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 Post subject: Paths of the Chosen
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:58 pm 
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Location: Wherever there are creatures who require horrible things be done to them.
A great beast on the wing. Angry words chanted in unison from godly voices. Screaming. Such screams that they pieced through to his mind from impossibly distant reaches of the world. Screams in languages known… and some unknown to him. Zorlisk stood in the Field of Bone and looked to the sky, watching as Luclin was rocked by an inner explosion. The moon cleaved in two, shattered fragments burning through the sky of Norrath as its fiery core began to leave a slowly lengthening wake as though the injured moon smeared its blood across the heavens as it passed. The sky rained fire…

Zorlisk’s vision faded as he heard is skeletal servant, now a pile of bones as it sat at its master’s side, clatter lightly when it’s skull turned to observe the Iksar that approached them. “You interrupt my meditation,” Zorlisk said with a lazy exasperation, not bothering to turn to face the robed figure standing behind him. “This had best be important.”

The Necromancer guild master glared down at Zorlisk as his lip curled in anger. “You were absent, yet again, for our dedication to the Lord of Pain. Do you think sacrifices are so simple to come by that their ritual passing to our god can be ignored? You have an obligation to…”

”I have no “obligation” to Cazic,” Zorlisk interrupted the elder. “I continue to use the ‘skills’ that he has ‘blessed’ me with despite he and the other gods plotting to destroy the world and us along with it. He should be thankful enough of that.”

The elder Necromancer twitched with restrained fury, but could not hide the anger in his voice as he spat the words from his mouth. “You speak madness, you insolent young fool! How dare you presume to know what the gods plan for this world… such actions are treasonous in the eyes of our Lord!”

Zorlisk felt the mana coalescing behind him as the elder prepared a curse intended to remind Zorlisk of the meaning of pain. In a flash, he came to his feet, dagger flying from its sheath under his robes, forearm pressing against the old Necromancer’s chest, pushing him backward into a wall. Holding him there against the stone wall of his quarters,

Zorlisk pressed the dagger’s tip to the elder’s throat, whose eyes were now wide with fear, replacing the flicker of anger there a moment ago. “You forget much, old one! You forget that you pulled me from my training as a simple Warrior of our empire. ‘Chosen of Cazic’ you called me back then. You said I had a higher calling than to swing a simple blade. You forced death upon me as a way of life… and I have hated you for that like no other.”

Zorlisk relaxed his hold and withdrew his dagger. “However, you were correct in one regard. I do have a higher calling. It does not involve bowing and scraping before the Lord of Pain though.”

With a motion of his hand, his skeletal servant reassembled and walked over to him. Picking up his packs, Zorlisk headed for the door of his quarters, but stopped for one last word with his former master. “If you believe in truth that I am the ‘Chosen of Cazic’, then do not interfere. I am leaving now. There is much strife to coming, and I believe it begins with Luclin. I will return for spells as needed. Do not bar my passage… lest you wish to awake with my friend here gnawing through your skull.”

* * *

Standing in the Field of Bone, Zorlisk looks up at Luclin through a gap in the cloud cover. The moon is whole, and for now, the sky rains only water.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 10:27 pm 
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The Field of Bone was still damp from the morning’s rain. The air was thick in his lungs with humidity, the ground squished beneath him and patches of mud sucked at his boots as he walked. He had hunted through the storm, slowly but surely honing his skills in casting, commanding his skeletal servant, and as much melee as the feeble protection of his robes allowed him.

Scorpions, scaled wolves, and less obedient skeletons were among his prey this day. A blade and a shield liberated from one of the slain skeletons now adorned his own servant, making him appear much more formidable than he had earlier in the day.

The rain had stopped now, and Zorlisk took a momentary seat on a flat rock as he attempted to wring the rain water from his robes. “Cursed apprentice robes,” he grumbled. “I ask you, why would it strike anyone as a good idea to dye the robes of young Necromancers this horrid shade of pink? Oh yes, fear me! Fear me with my pink robes and my little toothpick of a knife!” he said as he hurled the tiny blade at the ground, its blade easily sinking up to the hilt in the moist earth.

