and for the first time since his arrival, listened to the crowd.
It was deafening.
I will not be in his shadow anymore. Herzog thought to himself as he raised an arm to wave at his people. Yes… they were his people now, no longer his brother’s. They had to be. His brother was in this city yet the people cheered him and not his brother Doric. A smile snuck its way onto Herzog’s mouth. My people…
In the corner of his eye, he saw moving figures behind the crowd. Normally not unusual, but these were cloaked figures. And a centaur joined them. Only one centaur lived in this city and even he wouldn’t bother with the parade. Unless…
The smile on Herzog’s face grew wider as he recognized Hara’s features hidden beneath her cloak. Hara… She came to see me return. Dear Hara… my dear sister.
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Thread: Rise of a Lich, Fall of Gods.
14-12-2010, 04:04 #21
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:26.
20-12-2010, 19:12 #22
Spoiler“I’ve seen many accounts of royalty being referred to one name. Be it their first or last. Today, few among the royals and nobles withhold the last name of the original rulers – whether it be King Doric of Tyria, Kaineng Tah of Cantha, or the original Primeval King who’s name I have yet to unearth.
But, unlike the others, King Doric is a very special case. Born without parents, he was left without a first name, and for some reason was never given one. In time, he began to be called by his last name alone. One would think this would cause confusion, but there were only two Dorics at the time, it would seem: the future king and his older brother, Herzog. It is nothing but an irony that the brother who was nothing became greater than the one who was something.”
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
The gates to the Doric Estate opened wide before Konig, Hara, and Afzal got near. The servants and guards who were not shouting with glee rushed to the gate and watched with their mouths agape as they saw the return of the dead man. Rumors of the Margonite captain’s lies had reached the estate within months of the meeting, but none were believed; if they were true, than Jadoth and his crew wouldn’t have became outcasts of their own people and of the Orrians.
Konig managed to break free of Afzal’s strong grasp shortly before they were spotted and was now fixing his ruffled cloak. Konig unintentionally reached up to his still tender scar on his face. Hara had noticed.
“So where did you get that scar anyways?” Hara asked as they continued to pass by the shocked guards.
“A fight.” Konig said quickly.
“Jeez, not much for talk are you?” Hara said in response. “Well, you certainly are surprising people at least. Maybe uncle will come to meet us before we get to the estate.” Hara chuckled.
“The king left the estate this morning. Shortly after you did, Hara.” Afzal said, his gruff voice firm as he kept an eye on his former pupil.
“Aw, really? That's a shame. I just got to be sure to see his reaction when he gets back.” Hara said, a bright expression flooding her face. “You were always his favorite, Konig. Probably since he still doesn't have a son of his own yet.”
“Whatever.” Konig said as he tried to put up his hood, only to have it immediately removed by the centaur behind him.
The road to the entrance twisted around half of the Doric Estate, swerving past the tower dedicated to Balthazar before sweeping towards the central tower dedicated to the Doric family. The doors of the largest of the seven towers were swung wide open and decorated for the return of Herzog; the large entry hall was no longer its former self, now having tapestries covering the walls portraying the Doric family and their now-lost descendants, with tables continuously being filled with food and drinks for the soldiers once they arrive. But now the servants and guards waved excited and beckoned in the once-lost son and the group that joined him – a group that was no longer just of his sister and teacher, but of nearly every guard and servant who they had passed.
"Miss Hara! Master Afzal. And this is the Konig I've heard about?" An unfamiliar man stepped up to the group and observed the son of his employer. "You look just like your father, of course you are. We've sent word to Diana of the unexpected arrival. She should be down any minute."
"Oh boy..." Konig whispered to himself, in annoyance of what was happening without his will. All because I just had to return...
"Don't be rude Konig. You should have seen her when you disappeared. She probably took it the worst of us all." Hara said. Konig could only respond with widened eyes and a shocked expression. Diana didn't care for anyone but herself, and everyone knew that.
"Konig Hagan Doric!" Diana's voice resounded throughout the large entrance. The echoing voice seemed to never end as it retreated back to its origins on the top of the second floor's stairs down the circular hall.
"Uh... I may need to take that back." Hara said quietly as she saw every servant place fake looks of interests over their faces of despair and annoyance. A servant covering her ears came running from the hall which Diana's voice carried from and quickly stopped as she realized she went the way Diana was slowly heading.
Not long after the servant disappeared into another room with several others did Diana finally appear. Her hair was half finished, possibly being redone for the tenth time this night, and she was dressed in an emerald green dress. Her face was covered with wrinkles that hadn't existed five years ago; any beauty she might have arguably had was certainly gone now, unlike her ferocious personality.
Diana strode up to her children quickly - if she wore uncomfortable shoes under the dress, she did not show it. She glared at Hara for a second then turned to her scarred son. She then walked to the closest guard, pulled out his sword, and lunged at Konig.
Herzog had finally reached his palace's gates. Though everyone called it an estate, as it was officially named, to him it was his palace. His future throne. One that would be replaced with a monument greater than the gods could give once the king had died. Once he becomes king. The people who gathered behind him and the army that marched ahead of him were his, and his alone. If his brother would not die, Herzog would kill him. If he would still not die, then the king would be imprisoned. Kingship was Herzog's right. He was the older brother; he was greater than his younger; he...****
"Something's wrong." Herzog said to himself. The cheering was fading behind him, but he knew there should be more cheering ahead of him. There was nothing but silence. Herzog passed by the tower of Balthazar and stared forward. Most of the army had looped around on the circular road that led to the estate's training ground. They should have filed into the center tower for their meal. "Something's wrong."
His pace quickened. His heart began to beat faster, harder. Something was wrong, but what? Did something happen? Were they merely not ready to welcome him? Impossible, they should of been preparing all week. Was the army too big to fit? No, even if they didn't fit into the entrance, which they obviously wouldn't, they were to go into the guard's quarters, to go into the circling towers if they had to. But they were on the fields, watching the opened doors to the tower. Why?
Herzog began to run as a sharp pain singed through his head, he ignored it; those around him became more worried than they could of been - if they hadn't even noticed anything before, now they did. The entrance doors now stood before him. Afzal and Hara were clearly worried, crouched over a lying, limp, body. Diana stood in front of the body with a bloody sword in her hand, her face covered with blood.
Herzog strode forward to see the cloaked body on the floor. Impossible...
A man with long blood-soaked and blood-colored hair laid on the ground, a hole over his heart where the sword went. It should of been a quick death. But the man continued to blink, laying otherwise unmoving as if he was collecting his thoughts or trying to sleep.
Why am I on the floor?
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:27.
28-12-2010, 06:06 #23
Spoiler“In his pride, The Brother shall lose himself and become the second Monger of Death.”
– Excerpt from the Tome of Time
Hara began to cry as her brother lay unmoving beside her.
"Why... Why am I on the floor?" A voice came from her right. She turned to the tower's open doors to see her father standing there in his armor, with an expression that was both the same and different from everyone else's.
"Father..." Hara said quietly.
Herzog strode to Hara and Konig and knelt next to Konig's head. He poked at the flesh.
"That's irritating, father." Konig said. The wound in his chest finally began to stretch itself closed. Everyone jumped back in shock as Konig stood back up.
Herzog stared at his son a long time as Konig turned to face Diana.
"Was that really necessary?" Konig asked his mother as he pulled at his shoulder, popping a bone back into place.
"How are you still alive? You died five years ago!" Diana shouted. "No living man could survive that either! A demon! You must be a demon!"
"Living... I wonder if I am such anymore." Konig said, continuing to pop bones in his spine back into place from the sword's pierce. "I hope not all reunions between us are like this."
"Konig, what happened to you?" Hara asked.
Herzog's began to speak but was quickly interrupted by Konig before anyone could notice. "Made a deal with Dhuum for power. Don't you like it?" Konig smirked as he took the sword out of Diana's hands and handed to back to the guard she took it from. "You may want to hold onto your things better, nothing's more useless than having a guard who can't even protect his own weapon."
The people around continued to stand with their mouths agape. None of them as ever seen such a sight before, nor have they heard of such a sight without a god's presence in the very area. Even those blessed by the gods to use magic had never survived what they witnessed.
Out of the corner of Hara's eye, she saw her father shake.
"Not going to say hello, father?" Konig said as he finally turned to stare at the man in the crimson red armor.
Herzog's shaking continued, he stood silent, and Konig responded by remaining silent himself. Several minutes passed as the two stared at each other silently, Herzog's shaking turning into clenched fists.
"King Doric! Sire!" A servant shouted as he ran up to the king and Malaquire. He paused to catch his breath for a second before continuing. "Your nephew. He's returned! But... I think Diana finally lost it! She stabbed him!"****
"What? Where were they?" The king demanded.
"At the main entrance to the estate, sire."
The king broke into a run and was quickly followed by his captain. The servant ran with them, but quickly fell behind, tired and shocked at the others' speed.
What would have been a fifteen minute run for others had been a mere five for the two of them. They arrived without sweat or heavy breathing. Herzog stood in front of the two, his back facing them, and beyond him stood Konig as if nothing happened.
"Death it is." Malaquire said softly.
Konig... what were Dhuum's plans for you if you can control your very own death?
"Stop this both of you!" Hara shouted, tired of the silent argument. She turned to Herzog and grasped his fist. "Shouldn't you be happy that Konig's here?"****
Herzog's gaze went from the scarred man to Hara in an instance as she flew from his side. His extended arm showed to him that he instinctively hit her. And why shouldn't he? She called the intruder by his own name.
"Herzog! Have you lost it?" Afzal shouted.
