The Story

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The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:08 pm

A long time ago, a circle of mages came together to end the chaos in the world and thus bring peace. This alliance of 13 magicians did not only plan a golden era, but they also devised a plan to bring ultimate control of all ancient forces to one of them. The Plan of 500 Years. That is how long it was supposed to take, until a “dark roamer“ was to give one circle mage the power to bind all forces of the world in a ritual, the Convocation, and thus acquiring almightiness.

However, in their hunger for power the circle turned on one another and their peace shattered. A few years before the ritual was to be conducted, a devastating war broke out leaving no race untouched.Only one mage would become almighty. Finally the “dark roamer“ appeared with his magnificent gleaming tail, up in the darkness of the night’s sky, and the days of the Convocation had arrived.

Each of the circle mages began his ritual of convocation, to become the chosen one, but the Eternal Flames – energies that flow through the world and its inhabitants – were too powerful to be held by just one individual. The Eternal Flames that once held the world together began to rip it apart. Afterwards fragments of the continents are all that remained. Left over pieces of a formerly flourishing world were now floating through nonentity, connected by means of magical stones and portals.
Rohen, one of the circle mages, starts to reconstruct what is left. He explores the different pieces and gathers attendants; he calls their community the “Order of Dawn”. Their aim is to rebuild the shattered world.

Eight years after the Convocation, Rohen marks the start, changing the fate of the world for all times. He evokes the power of the rune. However, what hidden knowledge does this circle mage have?
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Re: The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:28 am

The Convocation

„We knew not...

And so we fought, fought until in our ignorance we brought about the end of the old age. Senseless wars were waged under the reign of the Circle; so blinded were we in our constant quest for power that we did not foresee what was to come, could not comprehend the fate we had sealed for our world. As the shadow fell upon the Eye of Aonir, the Masters of the Elements, answering the call of the Thirteen, cast off their bonds and roamed free. Their power and rage unleashed, the ancient Elements once again began to fight amongst themselves, as they have since the beginning of time.

In their anger, the Elements heedlessly ravaged the face of the world. The earth burst open and its glowing blood flowed freely over the land. Columns of fire stretched toward the sky, up to the maelstrom of black clouds that seemed to swallow the horizon. Scorching storms of ash and poison upheaved even the highest mountains and ground them to dust. The oceans began to boil, greedily tearing away at the coasts.

One day and one night the rage of the Elements lasted, before the shadow passed. Then they were banished, just as they had been once before, and a deathly silence fell upon a scarred world.

Only a few of us managed to seek shelter by the Stones. There we lay; some crying to, others cursing the Gods that had let this happen. Yet we were blind, refused to accept the obvious truth… we were to blame.

For we knew not…"

Ishtar Magnus „The Darkest Hour“
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Re: The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:37 am

Guardian in the Mountain - Part 1

„Is that the bridge?“
For an instant, I stopped and enjoyed my moment of solitude. Before me, a huge canyon opened up, allowing for a spectacular view of the snow-covered peaks of the western Windwall mountains. As far as the eye could see, the peaks stretched out as a massive ocean of rock, covered by the spray of eternal snow, frozen and unchanging to the eyes of mortals. Wisps of cloud were driven by the wind across a steel blue sky and cast subtle shadows on otherwise immaculate planes of white. The crunching of snow under boots behind me hailed the end of my short rest.
„What other bridges would you expect to find in such a forsaken place, human?“
Skjalf stomped past to me, bearing the load of his pack and innumerous axes. Not that the weight really seemed to hinder him, in fact, as we had learned the last few days, hardly anything bothered the Dwarf. He sneered at me and started the descent down to the bridge that we had been searching for days.

Like a small strip of perfectly formed rock the bridge crossed the dark chasm of the canyon. The supporting pillars that disappeared into the unfathomable depths below seemed almost too thin and elegant to support its weight. Truly, this was a prime example of the architecture of the empire of old, a testament to the skills of the Dwarven masters, whose ancestor now descended the slope before us.

Now, the others began to pass me, the exhaustion leaving no room for other expressions on their faces. Caele, a lock of whose red hair always managed to free itself from the bonds of her hair-bands and whip her face rebelliously, slowly unpacked her bow from the protective fur as she strode toward the valley. Joshua, who still bore the same expression of disgust as the first time he had set foot on the snow, pulled the gloves from his elegant fingers and brushed snow and ice from his sword and quiver, cursing under his breath as he followed Caele. Gunthar was the last, his bald head uncovered despite the cold and his heavy arms crossed over the shaft of the huge axe that rested on his neck. He rolled his dark eyes as his gaze passed over me and he followed the others down through the snow. In the last few days, we had all cursed each other many a time for so easily following the Dwarf’s tales and gold. This was no place for humans. But at least we were able to get away from the war for a while.