He looked up at his pet, its glowing green eyes and skeletal face staring mutely back at him. “And what are you looking at?” he asked it with a sneer, perhaps secretly hoping for a response. A moment more of silence from the skeleton before him and Zorlisk slumped forward with a frustrated sigh. “I miss my armor… and my sword… and the company of the living. You are a wonderful tool, but not much for conversation.”

Through the silence, Zorlisk heard his pet’s bones scrape and click across each other as it turn a bit to face the dense undergrowth to his left. He looked up at the skeleton, perplexed, before hearing something crashing through the undergrowth toward them. Before he could react, an armored Iksar, running at top speed, plowed out of the undergrowth and barreled headlong into Zorlisk, knocking him from his rock as the two tumbled in a heap to the ground.

Stunned for only a moment, Zorlisk looked up at the Iksar now sitting stradled on top of him. Somewhere in his subconscious, he was vaguely aware that this armored Iksar was a female, and equally vaguely aware of but no less amused by the way his poor brainless pet now looked at his master's current position with a slack jawed, skeletal grin.

“Could you get up?” he started to ask. He was cut short by an angry hiss.

”Hssss! Shut up! It is probably still looking for me!” the female Iksar replied.

Standing up, she assumed a battle stance facing the row of undergrowth and awaited the arrival of whatever had chased her here. Never taking her eyes off the row of foliage, she hissed to Zorlisk. “Stand and prepare to help me or lay there and provide a distraction for my escape. I care not which.”

Standing, taking a moment for a few futile swipes at one of the many mud spots that now stained his robe, he replied in an exasperated tone. “Cazic’s curses, who do you think you are?!”

Before she could reply in any way, a towering, red, reptilian creature pushed its way into view through the undergrowth. Seeing the two young Iksar, it bellowed a roar and charged.

“A Sarnak?!” Zorlisk said as he scrambled for his blade and motioned his pet to his side. “What is it doing this close to the city?”

The female rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Idiot… I told you! Chasing… me!” she yelled as she met the charging beast, her sword landing a blow and digging into its flesh, but doing little damage to the armored scales there.

“Go! Kill it!” Zorlisk shouted simply to his pet, which fearlessly rushed in with sword swinging and shield at the ready. Casting a spell, suddenly a cloud of disease formed around the Sarnak’s face, making it cough and its eyes water for a moment.

“I suppose a better question would be,” Zorlisk paused to fling a poison bolt into the Sarnak, “what were you doing so far away from the city?”

The female didn’t answer. She was too busy fighting the Sarnak and trying to stay alive. It was wounded badly, and was steadily, if slowly, dying from the toxins and disease now coursing through its body. Still, it had great strength left in it, and it was getting the better of the young female. A blow from its claws opened a great gash in her midsection, spilling blood everywhere.

Slumping to her knees, she looked up at the Sarnak, pure anger and hatred in her eyes. “Die…” she hissed venomously, extending her hand as a black aura formed around it. When it touched the Sarnak’s leg, there was a sound like a thunder clap. The Sarnak stiffened, trembled for a moment, then whined pathetically as it fell backward. It was dead before it hit the ground.

“A Shadowknight…” Zorlisk said with some reverence. He had never witnessed a Harm Touch before. Then he noticed the young Shadowknight trying to stand, her arms clutching her stomach, blood still spilling between them.

“Sit! Sit down, don’t move… let me see the wound,” he said urgently.

”You are no Shaman,” she hissed. “What can you do for me... aside from use my corpse as your next pet when I die here.”

“It is now your turn to shut up,” Zorlisk said sternly as her pushed her as gently as possible back to the ground and pried her arms away from the wound. It was indeed grievously deep and she was quickly bleeding to death. His attunement to the dead told him that death crept up on this one swiftly.

“Lie still,” he commanded as he placed his hands onto her bloody wound.

“What are you…” she began to ask, being cut short by the stinging pain of his touch to her open flesh.

Zorlisk began an incantation, his hands glowing black and red. The Shadowknight felt her wounds begin to close. In a moment, she was whole once more.

She sat up, her hands running over her stomach in amazement. She looked up at this your Necromancer who had saved her life, but was struck by the sight of him now clutching his abdomen, blood soaking through the front of his robe. “What… What did you do?” she asked.

