Atriarch Community Story Event
Crossroads of Atriana Chain Story
The Aub was long and cold as Gentar, the Moon of Frost, eclipsed the warm glow of Altoos. A deadly freezing wind swept over the Tyrusin continent. Where moments before the area had been a frenzy of violence there was now little movement on the battlefield.
The warrior Gra'tash pulled the barbed lance from the enemy that it had just slain, and looked in fear towards the approaching edge of the Torpor Storm. He knew such a fine Daisunnian weapon would serve him well, it was worth every claw. Not for the first time, Gra'tash wondered if battle was worth all the pain, the dead crying out their truths to unhearing ears, and wondered if the fierce storm about to overtake him matched the storm in his soul. Gra'tash had seen its share of battle, but this was certainly one of the uglier ones.
Gra'tash paused to consider what could have possibly gone so wrong, and realized this should have been an easy fight as they had the enemy outnumbered by atleast 3 to 1. "Such is the mystery of war," Gra'tash mused as it and its fellow Tyrusins marched toward their encampment, away from the terrible Torpor Storm.
There was panic at the encampment as the Warriors realized that the dreaded Torpor Storm would soon sweep past any Tyrusin moving on foot, and fighting broke out over the few riding beasts remaining in camp. What had been a disciplined group of trained warriors turned into little more than a mob as Officers and grunts alike fell to their former comrades' weapons in the struggle. Gra'tash and the other fighters who managed to keep their sense of honor in the chaos looked on in disgust and outrage at the sensless fighting. Gra'tash used the spear he had to clothesline a panic-stricken soldier that was riding past him, then jumped upon the beast and faced towards the jumbled mass of Tyrusin bodies still squabbling over the remaining mounts.
"Listen to me, all of you!" Gra'tash bellowed.
"Gentar is Ascendant!" he roared turning the riding beast with his knees and pointing his spear at the triumphant moon of frost as it occluded the warmth of Altoos.
"Hear me! We will not vanquish this by fighting among ourselves like spanwnlings!" He paused, grinning fiercely as the beast he rode reared and clawed the chilling air, then added, "Those who want to live - with me!"
Unnoticed to Gra'tash a female Tyrusin was smiling near him ready to strike down the warrior.
Their more brutal, senseless enemies did not heed the signs crowning their brave army, knowing only a lust for the blood of their enemies.
The tyrusin warriors, tired and edgy, turned their mounts away from the torpor storm, fleeing the advancing edge too slowly, knowing all too well what would soon befall them as the storm swallowed the stragglers whole. Gra'tash knew of a system of caves nearby and tried to spur his soldiers to quicker movement before the storm came upon them. Praying that the beings that had burrowed the monsterous caverns from the living rock were no longer inside, they approched this "haven" cautiously, they had no other option than to venture inside.
Once they were inside, the wise man R'gnak confermed Gra'tash's worst fears: "We won't be protected from the Torpor Storm in here," it said, "for the storm invades every nook and cranny. However, I have a plan!"
There was an uneasyness among the group of Tyrusin warriors as the younger soldiers shifted nervously trying to hide any signs of their fear, and even the brave Gra'tash grew silent as 'e leaned forward to listen to R'gnak's scheem to get them out of this dire situation.
"We must Hurry for we have very little time, and all must cooperate for this to work, if you begin to faulter we will kill you for we will not die for your failure to perform."
The Gra'tash begin to look at eachother with weird glances; wondering why they have been threatened so..
"Come." R'gnak said, "If we follow these caves, we should be able to get far enough away from the storm."
Dyant, the newest recruit, bravely follows R`gnak down the passage of tunnels, until he exclaims "There is something moving back there!"
A shadow of movement is seen deeper in the cave, and then another, in a different place, whatever it was, there seemed to be more then one of them.
It was Gra'tash's friend, the one-eyed warrior Juriskak who broke the silence by pushing his way to the front and bellowing loudly, "Whatever they are, do not let them delay us or the Torpor Storm will be our doom!"
All apprehension shattered as the Tyrusin's battle lust took over -A wall of flesh an surged forward. A shout goes up from a grizzled old warrior who had no desire to face the fury of the storm, "If we die we die in battle as warriors not to that acursed storm!"
A deadly wall of flesh moved forward intent on clearing a path to what they saw as safety but none heard the cry from behind to stay their arms... to hold till they knew what they faced... none heard at all and the carnage began... Gra'tash swung at the first thing he came across, and it fell so easily that he stumbled - trying to keep himself upright - when all of a sudden he heard a small voice crying.
"Stop! The creatures are our salvation," Gra'tash cried, but the blood lust was strong and even his bellow was not heeded.
Laughs rang out from many of the Tyrusin as they slew each beast that rushed towards them with relative ease.
Soon all of the creatures that the Tyrusin ran down had been felled, the creatures which had been quicker were seen fleeing down the different paths and side tunnels in the darkness, as the Tyrusin blood lust subsided.
