October 31, 1999
The adrenaline rushed through Rytalia's body as she kicked the disguised orc in his chest. Parrying a slash from the monster's dagger she grabbed his wrist, twisted his arm, and plunged her sword through its abdomen. "Simple orc never stood a chance."
After wiping the sword off the orc's rags and sheathing it in her scabbard, Rytalia offered the corpse to her God and continued her way down the street.
As she wandered the central city in the realm of Medievia she pondered why there were so many orcs about the town, could they be scouts? Was a new orc invasion imminent? The last orc invasions had been a little under 2 months past. Even though it seemed weak at first it had taken the heroes of the land several weeks to clear the city and surrounding lands of the last remnants. Maybe the last few stragglers had just resurfaced and this was the end of the orcish threat. Many people had felt that the first attacks were just an early reconnaissance faction to test how well our defenses are and Rytalia agreed.
Feeling a small headache coming on, Rytalia decided to leave thoughts of a new invasion for another time. She focused her telepathic energy and tuned into the local orb that contained her clan's mental energy.
"Greetings all! I was killing an orc so I had to concentrate and lost touch for a while, my apologies." At first she believed no one heard her, maybe she was not focused enough, and then the first mental reverberation hit her. Feeling the energy of her compatriot, Talonia, suddenly be slammed from the clan's mental energy sent a shock through Rytalia. Few died and Talonia never seemed to. The following echo of pain that swept over Rytalia from the sudden loss stunned her for a moment. She focused her energy and asked, " What's going on? What happened to Talonia?" Then 2 more mental reverberations hit her. Dachis? Seelai? "What was going on she wondered?" as 2 more echoes of pain, which felt like massive shockwaves, hit her. She asked where they could have died, sensing that more people were near death in her clan and she finally got an answer.
"The Orcs, they attacked Mount Vryce. There were so many of them - there's no hope. Run, Rytalia, run." The quick succession of 3 more deaths left Rytalia staggering. So much death, in such little time, and apparently the city of Medievia did not even know that the home of the Gods had been attacked. In a little time she was sure the city would be attacked, but what could she do? If the most powerful members of her clan were killed, then how could she do anything or organize any defense?
She bought as much food as she could carry and some small essential supplies, and fled.
As Rytalia continued her new life in the south, she heard rumors that a powerful Sorcerer who had the powers of the Dead at his whim was responsible for the new invasions. When she first heard this news her thoughts went immediately to someone she knew what seemed like a lifetime ago. He was dead now, she knew, and decided to continue her flight from the North. She knew it was only a matter of time before the orc's influence spread and more organized forces attacked. As the days passed she continued south, towards Goland's Tower, in case unforeseeable events spread the attacks south of Medievia City.
As the weeks passed Rytalia came upon the Tower of Goland and his guards. She had decided to approach and offer services as she had no where else to go. Upon entering the coutyard of the tower she was appalled at the sight. Injured warriors and civilians from the north had made a tent camp in and around the courtyard of Goland's Tower. So many wounded and almost dead.
Healing seemed to have done nothing on the infected wounds and cuts, even the ones that had barely broken the skin. How could so many of the wounds be infected though?
As she came closer to the tower gates she saw a familiar face. "Lavinth! Lavinth! Are you ok?" she asked.
"Why would you care? You ran fr+om the north, from the clan."
"I DO CARE!, there was nothing I could do. Look at this - it sickens me but if I attempt to fight I would end up the same. Even with the clans united you see how the war is going - they're too random, too unexpected." She felt badly as she spoke, knowing what she did was cowardly but believing there was no other way.
Lavinth said that the city of Medievia had been ravaged at least 4 times and that permanent defenses were set in place to defend it, that unfortunately left many areas open to raids.
"The Orcs are using a poison on their blades and weapons that paralyze you if you get hit. Its impossible to fight them - if they scratch you, you freeze and can't move for what seems like eternity, at least enough time for them to run you through. If they don't have time to kill you, the wound gets infected like this one and you're out for at least a month if you're even rescued off the field. If you do get rescued it's likely you die before the wound can be healed.. "
"But where do they get this poison?" asked Rytalia.
Lavinth answered, "Death".
"Death?" asked Rytalia.
Rytalia and Lavinth talked for hours. Death was a maligned Sorcerer who knew the powers of Necromancy. He had the power of the very beings in the realm who sealed the fate of those who died. People who had seen him claimed he was 20 feet tall and spit flames from his mouth. He referred to himself as " Andiron" which meant Death of Fire in the old tongue.