Zorlisk offered a pained smile, then turned and looked out over the Field of Bone, searching for something. He spotted a small scaled wolf, pointed at it, uttered a forbidden word, and it fell dead. As it fell, the blood stopped spreading down the front of his robe. He sank back to the ground, sitting there as he caught his breath.

“I am no Shaman, and I can not heal as they do, but I can trade my life for another’s, just as I can take another’s life to heal myself.”

The Shadowknight sat stunned by this unexpected generosity. She had fully expected to die, and for this Necromancer to not care. It was too much for her to process. “You… you saved me…”

Zorlisk life tapped another wandering scaled wolf, still not fully healed from the ordeal, before speaking. “It is more exact to say that I took your wounds unto myself… but yes, by doing so, I did save you. And let me say, it was very painful, just in case you were wondering.”

“…thank you…” she said at last. The words felt foreign to her. “My name is Cukilu,” she added.

“My name is Zorlisk,” he said, extending a hand that he did not notice was still covered in his blood.

She did notice, however, and cut the palm of her own hand with her blade before clasping his. “It is… a pleasure…” she hissed seductively as their bloods mingled and she stared into his eyes.

“Uh… yes…” Zorlisk stammered, the light skin around his eyes flushing a reddish hue. “A pleasure.”

_________________
“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


Last edited by Zorlisk on Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:16 pm 
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Several days had passed since their first meeting, and in that time Zorlisk and Cukilu had managed to not kill each other. He had become gradually accustom to the idea that he had inadvertently blood-bonded with her, and she came to accept (and be extremely amused by) the fact that bonding had not been his intent. Never the less, they were bound for life now… in quite a literal sense. The dark magic pulsing through their veins turned what would normally be a symbolic gesture into one of life and death. Should either of them depart the living plain permanently the other would be struck down as well.

It was for this reason that Zorlisk was not too terribly concerned when he awoke to unmistakable feel of cold steel against his throat. “Again?” he asked groggily. “Death by exhaustion is still death, Cukilu. I need sleep. We can play later.”

The knife’s edge pressed harder against his soft throat scales as she brought her mouth close to his ear and hissed softly. “Do not flatter yourself… I was merely considering putting us both out of our misery. You were screaming in your sleep again.”

There was very little concern in her voice, if any at all. Zorlisk had the odd, yet probably well founded suspicion that the screaming had aroused her more than annoyed her. Still, he could not remember dreaming at first… then it began to come back to him. “The vision…” he said with a sigh.

The blade relaxed a bit but remained close as she let her hand wrest on his chest. “Tell me of this vision, Zorlisk. I wish to know.”

”I do not wish to speak of the details. It is a vision, nothing more. I have only my interpretations of imagery and they could be completely wrong,” he began, but stopped as the point of the dagger penetrated the scales on his chest above his heart just far enough to draw a tiny drop of blood.

“Please, Zorlisk?” Cukilu hissed as her tongue flicked out and tickled his neck. “I wish to know so badly… I am afraid I will die if you do not tell me.”

The insinuation was clear. Tell her or die. Zorlisk did not feel much like dying yet, especially now that the foreplay was getting serious. “In the vision I see a beast of massive proportions, some sort of dragon I believe. I hear the voices of the gods, angry, chanting dark spells. I see Luclin shatter from an internal explosion, and then her pieces rain down on our world and scour it clean of life. I see nothing more than that, but I believe it is an event to come. I believe the gods mean to kill us all.”

Cukilu was quiet for a while. She then slowly withdrew the dagger. “Cazic would seek our destruction as well as the other races? Such a thing could not be so.”

“There are those who believe that the fall of the old empire was brought about by angering Cazic. Who is to say what favor we still hold with him.” Zorlisk said, the bitterness clear in his voice.

”You do not care much for our god, do you?” she asked, oddly gentle in her tone.

Zorlisk sighed heavily. “I do not feel that a god, any god, should demand worship from his creations upon threat of punishment. If he wished us to be without fault, he should have made us as such. I will not follow a being of such dubious standards.”

Cukilu was silent once more for a while before speaking. “You are full of surprises, Zorlisk… greatest of which is that I agree with you.”

