Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Creation and Destruction
Smoke and Fire
Whirlwind and parting fog show the gleaming metal of a thousand years of war, etched as if deeply wounded are elemental scars and coal black barbs given way to illuminated soul stones and wicked embellishments adorned so is the warrior of death. The darkness parts and shafts of glimmering light reflect a ghostly apparition, a illusionary High Lord, guardian of lost souls, and exalted champion of light. All fall in worship of the false prophet, he who is blessed by the dark adversary, and deceiver of the faithful. Swords are drawn, darkly gifts lavished upon the foolish, for the coming crusade will reap the dead as falling wheat. How could anyone know the difference between this illusionary savior and the genuine artificer of the divine?
Pause and see his entry, each step smoldering the verdant grass, sigils tracing his path of destructive fury in arching hellish blue light. Throwing back the finely wrought gates before him and brushing back entangling roses the color of blood the destroyer cometh. His sword high, a dark twisted artifact, frosted with runes, echoing an unearthly choirs of shattered memories and broken dreams, seething a tearing noxious green smoke. The trophies of war hung from hip cords and leather bonds about him, for no man dare question the besworn or be struck below the pools of shadow gliding before his sword point. Locked in tormented fire, at war with the fell beasts of the lowers.
Only the Gods can command his spark, and at what cost does the Warbringer dare bargain? Ceaseless struggle, war evermore, or the quenching of fire with the blood of his foes? Has he abandoned what little soul left to him upon the plains of destruction? Open slaughter comes to the damned, as Gods roil and broker to unmake that which only survives as but one counter strike to that of peace.
For without war, there can never be peace, nothing is for free, and the only thing that is certain in life is death, but if one must die then die with dignity sword in hand and fear not the scion of destruction, for he has no power beyond those of the Gods who created him. Though to serve or worship the "First Sword" is only for fools and those who listen to them.
The Machine of Ruin wades upon broken soil the color of skyfire, a token of steel slung low, which rises as a rasping shallow scream upon the scarred battlefields of mortals. Moving in and amongst the fearful and cowardly alike, he appears as thunderous shadow, violet lightning striking forth at random incinerating the faithful and the brave.
High upon rocky hilltop await his challenger, clenching a shimmering Halberd, gleaming with divine power. Adorned is his counterpart in gilded armor of gold, enamel of the color of pearl, and gems of the deepest blue as though one would find crystal clear water to quench a thirst. This divine creation name Sanctifier of Hope, Bringer of Divine Wrath, Angel of Judgment, for so too can the Gods wage war, and in their anger bring forth furious creations, to sunder defiant powers.
Vicious mêlée ensued, two powers locked in defiant challenge. One the Dark Crusader of the Old Faith, steeped in pagan beliefs, and indulgent of all of the worldly pleasures, pressed onward uphill knowingly endangering himself and never a backward glance toward his distinct low ground disadvantage. Caution be damned, he viciously tilted upon his foe, gruesome shield high, blade bemused, dancing, ethereal, steel upon steel armored as a great serpent.
Humbly confident, rising as a wave of fire did the Sanctifier, holy besworn, firmly drive his Halberd. Beckoning with proud smile, whispering truth as if it were sweet honey, did the Arm of God call out to the Lord of Sorrow. Fire engulfed the struggling charge of he who is nameless, and enslaved to the lowers.
"Beautiful release, cleansing flame, a scouring, O'sufferance how merciful", did the creature wail in his experience. Yet untethered, fire gave way to smoke, and smoke released crackled sizzling hands gripping unbridled fury.
Lovingly the "High Commander of He Who Lives Eternal" embraced the "Exalted Dark Champion of Blasphemy Undying" in combat. Blood mingled with grit and metal, light pierced darkness, decay infested the pure, inspiration brought low destruction, lust overpowered bravery, yet in the end neither creation could witness it's counterparts complete annihilation.
