Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Months after leaving his companions Malak is found running through a forest heading south...
The rain was pouring hard now, it seemed to know that there was an ominous encounter about to happen. At least that is what Malak was told when he was a child by the elders of his tribe. As he ran through the forest the rain was unforgiving to him, making hard for him to move through the heavy underbrush. After a few more moments he finally stops at the edge of a clearing in the forest, where the rain seemed to pour heavier and a chill to the wind. He feels a sense of unease as he looks at the clearing, to his right there is a rock formation and nothing else. He can't put his finger on it, but something doesn't feel right. As he steps into the clearing he catches a whiff of a peculiar smell, but can't tell what it is from. He unsheathes his sword, Kurast just as two arrows are let loose, one hitting square in the shoulder the other just grazing his cheek. As he pulls the arrow out there is a cry heard from the far side of the clearing, to Malak's disgust a band of goblin's spews forth running at him. He raises Kurast in one hand and brings it down cleaving two goblins. Before he can bring his sword up several nets are thrown on him as maces and clubs are brought down on his body. As so many times before he feels a sudden rush and throws the nets off and is able to back his way to the rock formation. There he brings Kurast through the remaining goblins, cutting off several of their limbs and heads, leaving a few remaining. The ones that remain, pull out two potion bottles each and throw them at Malak's feet. As the bottles break Malak feels his body stiffen and non-responsive, he falls to the ground aware of what is going on, but not able to move. The goblin's fearing for their life shackle Malak's arms and legs together. A time passes before a voice is heard talking to the goblins, it tells them good work at capturing this fine specimen. As Malak turns his eyes to see who the voice is coming from he sees an end of a staff coming down. Malak is knocked out by the staff of a very powerful Warlock, whose name is Exar. Exar, turns to the remaining goblins, "Put him in the wagon and cover him up. These shackles should hold him long enough for us to get him back to my laboratory." The goblins pick up Malak and throw him into the back of the wagon. Two of them get into the riders seat and begin to haul Malak off. Exar meanwhile picks up Malak's sword and places it in a sheath on his horse, he rides off after the wagon.

Several Days Later...
Malak, it seems had fallen into a trap that was laid for him, by goblins of all things!! He was still in a daze, unable to move, but able to comprehend what was going on around him. He could tell that he was in a storage area, it was cold and little light. As the days passed Malak reminisced about the past few months since he left his companions at the dwarven hold. He remembers the head dwarf being very angry with him when he found him with his daughter. Apparently, it was thought to be an insult to demonstrate the handling of a broadsword to a female dwarf, who wanted to improve her feat at swordsmanship. After leaving his friends behind, embarrassed about what had happened. He started out on his original quest of finding the Barbarians to the south. As he passed through towns he had many encounters that earned him fame and gold. Once in a city name Myrkr he entered the local fighters tournament. He was slated to be the loser of the final match by many especially when the local warrior is the favorite. The warrior, named Ulic, was a grand warrior at least 6'5" and much stronger than Malak. It was said the all his life he had been trained by the local warlord in the art of war. After a long battle, Malak was able to grab victory when he tapped into his barbarian power and kn ocked out Ulic. This awed the crowd, especially a warlock named Exar, who took great interest in Malak and his superior strength. After that tournament Malak continued south to where the goblins had ambushed him.
More days passed and Malak was left to his thoughts, however he heard a voices always talking about him and some project. Then one day he awakes to see a darkened sky and a alchemist set all around him. He then hears a familiar voice, "Are you awake?" Exar is at the second story to the laboratory. "Today is when you fulfill your purpose for coming here. I am going to give you unimaginable power and abilities that you have only dreamed about." Exar begins to walk down a flight of stairs towards Malak. " You will sadly lose any memory of who you are and what you have done, but you will gain so much more." As Exar stands next to Malak, he is on a table that is held up by chains that lead to the ceiling of the place. Underneath the table is a container filled with a solution that cannot be identified. Exar straps Malak to the table making sure that they are firm and in place. Malak with all his effort is trying to will his body to move and fight the straps. Exar notices the look in Malak's eyes, "I know you are scared and are trying desperately to fight your way out using brute strength. Rest assure in a few moments you will not feel anything or remember what happened." With that Exar begins to walk up the stairs to what looks like a control panel and pushes a few leavers. The table begins to descend into the liquid, Malak is now submerged into the liquid which begins to rush into his mouth and lungs. He is in complete agony unable to breath, suddenly there is a jolt into the liquid and pain is now searing through his entire body. He is trying to remember his training on dealing with pain, there is too much however, and he is sent through a series of flashbacks, where he remembers his home in the north. He sees his friends in pain in a dark place, where they are being held captive. The last image he sees is that of his uncle and family disappearing in a fog. He tries to reach out for them, as he reaches he sees that his hand has been transformed into a different hand. Suddenly everything goes white the pain has become to unbearable and his mind is shut down.