“I am sure I could manage some more surprises,” he grinned wickedly. When he turned to face her though, she was already standing and half dressed in the moonlight. “Where are you going?”

“Get dressed. I have heard of a stone book on a pillar that leads to place from which you can access all areas of the world, including the moon,” she said excitedly.

“But… but what about…” he stammered desperately as he clumsily slipped on his robe.

“You are the one that said ‘later’,” she said with the most evil sneer Zorlisk had ever seen. She finished buckling her breastplate, turned away from him, and slowly rolled her tail for added effect.

Zorlisk choked for a moment, then recovered and finished dressing, gathering his things, and calling his servant back to his side. He honestly could not say if he desired, feared, or loathed Cukilu at this point… perhaps a little… or even a lot… of each.

_________________
“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:39 pm 
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Location: Wherever there are creatures who require horrible things be done to them.
The pedestal stood there in a secluded area of the Field of Bone, sculpted stone book laying open upon it. Zorlisk and Cukilu stood there before it, considering both the pedestal itself and the body of a young male Iksar that lay next to it.

“…you don’t suppose the book killed him, do you?” Zorlisk asked, finally breaking the long silence.

“Doubtful,” Cukilu hissed. “I remember this one… he was quite reckless. I am sure he managed to orchestrate his own demise.”

“Reckless?” Zorlisk blinked. “What would you call going to Chardok by yourself then? An exercise in well measured judgment?”

Cukilu ignored his comment and stepped up to the pedestal. “I assume we simply touch it. Are you ready?”

Zorlisk sighed, “Yes… I am ready.”

Reaching out their hands, they closed their eyes and touched the stone book in unison… and waited… and waited. “I don’t think it’s working,” Zorlisk hissed from the side of his mouth, his eyes still closed.

“Umm… scuse me… whut you doing?” asked a strange voice from in front of them. Neither of them knew the language, but the tone of confusion and annoyance was unmistakable. They opened their eyes to find that their hands no longer rested on the stone book, but rather were now planted firmly on the rump of a very large Ogre.

Recoiling in shock, the two Iksar stumbled back several steps, looking around frantically at their new surroundings. In front of them was a stone sculpture, and on it was the name of their home… Cabilis. Above them was a clear, blue sky, and all around… everywhere… there were people. People of all races and all classes. The smells… new scents… the din of languages they did not know. A constant flow of gibberish met their young ears. It was quite the system shock. They did not even notice that the Ogre they had been inadvertently groping moments ago had turned to stare at them.

Seeing the utter confusion on their faces, he simply shook his head and muttered “Stoopud little leezards…” before walking up to the Cabilis stone, reaching out to touch it, and vanishing.

Zorlisk finally turned to Cukilu and asked, “What… in the name of Cazic… *is* this place??”

She was gathering her wits again at last, but continued to turn about in place, taking in the various sites and smells. There were more stones she saw. Ones marked with names she had not heard of. She refused to admit it to herself, but she was beginning to feel the grip of fear on her heart. This was not simply new, this was entirely foreign.

She nearly jumped out of her skin when Zorlisk grabbed her shoulder and hissed “What is *that*??”

She looked to where he was pointing, and seated atop a white, reptilian mount was a blue… frog? “That does not look like any Froglok I have ever seen,” she whispered.

As they stared, the strange looking (to their eyes at least) Froglok busied himself with a book. It didn’t seem to notice them watching him, nor pick up on Cukilu’s mental reciting of the various ways to prepare Froglok. Her revelry was interrupted by the sound of subtle, rumbling growls and roars behind them. The two Iksar turned slowly, and the delicate skin around their eyes went white as snow. Standing before them was a large, heavily armored, upright-walking tiger person.

“A pleasure knowing you, Cukilu,” Zorlisk muttered under his breath.

It looked at them for a moment, then repeated the growling sound. A moment later, its eyes narrowing, then suddenly a smile crossed its face. It cleared its throat, and spoke again… in Lizardman!

“I am terribly sorry, young ones,” the tiger person said. “I did not mean to alarm you. That was my native tongue, Vah Shir. There are so many languages, I often forget which I am using. I am Ktok Th’Rooks. Might I be of any assistance? You appear lost.”