Seasons passed, the stars circular, sun and moon danced joyfully, cosmic chaos as the two seemed to freeze in motion upon the barren hilltop. Root, and stem enveloped the combatants, flowering as summers dazzle shone down, stone crumbled as dry bread about their feet. Plant and animal rose in absence of time, beasts of all nature scurried about uncaring as Mother strolled upon the lands.
Placing graceful hands upon the warriors, "Lady Nature Worlds Balance and Caretaker of Life" spoke, "Give Quarter, or I shall rise up and deny us all."
Chains of stone, and blankets of sand scoured the two immortals. Cold rain fell, and the warm winds did howl as both eternals fought the very ground they stood upon, mired within thick undergrowth. Billowing clouds rumbled, the color of violet, as did an avalanche of lightning hurled itself earthward sundering the very hilltop in contest. The lofty perch was split in twain and earth and rock was spilled upward, and except for a small island of ground, was smoothly encircled by searing heat, and the molten bones of the fallen, Natures Guardian with wrathful eye agleam, wicked anger was she. Full of fury, and bedazzled she brook no compromise, and sought no patronage from the two who were her wounds upon the earth.
Though this drama be fantastic in it's design, naught but for the powers that be could it exist in our own sphere, astral and sublime contenders vie for the balance. Each brought forth it's own creation, one who tends granted gifts or powers overlorded unto those of worth, souls with a legacy. Flown in upon heavy air, thick and murky the stuff of the ethereal is our final champion of the forging. Struck upon the alters of the well of magic, shimmering of the brilliance arcane doth the great draconian beast emerge. His scales glistening of slick high magic, oozing the boiling mists of mythic spell craft. Artifacts of ancient lore procuring greedy attention strewn about his serpentine coils, high browed crown of gold and platinum adorned so is he. All shudder before "The Great One Keeper of the Flame Eternal, and Lord of the Binding Ways" breathing clouds of white flame, small luminous runes dancing about his slithering scales.
A lone Guardian of the Forge stood forth amidst the calling, a fragile mortal, small among the gathered Champions, and cried "Here we fall both brother and friend alike, here we stand alone in the night, does thou not see our fight? O'Lords of great and tremendous power, we here flail upon the crust of your works, and though my faint and somber words fall upon those with the will and spark of even greater design will you not grant me audience?"
Turning slowly, gigantic in motion as if a huge tide swelled before him did the immortals shadows fall upon the small Guardian. Booming thunder echoed across forest and vale, crackling as roaring fire through bog and mountains one immortal, darkness clinging about him spoke, "You wish to secure these lands safety in exchange for what, I ask you? For what bargain would you so choose, and with what meager currency doth thou have to give unto our kind?"
"My sword, soul, will, and the blood of my bones in sacrifice unto the will of one of my choosing." Black soot, and liquid fire engulfed the Guardians tiny form, magical runes danced wickedly over the ground as he fell. Surprisingly unharmed the Guardian rose to his feet.
"You wound me, is it your way to refuse something given freely? I believe you fear me, for as bold as it is and in judgment of those who mean to judge me I would have you explain such a display."
The shroud of night cut the day in two, and the stars did explode into luminous showers of spark and dust when finally words were spoken, "you do not understand what you ask of us child."
The engulfed Guardian stood bravely, hands outstretched seeking mercy, blissful rapture could not be found though and cruelly, with sadistic pleasure, was he sundered. Smote where he stood, and blown upon the fiery winds as bleak ash amidst roaring campfires of hungry giants.
Alas the loss of the mortal coil, but await and see his rebirth, glimmering like Aquitaine pearls, encased in baroque armor embellished with etchings of stormbound lightning, bathed in dark sapphires, and blood red rubies. Gifted so with a legendary two handed sword of unmatched quality, a finer edge never seen of mithril, omnium, and adamantium. His sword strikes, those of a true Dawn Lord, crackle like lightning and thundering of the storm, winds swirling upon it's point, light gliding before it's hilt.