I took my shield from my back and joined the others.

We crossed the endless abyss on the narrow bridge. Over five hundred paces long, it spanned the canyon to a snow-covered slope that was visible between the harsh cliffs in the west. This narrow path of stone was the only way to reach the white rise that opened amist the vertical rocks, the passage to an unknown mountain which we were to climb.
We met neither the traps nor the ancient magic that Skjalf had warned us about and reached the other side of the bridge unharmed, but chilled by the icy winds. Our boots dug into the virgin snow and the cold air carried the noise across the glittering surface of the steep slope that led up into the clouds. Wisps of snow blew over the the shining surface like ghosts. It appeared as if no living thing had ever set foot here before.
“We’re going to climb the whole mountain with our weapons drawn? There’s nothing…”
“Not the whole mountain. Look!“
Skjalfs armored hand pointed up the ravine and silenced my half-hearted protest. With each step we took, the silhouette of an imposing gravesite loomed more and more clearly out of the fog of the cloud cover. Into the face of the cliff, Skjalf’s ancenstors had carved a gigantic doorway, narrow and tall, surrounded by a wall of statues that stared down at us sternly with their cold, stone eyes. Silently, we looked up with awe to the massive gate that, surrounded by the fine fog of the clouds, seemed to be as far off and as huge as the mountain itself. Skjalf quickened his pace as he strode ahead.

“This is the grave of Torgen, the last of the Dragon Slayers. It was built in his honor by Urgrim, the greatest of the Dwarven master builders. Many years and many lives did it cost, including that of the builder himself.”
The Dwarf’s voice sounded grim.
“Urgrim never left this place.”
“What is this Lördir that you seek? An heirloom?”
Caele tried in vain to shake a lock of hair from her frostbitten face, her clear gaze fixed suspciously on the armored back of the Dwarf.
“What does it look like? At least tell us this!”
Oblivious to her questions, the Dwarf strode on, but his hand reached out as if by reflex to check for the heavy double-edged axe her carried under his pack. It looked to weigh at least three times as much as Gunthar’s huge weapon, and none of us knew why he had brought it here to the frozen peaks of Windwall.
“You’ll know soon enough. Let’s go!”

Onwards and upwards through the knee-deep snow we waded. Our heavy breathing rose like white flags to the north as we fought our way through the white sea until we finally reached flatter ground. The gate was not far now, and to the left and right statues of fallen Dragon Slayers rose out of the snow. The sun was just starting to set and drew golden-red streaks across rocks and sculptures as we approached the grave in the blue shadow of the mountain. Around us were many smaller monuments, some hardly recognisable under the blanket of snow, others showing fierce dragons and raging demons. A battle, frozen in stone here in the endless winter. The wind blew fiercely amongst the creatures and whistled between their claws, creating an eerie, surreal song.
We started to slow.
Like a thin veil, the threat of danger lay upon this place. Even the Dwarf moved cautiously, his armored fist not leaving the handle of his axe. Suddenly, Joshua drew a sharp breath and we followed his gaze to the mountain. Only a few paces separated us from the door, where the snow had recently been disturbed. Bones lay strewn there, the carcasses of what might have been mountain goats, ripped and disemboweled as by wild beasts.
Without a word, we readied our weapons and made a circle. Watching, waiting, we heard only our own breathing and the strange song of the wind. Above our heads, stony faces looked to the east, oblivious to our presence.

Then he jumped right in front of me and landed on a monument, a club of stone and wood in his hairy paw. For a split-second, I saw a huge, human-like form with a great, goat-like head staring down at me. With a ear-splitting roar, he launched himself into the air and his club slammed down on me. I only just managed to raise my shield to try and ward off the blow of the weapon.
A blow from the hammer of the Smith God himself could not have been worse. My shield rang like a bell under the force of the stone club and I dropped to my knees, my shield arm numb to the shoulder. Snow flew into my face and half-blind, I ducked under the shield and sought my sword which the blow had knocked out of my hand. Again, the club crashed down on me, banging the shield against my head, almost knocking me unconscious. In my desperation, I supported the shield with both arms and forced my knees to support me – but alas, my numbed limbs did not obey. As if from a great distance, I heard the sounds of battle behind me, snow blowing around me like a white storm. Once more, the mighty weapon rushed towards me, striking the edge of my shield, breaking the leather straps and sending it flying like a leaf in the wind. The force of the blow knocked me to the ground and the Brute, half human, half animal, roared in triumph.