Cukilu and Zorlisk looked at each other, their jaws slack a little. “Oh… that’s great,” Zorlisk said. “Not only does it speak, it can speak our language. We really should have stayed in bed.”

Cukilu turned to Ktok and asked unflinchingly, “Are you a male or female of your race?”

Ktok answered equally unflinchingly. “Male,” he said with a smile and a nod.

“Hmm…” Cukilu said, looking appraisingly at the Vah Shir.

“Now wait a minute!” Zorlisk said, shock clear in his voice.

“What?” she hissed.

“What were you thinking?” Zorlisk demanded.

“Oh… nothing…” she replied innocently.

Zorlisk was formulating a response when he was interrupted by Ktok’s chuckling. “You two haven’t been out of Cabilis before, have you?”

“No… actually, this is our first time,” Cukilu admitted.

“What brings you to the Plane of Knowledge this day then, young ones?” Ktok asked of them with a warm smile.

“Zorlisk here had some sort of vision about the moon exploding and I heard you could get there from here. Figured we may as well check it out…” Cukilu replied dismissively.

Zorlisk was aghast. “I can not believe you just…” he began.

Ktok was much more somber all of a sudden. “Did you, Zorlisk? Dragon? Gods chanting? That vision?”

A chill ran up Zorlisk’s spine. “How did you…”

“Come,” Ktok said as he shepherded them off, “there is a Froglok you must meet.”

Zorlisk’s mind felt as though it were spinning within his skull. What was happening to him? What was this place? Who were these people? How could this… what did he call himself… this Vah Shir know of his vision? More importantly, was he actually feeling jealousy for Cukilu’s affections? His perceptions were shifting and his mind reeled from too much new and changing information. He could feel his consciousness slipping. His mind shutting down, the vision creeping up on him again. As they drew nearer the blue Froglok on the large reptile mount, he knew he was about to faint.

“F… F…Frog…” he stammered incoherently, and then there was blackness.

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“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:42 pm 
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He could see the world beneath him, as though he were flying. The continents of the world, places he had never been and only heard of in stories. Odus, Faydwer, Antonica, Velious, and his homeland of Kunark. Then the world spun, the continents moving away, and another moving into view. An old, forgotten place… it seemed that shadows crept across it like tendrils of a mold. Spreading, consuming what lay in its path.

Suddenly, he was aware that he was not floating at all, but standing before a massive globe. All around, the scent of dragon kin and brimstone. It was not the him he was today, but older, wiser. Reaching out a scaled hand, this future self placed a claw upon the center of this new continent. “No quarter given… none received…”

The vision was cut short as he jolted awake to find himself in a bed. A very comfortable… yet strangely round bed.

”It would seem our guest is awake, Ktok,” Said a friendly, oddly cheerful, yet slightly gargled voice. It spoke Lizardman but surely not from Iksar vocal cords.

Zorlisk turned toward the voice and saw the blue Froglok from the Plane of Knowledge standing at his bedside, a warm smile gracing his odd features. “Where… Where am I?” Zorlisk asked.

“You are in Shar Vahl Palace, your Necromancer,” said the more familiar voice of the Vah Shir as he stepped into view and stood behind the Froglok. “This is the capital of my people, and my home.”

Suddenly remembering the stories of other races’ hated for his own, Zorlisk felt a wave of panic wash over him. “You brought me to a city??” he hissed, sitting up and looking around frantically for a hiding place should a guard happen though.

“Calm yourself, Zorlisk,” Ktok chuckled. “You are safe here. All are welcome among my people. We hold no prejudgment against any race, class, or deity.”

He did relax a little, but remained seated on the bed, cross legged now, staring unintentionally at the Froglok, who simply met his stare with that same smile. It was most disconcerting. “Why have you brought me to this place?”

Ktok and the Froglok began to speak at the same time, then stopped. “May I?” asked Ktok.

“Please,” replied the Froglok.

“Well, first off, this is Korgus Truemace. A Cleric of Mithanial Marr,” Ktok said, motioning toward the Froglok.

Korgus took a deep bow. “A pleasure.”

