Act I: Red
Chapter 9: The Lich
The sun lazily peeked over the edge of the cliff that lined the Forest of the Fae, giving the sky dark tints of blue and purple as dawn stretched across Tylarus. A skeletal hand, the skin of which appeared charred and dusky, lay upon the black bark of the Corrupted Tree. It gently swished away as the figure owning said hand inspected each of the graves with his luminescent red eyes, the rest of his features shadowed by the cover of his hood. His other hand gripped a tired and splintered staff, which he used to keep himself on his feet; his hunched form gave the appearance of a crippled man. What did not contribute to such a profile was the heavy stench of death and decay that followed the cloaked being with every slow step he took.
All of this took place in the reflection of the dark stranger's amber eyes, coldly analyzing the figure as he meandered around the desolate graveyard. He maintained his distance as to not disrupt the being from whatever it was he was doing, but he realized that he could not merely wait around all day for him to clear a path. The pale, black haired man reached into his pouch and pulled out his small notebook and pen, flipping to the page where he had logged all of the inhabitants he had met previously. The hooded figure did not hear his approach.
"…You," the dark man stated with his ragged voice. "State your name and allegiance."
The hunched figure creaked as he turned to face the origin of the raspy voice. His death like expression did not change, but the increase in stench was a good indication that he was not pleased.
"My name and… allegiance… are only known to… those of whom deserve… such knowledge," the corpse-like man wheezed. The stranger raised a brow.
"…I'll assume you are neutral then…" he muttered, scratching the information down in his book before glancing up at him once again. "As for your name, it doesn't need to be your actual name, only something that you have identified yourself with."
The charred figure's face darkened somewhat, but he decided against violence.
"Nathsar…" he answered slowly, causing the dark man to write this down as well. He then closed the notebook and pocketed both utensils once more before abruptly turning and heading to the city as he had intended.
Once more the stench grew, and the displeasure gained from answering this obnoxious human's questions only furthered his impatience. However, a shadow that momentarily crossed over the Corrupted Tree distracted "Nathsar" from teaching the male a lesson, one that also did not evade the human's cold eyes. He stopped in his tracks and glanced upward.
Both pairs of eyes followed the cause of the shadow as a heavily armored man fell from the sky and smashed into the graveled graveyard, causing small ripples and cracks to form beneath him. As the dust cleared, the stranger quickly darted to the side, sliding on his knees to find cover behind the tree. "Nathsar" stood perfectly still.
The man in question would have towered both of them if a comparison was made. His armor was a shined silver with black lining, and several plates of it had various violet insignias ectched across them. His skin was tanned, though only his head was shown to bear such a color, as the rest was covered. His long, brown hair fell along his neck, shaping the otherwise sharpened jaw he possessed. His mouth was curled into a contemptuous scowl.
"You had better have a valid reason for entering my lands," his voice boomed over the valley. "I am not taking any visitors today."
The black haired human narrowed his eyes; was this one of the three leaders he had heard about? "Nathsar", once again did not appear amused. Instead, he seemed to exude a certain amount of patience, as if wanting to witness a specific reaction from this third party.
"Your lands…? These decrepit… hills to the north of the rogues… and fae… belong to the… Legion?" the figure scoffed.
The supposed ruler of the deadened terrain only frowned harder, obviously irritated at the blatant insult. His hand quickly rose in front of him, and as the human's eyes narrowed at the sight, small, silvery particles collected within his palm to form a much larger, violet orb.
"Insolence won't get you anywhere," he growled, blasting the collected energy at his opponent. "Nathsar" did not seem to move and instead the rot that was spread around his body began to accumulate in front of him, welcoming the orb as it was stopped in mid air by the multitudes of decay and dust particles. The purple hue of the magic gave way into a dull grey before the hooded figure just barely moved the tip of his staff, causing the ball to careen back in the direction it came from with increased momentum.
The Legion's ruler widened his eyes as he quickly slammed his palms together, a darkened aura emanating from both of them as the ground in front of him split apart to raise what both "Nathsar" and the stranger perceived as one of the dead from the graves surrounding them. The skeletal form was then shattered into many pieces as it protected its master from his untimely death. He then smirked slightly.
