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|a high priestess getting ready for a quest and impatient that it is taking to long and thinks back to her childhood. Character development for the main story||
“How long has he been in there?” A gruff voice demanded from the archway.
As the acolyte spun around, she glimpsed a hint of anger on his features. However, as sudden as the anger crossed his face, it quickly turned to fear, for Sarcanirin, The Lightning Lord and one of the high clerics, was upon him. “A-a-about three moon cycles, milady,” he replied cowering.
He had reason to cower; the Lightning Lord’s temper was legendary. No one was immune to her outbreaks, but her apprentices felt her wrath the most. Watching him now, Sarcanirin could see puzzlement on the face of the acolyte, as if why he should be afraid of her. He had every reason to be, for she was his mistress, and she could snuff out his life as easy as blowing out a candle. She stood only average height, but her muscularity was that of someone much taller. Not that anyone could see much of her shape because of the supple, jet-black chainmail armor she wore. It hid most of her figure, but it moved with such grace, most people assumed that there was a powerful enchantment placed on it. The darkness of the armor stood in contrast to her ivory white hair, but matched the endless void of her eyes. It is as if no light could penetrate them. However, the thing that scared most of the people she encountered, had to be the rod she wore on her belt. Letting her mind drift back to one of the nights she cast an invisibility spell on herself, just so she could walk around the battlements and catch bits and pieces of conversations.
“ I don’t care what you say Zykor, that woman is dangerous”. Pohadon exclaimed.
“Bah, orc farts. The only reason that woman is a Lightning Lord is that the rumor mill is working overtime and she is reaping the benefits.”
“Yeah, but the rumors are terrifying.” Pohadon shivered as if the woman had put her hand through him. "I heard that she was used as a slave when she was younger, and High Cleric Miroredric pushed her too far one day and she took his own rod and killed him with it. And do you know what I heard about that rod? It’s a Rod of Lordly Might is what it is. And if you have any brain left after all of the swill you drink, you’d be scared silly whenever that woman comes around.”
“I told ya’ before, that woman is just a rumormonger and she just feeds on that terror you weak-kneed fools give her.” Zykor replied, waving his hands as if waving away Pohadon’s words. “Mark my words, that woman is going to come down hard and that will show you idiots that she is just a woman.”
Sarcanirin marked the name Zykor in her mind as she whispered, “Oh my darling Zykor, you shall know terror and shall scream my name in pain!”
Snapping back to the present, she yelled at the acolyte, “Gods! How much longer do I have to wait?”
“The transformation will not be completed until another two moon cycles, mistress. He should be ready then, that is unless the procedure kills him.”
Sarcanirin stood there eyeing the acolyte. She knew that he was a holy man of Thelamar the Destructor--not to mention an apprentice of hers, but still she considered whether she could get away with running him through. Watching his nervous hand movements and listening to his broken chants, she had to allow a little smile. Well, if you could call it a smile. No other expression ever graced her face except the permanent scowl. She has overheard other acolytes and warriors whispering about the Destructor bestowing that sole expression upon her, but it didn’t bother her in the least. In fact, it helped her reputation grow to what it was today. Thinking of her reputation sent her mind wandering back to earlier in the day.
Sarcanirin raced down to the dungeon, her steps light as if they had a flight spell placed on them. Shoving the dungeon keeper out of the way, she kicked open the door and towered over the shivering man before her. Looking at the pathetic creature before her, she saw the recognition creep into his eyes, and the terror well up.
“I hope that the accommodations are up to your standards. Maybe next time you’ll believe the rumors that are circulating around and not think they are baseless trash.”
“H-h-how did you know that?” Zykor squeaked.
“Oh just letting the rumors give me strength and letting me cast invisibility spells. You should be more careful on what you say in the future. Oh that’s right, you don’t have a future.” Sarcanirin turned and told the jailer to leave and not let anyone interrupt on pain of death. She turned around and gently closed the door, “I told you you were going to know real terror and you are going to scream my name. I do hope you’re not going to be weak-kneed about this.” She said with her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Who knows, maybe Thelamar will welcome you into his realm if you are brave enough. I doubt it, knowing how skeptical you are about these things. But believe me, you’ll be praying for the Destructor to take you before I am done with you. And if you think what you’re about to go through is painful, wait until Thelamar has you in his loving embrace.
Sarcanirin walked out the door and summoned her acolytes. “Make the preparations for the ritual and by the Destructor’s hand, if you screw it up like the last one, I’ll flay the skin right off your worthless carcasses! I’m going to the temple to purify myself, and when I return all had better be in order.”