"Do not call me that! I am Konig Hagan Doric! Son of that man! Nephew to King Doric! The next heir to the throne! Do not call me by the name of that failure!" Herzog shouted. He grabbed a obsidian sword from his belt and pointed it at the mimicing man. "And never call this impostor by my name!"
"You're name?" The man with the scar laughed aloud. The laughter resounded throughout Herzog's head and throughout his mind long after the man's mouth closed.
With a scream, Herzog charged towards the man.
Konig braced himself for Herzog as his father rushed forward with a scream. Sidestepping the obsidian blade, he grabbed Herzog's arm and spoke a quick chant. A faint green glow surrounded Konig's hand as Herzog's scream renewed, now in pain instead of anger. Blood trickled down Herzog's arm as Konig released it, leaving the arm limp and seemingly lifeless. The obisidian blade clashed onto the ground. Konig stood over his father as Herzog bent over in pain, first grabbing his arm then holding his head. Herzog's screams were endless.****
"Konig!" Hara shouted as she began to run to her brother and father.
"That's enough out of all of you." A deep resonating voice said from the opened door, stopping Hara in her place. King Doric stepped forward in a calm pace with a calmer, yet worried and angered, face. He strode to Konig and stared unblinking at the robed man. "I'll need to talk with you later, nephew." King Doric then went to his brother and stretched his hand over Herzog's broken arm. A light blue glow flowed from the king's hand and wrapped itself around the arm, moving it so that it no longer bent incorrectly. King Doric then moved his hand to Herzog's head and repeated the process.
As the blue glow disappeared, Herzog collapsed onto the ground. Standing up, King Doric said, "Hara, Afzal, please take my brother to rest. He should be well when he wakes up."
Hara nodded in response and helped pick him up for Afzal to carry. Diana followed the three silently.
"Come with me." King Doric said to Konig.
With a simple "tsk" sound, Konig followed the king.
Light shone through and turned what was black into red-yellow glare. Herzog opened his eyes to the brightness that disturbed his sleep. He rubbed his temple as he leaned forward. His body felt light and graceful, but something felt off. What happened last night? He asked himself.****
Looking to his left, he saw his wife sitting on a velvet-covered chair, staring outside the window... or at it. Herzog got out of his bed, dressed in his clothes from yesterday that were under his armor, and walked over to Diana. She remained still, like a statue. He turned to see where she was looking, and saw nothing of interest.
"What are you looking at?" He asked. She didn't respond, didn't move. He didn't even see her blink. With a sigh, Herzog left his wife to change his clothes and went out into the large hallway.
Hara sat on the ground, her arms wrapped around her legs and her forehead resting on her knees. She was sleeping.
Herzog scowled at his daughter and quickly turned to walk away, hurrying down the hallway toward the large central tower. Then a thought came. Herzog, stopping mid-step, turned back to face Hara, and smiled.
Konig laid flat on his old bed. Now, his feet just reached the end of the bed showing that he grew the past five years, though not by much. He was tired still, yet not tired at all. He missed sleeping on a comfortable bed, even just having a bed was kind. Though he couldn’t sleep at all, he kept his eyes closed the entire night, ignoring the whispers of the servants and guards, ignoring the few times when they entered his bedroom in their duties or patrols to keep things orderly. He ignored it all.****
But the scream he could not ignore. A shout followed after, a shout that no human voice could create.
“Konig! My son! I wish to speak with you, traitor! Dhuum has given me a vision, a vision of your treasonous actions! Come to Dhuum’s domain on Tyria, and I shall show you your punishment! Konig! My son!” Herzog’s voice resounded again and again, ever repeating itself.
It seems your back to normal. Insane as always…
Konig remembered his dream, his nightmare. The dream which brought him to Arah in the first place, and with that remembrance, Konig knew where Herzog wished him to be. And he knew he had to go, but a thought filled his head.
“I need more power.” His voice told him. His memory told him. He would go, and he would fail. Konig touched the scar on his face and grimaced at this realization.
He was weak.
Herzog’s repeating voice and Konig’s own thoughts melded into his mind and became a solid impenetrable noise. An unrhythmatic of clattering broke his thoughts. Konig unclenched his fists, forcing them to move despite their resistance, their hardening from the force he subconsciously put on them. The clattering became louder and louder, then suddenly stopped.
A fist brushed against Konig’s face as he passed by his room, and further, without any effort. Konig quickly stood up to see Afzal where he had stood.
“Snap out of your day dreaming! Hara and Diana are missing and Herzog’s calling for you. Do you have any clue what is going on?” Afzal galloped up to Konig and picked him off of the ground, racing off to the central tower. “You’re the cause of all this, aren’t you. Idiotic two-legs.”
“Don’t degrade yourself into simple racial slurs, ‘four-legs.’”
A smile ran across Afzal’s muzzle for a second before disappearing again.
“That scream was Hara’s.” Konig said calmly. Afzal remained silent, continuing to run down hallway after hallway towards the central tower. “We need to go to the west wing… To the crypts under the tower dedicated to Dhuum. That’s the ‘domain’ Herzog’s talking about.”
Afzal nodded and changed his course, taking a turn he would of otherwise ignored.
“I’m not strong enough to get Hara out alive. You focus on getting Hara, I’ll take care of Herzog.”
“Do not kill him, he isn’t well. He hasn’t been since you disappeared.” Afzal said, his gruff voice nearly breaking.
“And can you please stop carrying me like this?” Konig said as he motioned to Afzal’s arm holding him up by his stomach just as Afzal did the night before. In response, Afzal tossed Konig across the hallway; Konig skidded across the ground like a rock skipping across water until he slammed into the door.
I swear, one day that centaur will get what’s coming to him.
“Get up, runaway, we’re at the tower. Where did Herzog go?”
Konig tried to remember his dream, his memory, as he stood up and brushed the dirt that was on his clothes. His dream was useless due to their nonlinear pattern. His memories were blank. He was at a loss.
“It’s an underground passage, but I don’t recall how to get there. It’s been years.”
“It’s been years since you’ve even been here.”
“It was long before then.”
Afzal grunted and opened the door that Konig slammed into. Underground meant on the bottom floor, that narrowed the search.
Herzog’s voice continued to ring throughout the estate.
King Doric leaned against a balcony, looking westward to Dhuum’s tower. Death will be coming soon, he knew. Herzog’s resounding voice told this to him.****
“Your brother seems to have delved too far into Abaddon’s darker domain.” Malaquire said to the king.
“It seems so.”
“Shouldn’t you go help? He is your brother.”
“I am forbidden.” King Doric sighed.
Malaquire responded silently, shocked at the words that came out of King Doric’s mouth. “Who would forbi… Ah, the Six.”
“Just one of them.”
“Just me.” An old shaking voice said from the shadows. As if melded into the darkness until now, a robed figure with a face covered by a skull stepped out. “Konig must face his own hell if he is to do the duty he unknowingly accepted. It’ll be a long task, but I intend to make him worthy of the task you two have as well.”
“A long task?” Malaquire asked.
“You two, and I, were chosen due to our personalities. Sadly, I believe Konig was as well. But he is not like us. Not in the least.” Grenth walked to the balcony’s edge next to the king and stretched his long bony hands over the rail.
“You’ve changed Grenth.” King Doric said as he glanced at the god of death’s hands.
“The power does that.” The god replied.
“I don’t think becoming a god makes you more sympathetic to individuals.”
Grenth stared in silence at the tower dedicated to his predecessor, left unchanged by Herzog.
“Konig! My son!” Herzog’s voice continued to resound throughout the estate. Every servant and guard were in a frenzy, searching for Herzog, Hara, or Konig.****
Konig opened the door to a small room tucked away in the center of the tower. It was hidden behind the closet of the servant’s main corridor of the tower. A trapdoor latch laid wide open in front of him.
“Afzal, I found it!” Konig hollered to the centaur who was searching the other side of the corridor. “Good luck getting in there though.”
Konig crouched into the trapdoor onto some stairs. It was a tight fit for him. With the small room still directly above him, he said a small chant and watched as an ethereal hand reached out from his own, enlarged, and pushed the flooring up expanding the trapdoor.
Konig motioned to Afzal to wait a little bit before following as he went down the stairs. The stairs were not long and quickly ended into a floor of bones. Konig’s memory flashed before him showing what the dream omitted: Herzog taking him when he was ten along with his sister and the daughter of a guest to the bone-riddled catacombs underneath the estate. Hara left screaming once she realized what was under their feet, but the daughter and Konig continued on, curious what Herzog wanted to do. The two children followed the man eagerly until they came upon a room with a circle with unreadable runes etched into it. A hooded shade levitated above that circle and called for a sacrifice: the young girl who was with them. Only memories of running footsteps filled Konig’s head after.
Konig shook his head to shake the memories away. Events of years gone past were of no importance to him.
The crunch of the bones underneath his feet echoed throughout the darkened hallway. It was near impossible to see in the darkness. An eerie silence flowed around him, constantly interrupted by the crunching of bones.
Silence… Konig thought to himself as he realized that Herzog’s repeating voice finally ended – or perhaps merely couldn’t be heard from where he was.
The entire hallway suddenly lit up, blinding Konig in the unexpected light.
“You’ve come, my son.” Herzog’s voice echoed through the hallway.
Konig saw a crevice with an unusual glow in it. Stepping closer, he saw the crevice was, in fact, an entrance to another room: The room where the hooded silhouette floated in his memories. A room now holding Hara in chains.
