Okknos

Session 21B: Non Omnis Moriar

The city was different. It was subtle, but Valez could feel the tension. The shadows close upon this world of darkness. Some seers would portend that the end of this world comes as the new sought its place. The stain of the filth reflected as a pristine lake in a place such as Amollo and yet the creep of civilization’s decay would one day be laid waste before his cold, dead hands. Valez sighs. "You availed unto me no choice in the matter.”

Loyalty grasped betwixt the fingers of free will is more precious than any platinum taken from the bosom of the earth and Valez would see the city freed. The bourgeoisie have, out of a feeling of necessity crafted a false loyalty. He too was the subjugation of the world’s cruel fate. Spit on and tossed aside with such a bitter tasting remorse, such that it held him in the world’s bosom and claws for him still. Now, in the twilight of his world, he merely has tricks. Well, when Valez has come to pass, perhaps they will admire more than hate him behind the dark feathers, which guide him. The woven false truth as a veil upon the face of this city is execrable; that they, the spiders, spin it so poorly is an insult.
From their mouth should seep only the distillate of truth and Valez would make it so.

The next step was no longer instinctual, but purposeful. It was the careful and quick-guided steps of one trained in being shadow and keeping it. Valez slipped into an inn and made his way over to the bar. He kept his leather armor up against his face and his hair covering his eyes so as not to alarm anyone. He visage was eerie without his eyes giving away that he was not from this plane. He looked at the faces quickly and efficiently eliminating those who wouldn’t know anything. He found a rowdy group sitting against the corner. Their table had several empty glasses already and Valez slinked into the shadows next to them. His elven ears catching bits and pieces of information from their conversation.

“Terrible thing that was.”

“Never knew what hit him, he should ‘ave stayed home stead of bothering with this.”

Valez listened till he was satisfied enough, though he was displeased. From the tidbits he hears he knew that something had killed the chances of a peaceful revolution and blood would soon find its way into the cracks of this city. Valez felt him before he saw him. A familiar shadow displaced against the backdrop of the crowd. Valez eyed the man then exited the premise as silently as darkness slipped across Amollo.

Galendan eyes Valez

“Where are you going?”

“Hoping to save this city. If at all possible.”

Galendan nods and follows Valez. They both knew where their feet were taking them though their minds were moving about the crowd, learning and experiencing the atmosphere of the city. As they reached the entrance into Rakat’s lair and peered into the darkness below they couldn’t help but think of the unlikely team that they were at this moment. Galendan took ahold of the chain that in order to help him down as he went down. Moments later Valez appeared next to him, seemingly coming from his shadow. The two men went down the passageways and directly into the room where they had first met Rakat. Valez was taken aback by the wererat before him. Rakat was sitting in a chair his head cradling his hands. He didn’t notice the two men at first, but a cough from Galendan awoke Rakat from his grief. He peered at the two men from between his fingers then let them slide from his face.

“What are you doing here? It is too late.”

Looking at Rakat, his eyes no longer held the same jeweled bright stars which once twinkled with such fervor. Valez could only see the shades of grey within them that often accompanied the palette of any city within the shadows.

“What has occurred?” Galendan whispered his voice barely above an audible level.

“He is dead. Sprawled out in front of the tower like a shattered dream.” Rakat eyed the two and briefly his eyes sparked liked ember.

“You could have done something. You could have saved them.” Rakat spit the words out and added with sarcasm as thick mud “Heroes of Amollo.”

“He is dead. Sprawled out in front of the tower like a shattered dream.” Rakat eyed the two and briefly his eyes sparked liked ember.

“You could have done something. You could have saved them.” Rakat spit the words out and added with sarcasm as thick as mud “Heroes of Amollo.”

Valez’s hand turns into a fist and his eyes flare red.

“Then death be their reward and let us be the grantors of such. They will not know despair and darkness such as this and will long for the day of sweet release. Give me a name. Any name and it shall be erased.”

Galendan eyed Valez and shook his head visibly.

Rakat got up from his chair and walked over to the two men.

“It is too late. What will come, WILL come. The crops have died and the time for reaping has long past and now snow blankets the cold ground. Nothing else.”

Valez felt anger within himself. He could feel the voice inside that dark reflection of his soul whisper to him. Murder, darkness, murder, darkness, MURDER, DARKNESS… Valez could feel his soul calling to the shadow calling for the death of Rakat, but he held it back. He tried to hang on to the image of the Amber Forest and of the beautiful things.

“It is not too late there must be something we can do” Galendan whispered rhetorically to himself.
The wererat seemed to think and then make a decision.

“My mentor, my friend…the philosopher. Borys he is dead. In the same tower I told you about!”
The two heroes had no response. The room was silent. The room felt heavy and the silence endured as if all creatures fell to death. It lingered and then left the room as Rakat cleared his throat.

“You must prove that it was the Crimson Knights. You must! Find his body. Find the proof.”

Valez did not respond. He was too wrapped up in the present darkness that loomed in his soul. It wanted to come out. It wanted to murder, but it was not the time. Not now.

Galendan gave an affirmative reply and then the two walked out of the room. As they left they could hear the soft sobs of a man whose life was far to hard. The two left quickly and silently.