To be continued…
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Re: The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:38 am

Guardian in the Mountain - Part 2

His roar struck me with almost as much force as his club, his putrid breath showering me with spittle and carrion. In a daze, I crawled away from the monster and as I saw his club raised to the sky, ready to deliver the killing blow, all I could do was stare, paralysed by fear. Suddenly a shadow danced across my face and one of Skjalf’s axes flew past me, embedding itself in the Brute’s skull. For a instant, we both held our breath, then the Beastman dropped dead into the snow like a falling tree.
I forced my numb limbs to move. Three other Brutes lay dead in the blood-red snow. My companions were breathing heavily, but I saw no wounds.
“What took you so long?”
“Should I have split your skull as well, human? Next time, just play dead and stay out of the way!”

The Dwarf’s strong hand reached out and pulled me to my feet. Without a word, Joshua handed me my sword and the sorry remains of my shield. My shameful smile disappeared as we heard another fearsome roar. Our weapons raised, we looked about, expecting another onslaught, but no attacker was to be seen, only the stony faces of the sculptures staring back at us. The roar could still be heard, dull and seemingly coming from the rock itself. Skjalf tore his axe free and pointed to the rocky gate.
“They’re coming through the gate! Stop them at the stairs, if they get out in the open, we won’t stand a chance!”

Driven by the Dwarf’s stern voice, we jumped up and rushed to the gate. It towered above us like a cliff, and I wondered how these beasts, who were without a doubt extremely strong, would ever be able to move such huge doors. Yet they began to shake, frost and dust raining down on us. With an unearthly grating sound, the first door opened enough to let out a stream of huge, horned creatures, at least two heads taller than Gunthar, but still almost human, carrying axes and clubs of wood and stone in their hands.

Two fell at once and tumbled down the stone stairs, struck by arrow and bolt. The others were upon us in an instant, Gunthar’s axe striking out and biting into flesh and bone. I ducked under the blow of one of the Horned One’s clubs and rammed my sword into his open flank. With a gurgling scream he pulled me down as he died, and we both struck the hard stone of the stairs so that once more I saw stars before my eyes. At that moment, the portal thundered again and began to open further, the huge doors scraping over the rock, pushing stone and snow aside.

For an instant, the battle stopped, as if dulled by the thundering of the doors. Faster and faster the doors opened and finally, we saw the great power that moved it. Never before had I seen a Giant, and so I lay paralysed with despair on the blood-stained stones. Taller than many a tower this beast loomed in the open gate, his massive arms swelling at the effort of pushing a weight than not even a hundred men could have moved an inch. Wild eyes glowed down at us from between a black beard and mane, and despite his barbaric appearance, it was clear how old and powerful this beast was.


While we humans were paralysed by this appearance and the word that it uttered in our language, the Dwarf stood fast. “Your deathsman, Lördir! Many years you have gone unpunished, now you will reap the wrath of the sons of Urgrim!” The Giant lowered his hateful gaze and fixed the Dwarf. The ancient enemies stared at each other for a heartbeat, then the Giant stormed out of the gate with a roar.

The very mountain seemed to tremble under his thundering steps and, thrown into the air by the shaking rock, I tumbled helplessly down the stairs. For an instant, the sky was black as the giant strode over me, crushing creatures and stone under him as he bore down on the Dwarf. Humans and beasts alike struggled to get out of the path of this moving tower of blind rage. Only Skjarf remained motionless. The Dwarf had removed his backpack and reached for the heavy axe strapped to his back. Just as the giant raised his fist to squash the Dwarf, Skjalf threw the axe. With all his might, he launched the weapon toward the giant, its twin blades glittering in the twilight like a deadly butterfly.

A surprised groan escaped the Giant’s throat. As if swatting an insect, his huge hand moved to his bloody forehead. Then he began to fall, for a seemingly endless instant seemed to teeter like a rotten tree before he started to tumble forwards. Skjalf turned and ran from the impending disaster, but the Giant’s hand reached out and closed around the fleeing Dwarf, crushing him as he thundered to the ground, dead.