Rytalia wept that night, she only knew one person who had ever dared try and gain the power of the Necromancers and if it was him the world was surely doomed. She knew what she had to do, and she would do it.
Sichad was once a glorified warrior hero in the realm of Medievia until he started dabbling in the ancient arts of necromancy. He conducted horrid experiments in his laboratories in the swamps of Thanos, murdering innocent people and attempting to manipulate the necromancers that came to seal their spirits. After capturing a Necromancer with magic unknown to man, he tapped the power source that all the Necromancers used to feed their magic and used it to his advantage. The magic, being so dreadfully and mortifyingly powerful began to twist through the passages of his mind, changing and twisting.
After the process of controlling the power, without it destroying him, was through, he was a changed man - his mind and thoughts had been twisted and curled into something evil and malefic. And now he had turned the Orc warriors of the north into ghastly warriors of death and poisoned their blades and arrows to released this plague onto the world. Knowing that Sichad had to be stopped Rytalia now entered his forbidden lair, knowing where it was and how to enter it while bypassing the guard.
At one time, before Sichad had become horridly evil, Rytalia loved him, and he had cherished her, but something had warped his mind on a trip to Wytherwind castle years earlier and he had become obsessed with the powers of Death and the powers of the sealers of fate. Now, years later, his obsession was going to be the death of the world.
As she entered the lower catacombs of Andiron Rytalia walked silently, knowing that the way she took was an escape route into the outside world and would unlikely be guarded heavily. The Cave glowed with a yellowish tint as she walked deeper and deeper, the residue of twisted magic that Sichad worked.
Having narrowly escaped guards twice, Rytalia continued cautiously. The passageways had been shaped and the way was not as familiar as she thought it would be but she was towards the inner sanctum now and thought she knew the way. She crept past rats that were half her size and spiders that had 20 legs. She knew she would only have one chance at killing Andiron and she dared not engage these vile creations of his. They were, most likely, endowed with abilities far greater then her own.
As she turned a bend a blinding light radiated through the tunnel and then a shrill cry of death. With the agonizing scream still ringing in her head, Rytalia started around the bend.
Diving behind a table as a fire bolt suddenly scorched the air around her, Rytalia felt the ends of her hair fringe.
"Who dare invades my lair? Who would be that foolish?" Inching around the table Rytalia stood up and looked directly into Andiron's eyes. The hatred and weight of death in his eyes was burdening to look into. They enveloped her as if nothing else existed and pain overcame her.
"Sichad. It's Rytalia. Please, Sichad!." Suddenly the pain stopped and Rytalia slumped to the ground.
"Rytalia? Rytalia? Is it you? Where are you? Rytalia?"
"RYTALIA! You are hurt! What is happening? Rytalia, why am I here?" As he put his arms around her Rytalia unsheathed her sword, pulling it slowly so as to not alert him. His mind was so twisted and fragmented - how had it come to this?
"Rytalia? Where are we? What's happening? I can't remember anything, Who am I? Who are you?"
He stood up and turned his back to her. She got up onto her knees, gripping the hilt of her sword in both hands.
"I am Andiron, all must bow before me, and you must die. I am sorry Rytalia, I... I love you"
As he started to chant an incantation and turn, Rytalia lunged, plunging the sword through his chest. Black blood squirted out covering her eyes and face, burning her skin. She slumped to the ground as the reverberation of magic from his body struck her and knocked her over.
"I love you, Sichad." she said as black flames leapt from Andiron's hands engulfing everything in the room. The death cry of Sichad sounded like a banshee's wail and the room shook as the magical energy that was trapped in his body erupted into the room. Time slowed as death took over, reshaping the physical world. Explosions rocked the catacombs and the caves collapsed burying Andiron and the saviour Rytalia. Yet the backlash from the death of a Necromancer goes far beyond his lair.
Earthquakes, larger then any in recorded history rocked the area, destroying houses, caving in riverbeds and crumbling cliffs. Black rain fell from the sky in sheets and burnt the skin of those caught outside. Floods burst streams and a deep swell of water rose from the ocean to swamp a coastal town. After a few hours of total chaos and massive destruction, after endless minutes that seemed as if years had gone by, after towns and villages paused in their lives - it all stopped.