Ktok continued. “You visions, Zorlisk, are not unique in this world. Many have received them and the number of those gifted with this future sight grows daily. Korgus and I, we were some of the original few to receive the vision… The Portent as it is known. When my dreams began to be disrupted with these visions, I set aside most of what I had known up to that point in my life and sought the advice of our King. He listened to my story, and for whatever reason, commissioned the formation of an organization of Vah Shir whose intent was to explore the reaches of our world and the Planes in search of any clue that may allow us to save our beloved Luclin. I was placed in charge of this group, and faced with the task of its formation. We are now known as the Portent of Luclin, and are home to many Vah Shir, both those gifted with the visions and those who simply believe and wish to help.”

Korgus picked up at this point. “My experience was very similar. However, my first contact with another gifted with the visions was Ktok here. It confirmed to me that I was in fact not insane, among other things. However, I felt the need to bring the task of investigation and prevention to the Norrathian races rather than join my Vah Shir friends in the Portent of Luclin. Thus, I formed the Portent of Norrath. We are a family open to all the races and classes of Norrath, even Necromancer Iksar such as yourself.”

Ktok took the conversations once more, as Zorlisk listened intently. “We are two separate organization but we are one family, Zorlisk. United in a common goal to discover the details of the coming cataclysm and, if possible, prevent it, or at least mitigate the damage. We can not allow the spark of life to vanish from our worlds. No matter if it might be the will of the gods.”

Zorlisk sat quiet for a moment, then spoke. “I never imagined there were others…”

“Few do,” Korgus said with a nod.

“If so many have shared my vision,” Zorlisk reasoned, “then surely it must be true. It will come to pass.”

“Likely exactly as The Portent describes if nothing is done,” Ktok said, a sadness in his voice.

“And yet, even if I helped to save them, the other races… the general population… would still hate me,” Zorlisk said with a sneer.

“Better to be hated by the living than forgotten by a dead world,” Cukilu said, striding into the room. She had a cloak now that she did not have before, with an odd clasp. It looked like a small depiction of their world with an eye emblazoned upon it. It took him a moment to realize that Korgus wore a cloak with the same clasp, and Ktok a similar cloak but his clasp was that of a tiger’s paw emblazoned with a cat’s eye.

“Cukilu,” he said, a shard of shock in his voice. “You have joined them? When?”

“Yesterday,” she answered.

Zorlisk processed this quickly. “Wait, how long was I asleep?”

“Four days,” Korgus answered.

“Four… DAYS??” Zorlisk exclaimed. “You must be mistaken…” he stopped in mid word as his stomach finished waking up and suddenly growled ferociously. “… What do you have to eat?”

“We will show you to the dining hall, friend,” Ktok said, offering his paw to assist Zorlisk in rising to his still shaky feet. “We will discuss your membership over dinner.”

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“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:22 pm 
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Zorlisk had spent much time traveling between the city of Shar Vahl and the Plane of Knowledge. In that time he learned much about the worlds of Norrath and Luclin, as well as the various Planes mortals had managed to penetrate. He had learned several new languages, and studied the cultures of other races… something unheard of in Cabilis.

It had been a good learning experience and had broadened his understanding and tolerance of the other races greatly. However, he was growing restless. The dreams continued to plague his sleep, and they seemed to grow sharper in focus from week to week. Word trickled in from a new land discovered on the far side of Norrath, and more recently of a path to an entirely other world by way of the mysterious and ubiquitous Priests of Discord that seemed to be everywhere… especially in the past month. He could not help but see parallels to these new pieces of information and elements of his dreams.

Even now, an unplanned nap at a table in the Shar Vahl library was being interrupted by visions…

“Join me… Child of Chaos…” a reptilian voiced hissed from the very air around him.

Zorlisk spun in place, searching for the source of the voice. Though reptilian it was surely not that of an Iksar. As he turned about, he realized where he was. He was once more standing in a volcano torn landscape before a large globe of Norrath, held by a dragon statue. He had been here many times in his dreams.

Was this another dream then? It seemed different somehow. He felt an odd weight in his hands… an object that coursed with the dark energies he had become accustomed to. Slowly he dropped his gaze to his hand. He was holding a gnarled, twisted staff. Ornately carved at the point, and radiating a near sentient energy that seemed to spare his life on a whim, rather than from any control he had over it.

