The Provinces of Veterumterrum

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Chapter 22

Howling Wind

Nekodarz

As the dawning sun rose from the east shore of the Zion Province, a gentle breeze blew through the near forest that linked the southwest boarder of the Zion Province and the northwest boarder of the Civil Kingdoms Province. A sharp howl pierced the air between the two provinces as a large dire wolf emerged from the forest’s edge. This wolf was old, it had various scars, and its eyes was full of cataracts. This wolf’s walk was amble as it stepped out of the forest and into the clearings of the Civil Kingdoms Province. It climbed the top of a rolling hill that ascended over a wide valley where a herd of dear grazed. In the far distance a short mountain range erected across the fields like a great wall, and at the base of the core mountain was a vast territory with a gleaming city and rural fields that replaced a once thriving woodland; and above it all, elevated by the mountain, stood the glistening white castle of the elven monarchy. The wolf howled and transmuted into its true form, the Nekodarz, and the herd of dear startled and scurried away from sight. The Nekodarz did not remember many things about its former life but it remembered this place. It crouched to the ground and felt the solemn hauntings of the valley below its feet; hundreds of thousands died here. Despite the summer season, the field was dead and devoid of prosperity. As the Nekodarz sauntered down the hill with its magical sword in hand, the ravens on the ground took wing as it came near them.

There, in the center of the valley the Nekodarz firmly gripped its magical great sword in its desolate hands and raised it above its head. The tarnished blue blade radiated with dark fire that gave off a cloud of smoke. The Nekodarz held the moment as if basking in reclaimed glory and then delivered the sword into the ground which released the Phoenix Flame from within. Like an infection, the fire scorched the valley in a massive explosion. The blackened ground began to roll as its smooth surface fractured and cracked revealing rusted shields, glaives, swords, and the remains of thousands of buried corpses. The corpses were stout and short, like dwarves and most wore heavy armor that became tarnished with age. Some wore iron masks that were a part of their helmets, and attacked to the mask were chains of iron ringlets that formed a loose beard down the facemask. The eyes through the masks began to kindle with magical fire that breathed new life into those that were whole enough to rise to their feet. The Nekodarz called upon a bolt of lightning from the sky which gave it the power to grow significantly larger than its dwarven followers. It stood over the undead and cried a ghastly sound that echoed throughout the valley.

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