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|Author:||acurrier [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:28 pm ]|
As a result of the Arcanis Kickstarter, I'll be bringing back my primary character from the old Living campaign (Chosen by Fate). The big conceptual problem I had was that at the end of the last campaign, Crash val'Emman was a fire elemental. Clearly that is not an option in the current ruleset, and it took me a while to wrap my head around the character's reaction to finding he was no longer blessed by Nier. When I finally figured it out, I wrote the following short story. Hopefully this doesn't stray too far from what Henry has in mind for these characters.
Sitting cross legged in the central chamber, staring into the Fires of the Irlagul, the val ran a hand over his shaved scalp. The stubble felt rough against his hand. Silently, he thought back to the maze; when he agreed to help with the exploration of the ruins of the First City, it was as much about alleviating boredom as it was about achieving glory; he certainly didn't need the coin. In retrospect, the expedition had too many scholars, and too few warriors. When the death hounds attacked, there was little he could do. For every one killed, two more jumped into the fight. Someone realized there were tunnels behind them, and the order was given to retreat. There was mass confusion in those tunnels and without warning the tunnels were filled with mist, with strange writing on the walls. The expedition got separated, in the mists; how it happened was beyond him.
The val was one of the blessed of Nier, a warrior manifested out of living flame. A physical expression of the will of his god. One of the few monks of his Order to reach the level of discipline required to be tested by Nier himself, and not be found lacking. Yet, there was no day or night in those tunnels, no way to track time. He didn't require sleep, food, or water. All he did was search...for his companions yes, but mostly for an exit. It was maddening, searching without rest for only the gods know how long, and finding nothing. Sometimes he would retrace his steps, only to find that the maze had reconfigured itself behind him. When he finally saw a light ahead of him, there was no hesitation.
Bursting out of the tunnel, into the light, he remembered being blinded by the sun. Mostly, he remembered the sound. At first he didn't know what he was listening to; a steady drumbeat, like a marching army. Then he felt the pain. A searing sensation unlike anything he had experienced before. The realization hit him like a falling boulder; the sound he was listening to was his heart, pumping blood through his body. The pain was his flesh, burnt and smouldering. He was flesh once more. The shock was too much, and mercifully the val collapsed into unconsciousness.
It was days later that he woke, finding himself laying in a moving wagon, swathed in bandages. All around were crates of different sizes, and various loose goods—a merchant caravan. Only many days later was the val willing to look at his reflection. The Hero of the Battle of Semar, Reaverbane, the Master of the Incandescent Flame stood naked before a mirror. To say he did not recognize himself would be an understatement. The tattoos of his Order were still visible, in amongst the burns. His skin, scarred and blistered by flame. He looked tired, vulnerable, weak. He looked like someone who had achieved greatness, and then lost it all.
It took many weeks to make the trip from the Blessed Lands back to Nier's Spine, and the monastery that had become his home. When he arrived he recognized many of the faces, but there were too many wrinkles on them. In the months he was gone, decades had passed for the rest of Onara. It wouldn't be correct to say that he had been shunned by his Order when he returned, but then again he hadn't been made welcome. He was a stranger now, to all but the eldest monks, and they could see he had fallen from grace.
Pulling himself out of his reverie the val concentrated his sight on the pillar of flame before him, while he focused his mind on his predicament. It was obvious that he had fallen out of Nier's favour, but how? To go in an instant from living flame to burnt flesh—was he being punished, or was fate simply cruel? Could he have been forgotten by Nier, hidden away from the world for so long?
For an instant, he considered leaping into the flames. He had been tested by Nier at Hunder, and had been found worthy. Would he be found worthy again, or would he be turned to ash? Looking at his scarred flesh, he feared that he knew the answer. Gathering his resolve, the val stood. He didn't know why he had fallen from Nier's favour, but perhaps it didn't matter. The Ultimate Warrior valued nothing more than strength. Perhaps this was a test, and he would climb higher than before. One thing was for certain, his old name no longer felt right. He was no longer that man, no longer Crash.
Standing tall, the val was silent for a moment before yelling for all to hear. I am the strength and the fury of Nier...I am Raseri! Glory to Nier! Raising the blackened blade of his sword to the pillar of flame in salute, the monk turned and strode away. He had a journey to prepare for.
|Author:||Nierite [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:17 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Fallen|
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