"It appears you and I possess similar traits," he stated as three more of the dead were raised from the ground, all wielding decrepit weapons. "You too have an affinity for death, no?"
"Nathsar" did not respond as he lowered to the ground, placing his hand upon the dirt while the three undead slaves charged for him. He whispered a small incantation that caused a ring of red light to streak from the ground around him, and when he stood, molten earth and rock erupted before him and formed into an enormous, demonic creature. It stopped the skeletons in their tracks, spewing lava and fire at each of them and destroying them utterly. The pale man lowered his eyelids, seeing that this was going to be nothing more than a back and forth ego-fest.
Suddenly the leader's back exploded as several, black tentacle-like appendages burst from his flesh and streaked towards the demonic entity that was on the verge of charging him as well. Each of them wrapped around the monster's limbs, holding it in place. The tentacles were not scorched by the constant heat thrown from the molten creature's body.
"Poison, demonology, the understanding of death… we're in the midst of a necromancer," he smirked once again before his muscles flexed. The tentacles then ripped the monster apart, throwing chunks of cooled rock in scattered directions. Residual steam and smoke hung in the air as he walked forward. "Although… perhaps more than that. You're a lich, aren't you?"
The man watched firmly as "Nathsar" only blinked.
"…Perhaps indeed…" he answered lowly, causing the other to clap his hands together loudly.
"Well then! Excuse my earlier hostilities. I have not spoken with another of my kind in centuries," he stated, grinning widely. "Yes, I am a lich as well. However, from your demeanor and choice of magic, I assume you have only unlocked the first form of lichdom, correct? The time in which you have just sealed your soul away. Consider me your upgrade, the fifth and final form of a lich… millennia of which went into discovering such power."
The supposed lich tilted his head slightly.
"…It does enough for me," was all he said.
"I understand. My name is Garren Myzen; I am the true ruler of Tylarus," the armored leader introduced, causing the black haired man to quickly write everything he heard down. "As you have mentioned, this war is indeed pathetic… I was the ruler of these lands for nearly 2500 years before they were ravaged by an unspeakable plague, in which I was forced away for five centuries. I have returned only to find it in this split, chaotic state; ravaged by those who believe themselves the governing powers."
"Myzen…" the lesser lich whispered, narrowing his eyes. His demeanor subtly changed. "If this is… the case, then I will… stick around for… the time being. You may call me… Vairnlor."
"If you wish to stay, then the least you could do is help my cause," he stated. "Those who are against me are going to die regardless… I have no weaknesses, and thus no way to die. Any opposition can't match up to that, obviously, so it's only a matter of time. In addition, having two liches, despite the difference in experience, will give them little chance for victory."
"I am not concerned with them…" Vairnlor wheezed.
"Don't underestimate our enemies," Garren warned, his expression turning serious. "Yes, I said they have no chance against us, but that does not mean we have the luxury to lower our guard. Avelia, the queen of the fae, has the land heeding her call as if it were her pet… and Zephryne, the leader of the rogues, has the ability to somehow control the elements that once belonged under my own control. If you face them, tread carefully."
"Yes… fine…" the second lich sighed. "If you are finished…"
"Heh, arrogant, aren't you?" Garren smirked. "I suppose having a certain level of power will do that to you. As you wish, I have indulged myself in this conversation long enough. I must return to my experiments. And as I said, be careful, and we will win this overdrawn battle."
Garren then turned and walked back in the direction of his city, not bothering to see if Vairnlor had any response. The lich, however, did not; he merely turned to his left to see if the dark male was still watching from behind the tree. No one was seen. His reddened eyes then glanced back at the Legion's ruler.
Garren Myzen, he thought, …Close, but not close enough.
Glossary - Day 4
- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active
- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant
- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active
- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Akulien / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Maelomi / Race: Unknown / Status: Active, Tavern Mistress
- ? / Race: Feline / Status: Active
- Vairnlor / Race: Lich / Status: Active
THE FAE COURT
- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active
- ? / Race: ? / Status: Active
- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active
- Garren Myzen / Race: Lich / Status: Active, Legion Tyrant
- Tylarus: Name of land.
- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard.
- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.
- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.
- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.
- The Wastelands: Northern plains, home to the Legion.
- The Raven: ?