Herzog stared at the entrance of the summoning room patiently. He knew his son had finally entered the catacombs of the estate and was coming this way. He had just lit the way for him. Hara groaned softly behind him. She was in pain. Good.****
Herzog waited for his son to appear. Waiting that seemed like an eternity. Death will come. Death will always come. No one escapes death, nothing escapes Dhuum.
The cracking of bones began to fill the room, muffling all other sound. Then he showed.
Konig appeared before Herzog, stiffened and unshaken. Unlike when he came down this path before.
“Took you long enough, my son, my traitor. Do you know why I called you here?” Herzog said calmly, attempting to hide his ecstaticness.
“Let me guess, you’re going to tell me that I’m a traitor because you were the one to give me power, but I found it on my own. I was supposed to be your tool to claim what you never got. Am I right?” Konig said as he circled the room. “I’ve heard this before.”
Herzog responded with nothing but a confused look. When did he hear this? How could he have known Herzog’s plans? His confused expression turned into anger. Into hatred.
“Then why have you let yourself fall?” Herzog shouted. “Why have you stopped aiming higher? You should be above me, not below me!”
“You forget father, I am above you.” Konig said, now facing the entrance of the room.
“You are nothing but a god’s tool now! I could have made you more! I should have! You have doomed yourself to walk Tyria alone for all eternity!”
“Yes… enough indeed. Dhuum desired a sacrifice of a potential successor seventeen years ago. He shall now have that.” Herzog walked to a ledge on one of the room’s walls and grabbed a serrated knife.
“A successor?” Konig asked.
“It matters not my son.” Herzog said as he stared at the blank wall. “Prepare to say goodbye to your dear sister.”
“I would but she’s no longer here.” Konig said with a smile on his face.
Herzog spun around to see empty chains dangling in the center of the room. How did he not hear them? Herzog tried to clear his head and heard crunching in the distance. Crunching too often to be a single person, at least two had saved Hara…
“How…” Herzog said.
“Afzal.” Konig said, that annoying smile still on his face. “I was afraid you’d hear him, but it seems your ego is too large.”
Herzog stared at his son with annoyance. He remembered how Konig always did things just to spite him and his actions. Herzog cursed at himself for his blunder.
“I’m getting bored of you, father. Let’s end this here and now.”
A sharp pain filled Herzog’s mind. His knees buckled under him as he clutched his head in agony. He wished to scream but no sound would leave his mouth.
Minutes passed, then hours, days, weeks, years. It felt like an eternity that Herzog clutched at his head in pain. Then the pain stopped. He stood and stared at the man in front of him. His blood-colored hair and his scar taunting him.
“Get out of my life!” Herzog shouted. “Get out, you damned imposter!”
The scarred man laughed aloud at Herzog. As his laughter still echoed through the room and nearby chamber, he asked, “what is your name?”
“I am Konig Hagan Doric!” Herzog said. “And you are an imposter pretending to be me!”
“Prove it.” The man said.
Herzog looked at his hand, still holding the serrated knife. “Very well! I shall prove to all that I am Konig! I am Konig Des Todes, the King of Death!” Herzog shouted as he stabbed the knife into the center of his neck and ripped forward, tearing through his entire throat. His already dim vision had turned completely black within seconds as he dropped towards the ground into a puddle of blood. A smile lay on his face.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:28.
03-01-2011, 02:24 #24
Spoiler“Herzog’s suicide was a tale of madness and insanity, lost to the romanticized legends and myths of an evil runaway son returning to kill his father and take his possessions. None of those tales are true though. Nonetheless, due to Konig’s personality and the lack of witnesses to the suicide, he was immediately suspected of murder.”
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
“I hereby begin the trial of Konig Hagan Doric, nephew and heir of King Doric, son of Herzog and Diana Doric, and self-proclaimed ‘lich’ – whatever that is – for the brutal slaughtering of his father, Herzog Doric.”
Konig glared at his condemning judge *** he was forced onto his knees, wrapped in several layers of chains. He glanced quickly over his shoulders to see two guards holding halberds, ready to lop off his head at any moment. He knew there was a third one he couldn’t see – there always was during Orrian trials. They give no leisure to the accused in the city of the Six, and no hope to the condemned.
Five figures sat behind the judge who had spoken before, with a sixth figure standing without a chair. The six Sacred Guards of the Gods rarely presided over trials; they were normally busy with maintaining temples, shrines, or merely preaching the teachings of their god. But the most heinous of crimes always called them – if not peaking their interest as well. Each of the Sacred Guards were dressed in designs befitting their own god and each one, save for Grenth’s, held a weapon of power granted by their god – six weapons in total were before Konig, if Afzal’s twin blades were counted separate, the missing seventh was Gae Bulg, now buried with Byleth. Afzal, with Balthazar’s golden wolves on his shoulders, was the one standing. He stared in sadness at his former student.
Was it sadness of shame for Konig, or was the sadness for the overly strictness of the system?
Konig’s thoughts returned to the three guards. He could easily break the chains, and he could easily kill them. But would it be done before the halberds, mere inches from his skin, chopped off his head? He never had his head severed… It was too risky.
I’ll break out when the trial’s done, Konig thought to himself. I’ll never return to this damned city.
He laughed in his thoughts, not willing to give the guards reason to act, at the thought of leaving once more. But he swore to himself and no one else, once he leaves, he will never return, and no dream will bring him back again.
“Konig Doric, you are charged with the murder of Herzog Doric. How do you plead?”
“I say that you’re dumber than a sack of charr.”
The head judge’s face turned bright red as he shouted for the guards to kill Konig.
“Halt!” Afzal said. “Overseer Jhan, keep yourself calm.”
The Sacred Guard of Lyssa, dressed in a suit of swirls and elegance that was the Regalia of Lyssa, laughed in a tone unexpected and unfitting for his appearance.
“I will never forgive someone who compares me to those… those vermin.” Jhan said, his face becoming ever redder.
“I said calm yourself.”
“To get back onto the topic…” The Sacred Guard of Dwayna, and only woman in the room, said. “I do not think that Afzal had lied when he said he found a knife in Konig’s hands and Herzog’s throat cut…” The woman paused, as if she was gathering her thoughts. “But no matter who it is, a person cannot easily kill his own blood – be it parent, sibling, child, or a distant relative."
“Then how did the knife get into his hands and why was Herzog’s throat sliced open?” The Sacred Guard of Melandru asked.
“He could easily have picked it up after Herzog died.” She said.
“And who killed Herzog then? The two were alone!” Another one said. Konig’s attention dimmed out the voices and who said what. He merely watched the seven debate, believing they were judging his fate. Nearly an hour had passed and not one of them had asked Konig a question; they merely continued to bicker amongst themselves, throwing the same arguments again and again.
“Konig!” A woman’s shout snapped Konig awake. “As impressive it is to sleep when your life is on the line, and in chains at that, I have a question for you.”
“What does the ‘blessed’ Sacred Guard of Dwayna wish to know?” Konig said with a sarcastic tone in his voice.
“Since it seems that our minds are all made up, before the final decision is made, I would just like to know how my little sister Desmina is doing.”
The question caught Konig off-guard, and before he could say anything, an aging voice spoke from behind.
“She is a very fine youngin.’ She’s an excellent preacher of my teachings.” Grenth said as he gently strode past the three guards and Konig, a veil of loose blackness wrapped around the god. All ten figures standing in the room kneeled down instantly.
An aging man dressed in a regalia of the death god was the first to stand. “My lord, what are you doing here?”
“I do hope you don’t mind, youngin’s, but I’m taking custody of this fellow.” Grenth said, ignoring his Sacred Guard.
“But he murdered a noble! That cannot be excused!” Jhan shouted abruptly.
Grenth strode toward the now shaking man. “He will be justifiably punished. Do you really question a god?”
“N-no. Please, do what you want.” He said hastly.
“But I question you, Grenth.” A calming woman’s voice sounded throughout the room. A bright light filled it, removing all shadows including those around Grenth. Everyone in the room instinctively covered their eyes. With his hands tied, Konig was the only one who was unable to shield his sight.
Grenth lowered his hand. “Hello, Dwayna.”
Dwayna folded large and graceful feathered wings over her body. The bright light that filled the room dimmed into a loose blue glow that seeped through her skin.
“You have a lot to explain for, Grenth.” Dwayna said, her peaceful voice showing an anger unheard of for her. “Not one of us works behind the others. You should know this.”
Listening to her voice soothed Konig and, by the looks of it, the others were also more… blissful.
Dwayna turned to the chained man. “But first, to be rid of this poor soul.” She waved her hand at Konig, enveloping him in a blue glow that quickly blinded him. He felt a force push him to an unknown destination.
The glow faded as quickly as it appeared. The surrounding air turned cold and the area was of purest black. He no longer felt the chains that bound him, but his limbs refused to respond.
A gust of wind blew past, carrying Dwayna’s voice.
“You will stay here until our matters are done.”
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:28.
11-01-2011, 06:17 #25
Act IV – Salvation, Damnation
Spoiler"From a group who’s time is limited, a destined man of boredom shall step forward for the hardiest of tasks; not one that requires strength and wit, but one that requires patience and reasoning."
– Excerpt from the Tome of Time204 AA
“It’s too windy tonight.” A hooded man said to himself as he drank from a tankard of ale. He looked into his drink and grunted. “This vacation is terrible too.”
Zalam Rofocale watched the docks from his small rocking ship. It was the end of the Season of the Scion. Now ships were beginning to sale out of the docks with their business finished and head south to warmer lands.
“I don’t get it, why is this meeting of the Six so important?” A silhouette of a man on the dock asked another as they walked along.