The Next Day...
I awake with a jolt from the bed, as I sit up, my head is throbbing. As I try to calm down, I can't remember what happened last night or anything before that. I think to myself 'Did I just dream that or was it actually true??' I try and get my bearings in the room, I see that it is made of stone with a dresser with a mirror, a large window, and a rug on the floor. I cautiously stand up and walk to the mirror over the stand. I look into the mirror to see a pale thin looking face staring back at me. I raise a hand to touch my face. The hand feels cold and my face feels scaly, I notice some strange markings on my forearm that lead back to his body. I rip off the top of my robe to see a scaly looking body with numerous markings, which look to me like tattoos all over his body. Shocked, I step back and fall over the chair behind him to the ground. I crawl over to the corner and draw up my legs, not knowing what to make of all this. I still have no memory of why I am here, who I am, or what this place is? A few hours pass before there is a noise of someone approaching outside the door. The door opens to reveal a middle aged man with jet black hair, there is a mark that looks like mine his on the forehead.& nbsp; He is in black robes, he is ordained with a golden gauntlet on his right hand. On the gauntlet is a big jewel in the center with a bunch of little ones surrounding it. The one in the middle is a big yellow one that seems to have a pulse of light in it. In his left had he has a staff that has a white-gold look to it. A smile forms on his face as he enters the room. " You are awake that is good." He moves to the seat next to the dresser.
"Who-who-who are you?" is all I manage out.
As he sits down the staff begins to shrink to a rod of 3 feet in length. He places it on his lap and then puts his hands on his knees. "You may call me Exar...I am a warlock from the order of Zal'tan." he smiles.
"Who am I...what is this place...why am I here?!?!" I stammer out, barely able to keep my emotions in check.
"Your name is Arca, this is a keep that belongs to my order, you are here because you are powerful being. Under my tutelage you will learn the ways of the Zal'tan. You were brought here by my order several days ago. They told me nothing of you other than, your name, and what you are."
I sit and think for a moment, "What am I?"
Exar leans back into the chair, he crosses his arms. "You are a changeling."
"Changeling??" I ask.
"Your kind is able to 'shift' into other forms that are of your size, so for example you can do this..." As he finishes his sentence Exar shifts into a dwarf, then a dragon kin, and finally into something that looks like me, but is different.
"As you can see my young apprentice, that is why you are here. We are both the same and you have an extraordinary power in you, like me. "
He shifts back to the form he was when he walked into the room. He stands up and walks to the door and turns around back to Arca.
"Your training begins tomorrow. It will be a long arduous path, with things you may not be ready for. However, you have someone that starting a similar journey, like you. His name is Cay and he is from the town of Myrkr."
Pondering what has been told me, there is a basic question in my head, "Training for what?" I ask.
Exar looks at me, his eyes are boring into mine. It's as if he sees my soul and destiny unfolding.
"You are to train as a Warlock, now it is time to eat...come." Exar motions to follow him, the rod has grown back into a staff as he stands up. Hesitantly, I get up and follow him pulling my robe back up to cover me. I do feel a need to eat all of a sudden. I follow him down a hall and into a big banquet room, there are many long tables in the room. There are tapestries hanging from the wall, depicting heroes from the order. Exar motions for me to sit down at the table, soon there are people serving me as if were a king. As I sit there and eat, I think about what lies ahead of me and think that there is something odd to this place.