For an instant, there was silence. The wind blew the huge cloud of snow that the Giant’s body had flung into the air to the east and with a quiet rustling, dust fell from the open gate. Then the growling and snarling around us became louder as the Beastmen shook off their numbness. We looked around and each of us saw the same thought in the others’ faces. Our journey was over, there was nothing for us in this place. No matter how much gold or how many treasures lay in the Dragon Prince’s grave, the price of retrieving them would be death. And so we took our weapons, grabbed our belongings and started to run.

Through the deep snow we half ran, half slid back toward the bridge. The beasts were close behind us, growling and roaring. They were able to move through the snow faster than we, and as we reached the bridge, they were almost upon us. Finally we started out across the narrow, rocky path that spanned the bottomless canyon as fast as our boots would carry us. The Brutes hesitated for an instant and as the first stepped out onto the bridge, Caele turned and dropped him with quick flash of her bow. With an arrow in his skull, the body of the Beastman fell silently into the darkness.

None of the others followed us and we reached the other side in safety. As my companions continued to run, I turned and looked back. They were climbing back up the white slope, back to the grave that they had made their home. As unwelcome guardians, they would secure the final resting place of the Dragon Slayer and the Master Builder until the winds of time had carried away the mountains themselves. Our tracks would soon fade and with them the memory of us and this day’s events. The beasts, however, will still be here. Northwind blew softly down the slopes and brought fresh snow.
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Re: The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:45 am


Morning began to break. We had allowed the followers of the sun their pathetic sleep and gathered our strength in prayer until the first rays of morning shone down upon the ruins of the holy sanctuary. The time for their execution had come.

I knelt upon a ledge in the wall and looked down to the sun-believer’s camp. They were humans, although this time they were not soldiers. They were either scouts or thieves, judging by their torn leather garments and simple weapons. Between the ruins, wisps of morning mist drifted like ghosts in the golden light where the humans cowered together in their pitiful campsite. The stench of their unwashed bodies and their fear was overpowering, even up on my perch high above their heads. I stood to give my servants a sign and sprang down amongst them.
The weight of my armor was soon forgotten as I whirled among them, my blades flashing and their steaming blood surrounding me like a red cloud. Effortlessly, the shimmering moonlight of my swords bit through their pathetic armor and stinking flesh. They were so weak, paralyzed by useless fear and confusion, that I was almost angry at them. I always preferred a good fight to senseless slaughter, but these ones allowed themselves to be butchered like cattle. Distorted faces rushed by me and their screams merged with the tearing of flesh. Soon, only a last one was left standing and I remembered my duty. My sword stopped at his throat and he froze with fear, staring at me over the silvery surface of the blade with his watery eyes, breathing his fear into my face. And so we stood for an instant as the dying fell to the ground around us.
Shain Tal’ ach, a battlemaster of my group, stepped out of the fog. His armored fist held the black braid of a skinny, dirty excuse for a human woman who cried out shamelessly in fear.
“She was hiding in the ruins.”
I lowered my blade from the man’s throat.
“Put them in chains. Both of them.”

The battlemaster let go of the human and shouted out his orders. Instantly, the humans began to cling desperately to each other, pressing their dirty faces together before falling to their knees, crying. My men turned away, repulsed by this open display of weakness. The disgusted gaze of my warlord wandered further, looking out over the ruins to the East where in the halls of obsidian, the Master of Ceremonies awaited us.
“Only two sacrifices tonight. The Archon will be angered.”
I stared at the human campsite, only a few daggers, and a bit of food – what a pitiful existence.
“It will have to do. These were not warriors, only farmers and fugitives. They died too quickly.”
Then I looked to the crying pile of human misery at my feet and sought the feeling of disgust that so many of my kin felt. But there was only a strange, unique sensation that at that time I neither understood, nor did I want to.
„Get them moving, night comes quickly at this time of year!“

When we reached the city, it was already dark. Without cleansing ourselves, we dragged our offering to the great hall where we were eagerly awaited. We strode through the ranks of our relatives, our breathing heavy from the quick march, barely able to keep the rhythm of the tubular bells that had begun to sound upon our arrival. Under the high ceiling of the hall, our procession continued endlessly, lined by a wall of silent faces, mirrored in the shining floor of obsidian. My wife nodded to me from the crowd and I returned her gaze respectfully, yet I felt so out of place, with my dirty armour and bloody weapons, as if I myself were a barbarian.

The high Archon awaited us as the end of the hall under the round window, where the silver disc of the moon was moving into place.