“I dun’t know. Something ‘bout a debate over that old imprisoned Doric.” The other man said. “An’ from what I ‘eard, not even the Sacred Guards are let in.”
“Imprisoned Doric? Oh! That ‘Konig’ fella… He was imprisoned before I was born. Heard he hasn’t aged a day in the past… how long has been chained up?”
“Eh, it was ‘round when I was five, I think… so 31 years prolly now.”
Zalam faded the voices out of his mind and cleared his thoughts. A conference over a guy who isn’t aging? Interesting… Sounds like something to make this vacation a whole lot more fun!
“Hey! Margonite! Do you have papers to dock here? Your people are free to dock along the southern port outside of town, not here.” A well-armored centaur with golden wolves on his shoulders shouted as he strode up to Zalam’s ship which was tied to a post and had a plank up its side.
I need to get a new ship. Zalam thought to himself as he fished out the appropriate papers for the centaur. “Say, you look like someone who knows the rumors of this town, what’s the deal I’ve heard about this conference of the Six?”
The centaur gave a stern look as he grabbed the papers from Zalam. “It’s something you don’t need to worry your sea-filled head about, two-legs.”
“I heard it’s about some guy who doesn’t age. What was his name.... Cone Egg?”
The centaur pulled out a sword instantly and shoved its tip against Zalam’s throat with enough force to not pierce the skin. “Do whatever business you have and leave, Margonite. The matters of the Six are of no concern to you, and as Balthazar’s Sacred Guard if you pursue this I will be forced kill you.”
“Alright, alright. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the haystack.”
The centaur pulled his blade back overhead and brought it down with the intention of slicing the Margonite in half. Zalam barely managed to dodge out of the way in time. Due to the small size of his boat, Zalam ran out of room quickly and fell into the bay water.
“Hmph. That should cool you off Margonite. Enjoy the nature of your people.” The centaur said as he left the dock in anger.
Zalam took off his soaking cloak after he got onto the docks, revealing a dark-tanned bald head. Like many of his people, his shirt was designed to easily pull down and hang at the waist for the fast changing weather or roughness of the sea, and had tight-fitted pants which were now stuck to his skin from the water.
“This vacation just keeps on getting better and better.” Zalam said as he smiled to himself.
Drying off was slow since the sun had went down minutes before the centaur showed up, but it soon happened. Zalam went through various bars to find out more of the meetings and over the course of the night had heard various things.
“That Konig killed his father I heard, but the trial to see if that’s true got interrupted by Dwayna and never finished. I wonder if the Six will tell us the truth about it.”
“I heard that the gods have been meeting in Dwayna’s home. That’s more rare than a meeting of the Six!”
“I heard the only one in favor of Konig’s release is Grenth, the guy’s old tutor. Odd, if you ask me, since Konig was a follower of Dhuum.”
“Yeah, I also heard that Grenth was working behind his back. They say the reason why Grenth’s so angry at Dwayna and started up that Wintersday battle thing was cuz Dwayna imprisoned Konig.”
“That meetin’ supposed ta start at dawn I hurd. Abaddon’s not e’en in town yet.”
Zalam decided he heard enough for the night and headed to where the meeting was supposed to take place – he was tired, but if he slept he knew he wouldn’t wake up in time.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:30.
17-01-2011, 22:28 #26
Spoiler"From my research, a meeting between all six gods at one time was a very rare occurrence. I’m sure Konig found some twisted honor in being the subject of such a meeting, and probably more so when he indirectly became the cause of many world issues."
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
Zalam creeped as quietly as possible down a large hall that was lined with a golden motif design on the walls. He found the building easily and timed his trespassing – or entrance as he thought of it - perfectly with the guard change. It didn’t give him much time to find the meeting room before it began, but he continued on.
This place is too big. Zalam thought to himself as he looked once more at the ceiling, which he thought had to at least be thirty feet high, if not more, and the width of the hallway was at least half as much. Every now and then a golden statue of a woman with stain glassed wings appeared along the sides of the hallway. Because it was so dark, he couldn’t determine if the statues were of Dwayna or something else.
Zalam lost track of how long he’s been walking down this corridor since the last door, and soon began wondering if he had made a wrong turn and what the purpose of the hallway was for…
Then he heard voices. At first one, then two, and soon five different voices could be heard. Not long after the voices became understandable, a light shone from another door. Found it. He thought to himself in triumph as he peaked into the room.
****“I fail to see why this is such a bothersome issue.” Grenth said as he tried to rub his forehead, only to be blocked by the skull stuck on his head.
“I’m surprised you can see anything with that thick skull of yours!” Balthazar said with a laugh that shook the table between the six gods, which knocked over his sword that was leaning against the table seconds before.
Grenth glared at the god of fire, but he doubted that Balthazar noticed – he notices nothing but what he sees as a battle and challenge.
“Balthazar, enough of your jokes. Grenth, it’s an issue because not only did you go behind our backs after you said that all of Dhuum’s followers were accounted for – which was a lie as proven by Byleth – but also because Dhuum made Konig a successor.” Dwayna said with an uncommon fierceness in her tone.
“Konig is far too immature and reckless to be given such a task. You above all should know this, having been made one by Abaddon.” Melandru said. She too had a fierceness in her voice which was uncommon. Her body had a bark-like quality to it and the wings that came from her back, which she rarely flaunted, shown tension that her face refused to show.
“And that means we should kill him?” Grenth asked.
“No, but we cannot let him run free. There are only two other successors and Konig was given the power over death. He’s a threat to everything, even Doric, just because of that.” Dwayna said.
“And I never had such intention. The incident with his father was… undesired, but Herzog was a threat to your precious king as well. He-“
“Do not lecture me, Grenth, on who is or isn’t a threat.”
“Yes, but you were going to isolate Herzog anyways, due to his insanity.”
Melandru sighed as she rested her head on her arm.
“You two need to stop acting like little children.” Two female voices said in unison. “It’s getting very tiring.”
“I agree Lyssa.” A six-eyed hooded figure said behind a mask. Abaddon laid clawed and webbed hands on the table before continuing. “Instead of bickering about what Grenth did and didn’t do, let’s discuss what we’re going to do to rectify all of this.”
“We should be rid of Konig I say.” Balthazar said. “As Dwayna said, he isn’t successor material, and that makes him a great threat considering the power he was given.”
“You two are being too hasty. I think we should try to nurture the kid, he still has lots of time to grow.” Melandru said.
“Lyssa, Abaddon? What do you think?” Dwayna asked the two remaining gods.
“We are of two minds on this...” Lyssa said, making Balthazar cringe.
“I have an alternative to both of your solutions.” Abaddon said. He removed his mask that he kept on for mortals; behind it, far more eyes than the six shown with the mask looked at the other five gods, his scaled skin shown iridescently as the fires around the room shone off of it, making Abaddon’s face a twist of light and eyes that normally left mortals going insane. “Instead of simply dealing with Konig or not, I propose we strengthen everyone else.”
“What do you mean, Abaddon?” Melandru asked, raising an eyebrow.
“If we merely manage Konig, what’s the chance of a successor in the future – whether made by us or a future generation – from either being like Konig or, worse, betraying us? We cannot be everywhere at once so it’s only a matter of time. However, if everyone else could use magic, then wouldn’t the successors become less of a threat?”
Silence filled the room as the gods considered Abaddon’s proposal.
"No objections.” Balthazar said, followed by Melandru and Lyssa. Dwayna and Grenth both were unsure of the new proposal, but shortly agreed.
“We cannot be too generous in this though. Who will oversee the distribution?” Dwayna asked to the room.
“Why not let Abaddon? He’s the one who came up with the idea.” Balthazar said.
“Are you up to the task?” Dwayna asked and was replied with by a nod. “Very well, that’ll settle everything. But before we leave…” Dwayna waved her hand briefly, bringing up a wisp of wind as a man screamed in shock.
Abaddon quickly grabbed his mask and covered his face as the eavesdropping Margonite was placed in the air between the Six.
“Did you enjoy listening in our meeting, Margonite?” Dwayna asked the floating man who remained silent as he struggled against the constant winds keeping him in place. “If we’re going to release Konig, I think we should have someone watch over him, lest he does something worse than he has already. I wonder, can we trust you to such a task?’ A smile formed on Dwayna’s lips.
****Moist air filled Zalam’s nostrils as he walked down a corridor. Two Orrian soldiers followed behind him. There were no torches in the catacombs underneath Arah as no one ever visited them. They were remnants from before the Six brought humans to the peninsula, already long deserted. The passage twisted and turned.
“How annoying…” Zalam said as he continued to walk further and deeper. “Why was he put all the way down here?”
“It was Dwayna’s doing, sir. I can only guess she wanted the abomination far away from others.” One of the soldiers said as he held a torch up high for the others to see.
Few Orrian designs were seen now. Zalam figured it had to have been at least five minutes since the last one. Now they’re just surrounded by large stone walls with few – if any – distinct features. Pillars dotted the area, showing the only kind of uniqueness in the entire corridor with serpents twisting from base to head with gems for eyes that shone as the torch’s light passed over them.
“From the directions we were given, we should be nearly there.” One of the guards said. “Why do we have to free that… thing anyways?”
“A ‘thing’ am I?” A dried and cracked voice said in the darkness. The soldier with the torch moved over to shine where the voice came from. Konig was stretched across a blank wall held by something. “Am I being released from this solitary now?” He said as he studied the three men. He saw nothing special about any of them, a quick kill and he would be freed.
“Only from solitary.” Zalam said as he gripped his new scythe and struck towards Konig, barely missing him. “I’ve been charged with watching over you, for the time being.”
