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Abysmal Words

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Abysmal Words

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:47 pm

With his back lightly scraping against the stone of a sheered cliff, Morden Rasp inched his way around a corner, careful not to attract attention. His arm was lightly bleeding from a skirmish with the Muramites moments before and it smeared the rock with blood as he moved.

"Get back here, Morden. Those hounds are going to smell that blood in no time at all. Are you mad?" Tondal Di'Xevar whispered sternly.

"Blast! When did that happen? I'm so darned tired, Tondal," Morden sighed. "Feels like we've been fightin' constantly for days. Let's rest back here for a while. The patrol we just got through shouldn't be missed for a while . . . I 'ope."

"Look at us, Morden. Looks like we should be dead ourselves. My armour is just bathed in the dark blood of those evil creatures," Tondal grimaced.

"Dark elf, should you not revel in war and spilling blood? That's what I was always told about you folk," Morden grinned.

"That's hardly funny Morden. I've seen enough death, and undead for that matter, to last many lifetimes, even before I met you," Tondal said. "My heart is not as black as my brethren. I do not yearn to see blood. I can't explain it other than to say that fate gave me a different heart to serve a greater purpose."

"There ye go again with yer fanciful dreams. Hmph," Morden said as he nudged Tondal, his armour grinding as it shifted. "Whatever it is or whoever it was that made ye what ye are, I'm grateful . . . just shut up about fates, will ye? Nonsense."

Both of their eyelids gradually closed as they settled against the cliff face and fell into a light slumber.

It had taken Morden and Tondal quite some time to pass through the mountains to the temples of Taelosia and the constant fighting was wearing them down. It seemed that at every turn they were attacked by the religious trusik and the Muramites.

At first, they were confused about the gaunt Taelosians' hatred. Morden was surprised that none of his wily charms took hold on any of them. It wasn't until they met Ubaki Caroda, a nihil Taelosian hiding in the mountains, that they began to understand the ways of the trusik.

After Morden and Tondal saved Ubaki from some surrounding Muramites in the Tipt mountains, the aged nihil sat with them a while and explained some bleaker moments in the history of the people of Taelosia.

Ubaki explained that when the Taelosians rose from the sea to land, they lived life as spiritual creatures -- loving nature, life and the oceans. They pursued their talents with moving and shaping stone and existed in harmony for thousands of years.

Then one Taelosian named Ikkibi Daluda, an elder at the time, ordained himself a high priest and stated to all Taelosians that they were not giving thanks to the bountiful oceans as they should. He believed there was a deity called Trushar, the ocean god, who was displeased and required devout attention of all of the Taelosians.

Ubaki continued with the story and described the worshippers of Trushar and how they grew more fanatical over many years and took to giving up the lives of many Taelosians as sacrifices to the ocean god. Before too long, the high council of Taelosi, the first city of Taelosia, discovered that the worshippers of Trushar were torturing and sacrificing non-believers too. Sadly, Ubaki explained, the high council no longer had influence over those that followed High Priest Ikkibi.

The high council of Taelosi took the news and events of the city to the four greatest elders of the Taelosians who lived in a hidden sanctum in the mountains. It did not take long for the elders to call all Taelosians together in the city to deliver their edict. All Taelosians, worshippers of Trushar too, respected the elders and would heed their words.

The elders decreed that the Taelosians would be forever divided and demanded that the worshippers of Trushar, now called trusik, make their way to the mountain temples to live out their lives. All others would remain in Taelosi and would become known as nihil. The city of Taelosi itself took the name of its new people and was named Nihilia. That was as much as Morden and Tondal could hear before they had to move on.

Morden was suddenly jolted awake by a voice and saw that Tondal was sleeping. Immediately alert, he jumped to his feet and looked around, his fingers tightly enveloping his daggers. No one. He peered around the edge of the cliff and saw a crumpled form on the ground. It looked human.

"Sir. Stay back, sir," the voice came from the body on the ground. It was one of the Wayfarers Brotherhood scouts -- a monk. "I have a message for you . . . please wait there for a moment until I determine that it is safe."

Morden reached down and grabbed Tondal by his bloodstained pauldron and hoisted him up to his feet. Tondal already had drawn his sword before getting his bearings, nearly nicking Morden in the ribs.

"Cripes elf. Easy," Morden said, examining his side.

"Easy?! Why would you EVER wake me like that?" Tondal said, going silent when he saw the monk. Morden just looked at him and shook his head playfully.

The monk slowly got to his feet and ran to Morden.

"Sir . . . I am Chadrik. It is an honour and a pleasure to meet you. My whole family serves you and we are grateful for --" the monk began, but Morden stopped him.

"Stop blathering and thanking. I'm no one special, well, not really," Morden grinned and Tondal sighed at his friend's humour. "What's the message?"

"Nedaria is becoming frightfully ill," Chadrik said. "When I left to come find you the day after you left, she was very weak and getting paler by the hour. We don't know what is wrong with her, but our best shamans and priests are doing what they can to help her."

Morden was awestruck and, for the first time, Tondal actually witnessed Morden lose his composure.

"I don't understand. 'ow could she be ill? I saw 'er just days ago. Did someone hurt 'er? What 'appened?" Morden began to babble as he shook the shoulders of the monk in his thick, dirt- and blood-smeared hands.

"I'm sorry sir, I don't know. She did not want anyone to tell you of her illness, but I felt it my duty to come find you and tell you. She did not want to interfere with your mission," Chadrik said.

"Aye, that is 'er. Always selfless. I must return to see what is 'appenin'," Morden said. Tondal reached up and grabbed Morden's shoulder, turning him around.

"We must continue. We will not have the strength to make this journey a second time, Morden. I know she will be okay. I can feel it," Tondal said.

Morden's expression of worry became a scowl and he glared at his friend.

"What would ye know of it? 'ow can ye idly say she'll be fine? Ye don't understand 'ow important she is. No idea at all. I don't care what ye feel!" Morden yelled.

His voice carried on the dank air and alerted the Muramites standing on the steps of a temple. The three troubled adventurers had mere moments to forget their quarrel and draw their weapons before a horde of Muramites rushed around the cliff's edge to meet them.


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