The cold light of our lord appeared as a shining ray and shone down on the Archon and the Book of Sermons that lay on its massive pedestal of silver. The beam was so bright that the white pages of the book seemed to glow, bathing the book and the pure skin of the Archon in a surreal aura. This was the holiest hour, the brightest of the full moon. Murmurs of prayer floated like a fog of sounds from the hall.

My battlemaster passed me and knelt before the Archon on the polished obisidian while around me, my men fell to their knees in reverence. Only I remained standing. “The Dracon Craig Un’ Shallach comes before the Archon with an offering!” The Archon came out from behind the book, his long robe flowing around his slender figure and seemingly merging with the floor. His eyes measured us and his hard gaze punished us for the unworthy sacrifice.
“You bring us a meager offering, dracon.”
Then he looked at me and in our eyes, the old fight for power flared up, a fight that my caste had long lost. I remained silent and with an almost invisible smile, he turned away. “First, the man.”

Full of expectation, the hall murmured as the Archon stretched his left hand to the face of the human, a face distorted by fear. He dug the nails of his right hand into the palm of the left, opening his flesh in three wounds, from which dark drops of blood began to drip onto the human’s skin. At first, they persisted as black pearls. Then, as so many times before, it happened – the black drops began to twitch, to slide left and right. Legs appeared and turned the drops into black spiders, a legion of greedy servants of our lord that at once began to burrow into the human’s flesh. Screaming, the faithful servant of the sun began to squirm, while the Archon watched over his victim’s suffering with silent glee.

”Your flesh will decay, the price of your gods’ sacrilege. Your blood will flow as a sign of your weakness and for our lord’s pleasure!”

I gazed down upon that which I had seen so many times before and waited silently for the end, turning toward the within and seeking the pleasure and satisfaction, but could not find them. I looked into the eyes of the woman, saw her look at her dying husband, a desperate look filled with the full power of her senseless emotions, cutting his pain like a dagger and deep as the almighty sea of mourning.
Those eyes paralyzed me. Then, as in a dream, I drew one of my blades and severed the screaming man’s head from his torso. A quick step, and the woman also fell to the ground, her throat slit.

An outcry and murmur filled the hall and I felt the unbelieving gaze of my men. The Archon stumbled, stunned by the outrage of my actions.
“What have you done?”
Confused, I sought an answer for something that I could not explain. As if from another, distant place, my voice sounded, strong and clear.
“They were only peasants, their sacrifice not worthy of his hall.”

Silence surrounded me as I looked around. There I stood, my armour covered in the blood of the sun-believers, and was recognized for what I really was: A doubter, already tainted by the worshippers of the light, stained with the marking of their weakness. Rejection flowed like a wave of ice through the crowd and I stood alone.

Yet the Archon smiled his thin, almost invisible smile. I was the leader of my caste and untouchable to him, but in that instant I had given up my power.
“Pray, brothers and sisters! May the wrath of the Silverweaver pass us by!”

I started to go, still numbed by my action, hoping that which was inevitable would not follow.
I froze.
“You seem to be weary of your task and unable to complete your duties.”
He said the formula, and though they were only words, not magic, he might as well have summoned the fire of Barga Gor upon me.
“You will receive a new task. You will go to our fortresses in Urgath, where a new challenge will be waiting for you.”
It had been said. Slowly, I turned to face him.
“It is a long journey. You had best leave immediately.“

There was nothing left to do, nothing left to say. So I strode on, heading for the gate at the end of the hall, and with every thundering step of my armoured boots, the crowd seemed to part further, as though they feared me and the disease of weakness that had infected me.

The slaves, their mouths sewn shut, took hold of the handles and began to open the great gate for me. I turned to face my wife who stood silently in the sallow wall of faces. In her eyes, I searched for the power of the human woman’s final look, but could not find it, neither there nor in my heart.

So I just lowered my head in respect, turned and went through the gate, leaving the hall and my homeland.

From the writings of Craig Un´Shallach
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Re: The Story

Post by rupuzioks » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:49 am

The Dark Shore

The drums had stopped. Like on a signal our column halted its advance.
Warm, stinking rain poured down our faces as if it wanted to drown us and the dark mud sucked at our boots. This land had been eating at us since we had first set foot on in; it drained our bodies, spirits and mind. The land of Urgath gulped us down like a hideous toad, only to spit the remains out across the ocean whence we had come. Where we belonged.