Several months later...
Arca is standing in a clearing that is west of Zal'tan hold. As he stands there with a wand out he mutters some words. Suddenly there is a blast that shoots out from the wand scarring the earth as well as the makeshift dummy in front of him. There is clapping heard from behind him, "Good Arca, you have mastered the Dark Pact very well, however there is still more to learn." Exar says.
"Thank you very much master." Arca says with a slight bow.
Exar turns toward Cay, "Now Cay it is your turn, use your curse to strike down the dummy with your power." Cay who is standing a few feet away, turns and faces the dummy. He holds both hands out together towards the dummy. As he mutters some words, the dummy begins to wobble about, then with a quickness the legs are kicked out from underneath it. Exar raises his gauntleted hand and the dummy raises back up. "Now it is your turn Arca..."
Arca, knows that he is not very strong in his curse, in fact the one he has been constantly working on, helps him focus on his target and increases the blast. He closes his eyes and thinks of the dummy sitting in front of him. He begins to mutters some words as he raises his wand, as he finishes the curse a light forms at the end of the wand. Arca screams "HADOUKEN!!!!!" The dummy is lifted a foot or two off the ground and a blast bigger than anything Cay or Arca have seen is sent towards the dummy, completely obliterating it. Both are speechless as the blast subsides. Exar is exuberant, "Well done, well done, my apprentice. You have shown what you are truly made of today! You are by far my best student ever!!! " Exar steps down from the stones and wraps his arm around Arca's shoulder. "Come let us break for dinner..." the two being to walk off back towards the tower. Cay is sitting there in disbelief, soon that is replaced by rage and jealousy towards Arca.
Later that night after they have finished the night meal, a half-elf is sitting in the library looking over some tomes that are concerned with the dark pact. Exar walks in slowly behind him, "I see you are brushing up on your studies??" Arca, slightly jumps from being surprised that Exar was there behind him and shifts back into his normal form.
"I'm sorry, I was hoping to learn why I struggle with this form of attack so much." Exar takes a seat across from Arca at the table. "The only true way to use the dark pact is to use the anger that burns in all of us." Arca now interested in what his master has to say puts down the tome. "What do you mean anger in all of us? I don't feel anger at all, is that my problem?" Exar looks at him as if he was looking for something on or in him. "You will one day my student. Life always manages us to give us anger to live many, many life times." He gets up and walks back towards the entrance, "Oh don't let anyone see you shift into that type anymore. Elves are not very welcomed here." Arca nods, and as Exar leaves, he shifts into a Tiefling.
Arca is asleep on his bed in his room, he is tossing and turning as his dreams are becoming slowly twisted into a nightmare. In it he sees himself as a barbarian being attacked by goblins only to see Exar knock him out. He then sees a adventurers that seem familiar to Arca, he sees them fight many monsters, demons, and even a dragon. His next vision is that of some of those companions walking into a manor or keep of some sort, then pain. His last image which sent him reeling awake was that of his master. In the image he sees Exar in his study looking over something. He sees Cay sneak up behind him and stab him through the back with a ceremonial knife. Arca jumps up from his bed, he holds his head in his hands just as he hears a scream come from down the hall. Arca races out of his room towards his master's room. When he gets there he sees his master on the ground bleeding from a wound in the chest. Arca rushes to his side, "Master what happened??"
Exar turns and looks at him and in a weak voice, "I--t was C-ay. He--he--he me." Arca looks at the wound and knows it is fatal. Exar weakly laughs, "I sh--ould have watch--ed...him...more. Ap-p-p-parant--ly...his...jealousy...was...un-stop---able." Tears form in Arca's eyes, "You can't die master, I have much to learn still." Exar slowly shakes his head, ""
Suddenly the main bell in the tower begins to ring. Exar has a worried look on his face, "Arca...before te---ll T-t-take...m-m-my...hand-d-d...and" Arca takes Exar's hand and puts it to his forehead. In a flash Arca sees some of his past, the barbarians, the group of adventurers, and Exar's betrayal. However, he sees the top of the order of Zal'tan put Exar in charge of doing this to Arca. He reels back from Exar.
"You did this to me?? Who am I really? Why did you do this to me??" He is seething with anger throughout his whole body.
Exar weakly, "I...don't...k--n--ow, f-f-f-ind the head...of our...order, Now take these..."He hands him his rod and gauntlet. " t-he use... of these items, th-th-th-en war-lock. N-n-n-ow...go...find...your...f-f-f-riends to the east ,l-l-l-eave... before... they... here..." with that Exar dies.
Arca, still reeling with anger yells aloud as he takes the two items in his hand. Suddenly there is a banging on the door to the room. Arca can hear voices outside the room, then there is a voice, it is Cay, he is telling the remaining order that he has found Exar dead and that Arca killed him. Arca slips out the back way to the study and stealthily makes his way to his room. As he is gathering his stuff, there is a sound of a mob heading towards his room. Knowing he can't fight them all he looks to his window. As he looks out he sees a river quite a distance below him. Without hesitation Arca jumps out the window to the river below, just as the mob bursts in on him.
Arca lands with a thud into the water below, all his air is pushed out of him and he is struggling to stay afloat. He hears shouting from the keep behind him as he swims over to the bank across from it. When he makes it out of the river, he runs and runs and runs for what its seems like hours before he collapses into a exhausted sleep. The next morning he awakens to flashbacks to the night before, he sits up startled trying to regain his senses. As he regains his composure he finally understands what he must do. He now has a purpose in life, to find out who he is and to make those pay that did it to him. As he stands to leave he makes sure that Exar's gauntlet in his bag, and then reforms the rod into a walking staff. As he walks he draws up his hood to hide his form, as he walks he feels his anger coursing through his body. It seems that Exar was right, anger had found him and it was all he could feel. He sets out heading to the east, with only his visions and senses guiding him.