A babysitter? What do they think I am? Konig thought to himself as he dropped to the ground, finally freed from Dwayna’s magic. Konig looked at the scythe in a slight surprise. It was Byleth’s scythe, Gae Bulg. Is that how they intend to keep me in check? A single scythe?
“I was told that if I ever see you do something that you shouldn’t, I could merely stab you with this scythe and your soul would be ripped from your body and sent to Dhuum’s gut. I wonder, do you want to take a visit to a dead god’s stomach? I doubt it’s pretty.”
Konig stood up and stretched his arms and legs, staring Zalam down the whole time. Then with a shrug he said “I guess I don’t have much say in the matter.”
“Good, then let’s go.” Zalam turned to head out, but suddenly stopped when he heard a soft mumble. Within a second, the two guards were pierced by darkness from the ground then sliced into pieces the size of a baby’s fist.
“Why the hell should I follow a man with a scythe? You look like nothing compared to Byleth, why are you a threat to me?”
Zalam tossed the scythe across the room, between the two piles that were just normal men doing their job. Twisting around on his heels he pressed his palm against Konig’s chest and gripped his throat as Konig began to crumble from his spine being shattered.
“Do not get ahead of yourself. You were made a successor by Dhuum and Dhuum alone – a god who has lost his power and life. I have been granted power by all Six gods, more than enough to handle your undying self. The scythe is merely to end you if I see fit, it is not to keep watch over you.”
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:30.
01-02-2011, 22:29 #27
Spoiler"The Keeper of Secrets shall be swept with arrogance and taint. Secrets will become known and the world thrown into chaos. Guardians shall fall, Kings shall become no more, and the Gods themselves shall desire isolation."
– Excerpt from the Tome of Time
A tall broad man dragged a rowboat with all of his might onto the shore. Exhausted and alone, Jadoth feared what he knew was coming. With the boat rested on high land, Jadoth stared into the seemingly endless Crystal Sea. The waters glittered and glowed against the dying sun, promising a coming night. There was nothing but a handful of small islands like the one he resided on within the sea before him. Knowing immediate peace, the exhaustion finally overcame the former Margonite noble as he collapsed.
A dream quickly came to Jadoth. Except to him it wasn't a dream, but a memory and nightmare.
****Cheers roared through Port Amnoon. What's normally a desolate town was brimmed. The Margonite King Khimaar had docked his giant vessel at the port to stock up and, more importantly, to create an official treaty with the Orrians. His ship was nearly as large as a simple town, being nearly 500 feet long, 200 feet wide, and over 400 feet tall; crafted out of the giant Stonewood trees of the Maguuma, the ship was made out of the sturdiest and largest wood discovered. The ship was capable of holding thousands of people and had its own retractable docks. Born and raised on the ship, the royal Margonite family rarely ever stepped onto land or other ships. Due to its size, the ship had to remain well off of the coast at all times.
Jadoth stood still as he watched the king's small personal vessel carry him onto the land. Amnoon was chosen as a place for Kings Doric and Khimaar to meet to formalize the treaty that will remove all segregation between the human Tyrian kingdoms and the Margonites. Before this day, Margonites always had to dock on the outskirt ports, never allowed to dock at major ports, such as at Arah, except in cases of emergency. For his people, this was a momentous occasion and Margonites from across the seas were gathering to see this new treaty. But for Jadoth, this was just a prelude to what he knew was coming.
Just over a year ago, Jadoth's men had assaulted and attempted to kill royalty for robery. Life on the sea meant little news, only finding out recent events when docked. For the king's ship, this meant that they were almost constantly unknowing of recent events, so for them, a year was fast. And Jadoth was personally called to appear for the treaty. He knew his punishment was at hand.
The king's personal vessel had just docked. The entire dock was full with onlookers, eager to see the rarely seen Khimaar. Khimaar was a tall and deeply tanned man, much like all Margonites, with his hair cut short. His robes were not of the typical Margonite fashion but resembled an Orrian noble’s outfit – lengthy down the back, short in the front, and decorated with eagle wings.
“So the rumors are true…” Jadoth heard someone nearby say. “King Khimaar is said to engulf himself in non-Marggie culture.”
“Quiet. Don’t say that term again, you know how Margonites hate that term.” Another nearby said.
Jadoth was tempted to confront the first person, but refrained himself. Being among the highest recognized captains of the Margonite nation, Jadoth couldn’t risk making himself look worse before the king – even ignoring what was bound to come.
King Khimaar waved to the crowd with a wide smile as he stepped onto the docks. His personal guard quickly rushed before him and formed a wide barrier, well over an average person’s height in wide, around Khimaar.
Someone’s paranoid. Jadoth thought to himself as he watched the crowd widen to make room for the guards and the King. Jadoth watched as the path opened towards the town’s mayor’s office… which Jadoth was in the way of. As the crowd opened around him, he remained in the center of the path just long enough for Khimaar to see him.
As the king passed by, he paused and turned right towards Jadoth.
“Captain Jadoth, it has been a long time! Please do visit after the treaty talk, I’d love to catch up.” Khimaar said, smiling brightly as he resumed onto his path waving occasionally.
Jadoth had wished he remained silent. Now people flocked to him asking questions he couldn’t make out over the cacophony. The remainder of the week passed slowly, just as the negotiations for the treaty did. From the gossip around the town, if it was only Khimaar and Doric dealing with the treaty, the meetings would be over with. However, both Doric and Khimaar both had numerous advisers, and the Elonians and Canthans had a say in it as well. On the fifth day an agreement was finally reached: Margonites would get normal docking privileges in all non-capital or major ports, and on the outskirts of the capitals and large ports. Rumors said that Khimaar was both greatly upset and rejoicing at the improvement.
Jadoth had the Storm of Judgment docked on the king’s ship a day after Khimaar requested his presence. Now he waited outside Khimaar’s quarters to be allowed audience. He was standing for a full ten minutes before the guard stepped through the doors.
“King Khimaar will see you now. Please remove any weapons.” The guard said. Jadoth hadn’t brought any, so when he didn’t move the guard proceeded to pat him down as part of regulations before being allowed in. The king’s quarter was much like any captain’s room, but nearly ten times bigger.
“Ah, Captain Jadoth. It’s good to finally get to talk to you.” Khimaar said, smiling brightly as he sat in his throne.
As with all Margonites, Jadoth showed little formality. “King Khimaar, it is a pleasure to get to see you again after all these years.”
“Yes, yes, it is indeed. It’s been, what, fifteen years since the ceremony? How has life been as a high captain?”
“Not much different than as a regular captain.”
Khimaar’s smile disappeared. “Except that you never tried to kill royalty as a mere captain.”
“It was a-”
“I don’t care what it was.” Khimaar interrupted. “I had discussed the matter with King Doric himself between the meetings. You’re lucky he pays you no ill intent; I offered him to choose your punishment and he said ‘nothing.’ Just as I’ve always heard, that man’s practically Dwayna herself. This ‘Konig’ person. He stole something from you and you claimed to not have known he was of royalty. That’s the story, correct?”
“Excusable; at least for the normal punishment. King Doric has every right to have your head, you know.”
Jadoth swallowed as he heard the phrase “the normal punishment.” After Khimaar said nothing more, Jadoth asked “What is my punishment?”
“I haven’t decided. You’ll find out as soon as the water can carry the news once I do. Dismissed.”
Jadoth turned to leave. Out of the corner of his eye as he turned, he saw Khimaar’s smile return. However, this smile was neither bright nor kind that he has seen before.
****Jadoth woke with a start. When he realized it was all a dream, he thanked Abaddon that he woke up when he did. He did not need to relive the day he found out what his punishment was. The time his entire crew was slaughtered by the serpentine forgotten, who claimed that Jadoth and his men had massacred their young.
Khimaar’s last smile was burned into Jadoth’s mind. He should of known then that his punishment wouldn’t be kind. The death penalty was better than this. His reputation was ruined, his ship sunk, crew killed… and now he’s being hunted by the personal servants of the Six Gods.
Jadoth rubbed his eyes and tried to clear his thoughts. Standing up, he looked out into the horizon. His face paled over the sight. Dozens of ships were in the distance. Far from the island, but heading straight for him. They were the forgotten’s armada.
Knowing no way out, he did the one thing he knew he could. He prayed.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:30.
24-02-2011, 00:36 #28
Spoiler“The origin of magic is a curious one. Many say that magic didn’t exist in the world before the Six granted it to the races. Others however say it did, but in a different form. All that is known is that Abaddon had allowed the common being to use magic far more powerful than what was accessible before, and even what’s accessible now. And he did such at these “Gates of Heaven” – something that’s location is now lost, and is said to have once been a physical entrance into the Mists.”
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
Abaddon took in a deep breath as he slowly glided over the misty Crystal Sea. He always enjoyed the view of water endlessly stretching out before him. He had taken domain over the seas and their seemingly eternal depths; many believed it was due to the depths of the ocean holding horrors most cannot handle, just as the depths of knowledge did, but in reality Abaddon had found water calming. A force to bring a peace of mind to the darknesses of secrets and forbidden knowledge he had to govern. A force that he knew could be even more devastating than all the knowledge in the world if it needed to be.
The day has been peaceful. No storms, no pleads for his attention. He had a task, and he was contempt to take his time.
Abaddon! Lord of the Everlasting Depths, Keeper of Secrets, open mine eyes and bestow upon me the knowledge of the Abyss that I might smite mine enemies and send them to the watery depths!