Forsaken and abandoned by the Gods which created him, knowing only death and sorrow, surrounded by vengeful enemies, left to rage against the cold searing touch of darkness is he who would be forged in opposition to the warm radiant light, and life giving strength of hope. Sheltered in the cold dying light of the moon, and bathed in harsh unforgiving acidic rains, naked and shivering a baleful eye did he cast upward upon the Gods which stood in judgment of him.
"This one I shall claim, and he shall become like a veil which I shall cast upon the world, a dark harbinger of my word, and a lord of death and decay. He shall wield the combined might of ten of my Darkwatch Champions and call forth whirlwinds of bladed shadow, a destroyer in my image" proclaimed the ancient, as dark matter flowed from him.
Twisted in form, and wicked of mind was this sorrowful creature. Cunning as a ravenous wolf, and quick of betrayal as an assassins dagger did this mortal grind against such authority. Yet for his unrepentant sin of murder or worse did he so laugh, and tilt against his would be God and Master of Destruction. His refusal of darkly gifts only made the embrace of his lord that much more forceful and rapturous. The pleasures taken in by such an immortal are beyond these simple writings, yet the excruciating pain and torturous suffering of such a deprived mortal are not. The birth of such a Darkwatch Lord having never been seen for over a thousand years would not be a simple task if not for the true power of the forging and the Gods which cast upon it.
The Great Betrayer
Lethal, clever, and agile was the loathsome creation of the combined godly powers. Small and shuddering with awe inspired fear was he so framed, with towers dark and ominous looming above eyes lost in their great spiraling heights. Ravens circled, echoing dreary songs of sorrow and pain, as small disjointed creatures danced about chanting in dark speech.
Servants of the Dark One, The Destroyer, Lord of Sorrow, they had small beady black multifaceted eyes, large toothy grins, and dark holes where ears should have been. The head of each of the small impish creatures was unusually large and oval shaped, on a small wiry body with thin spindly arms and legs which seemed much longer then necessary, their skin the color of red clay. The air was heavy with the smell of the streets and alleys or busy ale houses and dimly lit bolt holes as the small slaves bounded about merrily in the twilight of the dying sun.
Those agents of the Dark One that were not dancing proceeded to bestow strange gifts upon the rogue and dress him in unusual leather skins. The elongated shadows of the attendants obscured much, yet the rakes eyes suddenly cast agleam, illuminating a piercing emerald, turning night to day in the blink of an eye. There before him were instruments of destiny, two razor sharp daggers of the finest quality, bejeweled ornate, with twisted rapturous women etched upon blood grooved blades of wicked design.
His armor, tight with leather bound silks, buckles and clasps of purest silver, and plates of hard brigadine fitted for defense and stitched for the stealth of a master class filcher and assassin. Quickly with cowardice did the fawning cretins fall away in appreciation of a job well done, as like a court jester did they mockingly finger the now shadow cloaked killer. With capricious toothy grins upon their deeds done they hurriedly pressed off back into the murk of the lost day, among ruined temples to lost causes and the strewn debris of forgotten men.
Then a voice ethereal spoke, like blazing forests hot and dry was it’s rasp, "arise and walk betrayer of men, and cast down upon them like bitter winter wind, and quick serpents strike of venomous cunning."
As he was commanded the Rake did rise, upon doing so it became apparent of the shadowy shifting in his form, and the flow in his step. "How.." began the rogue, "..Can this be" spoke the Immortal.
Easily stepping forward through the ruined stones of the shattered temple before him thundered the Celestial, "for you are my son, a scion of fate, and chosen plane walker. Your destiny is as the embodiment of shadow and death. Others have so been created, you are the third, in a line of four. I have used the Bloodforge of Creation and the Acropothis, Hammer of the Apocalypse in your making. Therefore you are unique and immortal, and have marrow of my bones in your creation. Now go, and fear not death, I hold it's leash and it's maw bound."