I am going to preface this piece so readers have some background. This was actually written originally when I was playing EQ1 to roleplay out a character my husband no longer wanted to play. It was re-worked in EQ2 into a heroic bardic tale told by my dirge, Marchosia, about her Mother, Ravynya, at our tavern on LDL. In EQ1, there was an option to get faction with King Tormax, the frost giants and Kael Drakkel. Ravynya and her brother, Thavius Ryujin, had this faction. Also the magic references are to specific spells and AA's from EQ1, ie Dead Man Floating, the summoned skeletal archers, Wake the Dead, etc. Please enjoy!
Another Serves in Death...
A lone raven cried shattering the stillness that comes after a huge battle. Thraxxus' last opponent fell to the ground incapacitated and dying as the ogre turned around no longer concerned about the kill. A disconcerted look settled on his features as his eyes scanned the darkness trying to find the bird. Finally, he found it perched on a branch watching him. He was aware all at once that the bird had probably watched him for most of the fight.This was not just a carrion creature early for its meal. Abruptly, he turned and headed for the portal.
He moved through the snows of the Eastern Wastes of Velious outside Kael Drakkel and looked about warily. He searched the frozen tundra and in the fading light.Nothing escaped his eye as he walked. He stopped short as the voices of the dead carried a disembodied whisper through the shadows, â€œDark Tidings, Thraxxus.â€
The large ogreâ€™s eyes darted around followed by his head as he tried to find the owner of the familiar whisper. Ultimately, he could not and bowed to the shadows in a random direction. His deep voice rumbled laced with deference and a bit of apprehension. She had never sought him out personally before.â€œYou send for me, Dark Ryujin?â€
The whisper responded though the owner had yet to appear. There was an ominous intent held within the doleful tones, â€œYes, I did. I am very disappointed that you were not ready to aid me in the seige of the Temple of Najena.â€
Thraxxus scanned the snowy terrain around him. The voice continued. It moved around unpredictably disorienting the massive male. â€œWhile I really had no need of your assistance, this does not release you from your responsibilities to me. Lord Ryujin placed you at my side to be my aide.â€ Realization dawned in his eyes as the shadows enlivened and cascaded down. The tormented, writhing sea spread out across the ground. A petite, dark haired, blue eyed Teir`dal clad in chainmail, holding a staff stood calmly almost serenely watching the ogre. â€œIn that, you have failed.â€
Alarm rose quickly on his face. There was a heavy price to pay for failure. He had been told the stories of what happened to those that failed. The ogre thought as fast as he could. He started and stopped several times as he attempted to find away to appease her. However, he did not know her well. The Lord of the house kept everyone at a distance from her. There was no history to work with in regard to her. All he knew was to protect her at all costs. â€œMe sorry. Me work harder Dark Ryujin.â€
Her voice continued with an almost contemplative tone, â€œMy concern, Thraxxus, is not how hard you are working. Your skill and battle prowess are admirable. My concern is that you have grown distracted from mixing with the wretched pales.â€ She captured his gaze with her ice blue eyes. The ogre paled visibly and tried to tear his eyes from her, â€œYou have allowed them to divert you from the truth the Ryujin have taught you.â€ She stepped forward. He stood his ground by force of his own will. The faintest hint of the contempt that simmered just below her calm surface came to life in her voice,â€œYou have forgotten the generosity and lessons we have bestowed upon you in return for your efforts. Your family has been well cared for by ours for many of your generations. We ask only that which you are capable of giving. No more, no less.â€
He looked upon the female that he watched grow up in his village, â€œMe be ready next time, Dark Ryujin.â€ A group of frost giants known to be loyal to the Ryujin gathered in a circle around Thraxxus, a pit full of corpses, and the Matriarch of the house. There would be no interfering with this fight.
â€œYes you will be, Thraxxus.â€ She stated matter of factly.
Memories raged in his mind as she chanted quietly and rose up into the sky above him. Death was an amusement to him. The female before him believed it an art even as a child. His eyes grew large as he realized the implications of that on this moment in time. He drew his sword determined to prove he was worthy to continue to serve. He was not a failure. He would fight everything she sent after him. When she could cast no more, he would be the victor and her judgment rescinded by Lord Ryujin's law.
The battle began as Luclin reached its apex in the sky. The miasma of shadows convulsed violently as the magick of the Matriarch of the house took hold. The undead stepped forward and the onslaught of combat began. As the ogre's falchions arced through the air, it became apparent quickly that she had planned this for a long time. All manner of undead engaged him in the melee. Perhaps this was really a test. He roared unleashing the primal nature held within his soul.
The surge of thanatotic energy was every bit as relentless as the bitter, harsh winds of the frozen tundra that battered him.The remains of countless bodies battered and broken lay at his feet as another series of arrows pound out the rhythm of the conflict on flesh and steel. Unrelenting anger swelled within him as his falchion cleaved the flesh from a decomposing torso as another surge of dark energy ebbed forth. As the unending tides of the dead rose around him, he realized his fate had been decided. He growled from the depths of his being as he snapped off the arrow shafts protruding from his chest. He launched himself into the fury refusing to surrender to his fate. His mind burned with the insane fire of battle lust. Arrows struck his shoulder and midsection with a sickening thwack. The crimson spray erupted from his maw as he lifted his arms to either side in a deafening bellow of rage.
The mass of corpses continued to climb. The pits of his eyes blackened with every swing of his falchions. The dark energies of necromancy having woven the seeds of his destruction arced between the horde of undead and blood that flowed from his every move. The lethal weave of thanatotic magick consumed the life that coursed through his being. Inevitably, all flesh must weaken and succumb to the ravages of conflict. As the snow glistened in the first rays of the light, his body fell to the relentless onslaught of undead.Yet on the cliffs outside of Kael Drakkel, the Dark Arts suspended such realities.
Amid the torrential whispers of the dead another rose to serve Hatred's Will...
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