From a low, steady vibration, the tremor rose to a roar that would rattle the hearts of mortals. The immediate area around Razien shook as though gripped in the midst of an earthquake. Every last one of his compeers could feel the pull of power originating from him. Each felt the Wolf drawing off their Erkinan, siphoning more and more energy without limit. So daunted by this act and weakened by the lack of that most vital force within them, none of the Lords could move to stop him. Finally, as all felt to be on the brink of utter annihilation, the leeching ceased, and all fell to a sickening stillness. All eyes fell upon Razien, his spectral form now aglow with the violet haze of his aura, contrasting with his pseudo image of blood-red fur. No soul could have anticipated what would come next.
Moving with the shaky and somewhat hesitant steps of an elder, Razien stumbled back from the group. His tail began to flick to and fro, all of that power, the very essence of life filled Razien to his fullest. Taking a score of steps back, the Wolf stood at the center of the silver platform that served as a form of nucleus for the Lords’ vast temple in Karhan’ Dharian. Standing at the center of the pavilion, the Wolf was within sight and the center of everyone’s attention. Struggling against the tides of power that washed over him there came all of a heartbeat wherein it seemed Razien had gone too far to still maintain control. But he managed to pull himself up from a crumbled and crushed position, to rise with glory and all the might he had so easily stolen. Stretching out his paws, his fingers danced and waved to the pillars that surrounded him. The non-material columns seemed to flex and sway, wrap and bend towards the Wolf at their center. More and more aura seeped from the man until it seemed the entirety of the pillars were muddled within the cloud of violet. As his Erkinan consumed all it touched, Razien began to cackle and laugh with a great fervor as one in the grips of mania.
Though their colleague had become little more than a shadow in the thick fog of energy, there was one who sought to find him. Peering into the haze, Torqariyan thought to leap inside and collect the man before he could do anything that would cause irreversible effects. This confrontation between the Wolf and the Rh’euleen would pass, that much Torqariyan was sure; however, he couldn’t convince himself Razien wouldn’t do anything of lasting damage. As the laughter died away, the Jackal plunged into the pavilion’s heart. In only a second, Torqariyan was within the pillars, leaping through space by means of his own Erkinan. Even before his portal had faded, Torqariyan found his attempt to apprehend the Wolf to be in vain. As the haze cleared, the other Lords of Verillia and Metrux saw only the Jackal standing at the center of the columns. As all eyes fell on Torqariyan, knowing he hadn’t stopped the Wolf in time, each and every Lord was forced to acknowledge their failure. Razien had vanished, leaving no way of knowing where or how he had fled from the realm of spirits.
Cold wind blew through Razien’s fur, it howled into his ears and left a chill in him from head to tail. The sun’s warmth felt nice in contrast, but it was hardly enough to relieve the frosty sting of late Autumn. There came an ache in his head, something that had not been there only moments earlier, but it was as this occurred to him that revelations poured in. He could feel once more, no longer was he confined in the immaterial realm of souls but was once more of flesh and fur. Extending his arms, Razien examined his body, stuck in a state of sheer disbelief that he was again in the corporeal world of mortals. Not only that, but he was in fur not much different than his own amid his youth. A youth that felt all too distant from him at that moment. But as the more positive side of this truth came another more jarring and terrible realization struck.
Just before coming to, in the fur, there had been another event that had taken place while Razien was still within the spectral plane. Freed from Karhan’ Dharian, he found a capable form and latched onto it; however, this vessel was occupied. He had struggled with the owner of the body, fought in the way of spirits, which was only vaguely reminiscent of combat in a physical body. Yet, unlike a real battle, this one left the other man horrible under-powered against one so well-versed and gifted in the art of the souls. Violently and without remorse, Razien ousted the native spirit and left it to wander the unseen paths of a world that ran parallel with the one that former mortal had known.