Unseen by the Tyrusin warriors an aged Unarra stood in the shadows of the cave watching in horror as they slaughtered all in their path.
Word had finally reached the elders of Tyrusin continent; the old text had described this event in an almost perplexed manner, though only the future could tell of the outcome, the elders tried to examine the possibilites for action.
One hundred years later, a young Lokai discovers the cave while exploring the continent
As the Unarra looked at the bones and a strange crystal ball he recalled an event that happened a hundred years earlier that was shrouded in myth--A few seconds later after he touched the crystal ball he somehow found himself on a battlefield full of the corpses of creatures and a score of Tyrusin warriors in full battle gear.
"This isn't real", the Unarra said to himself trying to shake off the powerfull illusion from the crystal, "This battle happened a hundred years ago."
As the Unarra pondered in a dreamlike state the events of the battle he did not notice the death charge of a young Tyrusin warrior coming at him, until it was too late and the lance deeply embedded in his chest, as he fell to the ground holding the lance his dieing last words echoed in his mind..."How can this be real?"
The horizon melted like a cheap candel, reality oozed back into the young Tyrusin brain, terror seized upon him ...No, No, No, Aggggrrrr it was all a dream within a dream...He was he was still cleaning the stalls in the market place.
He stretched and looked about the quiet town, he hoped the disturbing visions meant he really was descended from a brave and fearless warrior and not destined to perform manual labour all his life.
Then he woke up and found himself wounded and resting in the Tryusin's camp, one hundred years ago, guarded by three Tyrusin.
Dreams within dreams, the Unarra became confused as to which vision was reality, or perhaps if they all were.
R'gnak's shouts shook the Tyrusin soldiers from thier dreamlike slumber, "we must be alert, the creatures that inhabit these caverns are strong in the ways of mental manipulation...be wary of who is friend or foe, what is truth or imagining"...unprepared for the unseen assualt on the great veteran's mind, Gra'tash too had been temporarily caught in this confusing dream...now that he was back in reality he knew why R'gnak had been so hesitant about their group going so deep into these underground passages.
A great hissing laugh melodicaly echoed across the great cavern's walls. While the laughter appeared to be dis-embodied, the wariors knew it to be from one of the creatures; readying their weapons they were met with the echoed words: that was no dream nor was it of our doing, you sought to outrun the torpor storm and failed.
The Elder nodded wisely, "So, the ancient tales are true...." "The Torpor Storms reach through time as well as space." he said turning to face the surviving Tyrusins.
Huddled together and un-characteristically paniced, the Tyrusins nervously peered left and right, wondering from what angle the next wave of psychic attacks would come. Then, in the darkness from where the creatures had come from, there appeared to be something moving.
Gra'tash pulled his loa from its sheath at his side and fingered its sharp, scaled edge; though the Torpor Storm confused his senses until he saw danger in every shadow, he stilled himself and trusted to his warrior instincts, thinking, there are no enemies here except ourselves.
The Shadows of confusion disappeared and Gra'tash finished this final step of the test for Ascension.
The scales fell from Gra'tash's eyes and the warrior saw the true nature of the Torpor Storm; through the shadows he saw the past, a young Tyrusion fashioning his first loa from the scales of a great qwellbeast, and he saw the future, an old Tyrusion in blood red robes, a shattered loa at his feet.
Gra'tash's master strode purposefully from the darkness of the cave, laid his hand upon Gra'tash, and said,"The test is over, now we feast."
"I have no master," Gra'tash growled--His loa flicked upwards into the stranger's belly, "and I am still Tyrusian." The stranger twitched as the electrified blade stopped his heart.
The master clicks its jaws at the show of dishonourable violence saying, "Alas you are still sick and not ready to leave; the test will continue."
Gra'tash's eyes clouded further, and brandishing his blade he swiped and stabbd at phantams all about him...the others backed away, confused, their own eyes beginning to cloud over once again.
"I am Tyrusin!" Gra'tash snarled and his jagged teeth gleamed by the light of the lanto, "I am a Haddron born and bred! I would cut out my own heart before I ever took the Red! Do you hear me!"
Blackshards, the ice of Gentars reign, formed beneath the warrior, covering the ground hissing its crystalline cry. Gra'tash knew in the farthest reaches of his mind that they were trying to get him to betray the Haddron, and he needed to find the source of their control.
Racing furiously down the center of the vast cave, he could feel waves of hatred and fear eminating from the furthest reaches of the cavern.
Meanwhile, the gentle Gentar continued its measured dance across the sky, teasing Altoos with its icy tendrils.
Ketar wondered if his old friend Gra'tash was finally going completely insane.
Gentar's pale light glittered off the ice, the two intimate in their shared knowledge, and the cold light seemed to highlight the uncertainty in his heart, the pale illusion of hatred shattering against his own true feelings. The deep shadows of ice spoke true of pretty Gentar's dangerous side when Altoos hides behind her eery face. Gra'tash felt the true chill of Gentar within this cavern of illusions which now fell silent, his once mighty warriors lay slain by their own fears and self doubt.
