…time seemed to pass slowly for me after my companions left on their away mission. While I knew they are more than capable it still bothered me I could not be there to watch their backs in Akadimar. A place Khaine and I once called home. Curiously, I do not consider it home anymore and wonder if Khaine still does?
For nearly a week I lost myself in routine and focused on the tasks before me. I made my normal security checks with those in the camp. Wandered around to familiarize myself more with this district, and with the elves therein. I petitioned the Muse through Osond many times but she remained in seclusion after drinking the waters of the Argental Font. I understand this is a tough time but we need to know where the lady’s head and heart are at. A storm is coming and she will be needed fore long. Also I feel it’s time the elves knew she was not a god so that they can have a chance at becoming more than they are. I feel particularly driven to help them reclaim their heritage. Their birthright.
The bulk of my day was working with Skyyfang, my new companion. I have to say this little guy has the heart of a much large beast and perhaps the blood of one too as I am beginning to see traits not normal for his species. After a tense moment, he and Moonshadow also became fast friends. My Warcat seemed to be Skyyfang’s favorite cushion. Despite his small size he has quickly gone from my cub to my protector. At least in his mind. He is always on duty wary of any that approach me hissing at them if they get too close. Admittedly this amuses me much. Nik did not find it funny at all when Skyyfang flew at his face. The bard approached me while I was deep in meditation and his yells and swearing brought me out. While I down played it to Nick and apologized. I was very pleased with my new bodyguard and the scene still causes a smile to appear on my face.
Interestingly Cassandra seemed to run into me often especially when I was training Skyyfang, who took to her quickly. We would walk the grounds together for a while or sit and look out upon the lake. We’d talk about the Hook some, as well as battles and foes but mostly… interesting… I can’t seem to recall specifics, only that I enjoyed the conversation. And her laugh, her real laugh not the manic one. Its quite musical really.
I must admit the days my companions were away had been the most peaceful in Bantu Aspar for quite some time. I prayed to the Slicing Wind and others of the Host that their mission went as smoothly as the watch here in my city.
… as the wise know peace is not lasting, and it had been a week since my companions left. A fact that no routine could keep my concern from eating at me. Still that was not the menace that plagued us. A sense of evil had fallen in the district and patrols, human and elf alike had begun to disappear leaving behind signs of battle and blood.
I was investigating one of these sites with Cassandra at the Square of the Elven Hero Jacra when she pointed at misty shades surrounding us before she fell spell bound and asleep. I readied Windsplitter expecting trouble when I noticed 7 ethereal tendrils coming off of the weapon. The ghostly tendrils ran across the ground and connected to the 7 elven apparitions before me.
Former wielders of Windsplitter, The Seven , as I have dub them, have been part of what I have sensed in the blade but as yet could identify. They introduced themselves and I was proud to meet Aranion who I am twiced bounded to as well as Fel’Emil whose line I share. They had accepted me and wished to offer aid in the battles to come as they sensed a nexus approaching. A moment that would determine the fate of the sentient races. A moment they believed I and the Alliance would play a crucial part in. As they retreated back into Windsplitter, I was so stunned by their reveal and their vows to help that I did not notice the mood in the square had changed until I heard his voice. A chill hit me as I knew something wicked had arrived.
I turned to face the owner of the cruel and malevolent voice and saw a form both demonic yet oddly familiar. It had been aware of The Seven and listened to part of the conversation. Showing me its disdain for Aranion and house Vinchalla once the spirits had vanished. At mention of the first wielder of Windsplitter whose life I had walked, I recognized the creature. Grae’Core.
In ages past he was an Ogre in service to an Orc hero. An Orc hero whose life Khaine had walked. What was currently before me was no mere Orge however, powers of the lower planes had taken hold of it causing Grae’Core to look more demon than anything born of this our world. It spoke of the past and of its captivity, and what it planned to do to the elves. I could not let it pass, could not let it remain free. So with a deep hatred from somewhere deep inside me I launch at the creature meaning to end its threat.
Grae’Core was a powerful being, and his demonic aura was such of a profound wrongness that I have not the words to describe it. Only that It sickened me to even be near it. Also its thick hide was like stone and diminished Windsplitters bite while the swings the foul creature landed sank deeply into me. It took all Moonshadow and I had to stay toe to toe with creature and while I knew I was close to defeating him, he was closer to defeating me. Again the gods were kind to their chosen instruments as movement in the sky caught my eye and my hope renewed. With a grim smile I then worked to keep Grae’Core’s attention solely focused on me. I taunted and insulted and danced away until he realized I was stalling. What he had neglected to see until that moment was the approach of my companions. Of The Alliance!!
With rage in its heart it set to attack before my friends could aid but again I dodged. Then the light of Ospalar warmed my soul and healed my wounds as Grune neared me. Then Almaran summoned divine creatures to attack this demon, last but not least Khaine joined the fray charging the demon who blocked his blow but was now clearly on the defensive.
Invigorated by more healing from Grune I rejoined the fight flanking the beast as it exchanged words and blows with Khaine . It knew its time was up but fought ferociously. After a series of attacks from all, it was Khaine’s blade found an opening and sank deep into the creatures torso as if made the demon were made of soft clay. Stunned, Grae’Core looked shocked at how easy the blade was planted into his chest, but shock turned to surprise and horror is it seemed to recognize the sword. Coughing up brackish blood he uttered three final words before dying. The Oath Blade…