A flash from the globe tore his attention away from the supremely malevolent artifact he clutched in his hand. A small flame appeared on the globe on the continent of Antonica, spreading outward from a location near Grobb, the Ogre’s home city. The ring of flame spread further and further, consuming all in its path.

“War will come, Child,” the voice said again. “Whether by my hand or the hands of Norrathians themselves, war is inevitable, and Norrath will fall.”

“No,” Zorlisk hissed defiantly to the wind. “We are strong when united. We will not fall to any threat…”

“They will divide you,” the voice interrupted. “They will divide you, and Norrath will fall. Stand with me… and the might of a hundred worlds will defend Norrath from this threat.”

“At what cost?” Zorlisk demanded his eyes now closed as he spoke to the disembodied voice. “He who commands a hundred worlds does not do so on force of presence alone. Such a force is the army of a conqueror, not an ally.”

The voice was silent for a moment as it weighed Zorlisk’s words. “You will stand with me, or you and all of Norrath… will perish.”

“I do not believe that,” Zorlisk smirked. “And even if we are to die, at least we will die as a free people. How will you die, dragon… like a sick Gnoll pup?” Zorlisk said as he opened his eyes. As if speaking the identity of the voice called it forth from whatever realm it hailed from, a dragon now stood before him. Larger than anything he had ever seen, and seething with an anger and malice far eclipsing even the dark artifact Zorlisk now raised before himself.

“Do not try my patience, Child of Chaos,” the dragon spat. “You are valuable… but not that valuable.”

Zorlisk instinctively began to speak words that he did not consciously recognize. The ground at his feet seemed to tremble as the words touched its surface, and the staff glowed a sickly red. A bolt of darkness so black it appeared featureless leapt from the staff toward the dragon…

With a start, Zorlisk awoke from the dream. His heart was racing, his scales felt as though they were trying to stand on end and his right hand throbbed in pain. Looking at his hand, he found it burned… deeply scarred with a strange pattern across his palm.

“The staff…” he breathed to himself. “It was real?”

_________________
“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 11:35 pm
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Location: Wherever there are creatures who require horrible things be done to them.
The whistle of the air being split, accompanied by the scraping of armor plates could be heard behind the door to the sparing room of Omen Hall. This is where Zorlisk had been directed to find Ktok, and from the sounds of it the Vah Shir was deep into a vigorous training session. Never the less, some matters could not wait. Zorlisk knocked on the door sharply.

“Come in,” came a rumbling reply from within, but the sounds of a swinging blade never stopped.

Opening the door carefully, Zorlisk saw Ktok in the middle of the room practicing various attack and defensive moves with a massive, iridescent blue sword. Ktok barely glanced toward the door, not breaking his chain of movements. “Ah, Zorlisk. It’s been a while, friend. What can I do for you?”

For a moment, Zorlisk forgot why he was here. The heart of a Warrior still beat beneath his Necromancer’s robes, and the sight of such an impressive weapon was fixating. “That blade,” Zorlisk said reverently. “I have not seen one like it before.”

Ktok finished his chain of advancing slashes with an overhead chop that stopped an inch from the floor, then stood up with his eyes scanning the length of his blade. “Aye, it is not a common blade in the world. Rallos Zek occasionally possesses one when he manifests himself in physical form within the Plane of Tactics.”

“Rallos Zek the Warlord?” Zorlisk asked with eyes wide. “How does one come by a blade owned by a god?”

Ktok grinned wickedly, “Well one surely doesn’t ask for it politely…”

Realizing the implications of a god’s weapon being in mortal hands, Zorlisk suddenly felt a swelling of hope that perhaps the gods could be stopped, but also a great depression because he was indeed so very far from helping with such an action. He shook off this feeling a gloom quickly though.

“I was originally in training to be a Warrior myself you know,” Zorlisk said with a bit of pride. “That is until I was told that The Brood was of the opinion that I possessed a particularly high potential for Necromantic arts. I do miss the feeling of a good blade in my hands…” he said, drawing closer to Ktok and unconsciously reaching out to run a finger over the back side of the blade. Realizing what he was doing, he quickly withdrew his hand and asked, “Would it be too much trouble if I…”

Ktok chuckled and smiled at the still young Iksar. “Be my guest,” he said as he offered the handle of the blade to Zorlisk, then stepped back to give the Iksar some room.