The Tyrusin stood there, reminded of previous mistakes in life, and knelt down in dishonor and under the frosty cold of Gentar, asking the spirits of fallen comrades for forgiveness for the forgotten shameful acts of his past.
The spirit's formed in front of it, said "You are not forgiven" and began licking it for 5 days straight.
Gra'tash not knowing when or if the Torpor storm would pass, collected rations, water and the name plates from his fallen comrades in hopes that he could find some way to reconcile... He wondered why it was that only he survived.
Gra'tash looked up and shouted, "Gentar, Lord, send me back through your aubs of time so that I may choose the path of virtue, for I can no longer bare the heavy burdens of my shameful past, and I am ready to take my own life if that is the only honorable path left for me in this life!"
Knowing that suicide was not the answer, Gra'tash set his resolve to survive and honor the memories of his fallen comrades. And then Gentar held out a red pill in one hand and a blue pill in the other. Gra'tash stood silently facing Gentar for an immeasurable time, pondering with the wind howling past him. Gra`tash takes the blue pill, and falls unconscious in a haze.
A deadly freezing wind swept over the Tyrusin continent. This was the wind of life and death -- all knew this wind. He knew the truth...... He had won.
As he awoke from the slumber, he found himself wandering the beautiful snow-covered flowery plains of his homeland, and off in the distance was his cozy home village, as if the dreadful war had never happened...perhaps it was a dream, or the legendary afterlife of the fallen Haddron...
Feeling at peace with his mind after waking up from that bad dream, his body is aching all the time and he wonders what is happening to him, is this a dream and what he lived the nightmare, why does his body aches so much....
Rising from the ground, he glanced at where he once lay where several large lumps mounds where there which would explain his soreness. Kicking one of the mounds that caused his soreness, his foot struck something hard. At his kick, the mound shook, sprouting legs, and coughing, turned to look at the thing that disturbed it's sleep.
The Tyrusin wondered if this was truely his homeland, what was an Eshlar doing here, and more importantly why was his village still standing, so he decided to probe this drowsy creature for information. The creature turned his head from side to side, gazing curiously at the character before it. Bringing his foot down, he crushes the poor creature's skull. He stares at the bloody mush on his foot, why oh why had he just killed a helpless creature for no readily apparent reason?
Gra'tash heard R'gnak's voice in his mind: "You killed it because it killed you." He shook his head and stepped back, trying to regain control of himself and his thoughts. He had only felt like this once, all those years ago. It was on a day such as this, a long time ago, when he was but a spawnling of his sire, and still being trained in weapons and honor. Slowly the warm eye of Altoos began to emerge from beyond the frozen orb.
"Ah yes," Gra'tash remembered, "this is dying."
Gra'tash then picked up whatever remained of the creatured and buried it.
"Strange how these things happen... seems like only yesterday I was frolicking playfully in the fair fields of Fan'fallai, the Unarran crossroads town..." Gra'tash reminisced, "Now I'm here at the gate of death, with something of a memory problem and a fuzzy feeling in my inner body." His vision started to blur as his eyes filled with water.
Emotionally broken, physically worn, nothing could stop the emotional breakdown that was occuring... what could happen now?
Gra'tash's mind flicked through to a small hut in a frozen wasteland, and from inside he could see Gentar once more eclipsing Altoos. "Of course," he whispered; "Always in the visions there is the moon, Gentar! That is my key!"
He ran with all haste out the house and towards the caves where he had been before, he knew his answers lied there. When he reached the cave entrance he stopped, all the remains from what had happened before were gone, as if it was all just a dream. He lit up a torch near the cave entrance, summing all of his courage entered once more as a cold wind howled at him from inside the darkness, he could not fail this time, he must set things right.
Gra'tash remembered the way R'gnak had taken them before: a left turn at the first fork; then another left; and finally a tunnel sloping downward.
He started to head to the first fork in the road but then remembered...Was that the path he told him not to take, or was it the path he should of?
The torch casted shadows that fleeted along the walls, taunting the imagination. He had never seen light behave quite like that before. He was mesmorized by its dancing for a time; his thoughts were disturbed only by the sudden wind, which snuffed out his torch like the life he had once had.
The wind was cold; he had to bundle up just to keep thinking straight. A howling sound came from far off, almost like the wind was alive! Yet 'twas not the wind that was alive, but a swarming cloud of Flub Beetles!
His imagination swarmed with his childhood fears as the wind began to howl again; the wind questing through his senses, tasting of Torpor, and again the panic began to reach him. His fingers clasping tight into fists, the panic turning to bloodlust, his fears flickered and combined with the wind; a thought pierced it all, perhaps the Storm was not to be feared; perhaps this was the lesson, that of courage, and release.