Valez could feel emotion bubble up from the deep, the shadows clawed at it and a familiar voice called out to him. He stopped walking and Galendan turned back.

“Valez?”

He was elsewhere though, desperately trying to remember. A body, this situation was similar somehow. Something beautiful and broken resting against the forest floor. Screams in the distance or close by. He couldn’t tell. Blossoming red against his chest.

Galendan watched Valez, particularly the shadows that seemed to claw at him from around him.

“VALEZ!!!”

Valez took a breath and looked at Galendan.

“We should have let the tower go unchallenged! That smallest of pillars seemed great and challenging, but we should not have faultered. Now men lay broken and men lay buried and we laid down our swords. We were foolish! As fools go we are the ones that run when we should fight, hide when we should seek… What have we done? Dragon eggs to fulfill a prophecy and protect a lineage long dead and gone. What are we if we do not pay attention to the needs of the present! People are dying here. People are suffering here. Shadows rage against me, but what are the excuses for the rest of us? What will our excuses be when we are judged?”

Valez brushed past Galendan and started to gain speed.

Galendan turned and followed before they exited the sewers he yelled in Valez’s direction.

“Then let’s make it right!”

Along the way Galendan wondered about the curious behavior of Valez. This was no the behavior he had grown somewhat used to. He thought it odd that the man who looked like the living dead would help in this situation. Galendan only had to recollect his past experiences and how much he had changed to start to understand.

“Why undertake this Valez?”

The red fire of Valez’s eyes turned to Galendan, but only briefly. His usual emotionless face did not respond to his question, but Valez spoke.

“This is what I once was and it is important to hold on to that despite myself.”

Galendan could feel the wind pick up as they left the city, the trees eyed them greedily and the two proceeded cautiously.

The tower was silent. Valez thought to himself that it was silent as death, but the occasion was too raw…too melancholy to be worthy of any sorts of prose or limerick. Indeed the shadows and the slowly setting sun revered the events, which brought this place to a sudden stillness. No birds chirped and the wind was crawling about the grass in a manner befitting a snake. Valez walked towards the building slowly every step tracing the lines of a memory. A memory stained with blood and the pus of the decay and decadence of souls, which desired too much when so little was to be gained.
Valez crouched down and he could easily feel the mangled dirt sprawled along the beaten path between his toes. His hands delicately touched the ground. A place of impact where a dream was crushed by gravity, the err of mankind. The ground felt soft. The wind blew and the bits of dirt still clutching to Valez’s hand scurried across it and then leaped.

“O’ what has death wrought? Sinking under my feet. It was too soon for him, not soon enough for me. The earth lay still, and my fingers tremble. The atrocity of the men who believe in ideals to embraced with the world.”

Valez got up and looked to the tower and to the slowly drifting clouds above. The sun was like a blossoming mushroom up top the trees and it filtered through. Desperately trying to touch the moment and bring it aloft.

“To feel sweet release, sweeten my lips afore they tremble. Make this moment’s advent something to be held ever so dear. Ne’er shall I see the blackened trees and that haunting memory by which was buried in my tomb.”

The revenant passed through the doors of the tower and numbly searched through the building. There was nothing within only clues that further lead to the innocence spilt upon the grounds. He could only think of his own innocence and that of Sophianya’s. Both of which dripped to the floor and oozed into the dark crevices of this world. Never to be seen again as they were engulfed by sharped jagged tears. They pierced flesh.

The sun was clinging to the sky and Galendan and Valez had traced the memory to a secreted spot in the forest. Three men stood before a mound that could only have been the dream that was being searched for and would hopefully again be rekindled.

Galendan waited and Valez approached them. They didn’t hear him till Valez sliced a blade of grass with his sickle. The men turned and eyed this creature of darkness set to disturb the moment, they steeled themselves against any such creature and would not listen to the threats of the once man.
Blood was shed when it didn’t have to be and secrets were uncovered. Before the day ended Valez and Galendan would set things right for the town. As blades whirled and blood spilt the truth would be set free upon the wings of the two men.

They fought not for an ideal. Not for the concepts of black and white, light and dark. They fought for their souls. This was personal for them both. It was the water that washed away the darkness of men eons ago and continued to do so. Setting things right. Allowing the sun to shine once again and forever bury the moment of despair.

As Galendan tackled the man who ran from this…

As Valez buried himself in the familiar tomb of the earth…

As the people watched in awe as a broken dream was mended…

As Rakat witnessed the light of darkned hearts…

The day would, truly, not be forgotten. The day the heroes of Amollo saved an assassin and a thief…

They mourn their follies past,
And keep their hearts with care
Their lips and lives
Without deceit
Shall prove their faith sincere.
While I concealed my guilt
I felt the fest’ring wound
Till I confessed my sins to thee
And ready pardon found

Centuries later Valez would look back on this moment and know it to be the turning point. The day he began to respect the elf, the thief who would become something more before there adventure ended. The trials that came after would leave the party scarred and weary and yet that day would hold fast. As a testament that they had the power to set things right no matter how dark the hour.

Comments

I’m really enjoying your dramatic retelling of the story.

Session 21B: Non Omnis Moriar
 

:) Thank you! I wanted to make it epic.

Session 21B: Non Omnis Moriar
mitchellswallace

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