Thoughts ran through the gods’ mind. Not his own, but a prayer to him; a powerful, and close, one. Abaddon shook his head, “why do prayers always end up sounding like that? Give me, give me.” He sighed and searched for the origin.
Prayers to the gods have become more and more common in the past few decades. So common that Abaddon, and perhaps the other gods, have begun toning them out. Yet a few still are heard: those most desperate for their needs. And this one was beyond desperation.
Abaddon paused, thinking for only a moment to decide his course of action. He changed his course and headed for the source of the prayer, a nearby island. It took only a minute or two before Abaddon was just off of the island. He saw a man cowering in the sands as an armada of forgotten, the gods’ caretakers, approached the island. He searched through his mind, looking for the ceaseless knowledge of things that pass and soon found what he was looking for: the intention of the forgotten; to torture the man, Jadoth was his name, slowly until he sought not just death, but to cease existing.
Despite who they were, Abaddon didn’t give a moment’s hesitation as he stretched out his scaled arm, curling his talon-like fingers into half-arches pointing downward. Soon, the sky turned a dark red, and then pitch black before the light of the stars reappeared, just to fall down upon the approaching armada as giant burning crystals. Ship after ship was struck and fell to the watery depths. With a wave of his other arm, Abaddon swirled the ocean waters creating a maelstrom of catastrophe around the ships. The water began to boil from the heat of the crystals now embedded in the seabed. Within minutes, the ships were sunk, leaving only small pieces of debris. Any forgotten who attempted to abandon their ships would have been burned alive from the water.
What was once mist had now turned into steam, and the cowering man now stood in awe at the events which unfolded before him. Jadoth knelt down once more, this time thanking Abaddon, his voice ringing through the gods’ head.
“Jadoth, do not thank me.” Abaddon said as he approached the island. Jadoth turned around seeking the god who was now obscured from view by the steam. Abaddon shrunk himself so that he could talk to Jadoth up close. “It was your powerful words that saved you.” Lies, he knew, but it was more important to instill faith in oneself rather than faith in the Six.
“My lord Abaddon.” Jadoth said as he kneeled once more. “Why do you bless me with your presence?”
“You asked for power, did you not? I have looked into your past as I approached. I could think of no finer man than you for the task I have.”
“Whatever it is you wish of me, I shall do.” Jadoth said without hesitation or a waver in his voice. He was a strong captain who commanded with respect, and he held such a strong faith. Abaddon has seen in his past that Jadoth killed a man for a mere insult to the god. He would be perfect.
“I want you to accompany me. I have a task I must complete, and then I shall have what you must perform. Until then I ask you to serve me.”
“I will always serve you, lord Abaddon.”
****“What is this place?” Jadoth was astonished at the sight before him. A lone island in the center of the Crystal Sea, cracked open and filled with golden statues of the Six and of winged females. The water of the sea refused to come within a mile of the island itself, creating an oasis with waterfalls on all sides. The two remained at the bottom of a staircase that led to the opening of the island, but the view to inside was still plain to see.
“This is the Hall of Ascension, one of the many entrances to the Gates of Heaven.” Abaddon replied. “You will need to complete the trial presented here if you wish to survive where we are to go.”
Unquestioning, Jadoth walked up a sole staircase leading to the opening of the hall. Before Jadoth entered, Abaddon shouted to him and tossed him a single spear that was made of pure black metal with a spiked collar around the tip of the spear.
The hall led to a circular room, the sides having a ramp that joined on the other end of the hall. In the circle of the room stood a man in armor as black as Jadoth’s new spear, which it also held, that looked as though it may be stronger than diamond. His head was lit afire and the skin looked like embers. The man saluted Jadoth then immediately charged at him. Instinctively, Jadoth dodged to the right and ran up the ramp, hoping to gain the advantage of height.
So the trial is to fight? Simple enough! At the top of the ramp, Jadoth swung around, swiping the spear at the waist-leveled head of the burning man. Just as Jadoth did before, the man dodged to the right, then followed up with a swipe of the spear at Jadoth’s shins.
Caught off guard, Jadoth just barely managed to jump over the spear and attempted to slam his feet on top of it but missed. In turn, he jabbed the spear at an opening of the man’s armor at the neck. Just like before, he dodged to the right – straight into the wall. Once more, Jadoth jabbed at the man, this time aiming to go through his armor.
The man jumped in the air and over Jadoth, down into the center of the room. He recovered as soon as Jadoth turned around.
Gritting his teeth, Jadoth followed the man, jumping straight at him. The man outstretched his own spear as Jadoth fell down. Kicking the spear out of the way, Jadoth then thrust his own into the man’s skull, down into the body. The body fell apart as the embers of the flame disappeared into ash. A faint sensation flowed through Jadoth’s body as the last of the ash was blown away in the wind, leaving an empty suit of armor.
“Congratulations, Jadoth.” Abaddon said at the entrance to the hall. Now, let us go to the Gates of Heaven.”
Abaddon led Jadoth back up the ramp, into a niche where during the battle Jadoth saw a flat wall. There was neither an exit nor anything else in the niche, but the two walked into it and came out in another room. It was created out of the same golden materials, but mixed in with sandstone, and the air felt differently – Jadoth could still smell the sea, and even heard waves in the distance, but the air itself was far more humid.
Abaddon turned to look at Jadoth, whose face was filled with curiosity and confusion. The god gave a soft chuckle. “We are now on the southern edge of the Crystal Sea, Jadoth, at a temple dedicated to all six of us, the innermost chamber of which also serves as the true entrance to the Gates of Heaven.”
“I’ve been to the Temple of the Six Gods before, but I never had to defeat a shadow of myself. What was the purpose of that test?”
“The temple is safe, except for the inner sanctum. The air there will suffocate those who have weak souls, effectively separating it from the body – passing the test of Ascension strengthens one soul so that it can endure exposure to the Mists.”
The Mists, the essence and origin of the universe, true home of the gods and of the afterlife; Jadoth knew of the Mists, and he recalled tales that no living being had ever entered them and returned alive – save for King Doric, who only had done such with the aid of Dwayna. Those that did survive without the aid of the gods replaced them, such as Grenth had done to Dhuum only a couple decades ago.
The two continued through the surprisingly emptied temple. Jadoth assumed that Abaddon had taken them to an isolated portion of the building – after all, if the inner chamber wasn’t isolated, innocents could wander in and die. The walls of the temple remained flat, save for some intricately twisted thin poles that looked like they were frozen during a dance.
Abaddon paused in front of two larch arched doors before pushing them open. Jadoth noted the brief hesitation in the god, and only became more baffled. A wonder which he quickly dismissed as he knew no mortal should attempt to understand a god’s thoughts – especially Abaddon’s whose mind contains knowledge that sends beings mad.
Beyond the walls was a tall circular room with seven niches – one holding the door, the other six each holding a beautiful golden statue of a winged female. The wings were stained glasses that remained in place by the golden frame. In the center, possibly twelve feet high, lied six lights, dancing around in loops, each with their own path that nearly created a spherical trail of the light. It was near impossible to see that the lights were circling something due to their brightness, but Jadoth managed to get a glimpse of some sort of object – an object which moved on its own accord.
“What’s in there?” Jadoth asked without thought.
“A relic. A mere reminder to us of the true origin of our current power, though now only Dwayna and Melandru know what it is. The statues are of the original gods – I, Lyssa, Balthazar, and of course Grenth are merely successors to them.” Abaddon replied, no emotion flowed from his voice. He stared at the center of the room, beneath the circling lights, as if waiting for something to appear.
And something did appear.
A pillar of mist formed within seconds and just as quickly disappeared, revealing a small shrouded man. Jadoth felt the man was familiar but could not place it.
“You’re late.” Abaddon said. “Are the preparations ready?”
“I am your elder, Abaddon. Do not order me around.” The cloaked man said, his voice cracked and dry, speaking as if it was the desert wind. He walked forward towards the two but his face was kept in shadows, and despite the movement, his cloak seemed to drag on as if he was being pulled.
“You gave up your godhood to survive as a mere specter Dhuum, I may order you around if I wish.”
Jadoth stood there in astonishment. He had to avert his eyes constantly from Abaddon to prevent going blind, but he was capable of staring at this god with ease.
“He is not part of the plan.” Dhuum said
“He is now.”
“My lord, what is this plan?” Once more, Jadoth asked before he could keep his mouth closed.
“First, to grant magic to all beings; second….” Abaddon reached up to the circling lights overhead and ripped two of them apart, pushing one into himself and tossing another to Dhuum, who did the same. “To fix the folly of the other gods.” Once more, Abaddon ripped the lights from their loops, forcing the remaining four together into a single light.
Jadoth’s eyes widened as the object the lights shielded – a pulsating coalescence of flesh and thorn – was revealed.
With one more thrust, Abaddon had shoved the now combined light into the eldritch flesh. It pulsed harder and faster for only a matter of seconds until it exploded, sending out a shockwave which went through the walls. As Jadoth lowered his arms that shielded his eyes, he saw nothing left of the mass of flesh. And though he could not see it, Jadoth felt Dhuum smile beneath his cloak.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:31.
05-07-2011, 00:47 #29
Spoiler“A storm will take place, heralded by the King of Corpses and brought by the Holder of Secrets. This storm shall envelope and overshadow all and none shall be left unscathed.”
– Excerpt from the Tome of Time
The wreckage of the forgotten’s armada was scattered across the waters. In every direction there were either broken floating wood or dead bodies – many of which scorched. Being a serpentine race, most of the forgotten had jumped ship when giant crystals fell from the skies, hoping to avoid the splinters of wood that flew in every direction. Those forgotten were the first to die as the water boiled as they entered it.