The sword was far heavier than he had expected from the ease with which Ktok had swung it, and it felt unusually cold to the touch. He gave it a few tentative swings, judging its heft, before swinging in a large arc. As the blade completed its path, he felt it connect with something and heard a familiar clatter on the floor behind him. He held the sword at rest and turned to see the decapitated body of his skeletal servant still standing at his side, its head leering at him from a corner of the room. “Oops…” he said with a weak smile.

Ktok tried to stifle a laugh as the hapless skeleton’s shouldered sagged in what looked like exasperation before it shuffled over to its head, picked it up, and gingerly placed it back on its shoulders.

Zorlisk handed the sword back to Ktok carefully, “I guess I’m more than a bit rusty,” he said with a sign. “The life of a Necromancer does not do much to encourage physical strength.”

“What was it that you came here to ask me, Zorlisk?” Ktok asked as he leaned the large blade against the wall and took a seat on a narrow table nearby. “I can tell when something is on a person’s mind.”

“What… what do you know about ancient weapons?” Zorlisk asked after a moment considering his words.

“What type of ancient weapons?” Ktok asked, raising a brow.

“I had another vision,” Zorlisk confessed. “A different one… well, not entirely different… but with new detail. There was a staff like nothing I had seen before. A staff that I felt was attuned to Necromantic powers. I was wondering if maybe you had ever heard of such a thing in your travels.”

Ktok nodded slowly, then stood, unfastened a leather strap across his chest, and removed a blade from its place on his back. Zorlisk wondered why he had not noticed this other blade before... As Ktok held it, he could see the detail in the hilt, carved to look like two dragon heads, and the intricately carved, blood red scabbard.

“This,” Ktok began slowly, “is a weapon similar to what you speak of. This is what is called the Jagged Blade of War. It was created long ago before the fall of the Rallosian Army and the curse that robbed the Ogres of their intelligence. It exists as both two blades, and a single lager blade as you see it now. The two smaller blades were broken and the pieces scattered throughout Norrath. The scabbard was entrusted to the Redblade family for safe keeping until someone could prove worthy of it.”

Ktok pulled the blade from the scabbard, and the room was bathed in red and blue light, as energy of the same colors danced up and down the length of the blade. “This is an ancient weapon specifically created for Warriors and only for Warriors. It is bound to me now and can not be passed to another, under any conditions. This,” he said as he lifted the blade, “is similar to what you are asking about, yes?”

Zorlisk had to fight back a swelling of regret that he would no longer be able to acquire such a blade for himself now that the path of the Warrior was lost to him. The radiant energy of the blade called out to the deepest part of his soul and touched his desire to shed the trapping of a Necromancer and once more take up sword and shield. It was a good few moments before he could wrest his eyes from the dance of energy across the blade.

“Yes, I believe that is… though in my vision, the weapon I had was a staff,” he said with a hint of disdain escaping into his tone.

Ktok nodded as he slid the blade back into its scabbard and refastened it to his back. “Then you are in for a most interesting and lengthy journey, my friend. Items such as these do not come willingly. They must be pulled from the depth of legend and mystery to serve you in the present. I’m afraid I do not know the details of such a quest for Necromancers, but our libraries are vast. I am sure you can find something there.”

“Thank you, Ktok,” Zorlisk said. “I’m sure I can find something now that I know for sure such things exist outside of my dreams.”

Ktok took up his large, blue sword again and prepared to go back to his training as Zorlisk opened the door to leave. “Zorlisk,” he called before the door shut behind the Necromancer.

“Aye?” he asked.

“Grow stronger, friend,” Ktok said with a smile. “You have much to accomplish before such a quest will be within your grasp. Study what details you can, but do not find yourself upon a fool’s errand… unprepared and incapable of surmounting the perils such a quest would present you with. If I had a diamond for every time a Cleric had to restore my broken body during my quest for the Jagged Blade of War, I would be a rich Vah.”

_________________
“As a reward for annoying me, I present you with a DoT… run along and die now.”


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