Lightning shot across the sky and lit up the line of trees ahead of us. There lay the jungle like a breathing tumor, its sweet, foul stench filling our nostrils and sticking to our bodies and clothing, while the rain filled our mouths. The drums had stopped, the jungle was silent. Everyone waited for battle.

Again, lightning flashed and I looked around to my comrades, saw their faces in the pale light, numb with pain and exhaustion. As the thunder began to roll, darkness enveloped us once more, leaving only the sound of our heavy breathing and the perpetual noise of rain. The jungle around us remained silent. For the blink of an eye, as the next bolt of lightning lit up the sky, I made out a huge, hideous form between the trees; I saw the bloated body, the long, gnarly arms, the ugly skull and the enormous club the creature held in its claw. Then blackness returned.

Like a curse the word spread through our ranks. None of the officers uttered a word, there were no calls to order. We were no more than a crowded pile of fear, fully aware that the jungle would likely become our grave this night.

The mud trembled under the onrush, only slightly at first, then like a quickened heartbeat. I do not know if the first row had even lowered their spears, but it would have made no difference - the short shafts were no match for what awaited us. We were soldiers of the sea, not land warriors. Then the beasts arrived like a thunderclap of deliverance.

With an ear-splitting noise the trolls broke through our lines, the power of their attack crowding our bodies together like sheep at a gate. Stars danced before my eyes as my comrade’s helmet threatened to crush my face. Desperately I fought against the wet iron and struggled for air. Ahead of us in the darkness I heard the ungodly sounds of battle, the cracking of the trolls’ clubs and the death screams of my comrades. Like cattle we stood there, screaming, wedged together, waiting to die.

Another bolt of lightning shot overhead and revealed our foes. There were not many trolls, but they passed through our ranks like a scythe through crops. The leaders with their leathery, scarred faces drove the others into our wall of spears, unrelenting with their tree-long chain whips. Again and again, the trolls’ clubs mashed into the mass of men, crushing weapon and soldier alike, hurling them through the night like dolls. One of the others flew over our heads, then it was dark again.

I rammed the shaft of my spear into the mud so as to not be buried beneath the waves of corpses. The sounds of battle came ever closer in the darkness, I could hear the roaring of the trolls, their primal screams full of pleasure and thirst for blood. Then my comrade’s helmet was torn from in front my face, and I stood unprotected in the darkness. Blind and shaking with fear I raised my spear, its tip meeting resistance.

I thrust it forward.

The ensuing roar almost knocked me off my feet, and in the short light of another flash I saw what my spear had struck. Like a tower he loomed over me. His grey chest was wrapped in coarsely sewn leather, his dripping body pierced by broken spears. By all counts he should have been long dead, even before my spear had stuck into his breast, but the troll’s roars where only full of rage, for the beasts knew neither pain nor fear of death. For a fleeting instant of light, we stared at each other, and he roared all his anger and wildness into my face before darkness fell. His club struck me, tossing me aside and sending me flying through the night. For a moment, I felt the wind around me, could not tell up from down, before the stinking mud finally engulfed me and with it the merciful darkness of unconsciousness.

I woke surrounded by a dull sound like thunder, a sound that shook the mud under my broken body. A new day was dawning in Urgath, the stormclouds on the horizon were glowing in the crimson light of sunrise, highlighting the silhouette of the jungle like a demonic aura. The tangly trees ensnared in rampant vines and the thousands of eyes that sough shelter there were lit up by an unholy glow, as though the land itself was satisfied with the bloody meal it had been served the night before. In the green ponds that night’s rain had created lay the distorted corpses of my fallen comrades. I was alone, with only the omnipresent thunder as company. Painfully, I raised my head from the mud, seeking the origin of the sound. At that instant, they broke out of the undergrowth around me, grotesque shapes in the light of the rising sun. There were hundreds of them, hundreds and hundreds storming past me, an army of trolls at full march, and their onrush made the earth quake. Silent and paralysed I lay there, as growling shape after growling shape passed me in the morning fog, heading west. The fort was lost, our journey to this cursed land over once and for all.

Then something huge, something disgusting broke out of the forest, the sight of which I cannot describe today, but which forced my broken legs to flee, away from this creature and the horrors of that place. But as I fled blindly through the undergrowth, something was always with me, mocking and taunting me like a foul breath on my neck. And since that day, the malice and horror of that place, the darkest of all lands, has haunted me.

Jon Dundwer „Urgath“
Tempus et vita, tempus et mortis