Smacking one of the acolytes in the head as she walked by, Sarcanirin made her way to the temple. Opening the door, she inhaled the musty scent tinged with the copper smell of dried blood. Taking a deep breath to steady herself on what was about to come, she reached into the folds of her cloak and drew out her holy symbol. In order to keep out unwanted visitors to the temple priests and certain acolytes were taught a prayer ritual that needed to be chanted upon entering the temple. This was done to prove that they belonged in the temple, but sometimes, when the person’s faith wavered, even this didn’t work. Chanting and clutching her unholy symbol, she was almost to the altar when she felt the chill of death. The guardian was a hideous mockery of unlife. Half of its face looked like a melted candle turned on its side. Long yellow fingernails, brittle with death, but sharp enough to deal a lot of damage to human flesh.
“H-h-human, I must feed,” groaned the ghoul.
“Back off, undead servant. I belong here as this talisman will clearly show.” Holding up the holy symbol, it radiated with an unholy blackness, slowly engulfing the ghoul.
The ghoul shuddered once and backed away. “H-h-human can stay,” As the ghoul retreated into the shadows.
Sarcanirin wiped the sweat from her brow and again wondered why the temple needed such a guardian. She walked over to the alcove where the holy objects were stored and took out the prayer candle and the offering cup. Carrying the holy objects to the altar, Sarcanirin placed the relics in their proper order. Once ready, she lit the candle and opened a gash on her forearm in tribute to her god. Kneeling down before the altar, she let her arm bleed into the offering cup, and started her prayers.
Regaining consciousness sometime later, she found the cup empty and her arm healed. A sure sign that her god was pleased. Relieved at what she saw, Sarcanirin stood up and winced at the popping in her knees. “Must have been here a while,” she mumbled to herself. After putting the relics away and cleaning up the spilt blood, Sarcanirin composed herself and let a little warmth flow into her cold heart at the thought of what lay ahead. Allowing herself a little show of magic, she cast a spell of recall and appeared suddenly in the sacrifice room. Startled by her appearance, an acolyte dropped several vials of unholy water and they shattered into glittering little pieces on the floor. With the sound of tinkling glass foretelling his doom, the acolyte burst for the door. Sarcanirin was by far the quicker. At the first sound of breaking glass, she had yanked the rod off her belt, pushed the number two button, and in seconds was holding a large battle-axe. Before the other acolytes could blink, Sarcanirin had loped off the offending acolyte’s head. The doomed acolyte was still holding the doorknob when his head rolled against his feet. It was as if the moment his head touched him, he realized he was dead and slumped to the floor. Staring daggers at the other acolytes she snarled, “that’s what happens when you make mistakes in my presence. You would be wise not to make any more around me! Finish up now and get this worthless scum out of my sight.” Sarcanirin cleaned off the blade and retracted the axe into the rod.
She then went over to the sacrifice table and stroked Zykor’s face, hushing his whimpers. “Quiet, my little man. Thelamar does not like whimpering toads, so shut up and take it like a man.” Slapping his face, she checked his bonds and readied her ceremonial robes. Informed that all was in ready. Sarcanirin dismissed the acolytes, telling them that they are not yet ready to see a sacrifice. Hearing the word sacrifice, Zykor started struggling in vain against his bonds. Sarcanirin walked over to him and touched him with her rod, paralyzing him. “We can’t have a messy sacrifice now, can we?” She asked him sweetly. Lighting incense around Zykor’s body, Sarcanirin started intoning the prayers and moving her hands in rhythm. With every other phrase, Sarcanirin, using a dull, wooden blade, stabbed the knife into various joints on Zykor’s body. Although Zykor, paralyzed as he was, he could still feel every agonizing thrust and gouge. Once the chanting reached a climax, she dropped the now splintered knife and reached into her robe. What she brought out was a heavily jeweled dagger, made just for sacrifices. Raising it high over her head, she screamed her gods name, then plunged it straight down into Zykor’s chest. Ripping out his still beating heart, Sarcanirin held it up high, enjoying the blood running down her arm, as she offered it to Thelamar. At once, the heart started smoking and bubbling. Suddenly the heart exploded into smoke and vanished. With her pulse racing and her head swimming, Sarcanirin called for the acolytes and told them to take the corpse to the temple and feed it to the ghoul. Feeling refreshed from the sacrifice, Sarcanirin went to her chambers to lay down. As sleep came for her, she saw in her mind’s eye an image of her god. He was smiling at her and she knew that he had blessed her.
“Can I do anything for you, milady?” The acolyte asked Sarcanirin.