At the order of Zal'Tan in the nearby city of Dathomir.
Cay is walking into a audience chamber . When he enters there is a huge stand in the middle with a light beaming down on it. Atop of it is a hooded figure, along the walls Cay is able to make out other figures standing in the room. Cay stops near the foot of the stand and kneels. The figure on the stand speaks in a booming voice, "CAY, YOU HAVE DONE WELL TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS TREACHERY. IT IS BECAUSE OF YOUR LOYALTY TO THIS ORDER THAT WE GIVE YOU THIS GIFT." As the figure says this, one from the wall steps toward Cay and places a gauntlet, much like Exar's on the ground in front of him. The figure continues, "PLACE THIS ON YOUR HAND AND READY YOURSELF TO BECOME ONE OF US..."Cay places it on his hand and holds it outstretched towards the figure, as he does this lightning shoots out from the figures hand and seems to empower the gauntlet and bring it to life. There is a soft red glow from the gem in the middle of it. "NOW GO CAY, YOUR FIRST ORDER IS TO SEEK OUT ARCA AND KILL HIM..." Cay nods, "Yes, my master it will be done." Cay stands and exits the room, he has a wicked smile on his face as he does...


Brian Zuniga said...

Not sure why the thing that breaks the post up isn't working; someone else will have to fix that.

Taran said...

I fixed it. I did up a whole post explaining how to use it, but of course the html screws up the comment. I'll show you how to do it the next time I see you. Basically, there are two sets of <> brackets. The first set needs to go immediately after your first or second paragraph (whatever you want to show on the main page). The second set needs to be cut and pasted at the very end of the post.