Now, only one of the entire fleet survived. Xixiss surveyed the area around him. No ship was left in a piece but he was lucky enough to have found enough wood to lay on as the water cooled down. Two of his four arms were bleeding and the webbing between them and his torso were cut and felt as if it burned. The salt water surrounding him only made his wounds worse.
Knowing his could not swim, he mustered what strength he had to use a plank of wood as an oar for his little raft made from wreckage. Over hours, he forced his way onto the island the armada had followed Jadoth to. Xixiss wasn’t worried in finding the murderer there. He witnessed who caused the destruction of his comrades. It was because he knew this that he had to survive; he had to warn his masters, the gods, of the betrayal of their own.
Once he reached the small island, he laid down on the sandy beach exhausted. Without any strength left, he closed his eyes.
The world remained black for Xixiss, but it would never silent. At first he thought he died from exhaustion or blood loss when he first came too, but soon felt his own breathing. Voices muttered about as the waves crashed into a wall. He could hear things leaving and entering the water time and time again – oars, he figured. He had to be on a ship, but his eyes remained closed, unable to open.
“Isss he awake yet?” A slithering voice asked, clearly a forgotten as well. The other serpentine races wouldn’t go near the Crystal Sea – it has become the domain of the forgotten and Margonites, and them alone.
“No sir. He seems to be breathing more regularly and stronger so he is doing better than when we found him.” Another forgotten’s voice said.
Xixiss tried to move, but he felt nothing.
“Let me know when he…”
The voices began to fade, as did all other sounds. Moments later, or at least what felt like moments to him at least, they had returned. This time, his eyes opened slowly.
Blobs moved swayingly across a dark canvas as he watched the little light left in the back die out. One of the blobs approached him as his eyes closed once more and the world fell silent for only moments later.
This time, the light awoke Xixiss. He tried to block it with the webbing between his arms but it still shone through. Opening his eyes he saw that the webbing had been almost entirely torn off and memories of the disaster filled his head.
Xixiss screamed both in pain and frustration as he remembered the betrayal of one of his gods.
Within seconds, three forgotten had came to him and held him down steadily until he stopped thrashing about.
A fourth forgotten approached. “I sssee he isss awake now.” It was the first voice Xixiss had heard earlier.
“But still in no condition to be questioned commander.” One of the three that held Xixiss down stated; this time, it was the second forgotten’s voice. “You two remain nearby, just in case.”
“I can talk.” Xixiss murmured. For a moment, he thought that he couldn’t talk, so he repeated himself once more, louder.
“Then tell me how a sssingle Margonite managed to dessstroy an entire armada of oursss!” The commander said. His lisp that is common among their race becoming even more prevalent as he raised his voice.
“It wasn’t the Margonite…” Xixiss closed his eyes for a moment before he retold the event; how he was preparing one of the row boats with the others on his ship, their captain shouting that Jadoth was found, how the captain asked a question so silently no one could make it out, how the stars seemed to have fell from the sky and the water swirled and boiled, and that the god Abaddon was floating in the distance.
The commander and the other forgotten remained silent for minutes, soon to feel like hours.
“You… You sssurvived the powersss of a god?” The commander asked.
“It was pure luck.” Xixiss responded. “But we must warn the other five gods! If Abaddon had betrayed us…”
“His betrayal is known.” The second forgotten, a doctor Xixiss has realized, said. “You were out for weeks, an in that time there have been reports of him calling his people and creating an army out of them; the most dangerous kind too, a fanatical one. Furthermore, he granted an insurmountable amount of magic to all races in this world. Enough to allow a small group of talented individuals easily do as much damage as he did that day.”
“We will ssstill return to Arah.” The commander said.
****“To be back here in this room so soon…” Balthazar said grimly. Five of the gods, Abaddon being excluded, sat in their circular room. Lights that drew in the gods’ divine shine floated behind each one. To each god, the room felt incomplete so long as that sixth place remains empty.
“It cannot be helped.” Melandru said in response. “We must find a solution to this issue quickly. A week has passed since Abaddon has betrayed us. He destroyed the-“
“Melandru, enough.” Dwayna interrupted quickly. Balthazar and Lyssa both were shocked at Dwayna’s quickness to cut off what Melandru was saying; Grenth only smiled. “We shouldn’t focus on what has been done but why and how to fix it.”
“What was it that Abaddon destroyed?” The two twin goddess Lyssa asked in unison with herself.
“Unimportant.” Dwayna said as calmly as ever.
“By ‘unimportant’ you mean ‘I’m ashamed of it’ don’t you Dwayna?” Grenth asked, his voice as cold and unwavering as the ice he governs. He glared at the goddess of light and air through his skull mask, as if searching for something.
Dwayna remained silent for some time, just as the rest of the gods did in anticipation. “In its destruction, though, he allowed all beings the ability to use powerful magic, and those talented could easily match us if given the opportunity.”
“And as a result, wars and crimes have become rampant due to people’s newfound power. They think them blessed by us and thus see no wrong in their actions. How foolish.” Grenth responded. After some time, he added “I’ll be busy for a while.”
“While I don’t mind there being wars, these are being fought with treachery and without honor!” Balthazar shouted; it almost seemed as if his beard would light up in fire in anger.
“We must put an end to this conflict ourselves. We should split up and calm each area of the world.” Melandru suggested to the group, her wings twitched in worry.
“Abaddon may be planning something… Three of us should remain here, just in case.” Dwayna said.
“Then who shall go where?” Balthazar asked as he teetered on the edge of fury.
Dwayna looked up for a moment and closed her eyes, thinking of what to do. “Lyssa, would you go to Elona. When you get back, head north to the lands east of here. After that, we’ll figure out what to do next. Grenth, you go to the southern continent; there should be less trouble so you should manage the whole landmass.”
“We’d better leave now then, to end this quickly and make my job easier.” Grenth said just before he and Lyssa left.
Now half of the room was empty. The three remaining gods feeling incomplete while remaining in their meeting room.
“Why did this happen?” Melandru asked, not to anyone in particular.
“Abaddon was not always like this… And he was a god in less time than Lyssa.” Balthazar said, having finally calmed down. He held a face of worry, not for the situation or Abaddon, but for himself.
Dwayna gently placed a hand on Balthazar. “It is our fate – eventually all of us will be driven to insanity of one form or another. Death and knowledge are just the two that goes there quickest.”
Balthazar could see it in her eyes. Dwayna was hurt far more than she showed. Clenching his fists, he stood up quickly and stormed out the door, muttering a single phrase the other two could just barely hear.
“There is something I must do.”
****Balthazar strode quickly through the various halls that were built just over two centuries ago. This section of the city was maintained purely through the magic of the gods, not being allowed access to mortals. Normally at this time of day, he would be enjoying the view of his main shrine; having soldiers march in the nearby plaza and gladiatorial contests within the temple all done just to show their dedication to him.
He still remembered when he was a simple mortal like them, though how long ago now escapes him. He and Abaddon had risen to godhood at the same time, the former gods of war and knowledge having turned against the rest. Their plot was unknown to the two; Balthazar was told simply that they intended to destroy the world by using ancient magic that should never be touched, even by a god.
Abaddon was like a brother to Balthazar, and now this happened. If all gods eventually turn to do harm, he could not be far behind. And from time to time, he felt it. Corners of his mind sought to cause chaos and led him into fury. He had killed a simple Canthan due to losing a board game only a few years ago – that was when Balthazar first noticed the encroaching darkness.
Balthazar had just reached the center of his home on Tyria, which held a permanent portal into the Mists – specifically to his realm, the Fissure of Woe. It was a place designed by the first god of war, a place of eternal fire and battles where the fallen rise shortly after death to continue fighting. It was an endless conflict; endless thrill for those who enjoy battle.
He had come to this place for a single purpose: to prevent what had happened to Abaddon from happening to him.
In the center of his realm, Balthazar stood unmoving for what began to felt like hours. Around him the clangs of weapons rang. Using all of his might, Balthazar threw his hand into his head, cracking it open ever so carefully to pull out the darkness that had began to plague him.
As he pulled his hand back, covered with his own blood, he held a single glob of pure darkness. It tore at his flesh as it attempted to escape. It felt like pure destruction was being constrained within his hand, and the second he let it go it would run rampant.
Balthazar laughed as blood flowed from his injured head.
“So this little thing is the darkness that plagues me!?” He shouted to the air. “An unfitting opponent…” He gripped the ball of darkness and chaos, of pure destruction, and hurled it into the closest fires and watched as the fires surrounded it.
But it did not burn, it fed. It fed upon the unpredictability and harm of the fire, and grew until it was the size of Balthazar. Not just the size, but a mirror image of the god – an image of complete blackness and opposition. It laughed silently before fading away.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 07-09-2011 at 20:32.
27-07-2011, 23:18 #30
Spoiler“Cantha, my homeland, has a large reverence for the ancestors – even among the eternally warring Kurzicks and Luxons. The true origin of this cultural aspect is not entirely known – some speculate that it has always been such, while others believe that it became such after the knowledge of the Mists was given to humans by the gods. What seems to be most clear is that Grenth had a huge influence in Canthan culture.”
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
“Thank you, Lord Grenth, for your assistance in our troubles.” A man, cloaked in a blue robe designed with swirls about it, bowed before the god of death, his voice trembling. “As always, we are forever in your debt.”
Grenth looked over the landscape through his mask. He stood at the edge of the fabled Empire of the Dragon, grassy hills and patches of forests were scattered across the warm southern land. He had just killed, or slaughtered as any onlooker would say, multiple infant gangs who had thought themselves stronger than a god simply because they were able to use magic. From a distance, the hill he stood on was not dirt and grass but a large pile of bodies.