His voice snapping her out of her reverie, she waved him away. She then glanced down into the pool filled with quasi-elementals from the plane of electricity. The little blue bolts of energy had once flitted around her very being some time ago. Remembering the sensations was enough to have the hair on her arms stand on end. If the transformation sticks, she thought to herself, the bastard will be just like her, immune to all forms of electricity. Watching the elementals whirl around, over, and through every open orifice, she understood why Lareve was twitching and jerking. He was a tall man, not as muscular as she was, but broad in the shoulders. Looking at him, Sarcanirin thought about seducing him after the initiation was over. That thought fled her mind just as quickly as it had entered. She knew he was supposed to be the first Storm Killer, but she wanted that title for herself. Sighing, she spoke quietly to him, knowing that he couldn’t hear her. “I hope you are up to the task. If not, then I will smite you down and claim the Weapon of the Destructor for myself.”
Coming to a decision, she barked out, “I will be back in exactly two moon cycles. You had better have him ready or you will be visiting the Destructor’s realm sooner than you hoped.”
Having said that, she wheeled around as her opulent cloak billowed out behind her. She slammed the door so hard, dust floated lazily down onto her, furthering her foul mood. Snorting hard through her nostrils, trying in vain to clear the sickly sweet scent of incense, Sarcanirin stalked down the passageway muttering. “I hope this Lareve is worth the effort. I don’t know why the high council needs to make a Chosen One to travel with me to the Diackek Mountains. I can find the Holy Weapon myself!”
Pushing through peasants in her way, gathering little pleasure from it, she found herself at her chambers. Throwing off her cloak, Sarcanirin sat down in a plush chair and poured herself a goblet of mead. After several moments, she stood and walked over to the darkest part of her room, to a large object covered with a heavy velvet blanket. Reaching up, she yanked off the shroud exposing a well-crafted and obviously expensive mirror. Reaching into the pouch on her belt, Sarcanirin drew out a bag of dust and a piece of chalk. Walking around the mirror, she slowly and carefully outlined a protection circle around the mirror with the chalk. Sprinkling the dust over it, she mumbled the words to bind the magic to the circle. Eyeing the circle for mistakes, Sarcanirin touched up the part that had separated with the dust. Once she was satisfied, she turned to the mirror and started her summoning. She started the brazier with the mystical flame and started chanting the arcane words to open the path. Being careful not to lose her concentration, for any minor slip could spell disaster when the fiend arrives. Splaying her fingers to match the corners of the mirror, Sarcanirin felt the pathway open. Speaking forcefully, she called out “Tharax NeOjobn, I summon thee, I bind thee, I command thee to my presence.” A sound like a mountain torn asunder reverberated through the room, announcing the presence of a high demon from the third level of hell. Breathing through her mouth to escape the sulfurous smell of rotten eggs that always accompanies Tharax; Sarcanirin put an expression of revulsion her face because to show any fear would only make talking to Tharax harder.
“You dare summon me again, mortal.” Tharax roared in anger. “You may have crossed the line this time, and your puny god won’t be able to save you.”
Thorax took one big step toward Sarcanirin; or tried to. As soon as Tharax’s foot hit the protection circle, a violent blue charge of electricity threw him back into the mirror as if he was an insignificant bug. Roaring his pain, Tharax stood there, his corrosive spittle sizzling against the protective circle, but the floor underneath was undamaged.
Sarcanirin gave a slight chuckle, and shook her head. “The circle is too well made Tharax, you’re not getting through. I binded you so you must answer my questions. What do you know of my upcoming quest?”
“Some” Tharax answered evasively.
“Dammit, don’t be coy with me. I can banish you for an eternity, never to walk the world of mortal man again, so answer me truthfully.”
“If I must. I know that you have a great journey and have many troubles ahead. The future is still being written so I can’t answer you to your satisfaction. If you want to banish me, go ahead, but you will need to find another demon to torment.”
“Damn, if you don’t know I guess I ‘m going to have to find out on my own. Tharax you may go, but I will summon you again; don’t you worry. I might even allow you to walk free around skid row if you’re nice. Now go.”
Sarcanirin closed the gate and Tharax slowly dissolved away into the mirror. Sarcanirin re-covered the mirror and poured a goblet of wine this time. She slammed half of it and lay down on the bed. As she felt the alcohol course though her system, she started to remember how she came to be who she was.
At five years old, she had seen more excesses than the most wizened sage had. Hanging around the inn where her mother wenched herself out everynight, Sarcanirin found out how to make herself scarce unless she too wanted the attention of the drunks. Skulking into and out of the local watering holes, she soon fell into hands of the local thieves’ guild. Thinking this was a better life than what she started with, she soon began going out on raids and standing watch. A couple of years went by and Sarcanirin, having quickly moved up the ranks by either killing or turning in her superiors, made her first mistake.
|chapter1 of Destiny||Destiny chapter2|