It was not overly long before Razien heard again the voice that had called to him even when he sat in the temple of the Lords. Though its words were of a tongue he could not rightly decipher, it beguiled Razien with a siren-like song. Almost on instinct, he began towards it; he had made sure to set down as near as possible to its origin point when acquiring his vessel. Where Razien found himself was a place all too familiar to him, Roya, the mountain city of his people, his home, the lands he had once ruled. And just as he could easily locate the sky-scraping Towers of Season from where he stood, Razien almost knew with certainty where the voice originated. But the obstacle that stood in his path would be that which decided if he would indeed find the speaker.
Unobstructed in his quest, the Wolf found the shining, convex metal seal that had been set into the mountain wall, hidden behind the four high towers. It had beckoned to Razien when he still stood in his own fur, he hadn’t known why and did not hear the voice then, but now it seemed to make sense at last. Reaching out, hesitantly at first, Razien touched the frozen metal, unsure of what reaction it would cause, if any. Slowly he rubbed at the grimy surface, removing the filth to reveal a shining surface that gave off a perfect reflection. Pulling his paw away allowed Razien to make a discovery that hadn’t been clear prior to, but as he set eyes on that familiar muzzle, he wanted to weep.
Like looking at a reflection of his own self from when he was nearly an adult, Razien was confident he knew the man. The markings, the copper-toned fur, and the structure of his muzzle gave it all away, but what sealed it was the eyes. Those eyes, like perfectly ripe plums, were the same as his own were in life only this boy had both of his still undamaged. This boy, this man, was undoubtedly Saiyel, his son. Little other evidence was needed, the long coat marked with the Moqura house symbol only added to the proofs. The only male of his offspring, the eldest and true heir, he had possessed without a second thought, and there was no way to turn back now. Grief and rage boiled up in Razien, bringing both paws down like hammers of war against an enemy skull, the Wolf slammed the metal with all his might. He allowed Erkinan to explode from him, nearly draining what little of the energy he could sense in this body. After all he had done, the sacrifices made and bridges burnt, it seemed this seal would never give. Cycles and scores of cycles passed Razien in his old fur with every effort being for not and here again it was a waste. With one final burst of power, he slammed himself against the metal, regret and shame burning him to the core. In his overwrought state, Razien did not realize what he had done until his paws slipped off the opening in the seal.
Pulling apart, one half rising into the mountain and the other falling into the earth, the seal opened, revealing a strange cave-like structure. As the alcove was presented, the voice grew in volume, the words becoming more distinct, but with all that flooding Razien’s mind in that moment, the speaker became irrelevant. Even in the failing light of day, the cave reflected like newly polished iron. The entirety of the inside was metal like that of the seal only with far less wear. Two grand rounded arches sat inside but opened up onto nothing but the stone of the wall. Stepping inside, Razien noticed more and more; intricate carvings on the floor, runic inscriptions on the arches themselves, but most enticing was that which sat at the room’s center. Standing up from the ground was what looked to be a sword, but were it a blade of any kind, it would be singularly unique. Glinting as the first light of day, it looked to have been forged of material that no other weapon on Verillia had been constructed with. Razien moved closer, but as he did, a hiss rattled through the cave, drawing his eyes to the creature at last.
It hung, a black mass against the silverish metal of the ceiling, but from the bulk of fur shown round, red eyes that locked on the Wolf. Immediately, Razien began to back out of the cave, no sword was worth a losing battle with whatever form of demon guarded it. Instead of returning to an inactive state where it hung by hind-legs well above the Wolf, the monster began to stir. Fleshy wings extended from it, their span wider than the creature was tall and their ends punctuated by sharp talons. With ease, it contorted itself until it was released from it’s inverted perch and then fell from the ceiling. At once, Razien fled from the cave, he hadn’t a weapon and couldn’t feel his Erkinan reserve, but he knew this creature was not coming down for peaceful discourse. If nothing else, Razien, the Soulbreaker, would not die without putting up some fight against this unknown entity.