“How troublesome…” Grenth said. This was perhaps the fifth time this had happened. He didn’t care much for such idiocy, and worse, for him, was that it wasn’t just arrogant men, but also threatened neighboring races that were hoping to dethrone a deity and reign above the infantile humans. The bird-like tengu, or the snake-like naga and krait, even the plants themselves were drawn to the presence of the god.
“I came to calm things down, but I seem to be attracting youngin’s to their death.” Grenth looked up to the sky. “I can’t waste any more time. Emperor,” he said, finally turning to the man at his feet, “there are only a handful of threats to your people left, I trust your military would be enough to settle them?”
“Of course, Lord Grenth, we should be able to defend ourselves now.”
“Then leave me, I must gather my thoughts; haven’t been able to think clearly since the youngin’s kept bothering me.”
The emperor bowed once more and left, his nearby guards that stood at the bottom of the corpse-riddled hill following him.
Minutes had passed as Grenth sat down, thinking in silence. Since there were no chairs to enough cleared land, the god of death simply sat down on a bunch of corpses. Suddenly, Grenth sighed. “Now what?”
“Lord of death, I have troublesome news.” A cloaked specter, one of the seven Reapers, appeared out of no where. “As previously reported, other than his crushed legs, Dhuum was never found in the rubble of his tower, so we searched the entire Underworld. We kept finding traces of him but he constantly eluded our grasps.”
“Get to the point.” Grenth said, having finally become frustrated.
“For the past month, we’ve been getting an immense amount of souls needing to be sorted. Our attention has been spread too thin, even with Desmina and the Ice King now aiding us. We feared…” The Reaper trailed off, silenced by its fear.
“We checked and checked again. All traces of Dhuum in the Underworld have disappeared. He escaped to the Rift and then to another realm.”
Grenth remained silent, staring at the Reaper. The mask only added into his annoyed stature. After a while, the Reaper spoke up again. “He escaped to this world not long ago, perhaps yesterday or the day before. We suspect that he was aided by someone.”
“No, we immediately sent him to his determined afterlife along with the other true followers of Dhuum. They have been watched constantly. Whoever aided him is someone alive – they distracted us with these new souls. Young, old; human, or other races, it doesn’t seem to matter. They seem to prefer young ones though.”
Grenth looked down at the corpses around him. “A shame to be cut from life so soon… that shouldn’t happen, they deserve to live their life.”
“What should we do?”
Grenth remained silent, churning his mind around for ideas. Suddenly, he bursted out laughing. “Ah, that works perfectly. A problem shall be the solution to another problem and they’ll fix each other.”
****“You know, I still don’t know why I have to follow someone who smells like a rotting carp.” Konig said as he followed behind Zalam. Only a single week has passed since they first met in the catacombs of Arah. Since then, the two have slowly been traveling by foot away from Arah. “And why must we walk everywhere!”
“It’s not like you or I will get tired this easily.” Zalam said. “And if you really dislike me that much, I could always use this scythe on you.”
Konig silenced himself while scaling up a mountain. The two were currently in northern shore of the Crystal Sea which was riddled with mountains. Few passes existed and most were either too dangerous to cross on foot, for normal people that is, as they were always attacked, or they were used by rushing merchants and led straight to Ascalon. It was rare to ever see people traveling on foot around there. If they were heading to Ascalon, then perhaps they’d be in one of those passes.
“And besides, it’s you that decided our destination!” Zalam shouted as he jumped off of a small cliff ten feet down. He landed perfectly on his feet and continued walking without breaking his stride. “This is amazing! So to think this is just a portion of the gods’ power!”
“Heh, you’re just like a child who got a new toy.” Konig said as he followed Zalam down.
“What was the name of this place you want to go to again?” Zalam asked as he carefully moved back up some sandblasted rocks.
“I call it the Citadel of the Decayed.”
“What an interesting name, youngin’.”
The two turned around to see Grenth sitting on top of a nearby cliff. Darkness swallowed him up like a cloak, as it always did. And as always, it felt to Konig that something was attempting to escape that darkness, that something was being smothered.
“What are you doing here old man?” Konig asked, immediately thinking of a way to pay Grenth back for the imprisonment.
“I’m here to make a deal with you, youngin’.”
“I’m sick of being your tool!” Konig shouted. Expanding his arms, he quickly chanted a spell. Ethereal claws stretched out from his arms, mimicking his hand gestures, and shot towards the god.
Grenth flicked his hand, sending a giant skeletal arm from the ground beneath him, knocking Konig over and ending his spell. The skeletal arm then crushed down on Konig, pinning him against the ground.
Grenth walked through the air, on top of the darkness that surrounded him, until he was right in front of Konig. “A storm is brewing in this cloudless sky, youngin’. A storm that will change the entire world. If you aid me and the other four gods, then I may be able to convince them to free you from your watchman. You’d like that, right?”
Konig tried to free himself but was unable to. Zalam stood nearby, laughing constantly as Konig continued to struggle. “I really am lucky! This really picked up my boring vacation! Hah!”
When Konig finally gave up, he said “Fine. What do you need me to do?”
“That fool Abaddon seems to be around the Gate of Heaven. Just find us around there when you hear word that the gods have left Arah. I’d head there now if I were you though.”
“You want us to fight a god?” Zalam said quizzingly.
“Don’t worry, it isn’t either of your time yet. If it ever will be.” Grenth said as he faded into the shadow of a cliff. His last words were inaudible because the skeletal arm that pinned Konig down crumbled.
“Change of plans.” Konig said as he got up and began moving with renewed haste southeast.
“Since you’re the piece being bargained for, might as well let you lead, but where are we going now?” Zalam asked as he followed Konig.
“I said change of plans, not destination. We’re still going to the citadel but for a different reason.”
“Alright, but why don’t we take a rest soon? It’s getting dark out.”
Konig laughed. “Weren’t you saying earlier how you don’t get tired so easily? You can do without sleep.”
“I’m fine without sleep, but I’d rather not travel over this terrain in the dark, and who knows what this place is like at night. Besides, I haven’t slept since I began watching over you.”
“We’ll move until we find the coast or until we can’t see that well. We need to cover as much ground as possible.”
The two continued to climb and jump off of variously sized and shaped rocks. The sun had just set when they began to hear the water clashing against the jagged cliff edges. Along the coast was a long and flat path, a rarity along their path.
“We’ll have to do without a fire.” Konig said as he looked around, for the past couple hours there haven’t been many trees or other plants, and nothing nearby was really burnable. What was burnable nearby was wet by the nearby water.
Zalam laid down on a space of the flat ground furthest from the clashing waves. “You’ve been without light for twenty years; you’ll survive without a campfire for one night.”
Konig forced a short laugh at Zalam’s attempt at a joke.
“So what’s at this place, this ‘Citadel of the Decrepit,’ we’re heading anyways?” Zalam asked.
“Decayed. It’s a place I built a season or two after Dhuum disappeared in order to house some… experiments. I had a lot of free time since I wasn’t forced to kill for Dhuum anymore, so I began testing my ‘gift.’ I figured a place in the middle of nowhere was perfect.”
“Perfect to not be found, annoying to get to.” Zalam chuckled to himself. “So, if you do get your freedom, what do you intend to do? Continue your experiments?”
“I’ve had enough isolation for now. Who knows what I’ll do, maybe visit Desmina.”
“Desmina….” Zalam said the name slowly as he stared into the sky in thought, knowing the name but not remembering it. “Oh, right, Grenth’s former high priest.”
“Former?” Konig looked at Zalam in confusion.
“She died a few years back I heard. Someone set fire to a temple of Grenth that she was near. If I remember correctly, some of the temple’s students were trapped inside so she rushed in to save them. Most of them got out, but she never did. Well, in the end she got what she wanted: death.”
Konig frowned at Zalam’s last words. “Desmina didn’t want to die. Just following the god of death doesn’t mean you want it. She probably valued life far more than anyone else I knew.”
“Then why else would you follow a god of death but to want death? If not for yourself then for others! Isn’t that how it’s always been.”
“That’s how it’s always been with Dhuum.”
“Eh, I don’t see a difference between him and Grenth.” Zalam rolled onto his side, facing his back to Konig. “I don’t care for debates though, goodnight.”
Konig gave a sigh and stared at the sky in thought. He slept a lot when imprisoned in order to pass the time – not like he could do anything else when he couldn’t move – so he wasn’t tired in the least. He doubted he’d sleep again for decades.
So Desmina’s dead…. Konig’s thoughts kept running in circles, trying to figure out what happened in the past two decades. My mother killed herself shortly after I was imprisoned. Serves her right, but to call people to a square to watch her death? I knew she was crazy… And now Hara leads my father’s estate… I also heard my uncle finally had a child, does that mean the old man got married too? Died when saving her students… Maybe if I was there...
Konig’s thoughts were interrupted by Zalam muttering. At first Konig thought Zalam was talking to him, but soon realized he was talking in his sleep.
“Heh. I thought you were supposed to watch me, not the other way around.” Konig said softly as he kept looking at the sleeping man.
“Don’t worry ma, dad will come back fine.” Zalam began to rustle about, obviously unnerved by what he was dreaming.
Konig began to wonder what kind of dream Zalam was having. He soon began to realize Zalam was repeating the same words over and over.
“Don’t worry ma, dad will come back fine. He’s Rodrick Rofocale, Captain Jadoth’s first mate!”
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 17-09-2011 at 22:52.